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Formatting Your Post

This site is slightly different from others in the way the text you type is formatted to appear on the page. The full details can be found here but below are the basics which will do for most purposes: 

Line breaks

If you simply type on, with no line returns (no Enter key), the text will flow nicely. 

If you enter a line return (press Enter) that will create a hard line break which will be preserved.

If you paste in text which contains hard line breaks (the most common case is a copy/
paste from a PDF) those will be preserved too.

If you want to retain multiple blank lines or other formatting, wrap your text in the <pre> and </pre> tags:

<pre>
Multiple lines

are retained
</pre>

Styling

To make text bold, put * before and after it:

*this is to be bold*

Or highlight the text (by swiping with the cursor) and click the Bold button on the toolbar.

To make text underlined, put _ before and after it:

_this is to be underlined_

Again you can use the Underline button on the toolbar. 

To make text italic, put __ (two underline characters) before and after it:

__italic__

Once again, you can also use the Italic button on the toolbar.

The above three features work on multiple paragraphs too. However they all require no spaces at the two ends of the text, so e.g. _text to underline_ is OK but _ text to underline_ or _text to underline _ is not going to work. But if you use the Bold, Underline or Italic buttons to apply these attributes, any trailing space will be removed automatically and it will work as you intended.

An alternative way to italicise a multi paragraph block of text is to manually insert <aside> at the beginning and </aside> at the end of it.

Lists

To generate a numbered list start each line with a # followed by a space, or type the list and highlight the whole paragraph and click on the Numbered list icon.

# One
# Two
# Three

There must not be blank lines between the paragraphs.

For a bullet-point list, use the toolbar button or begin each line with an asterisk * followed by a space:

* Bullet 1
* Bullet 2
* Bullet 3
There can be blank lines between the paragraphs.

If you want to prevent an asterisk creating a bullet point, put it between two % characters: %*%

Quoting Text

To block-quote a paragraph of somebody else's text, paste into your text, make sure it appears as a paragraph by itelf (i.e. has a blank line before it and a blank line after it), highlight it with the cursor and click the Quote button. This works for multiple paragraphs too, but please avoid quoting a whole long post because the result is usually not worth reading! Keep quotes short and relevant.

There are two manual alternatives to using the Quote button:

For a single paragraph quote, put bq. (3 characters) in front of the text to be quoted. This is a fast method if you have a proper keyboard, can copy/paste the text, and don't need the quoted person's name shown. Make sure the bq. has a blank line before it (or is the first line in a post), there is at least one space after the bq. and there is a blank line after the paragraph to be quoted. In other words, the paragraph to be quoted needs to be a standalone paragraph, with the bq. left-justified.

For a multi-paragaph quote, put <blockquote> at the start of the text and </blockquote> at the end. The Quote button does this automatically.

Posting Hyperlinks

Highlight the piece of text which you want to turn into the hyperlink and press the 
Link button. Then paste the URL into the window which opens.

The manual method is:

"hyperlink text":URL

for example:

"Google":http://www.google.com

Anything which looks like a URL will automatically be converted to a link.

Some URLs which are technically valid URLs do not work properly within EuroGA. The simplest solution is to use e.g. tinyurl.com to convert them into a simple URL. One example are the complex URLs produced by Google Translate.

Emoticons (Smilies)
We support two emoticons (also known as smilies).  Simply type:

:smile:
:wink:

to get:
 


Other emoticons are possible by inserting a graphic file into the text - see the example below.

Posting Graphics/Images/Photographs

EuroGA offers two ways to insert images into your posts.

Drag/Drop Upload

You just drag and drop your image on to the page and it’s inserted into your post. This is the preferred method.

If you can't drag/drop (e.g. because your computer cannot display a file browser on the desktop at the same time as a web browser) then you can use the Upload Image button.

You can even upload multiple images at once, up to 100 files in one go. Each image is placed on a new line which is normally what is intended. Note that the order of the uploaded files is dependent on the source application. With Windows Explorer, they may not be uploaded in the sequence displayed in the Explorer window. Tests of other sources e.g. ACDSEE show that the displayed order is preserved, however. Another way to achieve a particular order is to drag and drop them one at a time; you can start each before the previous one is finished if they're all of similar size, so they arrive in the right order. 

Drag/Drop upload is the preferred method because the images are stored safely on the EuroGA server and e.g. there is no policy to remove images not viewed for a certain time period, etc. This ensures that EuroGA remains a useful and interesting resource for the reader who may read your posting a long time after you made it.

Only still images can be drag/drop uploaded - not videos. Supported formats are GIF, JPG and PNG. 

Small images (below 925 pixels wide) are displayed in their original size. Above that size, they are automatically scaled down to 925 pixes wide (but maintaining the aspect ratio) to fit the forum width. The height is limited to 1645 pixels which supports the display of a portrait image taken on a 16:9 camera. This scaling is done on the EuroGA server so the reader's web browser downloads only the scaled version.

Maximum file size for drag/drop is 20MB. However, a file of that size will take you a long time to upload...

Currently there is a time limit of around 300 seconds for the entire transfer (single file or multi file) and this imposes some practical limits. For example uploading 100 files, 925 pixels wide, average size say 150kbytes, over a slow ADSL connection (448kbits/sec UP speed), may not work, but will work over a 1mbit/sec connection. Therefore, for multi file transfers of many files, it is recommended to downsize all files (to 920-925 pixels) before uploading them.

External Image Storage

This is the less preferred method.

It involves storing the image externally and posting a link (a URL) to the image. Photo library sites e.g. Photobucket (used for creating fancy personal albums) or Imgur (quick for ad-hoc images, especially with the Hyperdesktop screenshot program) are among many options. 

When you upload the image to the external photo library site, it will give you the URL to insert into your post.  Generally the image URL should end with one of the image file extensions commonly used on the web - .jpg, .png or .gif.

If using Imgur, use the "direct link" - see here.

If in doubt about whether this URL is OK to use, paste it into a new web browser URL window and check that the result is just the picture, with no text etc around it.  

To insert the image into your message, place the cursor where you want the picture to go (usually on a new line) and press the IMAGE button located above the text entry box. Then paste the URL into the window which opens.

Or simply wrap the image URL with exclamation marks:

The result is like this:

!http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m74/peterh337/jetprop.jpg!

The way images are displayed in the reader's browser is handled very nicely. Small images (below 925 pixels wide) are displayed in their original size. Above that size, they are automatically scaled down to 925 pixes wide (but maintaining the aspect ratio) to fit the forum width.

There is no current limit on how large an image you can link, but please do not abuse this. The reader's browser will have to download the entire image file. Avoid creating links to images more than about 1600 pixels wide, or 500kbytes in size. For example, an original picture from a modern 20 megapixel camera could be 20MB in size and would take for ever to load for anybody reading that thread, even on a fast internet connection. The browser will scale it down to the forum width (so it looks OK when downloaded) but the forum thread will appear very slowly.

Small images can be placed inline within text. Example:

This text preceeds the icon !http://peter-ftp.co.uk/icons2/rolling.gif! and this text follows the icon, all on one line

gives 

This text preceeds the icon  and this text follows the icon, all on one line

Images that approach the forum width, and Youtube and Vimeo videos, will always be placed on a new line, otherwise the result would be a mess.

When compared to the drag/drop method, external image storage has various drawbacks. The main one is that the images tend to disappear! There is no free lunch and all of the free image storage sites have a policy on removing images after some time, or not serving them in certain circumstances. They are advertisement funded and if you use them to host and serve just a bare image, they don't make any money. Your postings then get trashed because the images are missing. Also it is easy to delete an image from e.g. Dropbox while forgetting that you posted the URL to it on EuroGA.

If your image fails to appear, it could be due to the fact that many picture hosting sites do not allow the images to be accessed by another server (they allow them to be downloaded only directly into a browser). Some sites work only sometimes e.g. Photobucket doesn't seem to like being used for hosting small images like emoticons. Imgur appears to do the same for images below about 100-200 pixel wide. Please therefore use the Drag/Drop method whenever at all possible - even if this means downloading the image file temporarily to your PC (e.g. right-click and choosing Save Image As) and then drag/drop uploading it to EuroGA.

 

Posting PDFs

EuroGA supports the insertion of PDFs in the same way as insertion of graphical files described above.

 

Posting Videos

EuroGA does not store your videos. Only external links are supported, so you have to first find somewhere to store the video.

The most popular "free" sites are Youtube and Vimeo. Both are supported here specially so all you need to do is paste the URL into your text. The Video button has the same effect. Do not use the Image button to insert a video.

For Youtube, the best way to embed YouTube videos is to first view the video on the YouTube site, then click the "Share" link underneath the video. The correct URL is then highlighted, so just hit Copy (ctrl + C, or cmd + C on a Mac). Paste that in to your message (no need for trailing spaces or anything) e.g.

  • http://youtu.be/qM7ksfRVF70

However the full Youtube URL may also be used e.g.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM7ksfRVF70

For Vimeo, use the actual URL of the video e.g.

  • http://vimeo.com/47290448
Youtube and Vimeo videos will always be placed on a new line; it would not make sense to do otherwise, due to their width.

The video URL may not be recognised correctly unless it is on a line by itself.

Videos stored on sites other than Youtube or Vimeo can be inserted as a normal hyperlink.

If you wish to insert a clickable link only to a Youtube or Vimeo video (i.e. you do not want the video itself to appear in your posting) then use e.g. TinyURL to modify its URL so that the text processor here does not recognise it as a video.


Searching

The Search function works well enough just by entering some words you are looking for. For more complex searches, see here

Advanced Stuff

Unlike most community sites, EuroGA supports HTML within messages. But not all HTML features are allowed. Some are blocked to prevent hackers attacking the site, injecting malicious code, etc. Others are blocked to prevent people messing up their posts with lots of fonts, font sizes and colours.

Allowable HTML elements are:

aside dd cite table tr td th p br b strong u em i span div pre code quote blockquote strike a ul ol li

Allowable HTML attributes are:

id href

Allowing HTML has a side effect: if you start a line with 1 or more spaces, it is treated as HTML and you lose any line breaks in the remainder of the text. This is obviously rare but sometimes text pasted in from another place might contain lines which start with spaces.

Date/Time

All times are displayed in UTC.

This page last edited 27th December 2018