Introduction: How to Use the Instructables Editor
In our continuing efforts to make the Instructables editor easy to use, we have a new round of updates. Here is a bare bones guide for using the editor from start to finish.
Step 1: Start a New Instructable
To start a new Instructable, go to the publish button in the main navigation menu, then click "New Instructable". If you are logged in, there is also a "Create Instructable" button at the bottom of the "You" menu.
You need to be a member of Instructables to author, if you aren't already a member, sign up here!
Step 2: Name Your Instructable
Once you begin, the first step is to name your Instructable. Simple, clear, descriptive names are best. If you want to get fancy and learn more about choosing titles for good SEO, learn more here.
Step 3: The Basics
This is the default screen for authoring your Instructable. Explain how you made your project using text, images, videos, and files. Use as many steps as you like to explain your project clearly. One step Instructables are OK too, especially for recipes and other simple projects.
To add steps, go to the "+ Add" menu, or click on the "Add Step" button. To add photos, videos, or files, select those choices from the "+ Add" menu.
Steps can be reordered by dragging from the upper right corner, and deleted from the lower left.
Step 4: Uploading Vs Embedding
There is often confusion over how to add what kind of media to Instructables, and we tried to address this in our design changes. Uploading is for adding media from your computer, whereas embedding is for bringing it in from another online source. Images and files should be uploaded, video should be added to YouTube or Vimeo, then embedded.
Regardless of media type, remember that all images, files, and videos should be original content created by you.
Step 5: Adding Images and Files
To add photos or files, go to the "+ Add" menu and select either "Photos" or "Files". Both will open the Upload window. From there, you can add files by either dragging them into the window, or clicking the "Browse" button to select them from your computer. Once the photos/files are queued, click "Upload" to begin the uploading process and add them to your Instructable.
If you want to use previously uploaded images from your image library, simply click on "Image Library" to access them.
Want to upload photos straight from your phone? You can also open the editor on the mobile version of our site, and upload straight from your camera roll.
Step 6: Adding Video
To add a video to your Instructable, you should first upload it to a video site like YouTube or Vimeo. Then add it to your Instructable by clicking the "+ Add" menu and selecting video, which will open the Embed window. Copy and paste the URL for the video from YouTube or Vimeo, and click "Preview". After a few seconds you should see a preview of your video, then click "Done".
You can also embed things from Soundcloud, Github, and more. If you're ever unsure, just copy and paste a link to see if it's something our embed tool can accept.
Step 7: Adding and Removing Media
Because various forms of media can be added to Instructables, from here on I will refer to photos, videos, and files as "media" for simplicity.
If you add media from the main all steps view, items will display in the top tray of the editor. If you add from an individual step, items will be added to that step.
To add media to steps, drag and drop from the top tray to the desired step. Dragging between two steps will create a new step. Media can be reordered by dragging within each step from both the all steps list view and on individual steps.
To remove media, drag items back to the top image tray, or click the "x" shown on hover which also adds media back to the top tray. If you would like to remove the media from your Instructable entirely, click the "x" again once it is in your top tray. Media removed from your tray will still be in your image library if you change your mind.
Step 8: Image Notes
If you would like to add additional information to your photos, you can add image notes. To add an image note, click on the photo once it has been uploaded, then click the "Image Note" button below. Click on the desired area of your photo, and write your note. Hover over the note outline to move or delete the note, and resize from the bottom right.
Step 9: Add Text
Add text by clicking on individual steps. You can apply basic formatting from the toolbar at the top, and add links.
Step 10: Preview
The "Preview" button allows you to see your Instructable as it will appear on the site, but without interactivity due to security reasons. Despite not being able to see videos or see additional images, it is useful to see how media will appear in image sets, and to read through your entire Instructable at once.
Step 11: Ready to Publish? Great!
When you are done authoring your Instructable, click Publish! From there, you will be directed to the publish details screen to add some information before your project goes live.
Step 12: Final Publish Details
This final screen is an opportunity to change your cover image or title, and to enter some additional information so people can find your awesome new project on the site!
Categorize your Instructable and give it at least two descriptive keywords. You can also change your cover image, and reposition for the perfect crop.
If your Instructable is a good fit for one of the open contests, enter it! You can enter up to three contests.
When you have added all the information for your Instructable, click "Publish"!
Step 13: Published!
Once you publish your instructable, it will take some time to show up live on the site. Be patient! And in the meantime, take the opportunity to share your work with your friends!
Step 14: More Resources
This guide is solely intended to be a how to for using the editor. However now that you are an expert on how to use the tool, you may be interested in some additional resources for writing great Instructables.
1) We have an excellent class for how to create an all-around great Instructable, found here.
2) Photos are one of the most important aspects of your Instructable. This Instructable is full of helpful tips and techniques to make your photos look their best.
3) Want to get your Instructable featured? Here's a list of what we look for to keep in mind when documenting your next project!
4) A collection full of additional photography, writing, SEO and other resources can be found here!