January 2016[x]
by azimuth by red herring
by foggy
by Fireheart
by Artemesia
by Lauralei

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Help Topic: Signature Basics

There are two main components of a signature – text and images – and both can be made active.** Before we get into the ‘how’ of signatures, however, I would like to briefly address the ‘what.’

The What: Signature Rules
    - signatures may contain images, but the total size of these images should not exceed 500x200.

    - In addition to images, signatures may also contain text. The total size of a signature should remain somewhere in the vicinity of no larger than 300 pixels. This isn’t a steadfast rule, but just remember to try to be respectful of those of us with carpal tunnel syndrome. We don’t like scrolling – it hurts our scroll fingers.

    -Images and text should be rated no higher than 15+ - meaning they should contain no nudity, no R rated language, etc….

    - Both images and text may be made into links but you may not link to sites containing NC-17 material without a clear disclaimer. (ex, “My Site [Adult Content])

The How: Technical Advice
Editing your signature is easy. Simply click “My Controls” and, from the link panel on the left, choose “Edit Signature.” From there, you’ll see a panel that looks something like the New Post page – you get a text box as well as a series of editing options at the top to control things like color, font, and text weight.

Adding Text:
Adding text is easy. Just click the text box as if you are making a post and start typing. To commit the changes, click “Update My Signature.”

If you would like to make your text a certain color or to emphasize a word by making it bold, etc… you can do so by highlighting the text you want to impact and then pressing one of the buttons in the toolbar. There are a lot of options – color, font, size, weight, etc… - so don’t be afraid to experiment.

Making Text Into A Link:
There are two ways to make text into a link. First, the easy way. Just click the HTTP:// button on the editing bar and a small screen will pop up. Enter your URL*** first and click OK. It will then ask you to enter your website name. You can include anything here. Some people like to put their actual website name while others might want to put something like “Gallery.” Either way, it should be descriptive so that people know what they’re clicking on. When you click OK again, the link will appear inside of the text box and you can continue typing.

The second way to turn text into a link is to “handcode” it. Simply type . Now, without skipping any spaces, type the name of the site you’re linking to – for instance “My Site.” To finish it off, type and you’re done. It should look something like this:

[url=http://www.the-dark-arts.net/]The Dark Arts[/url]

Adding An Image
A basic text signature is fun, but one with an image is even more enjoyable. To add an image to your signature, the first thing you need to do is host your image. (Check the FAQ’s for more info on that.) Once you have your image hosted, you can insert it one of two ways. The easiest way is to click the IMG button on your toolbar and then insert the URL of your hosted image into the box that will appear. Then, just click OK and, voila, the code is there. If you’re like me, however, you’ll probably find it easier to just type the code in yourself. Simply type In the end, it should look something like this:


Turning An Image Into A Link
Assuming you’ve already added an image and a link to your signature, say you want to actually make your image a link. It can be done, and it’s really a lot easier than you think. Just like with HTML, to turn anything into a link, you just put the BB code for a link in and, instead of inserting text, put your object where you would normally place the text. For example, to turn the image we’ve just added into a link to The Dark Arts home page, you would want to enter this:


Easy as pie smile.gif

The How: Esthetic Input
I cannot tell you what makes a great signature. Neither can anyone else. Personally, my signature generally includes a few links in a solid navigation bar below a small – or several very small – images. Here, however, are some things many TDA’rs include in their signatures
    - a link to your gallery
    - a link to your personal website
    - a link to your HPFF author page
    - a link to your favorite RPG
    - a note about whether or not you are currently available to take requests
    - a small signature or several icons
    - a favorite short quote

** active means that an item – be it text or an image – is a link to another page, website, imgae, etc…

*** a URL is the link to something – like a website or an image.