There have been a number of questions about how to add images to posts. This note is intended to provide guidelines on how to do this.
There are two methods available. You can either link to an existing image on the web or you can upload an image from your computer. The first method is preferable from a site maintenance perspective. Linking means that the image is not stored in this forum and this reduces storage and bandwidth requirements.
Linking to Web Photos
Here first, are the instructions for linking to photos. Further down in this post are instructions for uploading files from your computer. These instructions are based on using Microsoft Internet Explorer as your browser. However Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox commands are so similar, these instructions should be applicable to those users as well.
To begin, open the web page containing the image you want to link. Move your mouse pointer over the picture. Right click the mouse and choose “Properties”. A dialog box will open giving data about the image. Look for the address of the image and select it by dragging your mouse over the entire text URL. If the address is more than one line long, make sure your selection contains all lines. Right click over the selected text and click “Copy”.
Now, go back to this forum and begin composing the post that you want to contain the image by clicking “Reply” or “New Thread” on the appropriate page. At the point where you want to insert a web image, click the icon at the top of editor window. This opens a small dialog box that asks for the address of the image. Move your mouse over this box, right click, and choose “Paste”. Make sure that you overwrite the default "http://" that is in this box so that it does not appear twice. Click “OK” and your image will be linked. The image will be placed at the location of your cursor within your message
Uploading Photos From Your Computer
I recognize that very few have access to a web site to host their photos or can find the image they want on someone else's site. For everything else, the following will allow digital images to be uploaded from your own computer.
First, there are restrictions on what can be posted. You cannot post an image that is more than 195 kB. Further, you cannot post an image that is more than 1024 pixels wide. The first constraint is meant to keep forum storage requirements at a reasonable level. The second is meant to preserve the readability of the forum.
Images greater than 1024 pixels wide will not be displayed within the viewable area of the vast majority of users monitors. Viewing such large images would require horizontal scrolling which greatly reduces the utility of such photos. More significantly, it messes up the formatting of the entire thread. The post containing the image must expand to at least the width of the photo. If this goes beyond the monitor resolution, it means that you have to scroll horizontally for every line of text in the post just to read it. Depending on the situation, it can also do the same for subsequent posts.
To have your image fall within the above restrictions, you will likely need to prepare it prior to uploading to the forum. The following provides instructions on this preparation. This only pertains to Windows PC’s. Someone else will have to jump in for guidance on how to do this on a Mac since I do not have access to one.
b) Image Preparation
You will need to have an image processing application on your computer to do the prep work. At a minimum, Microsoft Paint (which comes with Windows) may work. However, older versions do not support jpgs, and as you will see, this is a must to use images on this forum. A free program that I like to use is called Lviewpro. Only the older versions are free. The newest version works for a limited time and then shuts down until you pay for it. A free version of the older Lviewpro Version 1D can be found here:
This version is “nagware” meaning that it will constantly remind you to register. However, it will work without registration.
The prep work is required to make sure that the image is not more than 1024 pixels wide and to make sure that it is in a “jpg” format (which will pretty much ensure that it is below 195 kB in size). As a bit of background, there are four primary image types that are common in the “Windows” world. These are “bmp”, “gif”, “tif” and “jpg”. Of these image types, only “jpg” uses a compressed file format The others are uncompressed and therefore tend to be as much as 20 times larger in file size. Images have to be converted to “jpg” to be used on our forum if you want to ensure that you are within the file size limitations.
To do this, open up Lviewpro. On the menu bar, click “File”, “Open” and find the image file on your computer that you want to upload. This image can be in any of the above listed file formats (and many that are not listed). Once open, look at the colored bar at the very top of Lviewpro window. Here you will see the filename along with the image size in brackets. For example “picture.bmp (1200X1300X16.7 million)”. The first number in brackets is the width of the image in pixels. If, like the example above, the number is more than 1024, you will need to resize the image.
To do this, click “Edit” on the menu bar and then “Resize”. A new dialog box will open. At the very top of this box, there are two spaces to enter a new width and height. Enter 800 in the left box and do not enter anything in the right box. Make sure that “Preserve Aspect Ratio” has a check mark beside it at the bottom of the dialog box. Click “OK” and you are done resizing. Now you just have to make sure that your file is in a jpg format.
In the previous example, the file was in a “bmp” format and must be changed. Even if you started with a “jpg” file, you should execute the following steps to ensure that you save your resize changes in a new file. To do this, click “File”, “Save As” on the menu bar. A new dialog box will open. Make sure that the “Save as Type” line is set to “jpeg”. Enter a new file name. You need to do this if you don’t want to overwrite your original file. Click “Save” and you are done. I can guarantee that if you follow these steps, your image file will not be rejected by our forum.
c) Uploading the Image
At any time while you are editing, you can attach an image. However, attached images will always be placed at the very end of your message no matter when you attach it. To upload your newly prepped image file, go to the forum and compose a new post by clicking “Reply” or “New Thread” on the appropriate page. Below the main editing window, you will see a large grey button labeled “Manage Attachments” . Click on this button and a popup window will open that contains a space to enter a filename and a “Browse” button to the right. The easiest way to attach the file is to click “Browse” to open a file dialog box and then navigate to the directory containing your image file. Click on the filename you want and then click “Open”. The path to your file should now be displayed immediately to the left of the “Browse” button in the “Attach File” section of the editing window. Click the "Upload" button and wait a few seconds (or longer if you have a slow internet connection) for the transfer to complete. You will know when it is complete because an new heading called "Current Attachments" should show up with your file name underneath. When this happens, you can close the popup window and return to editing your post. After you have finished editing, clicking "Submit" will post your message and the attachment.
With the current version of vBulletin, you now have the option of including 5 attachments with every post. You should note that not all attached files are automatically displayed. Only “jpg” and “gif” files can be displayed within a post. All other file types appear as a link that you can click to download on your computer. There you can use any compatible program to view the file.
As a final note, I have attached an image just to illustrate how large a picture you can include within the forum restrictions. The image below is a high res color photo that is 768 pixels wide (you could actually go a bit larger). By converting it to a jpg, the file size is only 95 kB. This is well below the 195 kB limit. (BTW, the photo is of Mark Gander - JBLpro Vice President of Marketing and our mentor at Harman International)