Adding Pictures To Forum Replies

No matter how many tools you find to accomplish certain tasks, the finicky Internet always seems to throw something in the way of making it work perfectly for everyone. Adding pictures into forum replies has been a persistent thorn in our sides for a while, so we’ve put together this guide that will give you a few different ways to do it and hopefully one of them will work for virtually everyone.

This guide is far from comprehensive…there are many different ways of doing this but we’ll cover a few popular ones here. If you have another way of doing this that works, please feel free to email us at amy@northwestoverland.com and we’ll add it to this list.

The first method listed below, Add Media Button, is the preferred way to add photos. However, a number of users have informed us that they either can’t see the button or it tells them they don’t have permission to use it, so if that is you, move on to the next section for alternatives, or click on one of these links to jump to that section:
Google Photos
Flickr
Photobucket

Add Media Button

We have a small piece of code in place that lets many users access the standard Media Library to upload photos and have them appear inline in a forum post. When you scroll to the bottom of a forum to add a reply, take a look at the upper right corner. This works better if you click on the tab that says Visual. Then click the button at the top left that says Add Media.

addmedia

 

This will open a new window accessing the Media Library. You want to click the Upload Files tab and then upload the picture(s) you want to use. Note: there is an option to create a gallery which you can do if you want, but it inserts the pictures as small thumbnails and doesn’t display them very nicely so we suggest not using this feature.

upload

You will see a lot of other pictures once yours uploads because this is the common Media Library for the whole site. Just select your photo and add a caption if you want to display a comment underneath it in the post. Then click the Insert into Post button.

caption

Once you insert it, you will see the picture and the caption underneath. You can do this with as many pictures as you like.

final-addmedia

Use a Photo Sharing Service

There are tons of photo sharing websites out there. We’ll cover three of the most popular ones here, based on our own experience and what we have seen users suggest in posts on this site. If you have another one you’d like to suggest, please email us at amy@northwestoverland.com with information about how to use it.

In general, the trick to using one of these sites to display your photos inline in a post is to find the “absolute URL” of the photo. This is almost always NOT what you see in the address bar at the top of the website. The absolute URL is the exact location of the picture in the background files of the website. It is usually accessible, but not totally intuitive because photo sharing websites want you to direct people to their site, not necessarily an individual picture that doesn’t have their site wrapped around it.

Google Photos

We like this site because it is very easily incorporated to your world if you use other Google products, and it has really nice smart phone apps that make it easy to upload your phone pictures.

To share one of your uploaded Google Photos:

  1. Click on the photo you want so that it is the only one displayed on the screen.
  2. Right click the image and select the option that copies the image URL. This varies widely between different browsers and operating systems. For example, in Chrome on Windows 10, it says “Copy image address”.  If you are not sure how to find that, just search the web for “get absolute URL for xxx on yyy” where xxx is your browser and yyy is your operating system.
    right-click
  3. Back in the forum, make sure you have the Visual tab clicked (seems to do a better job of inserting pictures). add-picture
  4. Click the last button that says Insert/edit image
    insert-image
  5. Paste the absolute URL you copied in step 2 in the Source box.
  6. Image description is optional and not displayed anywhere in the forum reply.
  7. If you choose to change the Dimensions of your photo, do not uncheck Constrain proportions as this will make it look weird. We recommend not changing the dimensions unless the photo is larger than 1024px wide. Do not increase the size, the photo will lose quality.
  8. Image caption will be displayed in the forum reply right underneath the picture.
  9. Click OK and your picture is inserted.

Flickr

Flickr is a very popular service for hosting photos. They do try to make it hard to share pictures outside of the site, but it’s possible. Note that they change features fairly quickly so these instructions may not be perfect at the time you are trying them out.

To share a Flickr photo, go to your Camera Roll where you’ve uploaded your pictures.

  1. Double-click the photo you wish to share. It should open up by itself on the screen.
    flickr1
  2. Right click the image and select the option that copies the image URL. This varies widely between different browsers and operating systems. For example, in Chrome on Windows 10, it says “Copy image address”.  If you are not sure how to find that, just search the web for “get absolute URL for xxx on yyy” where xxx is your browser and yyy is your operating system. **Note – many users have been successful with using Flickr’s sharing buttons and having pictures show up embedded in the stream. That’s a little easier so if that works for you, go for it.
    flickr2
  3. Back in the forum, make sure you have the Visual tab clicked (seems to do a better job of inserting pictures).
  4. Click the last button that says Insert/edit image
    insert-image
  5. Paste the absolute URL you copied in step 2 in the Source box.
  6. Image description is optional and not displayed anywhere in the forum reply.
  7. If you choose to change the Dimensions of your photo, do not uncheck Constrain proportions as this will make it look weird. We recommend not changing the dimensions unless the photo is larger than 1024px wide. Do not increase the size, the photo will lose quality.
  8. Image caption will be displayed in the forum reply right underneath the picture.
  9. Click OK and your picture is inserted.

Photobucket

Photobucket is very similar to Flickr, although it seems to be a little heavier on the advertising.

To share a Photobucket photo, go to your Library to see all the pictures you’ve uploaded.

  1. Click on the photo you wish to share. It should open up in a view by itself.
    photobucket1
  2. Right click the image and select the option that copies the image URL. This varies widely between different browsers and operating systems. For example, in Chrome on Windows 10, it says “Copy image address”.  If you are not sure how to find that, just search the web for “get absolute URL for xxx on yyy” where xxx is your browser and yyy is your operating system.
    photobucket3
  3. Back in the forum, make sure you have the Visual tab clicked (seems to do a better job of inserting pictures).
  4. Click the last button that says Insert/edit image
    insert-image
  5. Paste the absolute URL you copied in step 2 in the Source box.
  6. Image description is optional and not displayed anywhere in the forum reply.
  7. If you choose to change the Dimensions of your photo, do not uncheck Constrain proportions as this will make it look weird. We recommend not changing the dimensions unless the photo is larger than 1024px wide. Do not increase the size, the photo will lose quality.
  8. Image caption will be displayed in the forum reply right underneath the picture.
  9. Click OK and your picture is inserted.