How to use Photobucket to include pictures in your threads

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  1. #1

    How to use Photobucket to include pictures in your posts

    I see that a lot of new members are having trouble including pictures in their posts. Here's how you do it using Photobucket. All thumbnails below are clickable.

    1. Signing up
    • Go to http://photobucket.com and click "Sign up":
    • Fill out the form and submit it.
    • They'll send you an email, deal with that when you have time.
    • You do not want to "go pro" right now, so click away the ad:
    • Every account has a default album. My advice is to not use it, so just click "save":
    • Enter your account settings, then click "album settings" at the top, check the three options marked on the screenshot below ("Direct link", "IMG code", "IMG thumb") and save:
    • Instead of using the default one, we'll create a new album for your 405th stuff. This will help keep things organised. View all your albums, then click "create a new album", enter whatever name you like and click "save":
    • You can create sub-albums as well and use them to sort pictures by project or any other categories you like.


    2. Uploading images
    • Click "upload now":
    • Make sure that you have selected the right album to save the images in (default is whichever one you were looking at when you clicked "upload"), then click the big green button in the center. A small window will pop up where you can select multiple files at once. Select the ones you want to upload, then click "save".


    3. Including images in posts
    • Forums like this do not allow you to use HTML code, but they do allow BBcode and links. Photobucket (like most similar services) makes including your pictures in posts very easy by preparing the right links for you to copy.
    • Open up the album that holds the image you want to include in your post. There will be previews at the bottom that you can hover with your mouse to show further options, the links are particularly interesting. The same links are displayed on the right when you click the picture and view it in full size:
    • When entering the account setting earlier, you changed which links you want to be displayed here. If you click one of them, it's automatically copied to your clipboard. From there, you can paste it directly into the large text area you use to type your posts here on the forum, the screenshots below show code and result. "Directly" means that you do NOT have to click the image button, doing so will result in visible, superfluous image tags in your posts.
    • The three most important links Photobucket can prepare for you are:
      • Direct link: Just a plain link to the image file itself with no web page around it. Using this in your posts will create a clickable link. Useful if the image is not particularly important and in the middle of a large paragraph of text that you don't want to rip apart by placing a thumbnail.
      • IMG code: The above link with BBCode IMG-tags around it. This will embed a full-sized image in your post. Not clickable. Useful if the picture is what your post is all about.
      • IMG thumb: This embeds a small preview image in your post that the reader can click to open the full-sized picture on Photobucket. Useful if you want to show a picture and give some hint as to its contents, but not draw focus away from other things. (This is what I've used throughout this tutorial.)



    4. Similar services
    • There are alternatives to Photobucket with similar functionality. Some people here use ImageShack, for example. Choose wisely, because switching later is close to impossible without breaking every single image you've ever included in a post.
    • Facebook is also fairly popular, but only because everybody seems to have it, not because it has outstanding functionality. Keep in mind that there still are people who do not have or want an account, so if you feel like using it, then at least adjust your privacy levels so that everybody, including users who aren't logged in, can see the pictures.
    • Platforms like Flickr, although usable, are not the best choice for this either, because they have a different group of users in mind and want you to show your pictures on their site, not embedded somewhere else.


    5. Why aren't my pictures working?

    1. The most common mistake is copying a URL from the browser's adress bar. Almost all pictures you'll find on the net (including those you've uploaded somewhere) are part of a web page and the URL in the adress bar points to that web page, not to the image in it. Generally, if an image URL doesn't end in an image file ending (e.g. .jpg) or if your browser displays anything but the actual image when you open the URL (even if it does end in an image file ending), it probably won't work.
    2. Another popular mistake is linking files from your hard drive. This may seem to work for you, but it won't work for anybody else. URLs like this usually start with "file:///" instead of "http://", followed by the path to your local image folder.
    Last edited by ventrue; Sep 29, 2011 at 3:06 PM.

  2. #2
    This needs to be stuck where everyone can see it. This is such a pet peeve for me. It's not that hard.

  3. #3
    Nice. yes this needs to be made into a sticky.

  4. #4
    Thank you for the info on adjusting the Photobucket account/album settings to add the image thumb code to the image preview window.

  5. #5
    I was reading that there is BBCODE that allows you to resize an image when inserting it via a link without altering the actual image itself. It looked something like the following...

    [IMG=480x360]"IMAGE ADDRESS"[/IMG]

    ...where you'd insert the desired size where I've typed 480x360. I couldn't get this to work on this forum but then read that some forums don't have this enabled and so I'm wondering if A) this is actually possible and B) if the code can be enabled (if it's not already and it's the case that I have the wrong code).

    Using thumbnail links is a good way to avoid gobbling up window space but sometimes I don't care for leaving the thread I'm reading in order to see detail. I think there can be good compromise in inserting images that are somewhere between space-hogging-size and thumbnail-size. I know you can resize using Photobucket but I'd like to retain the original large sizes for myself and not clutter up Photobucket with lots of down-sized image copies. I don't wish to sound nit-picky but I think the ability to do this may speed the process of inserting effectively-sized images for members.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Satchmo III View Post
    I know you can resize using Photobucket but I'd like to retain the original large sizes for myself and not clutter up Photobucket with lots of down-sized image copies. I don't wish to sound nit-picky but I think the ability to do this may speed the process of inserting effectively-sized images for members.
    Photobucket does the resizing behind the scenes automatically, even if you don't use the downsized copies to display thumbnails. But these smaller images aren't placed in your bucket as separate copies and thus can't clutter it up, all you see is the one, large image you've uploaded.

    Bottom line: The problem(s) you're describing don't exist when using Photobucket.

  7. #7
    I'm not sure what you mean by resizing behind the scenes automatically. The following example may better illustrate what I'm trying to get at with the use of Photobucket to resize images. I apologize if this isn't clear and it isn't my intent to waste thread-space or otherwise detract from the good info you've provided earlier but here goes....

    If I have a 1000x2000 pixel image that I want to insert into a thread at a size of 250x500 (a fourth smaller) the only way I see to be able to do this right now is to use Photobucket's editor to resize it and in so doing either replace the original 1000x2000 image or create a copy at the 250x500 size. Say I wanted to keep the 1000x2000 image in Photobucket and insert the 250x500 image in a thread...in this scenario I'd have to keep both the 1000x2000 and 250x500 images in Photobucktet. I was asking about the possibility of using BBCode to just scale the original image without creating the need to create a down-sized copy which would need to be stored in Photobucket with the original.

    Since I don't yet know if BBCode can be used to scale images I've solved this issue temporarily by creating a separate folder in Photobucket for all resized image copies that I want to insert into the forum. This 'copies folder' allows me to keep the copies and the originals separate and if I ever move around or delete the originals, the image links in the forum won't break (because I'll never touch the copied images in the copies folder).

    I'm still intrigued by being able to use BBCode to accomplish the scaling of images. I'm going to search for a way to do this because I think it could be easier than using Photobucket (or anything) to resize images. I welcome any thoughts or input.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Satchmo III View Post
    If I have a 1000x2000 pixel image that I want to insert into a thread at a size of 250x500 (a fourth smaller) the only way I see to be able to do this right now is to use Photobucket's editor to resize it and in so doing either replace the original 1000x2000 image or create a copy at the 250x500 size.
    Or you could just use the IMG thumb code I mentioned. This doesn't just display the image smaller, but it actually links to a smaller version of the image; right click any of the images above and select "show image", you'll see what I mean. Or try it yourself with one of your own images. Photobucket doesn't show these smaller files in your album, but they're there, that's what I meant by "behind the scenes". Other services do this in a similar way.

    Also keep in mind that if you use BBCode to downsize an image, the sizing is done by the user's browser, which means he still has to download the large image. That may save space on the page, but it's not exactly the best user experience.

  9. #9
    Great work!

    This needs to be added to the "NOOB Reading List"

  10. #10
    There is one thing I'd like to add if I may. Photobucket has a limit on your bandwidth for free accounts for both posting and viewing. I just found this out as I'm over my viewing limit and they will not let me use my account till next month. Unless I fork over some money and buy a pro account then there is no limit.

  11. #11
    Thanks for putting this up Ventrue, although I wish I had seen it when I first joined. It would have saved a few hair-pulling moments, and I don't have that much hair left anyway...LOL

  12. #12
    John Awesome's Avatar
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    Thank you, good sir! You helped me a lot!

  13. #13
    New Recruit Nhat Phan's Avatar
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    Thank You!!!! It was very helpful
    Last edited by Nhat Phan; May 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM.

  14. #14
    New Recruit
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    Quote Originally Posted by misfitjh View Post
    There is one thing I'd like to add if I may. Photobucket has a limit on your bandwidth for free accounts for both posting and viewing. I just found this out as I'm over my viewing limit and they will not let me use my account till next month. Unless I fork over some money and buy a pro account then there is no limit.
    Fambler provides photo sharing with your voice over photo albums to give members the ability to add depth and personality to any album, picture, or experience. Share photos with anyone in your family with our built in privacy features. We love to see people inspire one another, who are you inspiring today? You never know who will be touched by one of your albums.

  15. #15
    Is there a "preferred" image size for photos included in posts, since different people will have different monitor sizes and different screen resolutions, or does nobody really care and photos are added at any size...

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by RobotChicken View Post
    Is there a "preferred" image size for photos included in posts, since different people will have different monitor sizes and different screen resolutions, or does nobody really care and photos are added at any size...
    Not really, I'm pretty sure most cameras have pretty much the same size pictures, but if not, I think photobucket resizes them so that all images on photobucket are the same size. If not that, the image should be preferably around 1000x700 pixels or bigger.

    But it's really not a big deal. Just upload the images in your build thread and we'll let you know if they're working or not.

  17. #17
    Well, the reason I ask is because Photobucket allots only 2GB for the free account and the photos from my camera are 4320x3240 and 5.4MB each. So I want to scale them down to a realistic size for storing on their server and an appropriate size for direct viewing in posts. I'll look around at other peoples' posts to find a size that looks good.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by RobotChicken View Post
    Well, the reason I ask is because Photobucket allots only 2GB for the free account and the photos from my camera are 4320x3240 and 5.4MB each. So I want to scale them down to a realistic size for storing on their server and an appropriate size for direct viewing in posts. I'll look around at other peoples' posts to find a size that looks good.
    You could just get multiple photo bucket accounts. I had to do that after using up all the space with around 1000 pics on my first account. Or you can just photoshop your pics down to a smaller size.

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