Adding Data

There are three basic ways you can add text or a document to the Repository.

  • Write a Message
  • Copy and Paste a Message
  • Upload a File

Some of the things up here are pieces that we composed right on the site (like these instructions). Others are text that we wrote on our computer and then copied and pasted to a page on the site. Still others are printed copies of documents from our past (often mimeographed) that we have kept over the years. Taking these one at a time --

Write a Message

The simplist way is to type text into a new or existing page. You can always compose right on this site. Try this first in the Sandbox mentioned above. In both the Sandbox and on most of the Main Web pages, you will see in the sidebar a Create New Topic link. When you click on that, it brings up a page that helps you generate a new, blank page and gives you a choice of where you want this new page to be located. The language here may seem a bit strange: "parent" and "child", but hang in there. For example, if you wanted to write something about the 5th City Preschool, you'd likely go to that Subject page or to a specific year page and either add your contribution to a page that's already there or click on Create New Topic and make your new page the "child" of the "parent" page that you are on.

Once you are on the page you wish to add your comments to or have your new blank page (with your name already inserted at the bottom--slick!), you can go to town. You'll notice Edit links on the top right and bottom left of the page--click on either of them. Now begin entering text. When you are finished, click on the Save button, page bottom left. (If you fail to do this, you'll lose your work once you leave the page!) Once it's saved, you can always go back to Edit and clean up any problems, then Save again. (Note: if you are at all queasy about saving something you're not absolutely sure you've done perfectly correctly, you can click on the Preview button at the bottom of the page, and see how it looks before you do your Save. Just remember to save before you go to any other page.)

You'll notice that when you are in Edit mode, there is a "formatting help" at the top left of your page, either visible or hidden (click on it to change). This can help those of you who like to do nice headers for your text, insert bullets, get into things like bold and italics, etc., but keep in mind that you don't need to do any of that! Likewise, after you have saved your page, you will see something in the upper right and lower left corners that looks like WYSIWYG. If you click on this, it takes you to another editing page, where you will see some familiar icons, many of which are related to formatting features. Again, you don't have to get into this unless you want to--just nice to know it's there, should you want it.

Copy and Paste

Second way: You're probably familiar with copying and pasting, something most of us do pretty regularly. If you have some text on your computer that you want to share, select and copy it, then go to the spot here on the Repository where you want to place it, and paste it in (those friendly commands in the Windows Edit menu). Again, remember to Save. After this, you can tweak the formatting as you wish. For some useful remarks about good style, whether you are composing directly on site or copying and pasting, take a look at GoodStyle.

Uploading Document Files

OK, moving on to the third way, which involves all those paper items in the old boxes we've faithfully stored in that back closet lo, these many years! What about mimeographed talks, articles, past program documents like Summer Assembly reports, songbooks, symbols, rituals, marriage documents, models, graphics??

We have to have a way to get these into our computers before we can plop them up here onto the Repository. That's called scanning, and I know that these days many of us have had experience doing this. Quite a few of us have an inexpensive scanner so we can make copies of our older photos. I won't try to do scanner steps here because each unit is different, but, on documents like those mentioned above, you can often set your scanner to produce either a Word document (.doc), a plain text file (.txt), or a jpg file, among others. The first two could be edited once you uploaded them, the latter, being a graphic format, could not (at least, not as easily).

Once you have your document digitized (scanned) and on your computer in one of these file formats, you are ready to decide whether to upload the whole piece as a file, in the format that it's in on your computer, or to copy and paste the material onto the page you've selected in the Repository. Here's the difference: if you upload a document file, it will appear on this site as a file link (e.g., Daily Office.doc). If people want to see that document, they click on the link, and the document opens in their own software program (in this illustration, it would be MS Word). Doing it this way preserves the original formatting of the piece. (See illustration of how this appears on a page and what happens when you click on the file: ExamplesPage.)

The other way is to open the document you want to share first on your own computer and then select and copy its text to your Clipboard. Then go to the page in the Repository where you want to place it and simply paste it there. In this case, while the page will look good, you will not have carried over the formatting of the original document. In many cases, it's not important to do so (say, a lecture that has little formatting to start with). In others (e.g., the House Church Office), the layout may be important and something you want to preserve. In any case, the resulting file size should not be too large--the smaller you can get it, the better.

Now, here's another consideration. If you scan a document, you often have a choice of the scanner saving it as a Word document (.doc) or as a graphic (typically, a .jpg file). Either one will preserve the formatting of the original. The first one, however, is a proprietary format, MS Word, and is text editable within that software, while the second, .jpg, is not text editable but is in a format that all computers recognize. Even more, the difference on our site is that Foswiki treats the Word documents it gets as files (as in the illustration above), requiring people to click on them and to open them in their personal software--something that works only when they have that software program on their computers. On the other hand, Foswiki will allow .jpg files to open automatically on a page on the site, so the viewer need do nothing but go to the page to view the item. Either approach works, but the latter is nicer for the viewer.

If you feel that uploading is the approach you need to take, first decide the specific page where you want to post it (one of the pages in Years or Subjects or Places or Reflective Writings; if it's not already created, you may have to create the new entry--e.g., I don't think we yet have a "Kemper Dishwasher" page). So, either go to the page you want in that arena where you want it or create a new one from the sidebar, as described above.

Now, at the bottom of that page, click on Attach. This will let you browse to the place where the file is stored on your computer and select it. In the Comment box, give the file a descriptive phrase to help people understand what it is. Put a check in the Properties: Create a link box; leave the other box unchecked. Click Upload File. Be patient--it may take a minute or two. A page will appear telling you what name Foswiki has used to save the file. Click OK. Voila! You have just published to the Web.

Uploading Photos

This is similar to uploading files--except that you can make all photos show up automatically as pictures on a page, no need worrying about requiring viewers to click on a link in order to see them. (Again, see ExamplesPage.) Save your scanned photos to your computer in .jpg, .gif or .png format, and try to keep the file size under 1 MB if possible. Remember to check the Create a link box before you upload.

You may not have to do anything more. What follows is for those of you who find that the photo you want to place on this site seems far too big (either it's too large a file, or, to view it, a person has to scroll up and down, left and right, in order to see the whole thing)! How do you get your pictures "right sized" for viewing on a web browser?

These suggestions are for Windows users--knowledgable MAC user, feel free to add here. Open your photo file on your computer in either MS Photo Editor (if you have MS Office on your machine) or Paint (if you don't). If your picture size is too humongous, you will need to use Paint--Photo Editor can't handle the really big stuff. Then first save your picture not as a .jpg file but as a .gif file (both programs give you this option). Sometimes this alone cuts down the file size--and for viewing on the computer, with very little degradation of image. It's one of the wonder tricks of photo editing.

Beyond this, you can check how your picture will appear on this site (its viewing size on the screen) by bringing it up in one of these programs. Make sure you are viewing it in 100% size, because that's the way it will show up in Foswiki. If all you can see is the hair on the back of someone's hand without scrolling, you now need to reduce the picture size as well as the file size. Once you have it sized as you want it to appear, and it says 100%, save it. This is the file you want to upload to the Repository.

-- GordonHarper - 25 May 2006

-- LenHockley - 27 Jun 2006

-- LenHockley - 27 Jun 2006
Topic revision: r1 - 27 Jun 2006, LenHockley
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