Lines too long


I am sensing that a problem with the Forum format, aggravated by various entries, is getting worse. The right-hand margins of the block for typing a response, or new topic, is set too far
to the right, allowing the responder to keep typing a line until it is twice or more the length, of the width of the screen when view. This is reall annoying to have to scroll over and back, especially when there are several lines.

To those making responses - it is not necessary to keep typing just because the format allows it. Please drop down to the next line after you have type about what you know will fit the
viewing format without have to keep scrolling over. It will make things much easier to read.

It doesn’t take long to get used to the right width of your text, or to get in the habit of
automatically going to the next line.

The problem is further aggravated by the fact that the way you type your answers, entries, etc. is not necessarily the way it will end up on the actual forum, as opposed to how it is
formatted in block for “New Topics” or “Replies.” This entry by me is a good example of it,
with paragraphs and lines not at all like I typed it originally. Very, very annoying.


I agree with John on this. It does not help either to post pictures which are wider than the usual format, since the browser can sometimes ‘bend’ text, but never pictures.
When I reduce pictures (in Irfanview) for publication (via Photobucket) I make sure the pic is not wider than 5-600 pixels which tend to fill out but not expand the page when viewed at 1024x768 screen format with the column at the left for bookmarks (Firefox).



I can’t picture or reproduce what you seem to be describing on my computer (or on this very Forum response) as I type this one out. I will await Chris Brady or Lew (others) to chime in as well.

Happy pending New Year (in spite of this technical difficulty)



I believe the problem John is referring to only occurs when someone has included a very large picture in the thread, which expands the right hand margin off the screen, causing the text to extend out also. As Mausernut has pointed out, keeping your pictures under 600 pixels wide will prevent the problem.


There is no need to control your line length as the software will automatically fill the width of your browser’s window. To test this just grab the side of your browser’s window and make the window narrower and wider and you will see that the text will flow with the box. If you make manual text breaks like you request people reading your topics will have annoying text breaks all the way down the box instead of nice neat paragraphs. Remember that there are many, many sizes of monitors and laptops with different settings, so creating text just for “your” screen will be annoying to others. If you do the simple little test as I described it you will see that the text will stop at the ends of your windows . It is considered “best” to not create manual text strings so the software can do its thing.

What does control your text window is images. A large image in ANY post within a topic will control the width of the ENTIRE topic. One W-i-d-e photo will stop the automatic text resize at the edge of THAT photo for the whole page. Most, but not all, modern laptops will run at 1024x768 or greater. The exception is the new netbooks (1024x600) and smart phones (?). The old standard was 640x480, then 600x800. So if you are viewing these forums on a small screen like a netbook, picture size will be controlling how large your browser’s window can be and cause the horizontal scanning required to read the text length that is being controlled by an image posted somewhere within the topic. I personally consider 600 pixels wide to be the absolute max to post. In the interest of being considerate to others please pay attention to the finished sixes of your images. If you can invest in a graphics software package that will allow you to resize and crop your images. There are several on the market and some can be had for free on the Internet. Is it really necessary to post a photo of a 9mm case that is two or three inches long on the screen?

For everyone’s sake you should be requesting people to make their images as small as they can and still show what they want to present and NOT their text length. I notice a lot of large photos on these forums. Most have to do with the new camera’s getting more and more pixels as technology gets refined.

Edited by Roger to add:
If you try the “stretch test” above and the text box size stops getting smaller, stop and scan up through the posts to see if a photo has stopped your text box from getting smaller. You may also want to try the test in a thread that you know has a photo or image in it so you can visibly see that the image does indeed control how small your text box can get. Then, the next time you come into a thread that you have to scan back and forth you will know that somewhere within that thread there is an image or photo that is too big and not allowing the text boxes in that thread to act in a normal manner.


Also for the “non” computer types… when you post multiple pictures, make sure you use the “Enter” key after each picture. That will allow each picture uploaded to go on a seperate line. If not, the series of pictures will spread out across the screen and beyond.

Just a thought…




Multiple images should react just like text in a topic’s text box. In other words if you have three images of 500 pixels width and you only have a 1024 window open you should get two in a line and the third one below those, just like a long sentence. The line breaks will occur at the spaces. In the above example a 900 pixel window would give you three images but they would be in a vertical string, one atop of the others. The software should treat each image as a word so just as a long sentence will break down into convenient lines of text so should the images. Small images will line up horizontally until the software determines that the next one won’t fit on that line before the end of the text box then break into a new line. Unlike a word processor line of text in a paragraph the forum text boxes will not try to hyphenate words but will instead put the last word into a new line giving what is called a ragged-right paragraph.

An exception would be an image of multiple photos that someone collaged (put together) into a single image before they uploaded it to the Web. That would be treated as one image and unbreakable by the software.

I don’t remember if the PhpBB software requires a space between the images to break them into individual lines. I don’t think so but I may not be remembering correctly. It’s been a while since a used the PhpBB package and it may have changed since I ran my forums.


Please do not make the photos here as small as possible. We use some of these Forum threads in the Journal as members know and we already have a problem with the photo quality of some threads. The 600 pixal limit is a good one, but please do not make pictures too small so that they are unusable in the Journal.




I agree with Lew. Bigger pictures are better, but they can be better placed. A recent thread had three good-sized pictures side to side, causing one to have to scroll way over to view each one, and also encouranging text in replies to be in too long lines. Those pictures would have been better placed vertically, on top of each other.



I’m far from any computer expert, but like Rogereh said, your browser should automatically kick text and multiple pictures to a suitable layout for your screen size. If a single picture is too wide for your screen, then you would have to scroll over to see it all and the text will fill the space the picture demands. Because of this, 600 wide for any single picture should be good for all set ups.

Might well be there is a setting that needs adjustment on your system, though I would be the last one to know what that would be…



Having worked in both web and printed media formats I can readily verify that web photos at their best are mediocre for printed material. PC monitors display at 96 DPI (MACs at 72 DPI). 200 DPI is probably a minimum for printed material with 600 DPI being much better for printed material.

Putting up a 200 DPI photo to a website is self-destructive as it will still be displayed at 96 DPI but VERY LARGE and slow to load. 96 DPI (large or small sized) makes for a poor photo in a printed article. The web and print media are two different animals. Web photos should be constrained to about 100 DPI for proper performance on a web page. For a long time 72 DPI was the WEB norm because MACs were considered the publishing field’s standard operating computers.

Every year I have to remind my wife that she can’t look on the Internet for good graphics for her Christmas cards. She has trouble visualizing that a picture on a website looks to be big but it may actually only be an inch or two square in size. So if she blows it up to 5 or 6 inches she will have a pretty bad picture for her cards. It’s like taking a 17 caliber to hunt elephants. The hole just won’t be big enough to do what you want done.


If we could get the forum members to “preview” their posts before “submitting” them they would readily see that their photos are too wide.

would give a wide photo.

would allow a horizontal presentation and should allow photos to flow like the text would inside a text box. So a big screen may show all three side by side. A mid-size screen may show two side by side with one below and a small screen would have them in three rows. All, of course, depending on the sizes of the photos. A series of three small photos could appear side by side on all screens and three large photos may appear beneath one another on all screens.

” [color=#0000FF]ENTER[/color]
"" [color=#0000FF]ENTER[/color]
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would place them all in a vertical position, one beneath the other. This is the method that I prefer to use even for small images.


I just went back and checked on a number of threads. Gyrojet and I posted images about 800 pixals wide on
and I didn’t see any distortion on the text, and the images there would come out fine when used in the print Journal.

I also checked posts by
and there was no distortion in text and these also are good on print, and run over 700 pixals to almost 800 pixals.

Would those of you having the test wrap problem check these threads and see if you get text distortion. If no than 800 pixals seems to be a good limit to satisfy both the web and print requirements.




They are not complaining about text “distortion”. The complaint is that large images require some of your users to have to scroll back and forth to read the topics because the large images are controlling the size of the text boxes in the threads. Just one over-sized photo anywhere within a thread will set the minimum width of the text boxes larger than what is normal for them to display the forum threads.

People just hate to scroll back and forth but for some reason they don’t mind scrolling up and down. I personally use two 23" monitors side-by-side and have no problem with any posts here or anywhere but the new trend is to use the newer netbooks and ultra-light laptops with 10" to 12" screens. Some may even connect with their cell phones. these are your users that may be having trouble (and not only on the IAA website).

Your webmaster should have multiple platforms and monitors to test your site. He/she should be able to give you some good advice on image sizes. Some sites will automatically down-grade all images to a maximum usable size. In my experience this will be about 600 DPI (sometimes more, sometimes less).


When you scroll down, you can still read many of the lines of print to reinforce what you have just read and make sense of a paragraph. Scrolling from side to side where a full half of a sentence is momentarily out of your view, you tend to forget what was in it. It is not the end of the world, but it is a distraction, I would think to most readers, especially if they are fast readers.

That situation makes it that much harder to make a cogent answer, especially if you want to mention things said in the text you are replying to.

Regarding computers. there are those of us who cannot afford two and three different computers. The one I am working on now is ten years old and will be the last computer we buy in our life. It is our third one ever. Quite honestly, I won’t be sorry the day it gives up the ghost B.E.R.

Actually, I am sorry that I brought this whole subject up! It seems to be causing some people much work and some angst far beyond its annoynace-factor for me.


Another good practice for those who are able is have the image link to a larger version of itself when you click it.

I use Google’s free Picasa Web service at: and it automatically gives me multiple size versions of the picture. If I have a large picture I use the 800px version on the site and have it link to a bigger one.

See an example here:


I’ve spent a large percentage of my life in the computer business, much of it in web and publishing design work so the equipment I use is not the norm nor would I expect most people to have anything close to what I use,

Your last reply is exactly what I have been trying to convince others of. That many, many different computers are being used on a daily basis to view the forums and is the main reason that controlling their photo sizes is so important. It’s the older, and now the newest laptop computers, that will have smaller screens. Requesting large photos because they may (or may not) be used in the Journal actually hurts more forum users than helps. A simple cruise around any of the professional web sites will immediately show you that the photos on the IAA forums are way bigger than what others use and/or allow to be posted on their sites. Take a peek at Microsoft’s website which is probably one of the biggest and most technical site on the web. You will be hard pressed to find an image that appears to be more than an inch or two wide and high on your screen.

The reason s you are getting large photos posted is pretty simple:

  1. The cameras available now have a much higher pixel rate than ever. The average person using them do not know how to (or know they should) crop or re-size their photos before posting them.

  2. Older folks think that the bigger images are easier to see and better to demonstrate what they want to show to others.

Okay, that’s it from me. I’m pretty sure that there will not be any difference made by my speeches. Like computers, there are millions of individuals in the World and most of them will have their own opinions of what is the right way to post pictures on the web. I’ve only tried to share what I’ve learned over the years designing web sites.

PS: John, I’m fairly certain that your cartridge collection far exceeds mine and it’s for certain that you are way more knowledgeable about them than me. We all have our little niches in life.


I’ve made phone calls and exchanged emails and PMs with a number of people.

First, Ron Merchant covers this specific issue in his Sitcky at the top of this Forum on posting images ( His recommendation is that nothing over 1000 pixels (yes I have learned to spell that word), should be posted on the Forum. If images are under 500-600 pixels have the quality begins to fall off when used in the Journal depending on what the subject is. A large subject like a cartridge board is unusuable at 600 but a cartridge or headstamp is great.

I have looked at the image size of a lot of the images in posts and they vary from about 200 pixels to about 1000. I wasn’t able to find one over 1000.

Talking to people who have the problem on their browser, the problem almost always occurs when a post has a number of photos on the same line next to each other, instead of above each other and seperated by line breaks (). The Forum sets the thread width to the total width of all the photos on the same line and this creates the problem that John Moss mentioned in the first post.


If you do this and also keep your images to 1000 pixels or less I think the problem will pretty much go away for most Forum members.

If you use Photobucket (and probably some other photo storage sites) then your pictures are automatically sized. Photobucket sizes images to 800 pixels which appears to work well on the forum.




One last time, Then I give up…
I’ve heard that a picture is worth a thousand words so here we go:

A lot of laptops run at a native screen size of 1024x768. In a nut shell that means the MOST that your screen/monitor will display is 1064 pixels wide if you are running your Internet browser at full-screen. You-all don’t seem to realize that the forum window has material to both the left and right sides of the text boxes. Most of that is to the left for about 200 pixels. Simple math will tell you that there will be less than 800 pixels left to display the text box. Running to 1000 pixels will require ALL of those running at a screen resolution of 1024x768 to have to scroll right to see an image of 1000 pixels. Below is a screen capture of the IAA forum thread at 1024 pixels overlaid with a measuring ruler used to measure screen pixels. I’ve set the rulers length to 1000 pixels and against the left-most side of the text box. It’s easy to see that the ruler extends out of view to those running at that resolution.

BTW: I’ve set the image width to 800 pixels. the actual size is 1243 pixels. If you look close at the ruler you will see that the right-most side states that the box ends at about 780 pixels (minus the left margin of about 5 pixels) so even an 800 pixel wide image would be just a little too big to fit entirely within the window.

I get the impression that usability of the web site for all may be being sacrificed to acquire images for the Journal.

Nuff said //over & out…

Edited by REH for spelling error


Better idea.

As another person who works with websites for fun and professionally, a general rule of thumb is that the website should JUST WORK for the user. They should not have to have any advanced knowledge to use a website, especially when the main users are often not too computer savvy.

What should be done is a system where the phpbb automatically sizes the image to a correct size and then when you click it it pops up in a 2nd layer over top of everything else with the larger version without opening up a new page or tab. This is a phpbb module that can easily be added.

A great example of this is on

This would fix all issues for everyone