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Using the Rich Text Editor

When you have the opportunity to add material to this website, using the Discussion Forums for instance, you will probably be using the Rich Text Editor that's been installed. This works like a small word processor application within the Web page, allowing you to add formatting, insert images, or create hyperlinks. The control panel for the Rich Text Editor looks something like this:

fckeditor controls

Many of the tools and buttons will be familiar from common word processing software, such as the bold and italic buttons, and the Format and Font drop-down menus. To use them, just select the text you want to format in the text area below the control panel, and then select the appropriate control panel tools.

If you prepare your text in a word processor and then paste it into the Rich Text Editor, you should probably use the special paste buttons (paste buttons). Word processors often include hidden formatting specifications when you use an ordinary paste operation, which can lead to oddly displayed text in the final webpage. The two special paste buttons are "Paste as plain text" and "Paste from Word." The latter specifically removes the sort of hidden formatting that Microsoft Word tends to introduce, while the former removes all hidden formatting.

When pasting text into the Rich Text Editor you may also encounter differences between line and paragraph breaks from the original and pasted text. The Rich Text Editor does not display any special characters to differentiate between a line and a paragraph break, but breaks between paragraphs are displayed with a little extra space between lines. For instance, you'll see a little extra space before "When pasting text" at the start of this paragraph. To create a new paragraph, just use your keyboard's "Enter" key as usual. To create a manual link break (a new line but without the extra space that indicates a new paragraph), use "shift-Enter" instead. To fix text separated by line breaks that should be paragraph breaks, use your keyboard's "Backspace" or "Delete" to remove the line break and then press "Enter" to insert the paragraph break.

Some of the Rich Text Editor tools are special to editing HTML (Web) text. For instance, there are buttons for turning the selected lines of text into a numbered or bulleted list (list buttons), and also a Source button to show you the underlying HTML code that creates the formatting.

You can turn the selected text into a hyperlink with the Link button (link button). A popup form will appear with a place to enter the URL address to which the link should lead. Note that the Target tab on this form provides an option called "New Window" that will cause clicking on the link to automatically open a new window rather than replacing the current window with the material from the new Web page. This is particularly useful when linking to pages outside our website.

A useful tip is to omit the site name when creating a link to Web pages at our website. This will ensure your link continues to function even if the site's name changes in the future. For instance, instead of creating a link to this page with the URL address "www.soitoronto.org/help/richtext_editor" you should use "/help/richtext_editor" without the site name prefix. The prefixed "/" before the word "help" is important to make sure the link goes where you expect.

There is a Break button (break button) that has a special meaning for those creating pages on this website. Certain presentations of material will show viewers only a preface from the page, called the "teaser," and then offer a link to the complete text. By default that preface is just the first 600 characters of the text, but by inserting a Break you can specify that everything before the Break is the preface. It is useful for page authors to remember that their first paragraph is likely to serve as the teaser, and be the only part of the text shown to readers in some displays.

The Image button (image button) lets you insert images into your writing. Place the cursor where you want the image inserted, click the Image button, and a popup form will appear. You can enter the URL address of an image that's already on the Internet, an alternative text that will be displayed as a tooltip when the cursor hovers over the images, and you may also want to select the alignment of the image with the surrounding text.

You can insert Flash graphics into your writing with the Flash button (Flash button), using the URL address of the flash file (e.g. "http://colclocks.com/FlashClocks/fccatclock/catclock.swf" but without the quotes). Insert the cursor into the location in your text where the video should appear, and click the Flash button to get a popup form. Paste the address into the URL field of the popup form, and then click OK. Your video gets inserted. An example is at the bottom of this page.

You can upload material onto our site rather than inserting preexisting things from elsewhere on the Internet, but please see the Website Policies with regard to what is acceptable material. To upload an image, after you click the Image button, click the "Browse Server" button and a new popup will present a file browsing tool showing those folder to which you have access. Registered users each have their own folder, although administrators and some others have access to multiple folders. Select a folder on the left if necessary, and its contents will be displayed in the right-side panel. Click "Upload" to specify which image on your computer you want transferred to this website's server. You may optionally select a thumbnail to be created if you want the system to also generate a small version of your image (useful for previews sometimes). After the image is uploaded, click on "Send to FCKeditor" and the address for the uploaded image will automatically be inserted into the URL field. Note that you can manage your uploaded files from the "File Browser" on your "My Account" profile page.

If you want to learn more about the editor, you can check out the Official Users Guide for the FCKeditor.

An example of an embedded flash movie, from Boris V. Markov's Collection of Wallpaper Clocks:


Hazrat Inayat Khan

Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

From the Gayan

A man without a character is as a flower without perfume.
— Sayings of Hazrat Inayat Khan: Gayan - Chalas