Adding images to posts - how to do it. (General)

by probinson @, S. Oxon, Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 11:38 (264 days ago)

I've tried to help people add images to posts before and thought, maybe, a more detailed guide would be useful. Maybe Admin could make this a sticky?

First, please read Admin's post about posting images at https://forum.forest-of-dean.net/index.php?id=53194

It's not possible to upload images directly to the forum. To post an image in this forum, the image has to be hosted on another server somewhere and then a link to it is posted in the forum. This is known as hotlinking. There are several image hosting services but not all allow hotlinking. To be able to post the image into the forum a link to THE IMAGE is required but not all image hosts provide this. Many only provide a link to the page where the image can be viewed but not the image itself. If you're unsure, look at the end of the link for the image name extension (such as .jpg or .png or .gif etc.). If there is no image name extension, then the link is not to the image, only the page. Here's an example.

Link to an image:
https://i.imgur.com/vGfkokz.jpg

Link to the page where this image is displayed:
https://imgur.com/vGfkokz

Two image hosts that allow hotlinking are Flickr (www.flickr.com) and Imgur (www.imgur.com). Both work but I personally use Imgur as I find it's easier for this type of use so thats the one I'm going to use here.

For the image to be displayed in the forum, not only do you need the link to it, but you have to tell the forum software that it is a link to an image so the software knows what to do with it. This is done by wrapping the link in a BBcode like this:

[img]https://i.imgur.com/vGfkokzt.jpg[/img]

Note the [img] and [/img] tags at the begining and end of the link. This is the BBcode for an image. For more information about BBcodes, look here https://www.bbcode.org/.

So how do we do this. Again, I'm using Imgur as the host. Using other hosts will be similar.

First, I recommend creating an account on Imgur. You don't have to. It's possible to store images on Imgur without an account but, if you don't save a link to it you'll never get back to it. Whereas, with an account you get a page that shows all your uploaded images and you can go back to them at any time to create links, edit or delete them. You also get more options when creating the links to the images such as resizing the image. How you create the link you need depends on whether you have an account or not so I'll do it both ways. First, if you don't have an account.

Go to www.imgur.com. Click on the New Post button in the top left of the screen (of course, this may be somewhere else if Imgur decide to update their layout in the future). You will get a screen that says Drop Images Here. Find the image on your computer using File Explorer (on a Windows PC) or whatever file manager software you use. Drag the image you want to upload to the Imgur screen. The image will be uploaded and displayed on the screen. Put the mouse over the image and you will get two buttons appear in the top right. Click the '...' button.

[image]

A menu will appear, click on Get Share Links.

[image]

A dialog with some link options will apear.

[image]

The easiest option here is to click the BBcode Link. This will save the link, with the BBcode tags added, to your clipboard. You can then paste this link directly into your forum message without having to use the Image option in the forum the purpose of which is to add the BBcode tags.

Now if you have an Imgur account.

Go to your Imgur images page and drag and drop the image you want to upload onto the page. It will be uploaded and a thumbnail of the image will appear. CLick on the thumbnail and the image will open with a number of link options by the side.

[image]

The easiest option, as before, is to click on the BBcode link but, before doing that, note the optons below it that allow you to specify the size of the image. You should experiment to find which size is best by choosing one, copying the link and then pasting it into your forum message then use the forum message preview option to see how it looks. If it's too small or too large, go back and change the size and copy the link from Imgur again.

There is another option here which can be useful if you have an image that needs to be large to be read but is too large to be displayed in the forum. Below the BBcode link option there is a Linked BBcode option. This will create a link that will display the image and also provide a link back to the original on Imgur. Using this you can post a small image in the forum which anyone could click on to then view the larger version on Imgur. There is one caveat with this method and that is, because of the way the forum is displayed, it will try and open the image within the forum and this won't work so anyone wanting to view the larger image will need to open it in a new tab.

Try it with this example. Right click on the image and select 'open in new tab'.

[image]

(Note: for some reason Imgur thinks my example horse picture may be an 'adult' image so you may need to confirm you're over 18 to view it...).

Hopefully this is clear enough but if you reply to this post with any questions, I'll try to help further.

--
Peter

Adding images to posts - how to do it.

by admin2 @, Thursday, November 18, 2021, 09:13 (263 days ago) @ probinson

Hi Peter (and everyone)

This is clearly a tour de force in explaining how to place images into posts. However we (admins) remain concerned about the various implications of doing so. There are security issues both for Forum users and our hosting arrangements as well as the concerns about rights explained in my earlier posts.

The current Forum software does not allow fine grain control of the way in which different insertions can be included. We want to review all of this in more detail.

Can we therefore ask that:

if there is a need to exchange images that are relevant to specific identification of individuals then please do that via direct emails between those discussing the point and not post them to the Forum;

if images are of more general interest then send them to us and we will arrange to place them on the website.

We are happy to hear views about what is needed - use replies to this thread.

We will post further when we have made further checks on how the software can best handle this and considered the wider issues.

Regards


Paul

--
Admin 2

Adding images to posts - how to do it.

by probinson @, S. Oxon, Thursday, November 18, 2021, 13:44 (262 days ago) @ admin2

Hi Paul,

It's difficult to appreciate your concerns when other forums, and there's many of them, allow images to be posted. Some allow uploading of images, many allow hotlinking. None seem to have concerns about it or, maybe, they have ways of overcoming any issues. Maybe you could explain why you have concerns.

Your suggestion of emailing images and/or sending them to you to be uploaded doesn't, I feel, accommodate all the possible benefits of including images in posts. Emailing an image to another person is fine if it's something only relevant to that person. Having images uploaded to somewhere on the site is fine for images that may be of general interest to anyone but doesn't relate to a specific request or discussion. But if someone has a question about an image or has an image in support of some point of discussion, then the only useful place for it to be is in the post itself. A link to the image hosted elsewhere is better than nothing but it relies on people following that link. And I think worth raising here is the point that the forum tries to open links in the forum window and many users are unaware of the need to open links in a new tab so, perhaps, never get to follow the link.

As of now, the forum has the facility to hotlink to images. My suggestion is to either support it or remove it. But by removing it I think you'll be making the forum less useful.

--
Peter

Adding images to posts - how to do it.

by admin2 @, Thursday, November 18, 2021, 21:27 (262 days ago) @ probinson

Hi Peter

Just to be clear..

I am of course aware of other forums: some do permit images; some do not. This may reflect both the significance of the use of images to the purpose of the forum and the strength of the available counter measures. The Forum has no pre-moderation and no check on the creation of new subscribers. There are already attacks on the Forum in terms of using the "insert link" facility to direct people to inappropriate sites. We usually catch these quickly but they illustrate that our current very open approach is probably at the limit of the risk that we think it wise to accept.

I suggested two options that are fairly convenient and cover almost all of the possible needs for images. Apart from this latest set of discussions I have not seen any significant demand for in post visibility of images.

However I said I am reviewing the position including discussing the security aspects with our hosting provider. I will post further when I have completed those assessments.

Regards


Paul

--
Admin 2

Adding images to posts - how to do it.

by probinson @, S. Oxon, Thursday, November 18, 2021, 22:20 (262 days ago) @ admin2

You did ask for views. Seems you don't like mine. Maybe I won't bother in future.

--
Peter

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