I have answered several specific questions from members wanting help with adding photos to their messages. I though it was about time we explained the complete procedure from start to finish in a comprehensive step-by-step manner.
In order for a photo to show up on a web page or in a message post, the graphic file must be located on a computer that has a permanent connection to the World Wide Web. In other words, the file must be hosted by a web server. The photo must have its own unique URL which points directly to the graphic file. (A URL is simply the complete web address. For instance, the URL for the banner at the top of this page is http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/Themes/TaxiNet/images/ForumHead.gif
. If you click on this link, you will see the Taxidermy.Net banner open up in a new browser window.) Every graphic on every web page, right down to the smallest smiley, has its own unique URL address.Choose a Method: "Attach" or "Insert"
It is important to understand that there are TWO different ways you can add a photo to a post. Each way has its own advantages and disadvantages.
One way is to use the "Attach" function to upload a photo from your computer to the Taxidermy Net server.
The other way is to use the "Insert Image" [ IMG ] function to display a photo hosted elsewhere on the World Wide Web.
The "Attach" function allows you to upload your photo directly from your computer over your internet connection. While convenient, the "Attach" photo function has some limitations. If you upload your photos to the Forum using the "Attach" function, they can only go at the end of your post and you are limited to three attachments with a limited file size. The maximum file size of a single attachment is 128 KB, which may be less than the file sizes of your original photos. The maximum total file size for up to three attachments in any post is 192 KB. So if you attach three photos, they need to be less than 64 KB each.
You can tell if a photo in a post is an attachment, by the paper clip icon at the bottom followed by a caption similar to this: "SamplePhoto.jpg (47.11 KB, 640x480 - viewed 171 times.)"
To use the "Insert Image" [ IMG ] function, your photo files must first be located on another website. You can host your photos on your own website (if you have one), or you can choose to host them on one of the free photo hosting services such as www.photobucket.com
. If you set up a free account with photobucket.com, you can also use their tools for image editing and resizing. Once your photos are hosted on another web site, you may use as many photos as you like in your post, without worrying about maximum file size limitations. Another advantage to using the [ IMG ] command is that you can place the photos throughout your post wherever you like, not just at the end of the post. When hosting your photos elsewhere, file sizes are not limited and images can be displayed up to 800 pixels wide.
Therefore, if you are serious about posting photos to the Forum, you will probably want to set up an account with a free photo-hosting service and use the "Insert" [ IMG ] function. This will give you the most flexibility in displaying your photos without limitations.
If you only wish to occasionally post a photo from your computer, you may find the "Attach" function to be more convenient for you.How to "Attach" a Photo
IF your photo file is smaller than 128 KB, and IF your photo file is located on your computer hard drive, and IF you want your photo file to appear at the end of your post, then you are a good candidate for the "Attach" function.
Note that guests are not allowed to use the "Attach" function. You must be logged in as a member in order to see the options illustrated below.
A. When entering a post, click on "Additional Options..." located beneath the text entry box.
B. Click on the "Choose File" button, and navigate to the location where your photo file is located. Highlight the file name and click "Choose".
C. If you want to add additional photos, click on "(more attachments)" to create another "Choose File" button. You can add up to three attachments, but remember, the total size of all three attachments combined cannot be greater than 192 MB. If your attachments are too big, you will have to reduce them by following the procedures below.
D. When you have finished with your message, you can click on "Spell Check" to check your spelling, "Preview" to see how your post will look, or "Post" to submit your message to the Forum.
E. If you make a mistake and want to correct it after you have posted your message, click on the "Modify" button, make your changes, and click on "Save". If you modify your own message within the first five minutes after posting, it will not display the "Last Edit by..." notification at the bottom of your message.
F. If you mistakenly attached the same picture twice in a row, click on the "Modify" button, and then click on "Additional Options..." located beneath the text entry box. You will then see the two duplicate attachments. You can delete one of them and click "Save" to correct your mistake.How to "Insert" a Photo
If you have your photos hosted elsewhere on the Internet, you will probably want to use the "Insert" [ IMG ] command, as this will allow you the most flexibility in displaying your photos.
A. You must first find the URL for the photo you wish to insert. In photobucket.com, this is an automatic function by clicking on the [ IMG ] command beneath your photo. Elsewhere, you can find the URL of any photo on the web by right-clicking on an image and choosing "Properties". In the properties information box, you can highlight the entire URL (from the http... all the way to the ...jpg at the end) and right-click to copy the URL so you won't have to type it out.
B. Then you can click on the "Insert Image" button, which is the second button on the second row, right above the line of smileys.
C. This will create a pair of [ IMG ] commands, with the cursor position placed in between them. Right-click and choose "Paste" to insert the copied URL of your image between the [ IMG ] tags.
D. You may now use the "Preview" function to see what your post looks like with the photo in place. If there is a problem, you can correct it before posting your submission.
E. When inserting photos, they do not have to be at the end of your post. I have used the insert photo function on this post in order to display the pictures where I want them within the text.
You can also highlight the code for the photo and click on the "Centered" text button as I did with the image above. This image was created with this line of code:
Or you can highlight the code for the photo and click on the "Right Aligned" button, as in this example. This line of code looks like this:
Or, you can even place your photos
directly in your text, wherever you want.How to Reduce the Size of a Photo
One of the biggest problems people seem to have is with the size of the photos and the size of the files. With most newer digital cameras making pictures in the 3, 4, 5, or 6 megapixel range, these images are much larger than what is necessary for posting on the web, so these photos MUST be modified first. It's great to have a fancy photo-editing program, but fortunately, you can even use the lowly "Paint" program that's on everybody's computer to reduce the size of photos. This, however, is another subject worthy of its own topic, so go here for a tutorial which explains how to do this: Tutorial: How to Reduce a Photo for the Web