Members of this forum generally prefer to have a custom picture, referred to as an Avatar, placed beneath
their username on the left column of any posts that they have created. This helps to create a unique identity for each member. However, a
fair number of members do not know how to create this image. Additionally, signature lines at the bottom of each post help to identify
both the member and what type of RV they have. This is very beneficial to other members because they can better respond to your posts if
they know what type of equipment you have. Rather than type this information in every time you make a post it's helpful to create this
information in your user profile so that it automatically gets placed every time that you make a post. To help guide you through these
processes we've created the following tutorial.
Avatar images can be from three basic sources. The simplest is to use one of the clip art avatars provided by
the forum software. These images are the right size and proportion and are easy to install. However, there's times when you want a more
personalized image for your avatar. In that case you can either upload a new image to our website from your computer or you may link to
an image that is already found on another website. In either version, the avatar most meet a set of requirements. Each image must be no
less than 80 pixels wide by 60 pixels high. Anything smaller would be too hard to see. Each image may be no larger than 140 pixels high
by 140 pixels wide. Anything larger would cause the entire forum screen to shift to the right. The software will ensure that these
requirements are met. If you try to upload your own image that is smaller than the minimum or larger than the maximum size, it will be
rejected. A limit of 50,000 bytes is also placed on avatar file sizes but that shouldn't be an issue with an image of this size.
Choosing an Avatar Type:
The first thing you need to do is go to your User Control Panel (UCP). There will be a link on the forum pages
that will take you to the UCP or you can click on this link -
Screenshot of User Control Panel Link - Click to Expand Size
Once you are at the UCP (you will need to be logged in before doing this) select the Profile tab on the
left sidebar menu.
Screenshot of Profile Menu Selection in the User Control Panel - Click to Expand Size
Once your profile page appears, select the Edit Avatar menu selection to bring up the avatar screen. This page
should be the
http://www.tiffinrvnetwork.com/forum/ucp.php?i=profile&mode=avatar page. On this page you will see your current avatar image, if one exists,
as well as a number of fill-in boxes and options to choose from. If you choose to accept one of the pre-made avatars, simply click on
Display Gallery to bring up the gallery of pre-supplied avatar images. Scroll through the listing and choose the one you want and
click on the Submit button to use it as your avatar. Exit the UCP and you are all set
Screenshot of Avatar Menu Selection in the User Profile Section - Click to Expand Size
If you want to display an avatar image that is already found on the Internet on another website you can do that too by
entering the URL, or address, of that image into the Link off-site form field. Keep in mind that the image must meet certain size
parameters. More on that in the next section. Simply enter the URL, or website address, of the image that you want to us, such as
http://www.mysite.com/images/myphoto.jpg and press the Submit button. This is handy if you have
one common image that is used on many forums. By doing this you can change that one image and all of your forums will reflect that change.
However, if a problem exists on the other website your image will not be displayed because it cannot be found.
Another solution, which is the most popular one, is to upload your image directly to the TRVN server. That way it will
always be found by this website. You can upload an image from another website by entering it's URL into the Upload from a URL form field
or you can upload the image from your local PC by selecting the Browse button and finding the image from wherever you have it on your hard
drive. Either way, be sure to click the Submit button when you are done to upload the image. Again, keep in mind that the image must meet
the size limits established by the forum software.
Resizing Avatar Images:
If your image is too large you'll need to downsize it so that it meets the requirements set forth by the forum software.
Any image taken by a digital camera will be way too large so an image editing program will be needed to downsize it. Most digital cameras have
some sort of image editing software included with the camera that comes on a CD. If not, there are common editing programs, such as Photoshop,
or Photoshop Elements that can be used. If you have these programs, refer to their manual for instructions on how to resize images.
If you don't have these programs, contact an administrator for assistance. Step one is to find the image that you want to use for your avatar.
It's best to make a copy of the original image that you can work with and give a unique name. That way your original picture will remain full
sized and unaffected by any changes you make to the avatar image. The load it into your image editing program and resize it so that it is no
larger than 140 pixels wide. If it's still too tall after you establish the width at 140 pixels you will need to crop some of the height to
keep it under 140 pixels as well. Note that you do not have to stretch the image to 140 pixels in height. The picture can be less in height, and
generally will be unless you have a square image. But, keeping the width to 140 pixels will ensure that the image is readable and will match all
of the other avatars out there. For your convenience we have added an Avatar Creator that will resize your avatar for you. It can be acessed at
the following link - www.tiffinrvnetwork.com/avatarcreator.php
Signature lines are another feature that lets you personalize your posts. A signature line will be placed at the bottom of
every post that you make unless you check the Disable Signature box when you make that particular post. Signatures help identify both yourself
and your RV to other members. It's very helpful when seeking answers to a question regarding your RV because other members will know what
kind of RV you have. Without this you'll probably get replies asking you what kind you do have, which delays your answer and adds unnecessary
clutter to that thread. You can have more than one signature line. Ideally you want to give your name, your RV make and model, and your towed
vehicle information. These three lines will suffice in identifying yourself. You can do less or you can do more. However, adding excessive
lines can get cumbersome and not everyone is interested in what kind of pets you have, what options you have installed, where you went to
school, your kid's names, etc, etc. Okay, You get the point. It can get to be overkill so
please use common sense here.
Screenshot of Signature Menu Selection in the User Profile Section - Click to Expand Size
To create a signature line, you need to do is go to your User Control Panel (UCP). There will be a link on the forum pages
that will take you to the UCP or you can click on this link -
http://www.tiffinrvnetwork.com/forum/ucp.php. Once you are at the
UCP (you will need to be logged in before doing this) select the Profile tab on the left sidebar menu. Once your profile page appears,
select the Edit Signature menu selection to bring up the avatar screen. This page should be the
http://www.tiffinrvnetwork.com/forum/ucp.php?i=profile&mode=signature page. On this page you will see a text box where you can add your
signature information. The usual options, such as bold or italic text and colors can be utilized, just like in your forum posts. Try to
keep it simple though and not get carried away. Take a look at some of the other signatures in the various forum posts to get an idea. Once
you have everything set up, press the Submit button to make it take effect.