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How to Embed Photos in Your Posts and where to host them

Not a Number

Hello, I must be going...
Staff member
One question that comes up now and then by new members is how to embed photos into their posts. It is certainly more stunning visually to include photos in a message rather then just a link to the images. Here is a short illustrated guide.

First you need an account on an image hosting site. Popular sites are Flcikr.com, Photobucket.com, Imageshack.com, google drive, etc. Most hosting sites have free and paid accounts. The paid accounts have more features and offer more storage space. Please read the User and Terms of Service agreements carefully. Many of the sites will assume some or all usage rights to the images you uploaded with no financial compensation to you. So read the fine print. If you don't agree, don't sign up.

Terraforums has it's own hosting site. Information on this site can be found here. Please contact the Terraforums administrator (Andrew username=adnedarn) to set you up an account. Each member of Terraforums also has a personal gallery. If you are a "Thank You" (green) member you have more storage space for you gallery. You can upload and host images from there.

If you are a Terraforums "Thank You" (green) member you can include photos as attachments. There will be a section on the message editor for attachments. You may have to go into the advanced mode to see this function. No host is need for attachments, you upload them directly from your device or computer.

Once you have an account and uploaded your photos what then?

Basically all you need then is the URL to your image. Once you have that you can paste the URL into your post. The URL should be surrounded by the BBCode tags (Bulletin Board Code - a markup language similar to HTML used by many Bulletin Board (forum) software packages).

Note also that most forums in order to reduce bandwidth usage have size restrictions on embedded images. Please honor these restrictions however the newer forum software have filters that will resize the image output automatically. This can introduce delays and shifts in the output image quality. If for some reason the full size image needs to be displayed then use a link instead of embedding the image. You can always provide a thumbnail. Typical restriction is no larger than 1024 x 780 pixels.

Your URL: http://www.somehostingsite.xyz/photos/yourphoto.jpg
The BBCode tags (without spaces in them): [ img ] [ /img ]
So you would paste into your post (again without spaces): [ img ] http://www.somehostingsite.xyz/photos/yourphoto.jpg [ /img ]

Many of the hosts can provide you with this code so you merely have to copy and paste the code into your message.

The message editor on this forum has a button to add these tags for you. On the message editor tool bar click on the "Insert Image" button (picture frame icon) and enter or paste the URL into the popup and click ok.

Next we will go through examples of some of the hosts. These can change at any time as the hosting companies update their websites.
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Hosting photos from your Terraforums Gallery

Go into your TF profile and on the left-hand panel there will be an albums section. Create an album and upload your photos there. Once you have done this click on the photo you want to share. On the lower right you will see boxes for the Photo URL (for sharing in email etc.) and BBCode. Click on the box of your choice and copy the code into your clipboard. You can then paste the code into your message. See the illustration below. The red arrow indicates where the BBCode is located:
How to Share Images from Photobucket

Refer to photos that follow:

Go into your album settings and
1) Check "IMG code" option
2) Check "Turn on easy linking mode"

Using easy links
Go to your album in the gallery mode
3) Click on the IMG box and copy the code to your clipboard (ctrl-C)

Sharing multiple images (appears to be unique to Photobucket which is why I use them)
4) Click on "Organize", control or shift click on the thumbnails you want to share
5) Click on "Link"
6) Click on the "IMG Code" box or if you want clickable thumbnails the "IMG Thumb" box. Copy and paste the code.

Sharing photos from Flickr

Click on the photo to share
1) click on the "Share" button (panel right)
2) click pushpin icon
3) choose size (most boards limit to around 1024 x 780 pixels)
4) copy code and paste into message
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Share Photos from Google Drive

1) Create a folder and set it as Public. Only photos in a public folder can be embedded. Upload your photos to your public folder.
2) Select the photo to share
3) Click on "Details" - you might have to turn on the Details and Activity panel. Do this by clicking the first button on the upper right.
4) Scroll down and copy the URL from the section "Hosting". Paste this URL with the BBCode tags into your message

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That's all for now. If you are using a host not covered here feel free to add the instructions to this thread.
Thanks for taking the time to put this together... I'm gonna vote to sticky this!
Yup should be a sticky... oh Andrew! :)
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I agree, excellent post. I think we should let it float a bit to make sure folks see it, then sticky it. I'll keep an eye on it and sticky it in the next few days (unless someone decides to in the meantime).
  • #10
users do not automatically get a cpforums.org account, they need to contact me to create one for them (registration is turned off since it was only spammers that were trying to sign up for it), but I'm happy to get one turned on for anyone if they want one. :)
  • #11
I made some edits to reflect this :)
  • #12
Flickr made some changes so I have revised the procedure for Flickr.
P1170098 by Not_a_Number, on Flickr
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  • #13
I had a hard time getting images from Google Drive to embed (things on Google Drive have changed since 2014, shocker), so here's what I did to get it to work (thank god for people who make youtube videos on how to do this):

1. Upload the image to google drive
2. Double click on the image
3. Click on the three dots and then choose “Share”
4. Click the “copy link” button
5. Paste the link into a document
6. Delete “/view?usp=sharing” from the end of the link
7. Replace “file/d/” with “uc?id=” (this should be midway through your link)
8. Start your forum post by typing “[ img ]” followed by the new URL you made, followed by “[ /img ]”, with all of the spaces deleted.
9. Click on the “Go Advanced” forum button. The embedded photo should now appear. Add anything else you want to the post and click “submit reply”. I think you can actually skip the “go advanced” step, but I like to make sure it actually looks the way it’s supposed to.