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.
First, upload your picture to a public folder on SkyDrive.
For more information about uploading files to SkyDrive or managing folder permissions, consult the online help.
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 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.
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.
Ok, you’re going to see some HTML. Don’t freak out. I promise you don’t have to understand any of it.
In HTML view, locate a blank line and paste the embed code you copied in step 3 between the <div> and </div> tags.
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.