SMF2.0:Attachments and Avatars

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Please see SMF1.1:Attachments and Avatars or SMF2.0:Attachments and Avatars depending on the version of SMF you are using.

From here, you can administrate the attached files on your system and you can also delete attachments by size and by date to your requirements. This is a useful area to work out how much your server is storing in the way of general attachments and users uploaded avatars, which over time can soon become a large figure especially if you have a large membership.

Browse Files

Here you can view the Attachments, Avatars, and Thumbnails uploaded to your forum, and browse and delete the uploaded files by your members listing in order of:

  • Attachment Name
  • File Size
  • Posted By
  • Date

You can click the Remove Selected button to delete attachments.

Attachment Settings

Here you can configure your Attachment settings with information, such as choosing a location to store the uploaded files, maximum visible sizes, and limiting file extension use.

  • Attachments mode - Enable attachments, disable attachments or just disable new attachments.
  • Check attachment's extension - Select this box to enable attachment filtering. If enabled, you can specify in the box below this area which extensions are allowed to be uploaded by your members such as Text Documents (txt).
  • Allowed attachment extensions - If Check attachment's extension is enabled, you can specify here which attachments are allowed to be written; for example: txt, doc, mp3. These three extensions would enable members to upload Text Documents, Word Documents and MP3 Audio files. You can alter this to your own requirements and remember to be careful in your choice of file extension. Some file extensions can cause a major security risk to your website's security.
  • Recode line endings in textual attachments - Select this when you want to change the line endings in textual attachments.
  • Attachments Directory - Select where you want the files uploaded to be stored on your server. This can be located outside your public html directory for additional security.
    • Configure multiple attachment directories - This link will take you to another screen which allows you to configure multiple directories for your attachments. This is particularly useful as your site gets bigger, since there is a limit to the total number of files in (or total size of) a directory.
  • Max attachment folder space - Specify how large in capacity the upload area can store. This is useful for servers with limited web space.
  • Max attachment size per post - Specify how big a single post's upload by a member can be.
  • Max size per attachment - Specify how big a single attachment upload by a member can be.
  • Max number of attachments per post - With SMF, you can allow members to upload more then one attachment with each single post. Here you can specify how many attachments can be made with each post.
  • Re-encode potentially dangerous image attachments - Check this box to enable this function. Selecting this option will enable trying to re-encode the uploaded image attachments. Image re-encoding offers better security. Note however that image re-encoding also renders all animated images static. This feature is only available if the GD module is installed on your server.
  • Perform extensive security checks on uploaded image attachments - Check this box to enable this function. Selecting this option will enable very strict security checks on image attachments. Please be aware that these extensive checks can cause valid images to fail too. It is strongly recommended to only use this option together with image re-encoding, in order to have SMF try to resample the images which fail the security checks. If this is successful, they will be sanitized and uploaded. Otherwise, if image re-encoding is not enabled, all attachments failing checks will be rejected.
  • Display image attachments as pictures under post - If a member has attached an image to a post, the image will automatically be displayed if enabled.
  • Resize images when showing under post - Limit the size of the image when displaying within the forum. This is useful when you have specified a width for your entire forum and you do not want the image to stretch further distorting your forum look.
  • Save thumbnails as PNG - Selecting this option allows higher quality thumbnails to be saved.
  • Maximum width of thumbnails - Set the maximum width of the thumbnails to be displayed.
  • Maximum height of thumbnails - Set the maximum height of the thumbnails to be displayed.

Avatar Settings

Server-stored avatars

Server stored avatars are already on the server, placed there by who ever uploaded them via FTP. These are usually located inside your SMF avatars directory, and may be in their own directory, creating a category effect. Users can select these from their profiles.

  • Membergroups allowed to select a server stored avatar - Select which membergroups can or cannot use server stored avatars.
  • Avatars directory - The path for the base directory where server stored avatars are stored.
  • Avatars URL - Web address.

Externally stored avatars

Externally stored avatars allow users to input a URL to an off site avatar.

  • Membergroups allowed to upload an avatar to the server: - Select which membergroups can or cannot use externally stored avatars.
  • Download avatar at given URL - Specify whether external avatars are downloaded on to your own server. Selecting this option may speed things up when it comes to external avatars.
  • Maximum width external avatar - Specify the maximum width of externally linked avatars.
  • Maximum height external avatar - Specify maximum height of externally linked avatars.
  • If the avatar is too large - If the avatar is over the specified size, you can select to refuse it, let HTML/JavaScript resize it or Download and resize it, which requires a GD module. Selecting to let HTML or JavaScript to resize it can use server resources up and slow down the load speed of topics if the linked images are too large.

Uploadable avatars

Externally stored avatars allow users to input a URL to an off site avatar. The downside is that you cannot control the images users can use for avatars, and if you use HTML or JavaScript resizing, users can select large images which take time to resize, using up server resources and slowing down page loads.

  • Allow members to upload their own avatars - Select which membergroups can or cannot upload avatars to your server.
  • Maximum width of uploaded avatar - Specify the maximum width allowed for avatars that are uploaded.
  • Maximum height of uploaded avatar - Specify the maximum height allowed for avatars that are uploaded.
  • Resize oversized large avatars - If enabled this will resize larger then specified avatars (requires a GD module).
  • Re-encode potentially dangerous avatars - Selecting this option will enable trying to re-encode the uploaded avatars. Image re-encoding offers better security. Note however that image re-encoding also renders all animated images static. (This also requires a GD module to be installed on your server.
  • Perform extensive security checks on uploaded avatars - Selecting this option will enable very strict security checks on avatars. Enabling this option can, however, result in a lot of safe avatars to be rejected as is explained in the section on performing extensive security checks on image attachments above.
  • Use PNG for resized avatars - .PNG files are larger, but offer better quality compression. If this is unchecked, .JPEG will be used instead. Although .JPEG images are smaller in file size they are usually less quality than .PNG files.
  • Upload avatars to - Specify whether you want the avatars to be uploaded to the attachments directory, or to a directory you choose to specify in the field below this option.
  • Upload directory - If Upload avatars to specific directory is selected, you can specify the upload location here.
  • Upload URL - If 'Upload avatars to specific directory' is selected, you can specify the upload URL here.

File Maintenance

From here, you can administrate the attached files on your system. You can delete attachments by size and by date from your system. Statistics on attachments are also displayed in this area.

File Attachment Statistics

  • Total Attachments - Total number of attachment files uploaded.
  • Total Avatars - Total number of avatars uploaded.
  • Total Size of Attachment Directory - Total space used on server to hold the attachments.
  • Total Space Available in Attachment Directory - Space remaining for any new uploaded attachments to come.
  • Attachment Integrity Check - In this area, you can carry out a check on the integrity and sizes of attachments and filenames listed in the database. If you run this check it will fix any errors which are found.
  • Attachment Pruning - In this area, you can delete files older then a specified number of days or attachments over a specified size. Both of these options have the added settings of enabling you to include a message of your choice to be included where any attachment has been removed by the system.

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