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Spicing Up Your Posts
02-02-2012, 08:09 PM
Post: #1
Spicing Up Your Posts
When words just aren't enough, you can take advantage of some of the multimedia options Rant Central has to spice up your posts with links, images, videos and even audio.

The first step is getting to know the 'New Reply' page:

[Image: ss1-7.gif]When you start a new thread on click 'New Reply' or 'Reply' in any existing thread, the New Reply window above is shown. With this enhanced text editor, you can perform many basic word processor functions as well as some nice multimedia additions.

Here is a list of the basic functions and what they do:

  1. These are the basic text formatting options: Bold, Italic and Underline. You can select any text and click these buttons to toggle formatting or you can click one of them (Bold for example) and start typing. When you no longer want the text emphasized just click the control button again. The editor will insert the proper BB code so that you don't have to.

    Note: There is actually another formatting option: Strike which is covered at the end of this document.
     
  2. These are the basic alignment options. From left to right: Left, Center, Right and Justify. Justify spaces your sentences so that they fill the entire line- the others I think are obvious.
     
  3. These are the list buttons. Use these to create lists with either bullets (unordered) or numbers (ordered). Click the button and type the first list item and press ENTER, then keeping adding as many items as you like. When you enter a blank line you signify the end of the list.

    Note: There is also the option for 'lettered' lists too. See the end of this document.
     
  4. Images. Clicking this button allows you to specify the URL of an image to be presented within your post. If you are unsure about how to find the URL of an image or don't know where to find images, see the section in this document titled 'About URLs' in this document.
     
  5. Links. This button allows you to insert hyper-links into your posts. Useful when listing sources, linking to helpful sites and even referencing threads within this site.
     
  6. Email. Click this button and type in a valid email address to present it as a link in your post.
     
  7. Quoted text. If you want to quote what another member said in your post, you can always reply directly to their post. Do this by click the 'Reply' button attached to the post in question. Sometimes you just want to quote a source outside of Rant Central or for some other reason you'd like to isolate some text. Click this button and type/paste the text into the field to have it quoted neatly in your post.
     
  8. Code. Largely unused on this forum, the Code Quote feature is for passing along technical code to other members. It's useful when describing BB code to other members without having it parsed.
     
  9. PHP Code. Like the Code button, this feature is rarely used. It provides a way to quote PHP code and have it accented by color according to syntax.
     
  10. Video!

    Note: The following steps will work for all MyBB forums, but are not necessary on this forum. Simply insert the URL of any video online into your post and it will embedded- no coding needed. If you're unsure how to locate the URL, see the section titled 'About URLs' in this document.

    To insert a video, click this button and select the video source from the drop-down list. Then type or paste the URL into the field to have the video embedded into your post.
     
  11. Smilies are emoticons that are stored on the server and inserted as text code into you post. When you insert them in the 'New Reply' page, you only see a BB code that represents them, but when previewing or posting the image associated with the code will be displayed.
     
  12. Color is available either through using the color code button or directly coding with the [color] tag.

    To use the color tag, the syntax is as follows:

    [color=#RRGGBB]Text[/color]

    or for example:

    Code:
    [color=#888888]Text[/color]

    Would produce:

    Text

    Values are represented in hexadecimal.
     
  13. Spoilers are accessible through a designated code button. There are a couple of ways to use it:
    • Select the text or code (images etc) you would like to enclose in a spoiler, click the code button and optionally enter a spoiler title.
       
    • Click the spoiler button (without selecting any text) and then enter the content and label when prompted.
     
  14. Marquee scroll text or images inside predefined boxes in the post. Just click the [Image: marquee.gif] code button and a form will be presented to collect the specifics of your marquee.

    For more info on the marquee tag, look here: How to use the marquee tag for nerds (with a preamble)
 

So with these features, it's easy to present a wide variety of media in your posts. The next section explains a little more about finding that media and the URL associated with it.

 

About URLs

Links, Images and Videos all require URLs, but how do you find these URLs and what do they do?

URLs are just the technical term for web addresses. The URL of this site is http://www.rantcentralforums.com (or more accurately http://www.rantcentralforums.com/) for example. Each site, image, video and in fact every file on the internet has it's own unique URL that links to it from anywhere it is referenced. Here's how to find the URLs for various types of media.

No matter which browser you use there is always a navigation bar. This is where you type in web addresses to pull them up. If your like me, you bookmark a lot of sites and rarely type anything into it at all, but even when you use bookmarks, Google or even watch videos on YouTube, the navigation bar always reports the current URL.

Web Sites
To link to this particular page of http://www.rantcentralforums.com you could right-click in the navigation bar and select 'Copy' and then paste it into the link field in the 'New Reply' screen, but to link back to the home page you would need to copy the link when viewing that page.

Or when you see a link on another site, you can right-click the link and select your browser's version of 'Copy Link Location' for the popup menu. Most browser report the URL of a link before you click it in the status bar (normally located at the bottom of the screen) so you can make sure it's what you want to link to.

Note: When searching for links, the main page that lists search results should not be used to grab links. These links include reference options from search engines and are not direct links.

Images
Adding images to your posts can be fun, but where to find them? And how to find the URL?

One simple way to find images is by using the Image qualifier in your search engine. I use and recommend Google. To the left side of your screen is a tab labeled 'Images', click this tab and then enter your search terms and Google will return any image results that match your query. Click the image that you like and it will appear by itself in a new Window or Tab. Then right-click the image and select your browsers version of 'Copy Image Location'. Now just paste the URL into the image field and the image will be embedded into your post.

Note: Similar to the advice I gave about links, copying image locations from the thumbnails screen doesn't give you a direct link to the image, but rather a link to the thumbnail of the image. Images linked this way will not be the original size image and will generally be very poor quality along with having the search engines syntax associated with them.

Videos
So you find a video on YouTube that you want to share: just right click in the navigation bar when viewing the video and copy the URL. Then paste it into the Video field and it will be embedded into your post.

Note: Same old story - Obtaining the address from a search engine link will not work. You must have a direct link.

Secrets

Okay they're not really secrets, but these are some little known additions to the formatting and multimedia options available in this forum:

Strikethrough

There isn't a code button for it but you can use the following BB code to cross out words in a post- either to correct yourself, show revisions or just to be funny:

Code:
[s]These words are struck out[/s] These words are not.

Which will produce:

These words are struck out These words are not.

'Lettered' Lists

If you like your list to use the alphabet instead of numbers you can just use the following BB code:

Code:
[list=a]
[*]List Item1
[*]List Item2
[*]List Item3
[*]List Item4
[*]List Item5
[/list]

Which will produce:

  1. List Item1
  2. List Item2
  3. List Item3
  4. List Item4
  5. List Item5

You can still use the automated system if you like and then replace the '1' in the code for an 'a' (or an 'A' if you prefer capitals).

Code:
Example old: [list=1]
Example new: [list=a]
Example new: [list=A]

Audio

The MP3 tag allows users to link to MP3s stored anywhere on the web. Just use the following code:

Code:
[mp3]URL[/mp3]

Where 'URL' is replaced by the URL of the MP3 file.


Good posting

Have fun! Smile

Wildcard is awesome.
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02-03-2012, 03:50 AM
Post: #2
RE: Spicing Up Your Posts
VERY handy,thanks Mark

how about mp3's from my itunes stock?

consistency is the hobdob
of small minds[
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07-02-2012, 09:35 PM
Post: #3
RE: Spicing Up Your Posts
Updated for the new theme and also for new code buttons we've customized (spoiler/marquee)

Wildcard is awesome.
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08-04-2012, 02:32 PM
Post: #4
RE: Spicing Up Your Posts
Nice job, Mark!
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