Note: This article is out-of-date: The current forum software will allow you to upload images directly into forum posts, so the procedure here is no longer necessary.
Walkthrough - Including pictures or diagrams in your posts
"A picture tells a thousand words".
Sometimes, it's not enough to just describe things in text - you need to illustrate your point. The Forums can display images (such as GIF, JPG or PNG files, but unfortunately it doesn't have a mechanism that allows you to upload the images directly onto the server. So we need to do it as a two-stage process: Upload the file using the File Manager, then create a link in the forum to the image.
A couple of warnings:
- You can only use GIF, JPG or PNG file types. TIF and BMP are not supported.
- Be aware of how big your image is (in pixels). The forum display will extend to the right in order to accommodate pictures that are wider than the browser window. This disrupts the layout of other posts, making then harder to read. This all depends on how users have their display and browser set up, but I'd suggest that images up 600 pixels wide should be OK, but going over 800 pixels wide should be avoided. To deal with larger images, read the instructions on Linking to a file.
Uploading the image file
You may want to read the instructions on how to use the File Manager before going any further!
Log in to the File Manager. There is a folder called "images" there that you can use, but you can create your own personal folder if you prefer.
It's best to make sure that the file and folder names do not include any spaces, as this makes it harder to create links later. So, if needed, remove spaces or replace them with '-' or '_' characters, then upload the file into your chosen folder.
Creating a post using an image
When doing things like this, it's usually best to have two browser windows (or tabs) open on the forum: One for creating your new post, the other to locate the item you want to reference (i.e. the image file in the File Manager).
Start by creating your new post (for illustration, we're using the Sand Box forum for this) and type in any text that you want to appear before your picture. Now, click on the Img button to insert the opening image "tag":
Next, go to your other browser window and locate the image you want to reference. In this case it is the file PC110029t.JPG in the "images" folder:
I've used the mouse to highlight the path to the file "http://files/sjtag.org/images/". We can now copy and paste this into the new post message, then type in the file name and finish off by clicking on the "Img" button again the add the closing tag:
You can add more text (or images) to your post if you like. Use the Preview button to make sure that your image displays properly and that the layout is as you expected (you'll often find you want to add in blank lines to make space before or after a picture). Once you are happy, click on the Submit button.
Of course, you can create a link to an image file saved on a different web site if you wish. Simply type in the URL of the image file between [img] and [/img] tags in your post:
The only problem with using remotely hosted files is that may get moved or deleted without you realising, making your post less meaningful, but you may need to do this if it is copyrighted material.