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Posting 101 - Mastering the Basics: The VP Text Editor
12-08-2013, 03:34 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-08-2013, 08:02 PM by Skook.)
#1
Tongue  Posting 101 - Mastering the Basics: The VP Text Editor
Now that you have read the Vancouver Peak ‘Community Guidelines’ and that riveting piece on ‘Defamation’ above, it’s time to set aside the serious, boring stuff, have some fun and get you, the “Newbie,” posting in the forum. This “thread” will introduce you to...

The VP Text Editor

In our forum, our mighty forum,
a member waits to post...

A wiz-ee-wig, a wiz-ee-wig
A wiz-ee-wig, a wiz-ee-wig
A wiz-ee-wig, a wiz-ee-wig
A wiz-ee-wig, a wiz-ee-wig


The forum’s text editor can be described using one computing term: WYSIWYG (yep, ”WIZ-ee-wig”). This is an acronym for "What You See Is What You Get". Wikipedia offers a good, simple explanation:

Quote:WYSIWYG implies a user interface that allows the user to view something very similar to the end result while the document is being created.

WYSIWYG editors are the standard now for applications that allow you to post content to the internet (like Blogger, WordPress, etc.). They allow you to upload text and graphics without the need to know the actual HTML coding (language) of the internet. To see what that language looks like in action, do a right click with your mouse on this page and if you are using Internet Explorer go to and click on “View Source” - the result will appear in a new window that you can then close. If you’re using Firefox, right click and then click on “View Page Source.” What you’ve just seen is all the coding most of it HTML that makes this forum a reality on the internet.

Now, the forum editor is a slight variation of the standard WYSIWYG editor in that when you use any of its text formatting tools, you will see the HTML coding inserted into your text in the editing box. This will become apparent in my formatting examples in my next post. For now, let’s take a look at VP's text editor displayed the image below.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=592]

In the top left hand corner, the editor displays “Post a new Thread”. When you go into a forum, for example “Sunshine Coast Data”, you will notice a number topics - these are called “threads”. If you are starting a new thread, then the editor reminds you that this is what you are doing. If you are in a “thread” and want to add your own thoughts, you would click “New Reply” and the text editor description a top will displays “Post a new reply.”

In this instance, we’re starting a new thread and need to inform everyone what it’s about using the “Thread Subject” text box (#1). You can offer further info about that thread, by choosing “Post Icon” (#2) - you will notice on the left that by default the editor is set to “no icon” so adding this icon is not a necessity. Below the post icons, we find all the text formatting and post editing tools (#3) available to us; one is greyed because I was holding my cursor over it when I took the screenshot so that its “tooltip” would be displayed. By hovering your cursor over each tool button, the pop-up tooltip explains the tool’s function.

Directly below the tools, is the text box (#4) where you type your post text and to its left are “smilies” or “emoticons” (#5) that you can add to your post, if you wish. To add an emoticon, left click in your text where you want it to be placed and then click on the emoticon you want inserted - it will appear in its HTML code form at your insertion point. My thought on emoticons is that since they look cartoonish I use them judiciously.

Below the text box, you are offered “Post Options” and I show only one in the image. You likely have noticed posts here or elsewhere where the individual has a quote or witticism or rant that appears at the bottom of his/her post. This is a called a “Signature” and you can create your own on your profile page when you register. If you want that signature to appear in your post, you will need to click in the box (#6). There are a few other post options that are self-explanatory that you can explore on your own.

So, you have entered your text, have it formatted to your liking and have set your post options - what next? Well, you have three options courtesy the buttons near the bottom of the text editor page.

   

I highly recommend you preview your post. When you click on this button, a “Preview” box will appear above the text editor and you will see exactly how your post will look in the forum. Now, you can check for typos, check your paragraph spacing, image position, etc. If you want to make corrections, scroll back down to the text editor, make your modifications and then preview again. If you are satisfied with the content and appearance of your post, then click “Post Thread” and the deed is done - you are now up in the forum and your post is available for all to see.

The “Save as Draft” is a handy tool if you are posting short stories like I tend to do. After dumping two long posts because I was tired and did something stupid, I now click “Save as Draft” a few times while composing so I am protected. I then delete those drafts (accessed via your “User CP”- Control Panel) once the post is up in the forum.

Now, when you post a new thread and then go back to forum main page, you may be stunned to see how many people are suddenly viewing your post - I know I was when I first started posting. I would be saying to myself, “No, no, wait - it’s not ready. I still need to position the pics” or “Where are these people coming from?” Then I realized one day that the forum is connected to its sister site, Vancouver Condo Info, and a feed there indicates when a new thread has been posted at VanPeak. Your thread also gets tweeted. Now, this doesn’t happen when you “Reply to a Post”; however, it does happen when you go back and edit a post. So, the next day if your notice a spelling mistake in your post and go into it to edit….well, everyone comes rushing in again and I know they are all thinking, “What, what?” and I feel soooooo bad because it is just one little spelling correction; but, what can you do except carry on…LOL. Sorry, guys.

Finally, it is important to realize that VanPeak is a “discussion forum” - it says so in the rotating banner on VanPeak’s main page. Therefore, when you post others may want to contribute their thoughts, or they may want to show support for your views or they may want to offer "constructive" criticism. If they don’t agree, they may demand that you list the sources that support your statements if you haven’t already included them in your post. You can do so and then offer a rebuttal and demand to see their sources if they haven’t included their own, etc. This is what is involved in a "discussion"; so, don't interpret issues raised or contrary views posted as a personal attack - how can it be personal when nobody truly knows you.

In my next thread, I will take a look at some of the editor's post formatting/editing tools. In the meantime, if you have registered you can go play in the “Sandbox” (VP’s test flight area) and explore the editor layout. Go ahead and create a post if you like and afterwards you can delete it. There are a number of buttons that will appear at the bottom of your post when you are logged in and the delete button is one of them.

(Note: this thread is open if anyone has any questions - and, everyone, please feel to answer any questions posted. Also, if anyone would like to add additional details or tips about the VP text editor, please do so)


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