How To: Write a new guide correctly

ben

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HOW TO: Write a new site "Guide"
Written by Ben - Last Updated 05/11/2011


Background
A "Guide / How To" is a special post which gives step by step instructions on how to perform a particular task kept in it's own special category. The idea being if someone has a question, they can first easily check for a "How To".


Enough Already! Can I make one?
Sure! Ideally you would have step by step photos to go with it, however if you know how to complete something and want to immortalise your name forever feel free to get it all down!


Great! So how do I do it?
Finally, the interesting bit :) All the FF's Guides are powered by the GARS system which allows you to do interesting things like contents pages and placed thumbnails, yet at the sametime allowing full searching and integration into the forums :)

First things first, head over to the "Guide" section and then the category where you wish to place your "Guide". Then simply click the "New Article" button....


Creating a New Guide
You will now be taken to the new Guide creation screen, which has a number of extra fields.

Header Image
First stop is to pick an icon for your new article. Please choose something relevant to the guide, with it being no more than 155 pixels wide (or high).

Options
Title is pretty self explanatory ;)
Byline is a short "tag line" of your article and shown under it's name.
Synopsis allows you to write a small "taster" which will also be shown on the "How To" selection menu.
First page title is used if you are having multiple pages and will be the name used in the table of contents for page one.

Ratings
Although this can be subjective, pick a difficulty level for your guide which you think applies to most people (perhaps the level it would be shown as in a Haynes manual for example).

Post New Article
The crux of the system, but what's this... it's just a normal thread input box. Well yes, however there are two important differences...


Contents / Pages
To stop an article going on and on, you should break it up into sections - each of which can be named and will then show up in the articles contents page on the right.

To start a new page:
In the toolbar of the editor, you will see a "New Page" button - click this and enter a title for the new page. [BREAK="Page Name"] will appear in the editor window and you simply continue writing under this.

When your article is viewed, the content will then be listed at the right, and each page selectable from the page guide at the bottom, as shown:

contents.gif


Images
Linked images should not be used for a "Guide" (even from the FF gallery), this is for 2 reasons: If the external site ever went down/disappeared/etc the "How To" would become useless and secondly, by using the new system, thumbnails are incorporated and everything looks a lot neater...

So how do you put an image in an article then? Easy, using the new inline attachments options.

Once you have got all your images together and you have finished writing the text for your article (or you can do this as you go along, it's up to you) - click the
attach.gif
icon found at the top of the editor to bring up the attachments manager:

upload_1.gif

Use the browse button to bring up a file dialog box from which you can navigate to the files on your computer. Once you have repeated for each of the images, hit the "Upload" button and they will be sent to the FF server. If you have more than 5 images, do the first 5, then next 5 etc etc...

Once some images are uploaded, the Attachments Manager will change to reflect this:

upload_2.gif

Finally click the "Close this Window" link at the top to return to the editor.​

Placing an image is simplicity itself, place the cursor where you want the image (or images) to go and click the
menupop.gif
icon found next to the attachments (
attach.gif
) icon and select the image (or file) from the drop down menu, for example:

dropdown.gif

On your page, the attachment will then be inserted (though you will only see it as ATTACH text) which can then be aligned as you wish.... (note the number shown will differ each time, it relates to the individual attachment)

attach.gif

See, simple wasn't it!


Anything Else?
Yes, just two small points. If you are going to do a bulleted list, instead of just putting an "-" or whatever at the start of a sentance, use the
insertunorderedlist.gif
function found at the top of the edit bar (aligns everything up properly) and likewise, if you are using a numbered list, use the
insertorderedlist.gif
function.


OK done all that, now what?
Well you're almost there, all that's left is to have a quick read over everything to make sure it's ok, before submitting it. Once submitted, load it up where it will now be in it's new "Guide" format glory - and check all the pages are named correctly, everything looks good...

... it does?

Then WELL DONE, you've just made a fantastic contribution to the forum and can expect a bundle of rep... :woot:

WE SALUTE YOU! (y)


FINAL NOTE:
Whilst there used to be no time limit on edits, we unfortunately had to change that. HOWEVER - if you need to make a change, simply PM or email the moderator of the section in question and they'll be happy to make any amendments on your behalf (y)
 
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