Posting images in the Bogleheads forum

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The Bogleheads forum does not have any built-in facilities for including images in posts. Posting images in the Bogleheads forum is a rough-and-ready guide to how to do it. Unfortunately, exact step-by-step details depend on what platform you're using (Windows, Mac, Linux), what browser you are using (Firefox, IE, Safari), and what image-editing tools you have at your disposal, so this article can only suggest the general approach; you must fill in the details.

First, determine if the image is copyrighted. Usage which violates the image's copyright policy are not permitted in the forum.

If the image is already on a Web page

If you see an image that is already on a Web page and is a reasonable size, that means it has a URL--a "web address." If you have the web address for an image, you can post it in the forum by surrounding the URL with [IMG] tags.

For example, in Safari I can right-click on the Bogleheads' forum "compass" logo and choose "copy image address." That puts this URL into the clipboard. I can't see it, but the clipboard now contains the URL:

https://www.bogleheads.org/w/images/a/ad/Compasslogocapturedemo.png

I now click the "Img" button, paste, and click the "*Img" button again, and I see this in my edit box:

[img]https://www.bogleheads.org/w/images/a/ad/Compasslogocapturedemo.png[/img]

When I post, this is what now appears when the post is viewed:

Compasslogocapturedemo.png

If the image seems to be on a Web page, but you cannot seem to get a URL for it, or your URL does not work

Sometimes an image really is just a static URL with a fixed address, but the URL contains characters within it that puzzle the Forum software. In this case, it may be worth using a "URL-shortening" site such as http://www.tinyurl.com . In this case, you are using it, not because it shortens the URL, but because it produces simple URLs that don't contain any punctuation but forward slashes.

Unfortunately, not all of the pictures you see on Web pages are "static" images with fixed URL addresses. Sometimes a site uses Javascript and produces a URL that doesn't work inside an [img] tag. Sometimes it is Flash content, or a PDF file displayed inline inside the browser. In this case, you cannot just post a URL for the image. Instead, you might begin by taking a "screen shot," capturing the actual image on the screen.

On the Mac, you can do this with one of several built-in commands, including the Mac OS "grab" utility. Under Windows, <Alt> PRT SCN will capture the image of the current window into the clipboard. You can then open the Paint utility, paste the screen image in, and use Paint to crop it to size. There are also numerous public domain and shareware tools, cost-free or inexpensive, that make the task easier. Photo editing software, including ones that were bundled with your computer or your digital camera, can crop and scale, and may be a good choice if you are already familiar and comfortable with it.

Capturing a screen and cropping using Windows and Paint

These directions are for Windows XP. Details may differ in other versions. Windows Paint is an awkward tool for this job, but it works.

  • Press the Prnt Scr key.
  • Open Windows Paint, which might be located at Start, All Programs, Accessories, Paint.
  • Edit, Paste. The entire screen will now appear in Paint, ready for editing.
  • Choose the selection tool (top right icon in the toolbox at the left edge of the screen).
  • If necessary, scroll the image until the section you want to capture is completely in view.
  • Drag the mouse across the diagonal of the area you want to capture. An expanding rectangle shows you what you are selecting. Make the rectangle enclose the exact area you want to capture, trying again if needed.
  • Edit, Copy.
  • Image, Attributes: Width 1, Height 1, Pixels, Colors. (You are doing this to make the image as small as possible, so that when you Paste you will only get the part you selected).
  • Edit, Paste.
  • File, Save As. File Name: as desired. File Type: JPEG.
  • Upload the file to an image hosting site as described below.

If the image needs editing

Many images will need simple editing. Images posted to the Bogleheads forum, for example, probably should be less than about 640 pixels wide or they create annoying effects for people with smaller screens. So you need to have a tool that does simple cropping and scaling, and it is helpful to have simple editing tools for drawing arrows or circles or text. Choosing a tool is beyond the scope of this article, except to say that for Bogleheads posting purposes you might consider using OpenOffice (or more recently LibreOffice) "Presentation" freeware program.

"Presentation" is the equivalent of Microsoft's PowerPoint and is very good for drawing arrows and circles. You can easily paste your image into a slide, edit, then convert to bitmap and Save Picture as a PNG (Portable Network Graphics) file.

When you have finished editing, upload the file to an image hosting site as described below.

Placing the image into a forum post

Once you have an image, the task is how to get it into the Internet--how to "host" it and obtain a URL for it. There are many "free image hosting" services. One example is tinypic . These free image hosting sites are usually supported by advertising. Moderate caution is advisable as in any Internet situation where you appear to be getting something for nothing. Once you have the finished image in a file, in one of the standard formats such as .jpg or .png, you go to the free hosting site, upload the image, and the site will give you the address of the place where it's hosted the image. Tinypic is an example of one that helpfully formats the complete "IMG code"--the url surrounded by the two IMG tags--so you can copy and paste it in directly.

Here's the procedure for posting an image from either a computer or portable device, such as an iPad or iPhone:

  1. Read tinypic.com Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. Upload photo to tinypic.com by selecting the "Choose File" button on the TinyPic web page.
  3. Copy resulting "IMG code for Forums".
  4. Paste code into post.
  5. Preview post.

If you don't like the results, change the resize drop-down menu and repeat.

Google Drive

Google Drive can display an image inside a forum post.

  1. Upload an image to Google Drive and get a sharable link
  2. Modify the URL to a form of [img]http://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=ABC123[/img] and place this code into your forum post.

For example, to place File:Calculator.png inside a forum post, upload the file to Google Drive and get a a shareable link.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8VSNcUR-B6IOHRXbFc1MWQzN1E/view?usp=sharing

1. Copy the file ID, which is this part:

0B8VSNcUR-B6IOHRXbFc1MWQzN1E (will be different for each image)

2. Paste the file ID into the code as shown here:

[img]https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=(insert file ID here)[/img]

3 Put the resulting code into your forum post.

[img]https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B8VSNcUR-B6IOHRXbFc1MWQzN1E[/img]

The working example is in this Bogleheads® forum post: Re: [Wiki] Posting images in the Bogleheads forum.

Creating an avatar

Avatars are limited to 100 pixels square and may not contain animation. Be aware that it may take some trial and error to find or create an image that small and looks good.

Tip: Try to find an avatar that's already 100 px X 100px, as reducing from a larger size may result in a blurry image.

  • Find or create an image you want to use as an avatar.
  • Select one of many available free avatar resizing websites, such as those found in a Google Search. Picasion is one recommendation.[1]
  • In the Bogleheads forum: User control panel, Profile, Edit avatar, Upload from your machine.

See also

References

  1. Bogleheads® forum post: Re: To Avatar or not to Avatar . . how did you choose or not choose?, rocket354. Oct 30, 2017

External links