Tips For Writing

September 15, 2020

The writing interface here is not all that different from other rich text editors on the web. As you compose on the left you can preview the results on the right.

The toolbar includes familiar icons for formatting your writing.

The editor can accept HTML as well as Markdown (see the CommonMark 10 minute tutorial). Perhaps the most essential formatting not on the toolbar is using # at the start of a line to create headings:

  # Heading Level 1
 ## Heading Level 2
### Heading Level 3

Inserting Images, Upload Files

1000 words or not, images are helpful to explain your points, illustrate processes, or just make your writing be more lively, maybe even offer inspiration.

“Inspire :)” flickr photo by chattygd shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

I inserted that image (and also added attribution because one should always be attributing) by using the Add Image button in the editor.

Pictures can be also added more simply by dragging and dropping an image directly into the editor (accepts jpeg, png, gif images). That’s how I added that screenshot!

The same button can be used to upload files as well (currently we accept only PDFs), which will be added as a download. It will look like:

Badge2020.pdf (180.3 KB)

There is a 10Mb file size limit on uploads.

One Box Link Previews

Any web address pasted into the OEG Connect editor automatically gets turned into a link. If you paste it onto a blank line, the editor will try and create a preview version or as discourse calls it, a “one box” (if it is a web page) or embed media (if it is a link for say, a YouTube video).

For example, if you paste in the link for a Wikipedia page on a new line, e.g.

see how it is rendered:

This also works for YouTube videos, for example putting on a blank line:

produces the embedded video

You can also copy formatted web content to paste into a post, and discourse will preserve links and basic formatting. For example, if I wanted to copy the first three paragraphs of the Cape Town Open Education Declaration:

I can paste it here and get the full content (I used the Quote tool to make this more clearly a quotation)

The Cape Town Open Education Declaration arises from a small but lively meeting convened in Cape Town in September 2007. The aim of this meeting was to accelerate efforts to promote open resources, technology and teaching practices in education.

Convened by the Open Society Institute and the Shuttleworth Foundation, the meeting gathered participants with many points of view from many nations. This group discussed ways to broaden and deepen their open education efforts by working together.

The first concrete outcome of this meeting is the Cape Town Open Education Declaration. It is at once a statement of principle, a statement of strategy and a statement of commitment. It is meant to spark dialogue, to inspire action and to help the open education movement grow.

And it works for twitter links as well. When I paste in on a blank line in the editor:

it is published as an embedded tweet


If you want to carefully compose a post, especially a longer one, you can copy and paste content here that was written in MS Word or Google docs. You will preserve all major formatting (headings, emphasis, links, lists, quotes), and from Google docs, even your images will come along.

See some more editing suggestions in the discourse New Users Tips and Tricks. Keep in mind that you can always return and edit anything you previously posted. Look for the pencil icon at the bottom of your post:


And yes, you can use emojis. :star_struck: Look for the icon 3rd from the right side in the message editor:

If you scroll down to the bottom, you may find a custom set of OEG emojis! like :connect: :oeg: :cc_blue:

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