Editors, Images and Pain Mitigation

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With the advancement of content management systems like Joomla, Wordpress and even ActiveRain, the adding and maintenance of posts becomes a snap because the need for HTML skills are replaced with WYSIWYG editors.

Some thoughts on this: 

1.  No standards exist to make editors all behave the same way
2.  Some editors don't work all that well
3.  Manipulating images can make people cranky

On Standards

What I've found is that some believe their lack of computer/web experience is the root of their frustration, not realizing that even web savvy users, if forced to use the same tools, feel the same pain.   This is why many hard core web authors prefer to compose in text and insert their own HTML along the way.

However, in the open source world, there are a few very popular editors such as TinyMCE, which is what AR
uses here.   You can see that some aspects of the editor are identical to what's used in Joomla and Wordpress:

TinyMCE editor

Because it's open source, developers can choose to add or remove certain features based on needs.  (Notice how in Joomla, there's an extra tab called Advanced which AR has removed) 

On Editors that Suck

If you've spent anytime with the editor in version 2.3.x of Wordpress you have undoubtedly uttered "this thing sucks" more than once.  If you're running any version previous to 2.5 a nice surprise is waiting for you when you upgrade as the editor has been much improved.   That alone is worth the upgrade effort.   Here's what the new editor looks like:

Wordpress 2.5 editor


When writing a blog or updating any type of web page, inserting an image is one of the parts that people often
fumble over.  Like it or not, cropping and resizing images is part of what all web authors/editors have to deal with on a regular basis.   Thumbnailing (making images smaller)  can be made simple with a few tips/tools.

There's nothing wrong with using MS-Paint, but that can't be your only tool.  One reason: Paint can't resize images. One way to manually thumbnail an image is to use Picasa with Paint.   You adjust the size of the thumbnail image, then copy/paste into Paint where you can crop and save.   Here are the steps to do that.

Photo Resize 2.0One of my fave image tools is something called Picture Resizer which allows you to quickly thumbnail an image by dragging the target image on top of the program.   What I like about it -- there is no user interface to learn.   You name the program according to what size thumbnail you want to create... that's it.   

So in this case, the r200.exe will generate 200 pixel wide images.  If you want 150 wide images, then you would need only to rename the program to r150.exe.  

If you appreciate simplicity, you'll love Picture Resizer 2.0.   (oh, and it's free too)




My other favorite is Thumbnailer from a company called Smaller Animals.  

I use this when I'm watermarking a group of images but is also excellent when you're doing edge fades.  Thumbnailer is only $25 and their customer support is quite awesome.


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Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina
E.Kasey - the picture resizer looks easy to use.  I hate opening photoshop, finding my photo, resizing, resaving, etc.
Apr 14, 2008 04:11 AM #1
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Kasey Kase

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