Take a picture

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but that’s assuming other people can see it. While well-placed pictures are often the best way to provide a quick demonstration or example to someone in a discussion, the Windows Live Groups discussion editor is sadly a little anemic in the picture department. Oh, it’s possible to include links to just about anything on the web in a discussion post, but unless you’re savvy with editing raw HTML, it’s not a simple task. That is, unless your picture is hosted on Windows Live SkyDrive.

While we’re waiting around to see what magical improvements are in the works for wave 4, I’ll quickly demonstrate how to include a SkyDrive picture in a Windows Live Groups discussion post without manually creating complex HTML elements.

  1. First, upload your picture to a public folder on SkyDrive.

    Public folders are easily identified by the small globe icon

    For more information about uploading files to SkyDrive or managing folder permissions, consult the online help.

  2. On the picture’s SkyDrive landing page, copy the the picture’s embed code, which is displayed under the Information heading on the right side of the page.

    The picture's embed code

    The code includes all of the HTML needed to create an interactive thumbnail of your picture. Make sure you get all of it.

    Note: You can also click More 4 Share to see additional sharing options, including e-mail and change notifications.

  3. Navigate to the Group discussion editor (multiple browser tabs are handy here), give yourself a couple of blank lines for good measure, and click the HTML toolbar button.

    The discussion editor toolbar

    Ok, you’re going to see some HTML. Don’t freak out. I promise you don’t have to understand any of it.

  4. In HTML view, locate a blank line and paste the embed code you copied in step 3 between the <div> and </div> tags.

    Inserting the embed code

  5. Click the HTML button again to return to the WYSIWYG editor. An inline thumbnail of your image is included in the discussion post, which automatically provides a link back to the picture on SkyDrive (handy for commenting, sharing, and downloading the picture).


By the way, this works with other SkyDrive-hosted files as well. You can include similar links to PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, or Excel workbooks you’ve authored and/or uploaded. The embed link will display a document icon and provide a link back to the original document on SkyDrive. It also works with music and video that you might have hosted on SkyDrive, but the content doesn’t stream…you have to manually download the entire file and play it locally. Let’s put that on the wish list for wave 4.

– Greg


3 Replies to “Take a picture”

  1. Thanks for adding this simple how-to Greg. I use Skydrive and this feature a lot but like our parents used to tell us, it’s good to share! Just like you I’m praying that Wave 4 brings us a solution for streaming video since they have provided us with such a great video editor in Live Movie Maker but no place other than YouTube, Facebook video, etc to host them just so we can loop back and put them in our Live Spaces blogs. I hope the Live team is paying attention to what we need.


  2. Good post Greg and one that is really useful to know. Calvin, I agree with you about the video hosting. I don’t want to have to use an outside site.


  3. Information I found very useful. Since I’m blogging about this geneology book I’m writing I’d like to add picture and maybe short video clips so I could use as much technical info that available. Thanks. I’m new to windows live so I have a lot to digest. I will definitely share the information with other who could benefit from using this forum.


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