How To Use the OPAS Site

  • If you're having trouble with the OPAS site, this is the document to read. This is a relatively comprehensive guide, based upon questions and issues that members have raised. If it doesn't cover a problem you're having, send me a message or post your question on this blog and I'll add the solution to the guide.

    1. To access features as a member, you must be logged in. 
      If you see this on your screen in the upper right side, you need to click "sign in".

      If you see this, with your name in place of mine, you are already signed in.
    2. The locations on the menu bar are for the most part, self-explanatory. Home is obvious. 
    3. OPAS Events is where officially authorized events are posted. Events such as OPAS paint outs, OPAS Shows and non-OPAS events where the event organizer has either paid for the privilege of posting his/her event, or more commonly, where the organizer is offering OPAS members a significant discount. (OPAS must approve all submissions to this section.)
    4. Member Events, is where you as a member can post your art shows, workshops, retreats, classes. You can also post Events which you are not the organizer of, but are a participant in.
    5. Discussion Forums is where you can post questions, report on events you've hosted or attended and in general talk to the other members.
    6. Critique is where you can post a painting you are having an issue with, or simply a painting you want members' opinions on. You're encouraged to give input on the paintings other members post there. Even if you don't post, this is a good place to learn about painting issues and solutions.
    7. Photos is where you can upload photos of your paintings. Please only upload plein air paintings, preferably cropped to eliminate frames and any background. If you want to upload a photo that shows you in the field painting, please do so in the Discussions area, explaining what the photo represents. (We will remove photos from the photos area if they are not cropped shots of paintings only.)
    8. We welcome you to upload videos you have made, as long as they have to do with plein air painting. Videos of an art show you are in, workshops you have given and other plein air events. (If the workshop was someone else's, you must have their permission to upload it.)
    9. The Blog area is where you can upload more substantial "articles". Members upload blogs they have done that contain tips and techniques on painting, reports on events you have attended and often OPAS puts bigger issues there, such as the discussion on the annual show.
    10. Chapters is where you go to join a Chapter of OPAS. By joining a Chapter, you get to receive chapter-based announcements, that chapter Chairs send out about local events.
    11. The Store is where you can buy OPAS-branded merchandise. Check it out, we have a wider selection of OPAS  items than you might expect.
    12. My Page is where you go to work on your profile and on the page which shows how you are seen by visitors and other members.
    13. Members is where you can go to find other members. It has a simple search tool allowing you to find other members.
    14. Email Feed is where you go to sign up for an email feed.
    15. Challenges. This is where you can post a painting for input or comment upon the paintings posted there. There is a page in that area explaining how to post and how to comment. Please read it before trying.
    16. In most places on the site (such as the discussions forum), when you want to add a page, you visit the page and you will see a button to click called Add.
    17. After you click Add, you will see the following screen:
      The next shot highlights some important things about the entry screen:

      To add written content, type in a title then place your cursor into the content box and begin typing. To add a photo into the discussion, click the little "photo" icon. This will bring up the following screen Click the Tab, From my computer, then click the button "Choose File". This will open a regular dialog box where you search for and select the image you wish to add. Once you choose the image, it will take a few seconds for the image to be ready to post. It is ready once the OK button become "clickable".
    18. Once you have finished composing your post, enter some Tags, if you want to. (Optional) Choose when you want the post to go live. Select who can view and comment on the post. (Usually everyone.)  You can save the post as a draft and work on it later. You can Preview it, a good idea. Or you can immediately Publish your post.
    19. If you need to edit any post of yours, visit the post and click on Options. Out of the drop down menu, you will see that one option is to Edit Discussion.
    20. To modify your settings, click on Settings in the following box seen on most pages:
      Which takes you to the following page, where you make your changes:
      This is where you add or replace your profile photo. (It's important that every member have a profile photo so we can get to know one another.)  You can do other things like setting what kind of e-mail you will receive. (I recommend that, in the email section, you click all of the settings to "on" except for the very bottom most setting. This way you will receive important OPAS announcements and messages from your fellow members.)

    That's all I can think of right now. If you have any other issues or questions, please post them to this blog entry by typing in the box below the post and clicking Add Comment.

    INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADDING PHOTOS TO YOUR PHOTO AREA

    First click on the PHOTOS tab on the main menu. (You can also reach your destination by clicking on My Page.) Then click My Photos, then click Add.

    You will arrive at one of the following screens, depending upon how your computer is set up. Use whichever works best for you.

    OR

    Click on "Choose File" or "Click to Add Photos" and you will be taken to your own computer where you navigate as usual to where you store your photos and select the photo you want to upload.

    Once you've finished your uploads, you will be taken to a screen where you can rename your photos, add descriptions and add the photos to an album if you wish to.

    Cheers,

    Keith thirgood, President

5 comments
  • KeithThirgood
    KeithThirgood Hi Sharon,
    Unfortunately, you were lead astray by Yvette's post which was in the wrong place. You need to post it into the main Holiday Exchange discussion. Click this link and you will end up there.
    Go to the last page of the discussion and you will see ...  more
    December 9, 2012
  • sharon preen
    sharon preen
    December 9, 2012
  • sharon preen
    sharon preen Thank you Yvette for the delightful painting...it is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...the image is much like our back 40 !  Would love to know more about the painting...plein air, studio, inspiration?  We just, just received a dusting of snow last...  more
    December 9, 2012
  • KeithThirgood
    KeithThirgood Hi Martha,
    As far as I know, there is no way to stop an activity from showing up in the Latest Activity list on the homepage. However, items you post into a discussion, like the Challenges and gift exchange, do not show up in the Slideshow on the homepage...  more
    January 5, 2013