Posting images at WOODWEB Forums

      Detailed instructions on including pictures with Forum posts. January 19, 2003

From contributor D:
A few recent posts indicate that some folks here would like to post images but (for one or more reasons) are unable to figure out the process. Adding images to this forum is quite easy and though there are instructions provided, they can be a little confusing to those of us who are not familiar with working with computer files. This is not the only way to post images here but it is the easiest (for me) and it should work well for anyone who has images stored on their hard drive.

If you have woodworking related images downloaded to your computer, I will assume that they were taken from a digital camera or scanned and placed in a particular folder, and that you know how to locate the images by browsing through Windows Explorer or other file managing program such as “Drag and File”.

1. Begin by typing whatever you want in the “Message” box near the bottom of the page, as you normally do to create a post or respond to a post.

2. Scroll down the page a little way and you will see three boxes, two of which have http:// already placed in the box. The middle box is empty. Just below the empty box are a couple of lines that may be in colored text. They read: “click for detailed instructions” and “Upload an Image”. If you have taken the time to read the “detailed instructions”, understand them, and can make them work, stop reading – you don’t need any help. If you are having problems or don’t understand something, read on and I will explain the way that I post images – simple and works every time. There are only a couple of rules that must be met in order to post your image.

First, the image must be in one of the following file formats:
.gif .jpg .jpeg

This should not be a problem as most digital images or scans are in one of these formats. If yours are not, you will have to change the file format, which can be done but is beyond the scope of these instructions.

Second, the size of the file must not exceed 250 kilobytes (250,000 bytes). Both the file format and the file size can be determined by browsing to the individual image in the proper folder on your hard drive and examining the detailed information about that particular image. If the file size exceeds the maximum allowable kilobytes, you can crop it or reduce the size of the image with most any decent image viewing software available on your computer.

3. Click on the link that reads: “Upload an Image”. A new page appears titled: WOODWEB's Forum Image Upload Form. Complete the two fields by typing your name and e-mail address where asked.

4. Scroll down and click on the “Browse” button next to the empty field box. A dialog box (screen) will pop up titled “Choose File”. This is where it might get a little tricky… There is a window near the top of the screen with the words “Look in:” to the left of this window and a drop-down arrow to the right of the window. Click on the drop-down arrow and you will be presented with a list of choices representing what is on your computer. This is where you search (browse) your computer in order to locate the image file that you want to post to the forum. One of your choices should be “Local Disk (C):” or “Drive (C):” or something very similar, signifying your primary hard drive. Double (left) click that line and it will pop up into the “Look in:” window and give you more choices (in that drive) to browse and search further for your image file. Locate and double click on the folder choice that contains the image you are looking for. Notice again that the folder that you double clicked appears in the window above. Continue browsing (double clicking) folders until the actual image file is presented to you in the large (center) window. Once you have found the image, simply (left) click on it ONCE to highlight it and a copy of that file description will appear in the window near the bottom titled: “File name:”. That will be the image that will eventually appear in your forum post if everything goes as it should. Now click on the “Open” button. The screen will disappear and the file identification will now appear in the window to the left of the “Browse” button on the remaining web page.

5. Click on the “Upload File Now” button. A new window will appear, which instructs you to copy the line below, and insert it in the "Optional Image URL:" field of the message form. The best way to do this is to start at the end of the line, click the left mouse button and drag the mouse backward across the line to highlight the line. IMPORTANT – stop dragging before the letters http:// are highlighted or you will be duplicating these letters when you paste the line in the next step, which will cause the image NOT to post. With the line highlighted, place the cursor over the line, right click and select “Copy”.

6. Now, use the page Back button to return TWO pages back to where your forum message text appears and where you will be inserting the copied line. Remember those three little windows below your message text? The last one (Optional Image URL:) is where you will insert the line, as follows: Place the cursor into the box just to the right of the letters http://, left click to set the cursor and then right click and choose “Paste”. Now click on the “Preview Message” button and you should be rewarded with a preview of your message and the image you selected to post along with your message.

I'd recommend folks use a photo editor to reduce the size of the image and save it on their computer. When you load a photo on a forum, use the smaller version - it will load a lot faster. The large photos take quite a while for those of us that don't have high-speed connection to the internet.

Reduce the scan to what size? What is the right amount of DPI's to set it at?

From contributor D:
Set your scanner to 72 dpi. That's plenty good enough for images viewed on a monitor. The dpi, coupled with the size of the image, determines the file size of the image. Keep the dpi at 72 and experiment with the size of your image (pixels or inches) to see what produces an image that is between 50-75K in (file) size. Smaller KB is better so long as the image is large enough to present the detail that you desire. I generally prefer to crop the image and retain the detail, rather than simply reduce the size of the whole image. For instance, the image I posted in the thread above started out as a .tif file 17.75" x 11.33" (1280 x 960 pixels), with an original file size of over 3.5 MB (3,601 KB to be exact). Before uploading it to the forum, I cropped it to 7” x 6.3” (504 x 458 pixels) and changed it to a .jpg for a completed file size of 85 KB, well under the max size of 250 KB allowed.

Tip for those using a digital camera to capture images to download on their computer: If you have the hard drive space, save your images in their original (large) file size and use the "Save as" feature to rename the edited images. By doing that, you will preserve the image in its finest state for future editing or for printing on photo paper. Once you lose the original, large file size, you will never get the (compressed) .jpg to print with any kind of sharpness and clarity. If you have a CD burner, you can archive your images onto the CD every so often to clear up hard drive space.

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