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Quick Tour of the Article Editor

Simon Joinson | Help | Published Sep 28, 2011

Creating your own content on dpreview.com is quick and easy with our new Article Editor. Whether you're writing a quick blog post, a product review, passing on a tip for getting the best from your camera or simply sharing the story behind your favorite shot, this guide should help you get started.

Creating a new article

Articles are created from the Articles tab of your profile.  You can also click on 'Manage your Articles' link on the main Articles index page.

You can access and create your articles by clicking the 'Manage your articles' link at the top of the articles index page Click on 'Begin writing a new article' in the Articles tab on your profile

When you click on the Begin writing a new article link you'll be prompted to enter a title and select a category from the drop-down menu

Give your new article a title Pick a category from the list - this will be used to help users find your content.

The Article Editor

You should now see the article editor open with an empty (blank) page. The article editor allows you to add and format text, add images, and insert videos and tables to create content in the dpreview.com style. Although the software is still very much in beta, we've been testing it for several months and are pretty confident that it is stable and reliable enough to open up to public testing. We will be fine-tuning the editor, adding features and cleaning up some of the interface over the next few weeks, and there are a few minor issues (common to all browser-based editors) that we're aware of, but hopefully there is enough here for you to get your teeth into.

The toolbar at the top of the article editor offers basic formatting, image insertion and layout and link, video and page creation tools.

       

Hover over any tool in the toolbar to find out what it is. The tools offered in version 1 are:

Page tools

Text formatting

Edit tools

Other tools

You can now start to create an article by typing and formatting your text. Remember, you're working in a text editor running in a browser window, so to be safe we'd suggest regularly clicking Save and Continue at the bottom of the Edit Article window. If you click Save the editor window will close. We regularly auto save your work so you should never lose anything (if you try to close a window without saving you'll see a prompt, and the system will offer to restore unsaved work next time you open the editor after closing without saving).
Using the text formatting tools should be intuitive if you've ever used a word processor The editor offers full WYSIWYG formatting

Adding images

The Article editor offers a variety of options for laying out your images individually or in groups, with or without captions, and with or without click-through links to larger 'originals'. You can upload images directly from your computer or by selecting them from your galleries. AWe do not currently allow the embedding of externally hosted images.
 
To add your first image click on the 'Add / Edit / Layout images' button. You will see a dialog appear with several options.
We currently offer three image layouts. Captions are optional, and you can also have all images cropped to 4:3 aspect ratio, which helps keep multi-image tables neat. Start by clicking on the 'Add Image' button.
This brings up the image manager for this article. Initially this is empty. At the bottom you'll see options to upload your own image(s) or add images from your dpreview.com gallery.
If you choose to upload image(s) directly you'll see this dialog - click on 'Choose File'.
You can now select one or more images from your computer.
Click the upload button and wait (or if you selected a lot of large pictures, go make a cup of coffee). We'd suggest resizing images to a manageable size before uploading, but don't feel you have to.
The images you added now appear in your image manager. Double click on a thumbnail to insert it.
You can now add a caption, change the image layout type and choose whether you want to crop the image to 4:3. To add more images simply repeat the process, clicking 'Add Image' in the next available slot in the image table.
Adding images from your gallery is even simpler - just double click any thumbnail to add a single image (shift-click to add multiple images)
Once you've added the image(s) you'll see a table with one or more images appear in the Edit Article window. You can edit the captions directly. If you'd like to change the layout of the images, remove an image (or the entire table), change an image or add more, simply double click on any image to re-open the image editor.  

Adding tables

If you want to add tabulated information use the table creation and editing tools on the right-hand side of the toolbar.

Create a table by defining the dimensions in rows and columns, then click on OK
 You can now enter data directly into the table - it will expand to fit the text as you type.

Embedding a video

Click on the Embed a video button and paste the YouTube or Vimeo URL. It's that simple. The result should appear immediately on the page, as here:

Saving, properties and publishing

Once you're ready to share your creation with the world you'll need to do a couple more things. Start by clicking the Save button at the bottom of the Edit Article window. This will close the window and return you to the article's management page.

The article manager is where you edit basic properties, add a summary and tags and link the content to specific products, if you wish. It's also where you publish, unpublish and delete the article.

In the article manager you'll need to add a summary (a couple of lines of text describing the content). You can also add tags and / or associate your article with products in our database (which will allow us to automatically link to it from product pages and forums in the future). 

The summary is entered by clicking on the 'Write Summary' link. You can also edit the title and switch categories from here.
Creating and adding tags will make it easier for other users to discover your articles, but is entirely optional.
Click on the product link to pick one or more products from our database to associate with the content.

Once you're ready to publish click on the Publish button at the top of the page. You can always edit the article or even 'unpublish' later. In the first version of this tool your articles will appear on your profile page (you'll find handy buttons for sharing them via Facebook or Twitter), and you are welcome to post links to your articles in the relevant forum. User generated articles also appear at the bottom of the Articles index page, and we're working on tools to allow users to search, browse and discover each other's content more easily. This is where tagging and product association will help widen your audience.

Your article remains visible only to you (Draft mode) until you click 'Publish'. You can always unpublish (return to draft state) at a later stage
Click on 'Manage your articles' to edit all draft and published articles, and to create new ones
Your published articles appear on your profile and in the 'Community Articles' section of the main articles index page.

We will add user content searching/browsing and the ability to submit articles for inclusion in the official dpreview.com editorial section very soon.