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How To: Write a "How To" Guide

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  • How To: Write a "How To" Guide

    HOW TO: Write a new site "Guide"
    Written by Greg Hutton - Last Updated 25/02/2010


    Background
    A "Guide / How To" is a special post which gives step by step instructions on how to perform a particular task kept in it's own special category. The idea being if someone has a question, they can first easily check for a "How To".


    Enough Already! Can I make one?
    Sure! Ideally you would have step by step photos to go with it, however if you know how to complete something and want to immortalise your name forever feel free to get it all down!


    Great! So how do I do it?
    Finally, the interesting bit All the GTO Guides are powered by the GARS system which allows you to do interesting things like contents pages and placed thumbnails, yet at the sametime allowing full searching and integration into the forums

    First things first, head over to the "Guides" section and then the category where you wish to place your "Guide". Then simply click the "Create Guide" button....


    Creating a New Guide
    You will now be taken to the new Guide creation screen, which has a number of extra fields.

    Header Image
    First stop is to pick an icon for your new article. Please choose something relevant to the guide, with it being no more than 155 pixels wide (or high).

    Options
    Title is pretty self explanatory
    Byline is a short "tag line" of your article and shown under it's name.
    Synopsis allows you to write a small "taster" which will also be shown on the "How To" selection menu.
    First page title is used if you are having multiple pages and will be the name used in the table of contents for page one.

    Post New Article
    The crux of the system, but what's this... it's just a normal thread input box. Well yes, however there are two important differences...


    Contents / Pages
    To stop an article going on and on, you should break it up into sections - each of which can be named and will then show up in the articles contents page on the right.

    To start a new page:
    In the toolbar of the editor, you will see a "New Page" button - click this and enter a title for the new page. [BREAK="Page Name"] will appear in the editor window and you simply continue writing under this.

    When your article is viewed, the content will then be listed at the right, and each page selectable from the page guide at the bottom, as shown:



    Images
    Linked images should not be used for a "Guide" (even from the GTO gallery), this is for 2 reasons: If the external site ever went down/disappeared/etc the "How To" would become useless and secondly, by using the new system, thumbnails are incorporated and everything looks a lot neater...

    So how do you put an image in an article then? Easy, using the new inline attachments options.

    Once you have got all your images together and you have finished writing the text for your article (or you can do this as you go along, it's up to you) - click the icon found at the top of the editor to bring up the attachments manager:


    Use the browse button to bring up a file dialog box from which you can navigate to the files on your computer. Once you have repeated for each of the images, hit the "Upload" button and they will be sent to the GTO server. If you have more than 5 images, do the first 5, then next 5 etc etc...

    Once some images are uploaded, the Attachments Manager will change to reflect this:




    Finally click the "Close this Window" link at the top to return to the editor.

    Placing an image is simplicity itself, place the cursor where you want the image (or images) to go and click the icon found next to the attachments () icon and select the image (or file) from the drop down menu, for example:


    On your page, the attachment will then be inserted (though you will only see it as ATTACH text) which can then be aligned as you wish.... (note the number shown will differ each time, it relates to the individual attachment)



    See, simple wasn't it!


    Anything Else?
    Yes, just two small points. If you are going to do a bulleted list, instead of just putting an "-" or whatever at the start of a sentance, use the function found at the top of the edit bar (aligns everything up properly) and likewise, if you are using a numbered list, use the function.


    OK done all that, now what?
    Well you're almost there, all that's left is to have a quick read over everything to make sure it's ok, before submitting it. Once submitted, load it up where it will now be in it's new "Guide" format glory - and check all the pages are named correctly, everything looks good...

    ... it does?

    Then WELL DONE, you've just made a fantastic contribution to the forum and can expect a bundle of rep...

    WE SALUTE YOU!


    FINAL NOTE: Whilst there used to be no time limit on edits, we unfortunately had to change that. HOWEVER - if you need to make a change, simply PM or email the moderator of the section in question and they'll be happy to make any amendments on your behalf
    Attached Files
    Last edited by greghutton; 02-25-2010, 02:45 PM.
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