Posting in the forums

This website currently includes two discussion forums, one for general discussion about flies and one for seeking help with identifications or other advice: learn about flies.

All visitors to our website can view the forums, but to post messages into the forums you need to sign in, and to do that you need to be a member of Dipterists Forum.


Instructions for adding new forum posts

1. Go to the forum that you wish to contribute to.

2. Click on the green button to "Add new forum topic".

Add new forum topic button

3. Type in the subject or heading for your post (required).

4. At this point you can change your choice of which forum to post into, but in most cases you can leave this as it is.

5. Type your message into the main box headed "Body". Images can also be added here, see below.


Recommended method for adding images

The easiest way to add images is to use the "IMAGE" section underneath the "Body" text area:

screenshot of "Choose Files" button

1. Click on "Choose Files" and find the image file that you wish to add.

2. If you wish, you can add "Alternative text" (helpful for people using screen readers), and an optional "Title" that will appear if someone puts their mouse cursor over the image. The title will also be displayed when the image is viewed at large size.

screenshot of image upload options

3. If you want to add more than one image just repeat the "Choose Files" operation as many times as needed.

4. Remember to click "Save" once your forum post and images are ready.

The image or images will appear as thumbnails underneath the forum post. The thumbnails can be clicked on to open up to a larger size.

If you are adding a reply to an existing forum post you should see a similar "Choose file" button that allows you to add images to any replies.


Alternative (more complicated!) method for adding images

This provides more control over exactly where and how your images get displayed in the forum post, but it is a lot more complicated to set up.

1. Images can be added to the "Body" of your forum post, by clicking on the image button:

Image button

2. You should now see a panel headed "Insert Image". Click on the link to "Open File Browser".

Insert Image panel

3. Another panel will open up. From the tools at the top, click on "Upload" and then on "Add file". Navigate to the folder on your computer that contains the image you want to add, click on it and then click "Open".

File browser tools

4. Your image will be uploaded and listed on the right-hand side of the file browser. You will see a preview of it, and it will tell you how large the image is. For the forums, it is usually best to keep your image to about 500 pixels wide (see below about how to resize your photo if needed and how to link a thumbnail in the forum post to a larger image). Assuming that your image is ready to use, click on the "Select" tool button at the top of the browser.

5. You have to add some "Alternative text" to describe your image - this is the text that will be used by screen reading software, so provide a short description or title that describes your photo (e.g. "unknown fly image").

6. It is best to ignore the choices under "Align".

7. You can add a caption to your photo, but this is optional and if you do add one it is not currently possible to edit it after saving, so you may prefer to give any caption or other description in the text of your forum post.

8. Click on "Save" and your image will be added to the forum post. If you want to change the display size at this point you can do so by clicking on the image so that it is selected, and white boxes appear in each corner: click and drag on one of the corner boxes to resize the image.

Resizing an image

9. Finally, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Save" to save your forum post.


Resizing an image, and creating a 'thumbnail' that links to a full-size image

You will only need to do this if using the more complicated "alternative" image method described above. The recommended upload method creates linked thumbnails automatically.

1. Follow steps 1, 2 and 3 from the previous section, so that your image is uploaded and listed in the file browser.

2. Highlight your image by clicking on its name in the file browser list, and the click the "Resize" tool at the top of the browser.

Resize image tool

3. If you just want to change to size of the image that you have uploaded, you can type in the number of pixels you want in the "Width" box. Generally a width of 300 to 600 pixels will display best within the forum post. There is no need to enter anything into the "Height" box, just press your tab key to automatically calculate the height and preserve the proportions of your image.

4. If you just want to resize your main photo, leave the "Create a copy" box unticked, and click on the "Resize" button below it to save your image at its new size. It can then be added to the forum post using the "Select" button, as described in step 4 above.

5. However, if you would like to create a small image that will link to the larger original, then do tick the "Create a copy" box. This will save the re-sized image as a new file (which will normally have the same file name as your original image, but with "_0" added to the end of the file name). Select this smaller image to add to your forum post, adding the alternative text and saving it into the post.

6. You should now be back in the "Body" section of your forum post. Click on the small image you've just inserted, to select it, and then click on the "Link" button.

Add link button

7. In the "Add Link" panel that opens up, click on the link to "Open File Browser" again. Find and highlight your original larger image (the one without "_0" at the end of its name), and click the "Select" tool. SInce this is a link rather than an actual image, you no longer have to provide alternative text, and you can leave the "Title" box blank. Click on Save in the "Add Link" panel, and then click on Save at the foot of the forum post.

8. You should now find that you have a forum post with a small image in it, and when you click on that image it opens up to the full-sized original.