Creating a Message Board Signature

A message board signature can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. It's an effective way of letting others know more about you and a great way to customize your messages.

The Basics
Let's look at three signature types: text only, graphic only or a combined text/graphic. No matter which signature type you prefer, all three are entered in Edit My Preferences under Quick Links > Edit My Preferences > Preferences > Preference Options > Signature. WYSIWYG is the default option. You can choose HTML from the drop down beneath the signature box to enter your signature using HTML code.

A Simple Sig
If you're looking for a simple, text-only signature, in the signature box, simply type your text.  Be sure to click on "save changes" so your updates are accepted.

Using Graphics
Ok, so that's nice enough, but you want some pizazz. You want to show off your kids, your furbabies, your favorite actor or your latest knitting project. And you want fancy fonts and sparkles and all the things that make a sig pop. Have no fear; read on and you'll find out that it's not difficult at all!

Your first stop on your sig customizing quest should be to one of our fantastic signature/graphic boards: Signature Making for Beginners and Signature Showcase. Each board has great tutorials and information on how to create your own sig from scratch. If that seems a little daunting, both boards have members that will make a signature for you upon request.

Once your signature graphic is created and saved on your computer, you can either upload it to an image hosting site, such as Photobucket, or insert it directly via the WYSIWYG signature option.

Uploading/Inserting via WYSIWYG
If you're adding the image directly into the signature box, click on the image of a tree in the signature box toolbar. Click on the box to the right of the Image URL line to open the browse box. Click on upload to browse to your saved image. Once you've chosen your image, click on open > upload. Then click on the X to close the smaller window. Once you see your image in the window, click insert. Your image is now inserted into the signature box. Be sure to scroll down and click save to save your signature.

Inserting via HTML
What Is HTML?
While the signature box allows you to use WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), you can also use HTML. HTML is the computer language that creates a web page. It consists of HTML tags.

If you're unfamiliar with HTML and wish to learn moreLissa Explains It All is a great site to do just that. There you'll find the HTML code/tags to customize your sig on your own.

If you're hosting your signature graphic on a hosting site such as Photobucket, you'll need to grab the code in HTML code/tag format (Photobucket lists it as HTML Tag). From there, go to your preference options and scroll down to the signature box. Click on the small, blue link which says "disable rich text"then paste your HTML code/tag from your image hosting site in the box. You can then click on the small, blue link again to enable rich text to view your sig.  Be sure to scroll down and click 'Save' to save your signature!

Signature Maker Alert:
Image Width: 400 pixels wide fits nicely into the signature box with no resizing or cutting off.

Things to Keep in Mind

Signatures can be fun and useful, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

The never-ending sig: The never-ending sig can be a deterrent for your fellow boardies, making it difficult to easily follow a discussion or to even load the page, especially for our friends on dial-up. Have fun with expressing yourself in your sig line, but remember the old adage: Less is more. If your sig line takes up the whole page and you're scrolling just to get to the bottom of your own sig, it's too long. Consider rotating in your favorite blinkies and graphics on a regular basis, rather than using your sig line as a storage house.

The too-graphic graphic: Whether it's text or a graphic, our Terms of Service still apply to signature lines and images posted to the boards. Please don't post obscene, offensive or disruptive images in your signature lines. If your signature violates our Terms of Service, we'll have to remove it and you may end up losing your membership privileges.

Copyright and Bandwidth: Make sure you have permission to use images created by others in your sig lines. Using copyrighted images or logos in your sig line may be a violation. Along the same lines, be sure to load your images from a server that allows the use of their server space for images. You may have your own server space or use a service like Photobucket. Remote loading of images from servers that do not allow this activity is known as "bandwidth theft".

More Resources
There are many ways you can customize your sig line. Be sure to visit these message boards for more help and ideas from your fellow iVillagers.

Signature Making for Beginners
Signature Showcase

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