Add Media and Files

An ePortfolio isn’t limited to just text. You can add images, music and more. Before you learn to do this, you should know the basics of adding text to a portfolio. We begin with the same Rich Text module text editor that we used there.

When you’re in a Rich Text module’s text editor, notice two important buttons on the formatting toolbar that have the green + sign below them. If you move your mouse cursor over them and let it hover there without clicking, you’ll see the left one (which looks a bit like a page) is called Insert File, and the right one (which looks like a TV, a slide or a Polaroid) is called Insert Media. These powerful tools mean that the Rich Text module is a way to include much more than text.

Insert File allows you to include a file in any format that your viewers can click on and download to their computers, to view or run as appropriate: a PowerPoint presentation, an Excel spreadsheet, a PDF, even an executable program. You can attach Word documents this way too. It’ll be more convenient for your viewers if you cut and paste the documents’ text directly into your modules, but this is a good way to add files that would take too long or be too cumbersome to cut and paste (like your doctoral dissertation). Click Insert File then Browse for File, and you’ll be able to add the file directly from your computer.

Also much more convenient for your viewers is Insert Media. This allows you to place rich media like pictures, video and audio inside your Rich Text module, where people can view or hear them directly without having to go through the additional step of downloading anything. (Everything you’ve seen so far on this page is in Rich Text modules, including the screen shots above; the pictures were included with Insert Media.)

Insert Media will allow you to send any of these kinds of media directly from your computer to Digication. When you click Insert Media you’ll see the image above: the default, From My Computer. ClickBrowse for media and you’ll see your own hard drive, which you can select a file from. The Alignment option allows you to place the image at the left or right side of your module, with text wrapping around it (like in the picture of the formatting toolbar above). The Dimensions let you change the size of the image. You can edit these elements on an image you’ve previously added by clicking the image and then clicking Insert Media again.

There’s a limit to how large a file you can send from your computer with either Insert File or Insert Media; each file can’t be any larger than 20 megabytes. 20 megabytes is roughly equivalent to a 20-minute-long music file or a 1-minute-long video. So the size limit is usually only a problem for uploading videos. To post a larger video, give it its own module, of the Image/Video/Audio type instead of Rich Text, and click Replace This Media with Large Video (Beta).

Remember, you still need to Save your Rich Text modules, and Publish all your modules.

If you have many images or other media files, it may be a bit cumbersome to add Rich Text modules and wrap text around the files. That’s what the Image/Video/Audio and Gallery module types are for. In the first module menu, you can try clicking on Image/Video/Audio instead of Rich Text, and Add This Module. Click Edit on this new module as you would for Rich Text, and then click Replace This Media. Now you have the same options to add media as you did within the Rich Text module, but they stand alone without the text.

If you have a very large quantity of pictures, you can put many of them together in a single module called a Gallery. The Gallery module will show you thumbnail-sized pictures of each picture that viewers can click on to get a larger version.

Adding media can be enough to make your portfolio complete. However, you’ll often want to change its structure around based on new ideas as you’ve designed it. To do this, check out Digication’s tools for organizing and customizing.