Thursday, 29 January 2009

Putting pictures in a PC forum post

This is a similar tutorial to that done already on the Support page of the forums at PC, but I'm doing it here so that those interested can, if they wish, have this tutorial open at the same time as trying to put it into practice on the PC forums.

The first point to make is that although in the PC Common Room you can post a picture either from your computer or from somewhere on the Net, in the forums you can ONLY post an image which is already online. That means that the image needs to have been uploaded to some sort of online storage, but don't get too concerned; following this tutorial's steps means you won't have to worry about the ins and outs of online photo storage sites like Photobucket or ImageShack (unless you want to, of course), because we're going to use Purple Coo itself as the (temporary) storage facility: This tutorial is for those who have pictures on their computers, but not online, that they wish to post in the forums.

Step 1
If you've come to this tutorial from the forum post Put your pictures in the forum, you should already have the forums at PC open in another tab or on another browser page; if not, open another browser tab/page so you can work through the tutorial. Click on post reply for the forum topic you want to post a picture on. Start typing your forum post. When you get to the point you want to insert your picture, Preview your post, but don't close it, and go to the Common Room using the link at the top of the forums page. As far as your browser's concerned you're only going forward one page.

Step 2
Choose a post in the Common Room, ANY post, and open the comment box (you won't be actually making a comment on the post, it's simply for using the facilities to find the necessary information). Act as if you were going to post the image from your computer (which you want to really post in the forums) into the Comment, so choose Img and browse to find your image and Submit. Then Preview the Comment to check that the image appears.

Step 3
Now comes the bit that may appear to be complicated, but it isn't, really, it takes more time to write or read than to do, so persist. The information you see next will appear slightly different depending on whether you have Firefox as your browser or Internet Explorer, or Safari (Mac users). Right-click on the image in the Preview of the (false) Comment and a drop-down menu of options will appear. Left-click on the option Properties. A pop-up window should appear and in that will be the details of the image's (temporary) online location, starting with http://. In Firefox, it is to the right of the word Location, in Internet Explorer it is to the right of the words Address: (URL). Double or triple-click on the address (the line of code that starts with http://) until it is all highlighted, then right-click and choose Copy. That will copy the image's online location to your clipboard.

Step 4
Using your browser's Back button, go back to the forum post you started. Internet Explorer users may get to a page which tells you that the page has expired: Click on the Refresh button (or press F5) and then Retry in the pop-up window and the draft forum post should reappear. Paste the text/code you've copied into your post where you want the picture, then highlight all of that text/code and click the Img button above the draft post box - that should surround the text/code with the [img] and [/img] tags. Now Preview your post and the image should be in there. If it is, you can either Submit the post or go back to typing something beneath the image and then submit it.

If the image isn't in your Previewed forum post, take a look at the code that is in there and try to work out what went wrong: For the image to appear there should be the starting code [img], followed by the online address of the image (eg http://websitename/.../picture.jpg - the ending of the code will be either .jpg, .gif, .JPG, .GIF or .png), followed by the ending code [/img].

Email me if you have any problems, or Comment on this.