The Image Manager

Help (for writers)

If you’re used to blogging at WordPress.com then you should be fine. The block has been set up to mimic WordPress.com as much as possible. Skip the first bit. If you’ve never blogged before this might help.

Introduction to writing

Dashboard Layout
Dashboard Layout. Click to embiggen.

When you get your login you’ll get access to the dashboard. Here you can click on New Post to start a new post, or click to edit a draft you’re working on. On the Draft page you’ll see a place for the post title and a box for adding content. If you can use Word, you can use this. Type as usual and highlight text to add italics or bold text. The only unusual feature is adding links.

To add a link highlight the text you’d like to be the link. Click the link button and a box will pop-up for the link address. Type or paste URL here including the http:// and click ok. You now have a link. There is an option to add a title. This is an additional tip that appears when you hover over a link. For example hover over this link and it’ll tell you what it does before you click it.

How to add a link to text
How to add a link to text. Click to embiggen.

Adding images

The Image ButtonAdding images is a bit more complicated. First you need your image. This is best if it’s one you have created. If you would like to use an image you haven’t created then Flickr is a good source of Creative Commons licenced images. If you use one of these images, make sure you make a note of where you got it from. Put your image on the desktop. The maximum size should be 1024px wide or 800px tall, anything beyond this is a waste in file size. Now click in your post where you want the image to appear and click the Upload Image button. There will then be a box for you to select the file you want to use as the image, then the Image Manager will come up. This is simple with practice, but there are a lot of options.

The Image Manager
Click to embiggen

Here is how I inserted the “Click This” image above. I gave it a title and some alt text. The alt text is what people with screen readers see. It also helps with things like Google Image Search, because it tells Google what the image is about. Around 30% of hits on a weblog can come from well labelled images, so a good image will help people find your writing.

If I wanted text under the image, like some of the images above, I’d add a caption where I’ve shown. Captions react very badly to double-quotes, so stick to single-quotes. You can make an image a link by adding a URL to the link box. If you want to add the projector effect you’ll need this to link to the File URL, which you can get by clicking on the File URL button. You’ll also need to see the advanced section. You can choose the alignment, so left floats it to the left, and right to the right. Clicking center will put the image in the centre of the page. Text will not flow around it.

There’s an option to Use as featured image. The small square thumbnail images you see next to the Popular Posts widget are featured images. It gives a pretty face to your post and it’s becoming a common feature in WordPress, so using it is usually a good idea. It also has an effect on how your post appears in Touch and iPad versions of this site.

Finally don’t forget to click Insert into Post when you’ve done. I’ve forgotten many times. If you forget click the Upload Image button again, but this time click where it says Gallery. You should be able to find your image. Click show and it’ll bring the Image Manager back up.

If you have used a Creative Commons image, please credit the creator by name and link to the source page. You could do this by adding a Photo Credits section at the foot of your post.

Publishing

When you have a post you’ll want to publish it. There’s a big blue Publish button. Click that and your post is live instantly. This is not always a good idea. Twenty posts over a month is better for building an audience than twenty posts all at once and then leaving a a month for the next batch. That’s why we have a Schedule posts option. Above the Publish button you’ll see the option ‘Publish immediately Edit‘. Clicking edit allows you to set a new time and date for the post. The Publish button then becomes a Schedule button. We have a little widget to say what is in the schedule queue and what has been recently posted. Ideally a day between posts is good. If we have more than a week of scheduled posts then inserting a post between scheduled posts is fine.

Sometimes you’ll want to post instantly anyway. If you’re posting a response to a news story then a post today is relevant, a post a week from now is likely to be irrelevant or dated or both.

Short codes

We use standard WordPress.com shortcodes. A shortcode is something that is enclosed in square brackets. I can’t actually type the working codes without triggering effects, so instead I’ll use curly brackets. When you see {made-up-code} you’ll want to type [made-up-code].

YouTube {youtube=URL}
example {youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YpBo9WuKRE}

YouTube (Projector Mode) {yt video=id}Title of Video here{/yt}
example {yt video=9YpBo9WuKRE}Monty Python’s Archaeology Today{/yt}

[yt video=”9YpBo9WuKRE”] Monty Pythons Archaeology Today [/yt]

Slideshare. Visit Slideshare page. Click WordPress to the left of the slide. Click customize to get the wordpress.com shortcode.
example {slideshare id=6722888&doc=projarchsum2011vc1-110127131520-phpapp02&type=d}

Advanced

Image Projector

To show images in projector mode you will need to manually change the HTML. To do this change the editor from Visual to HTML. Find the code for the image insert. This will start {caption… and end {/caption} -with square brackets. The part you want is the link itself. Where it reads <a href=”URL”> you want to add rel=”prettyphoto” so the code now reads <a href=”URL” rel=”prettyphoto”> .

Footnotes

To start adding a footnote type {ref}and to stop add{/ref}. If you want to refer to a reference several times then type {ref name=”unique-name”}footnote here{/ref} for the first time you use the note. Then {backref name=”unique-name”} for the other references.

Maps

The WordPress.com method is a pain. Use maps.google.com and when you want to insert the map, click to HTML and paste the IFRAME code there. Click Visual to return.

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