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How can you post an image in the chat rooms instead of providing its link?

There should be a "How to Format" within the chat rooms as well.

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"There should be a "How to Format" within the chat rooms as well." -- there is. It's called "help". – balpha Jan 21 '12 at 21:15
up vote 4 down vote accepted

There's no difference; if you post a link on a line by itself (it must be by itself, however) it's automatically oneboxed. In the case of image links, that means displaying the image instead of the link. If you want to upload an image instead, there's an "upload..." button next to the text field you can use:

Screenshot of the upload button

As for formatting, there's a How do I format my messages? section in the FAQ

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Caveat: if your image link does not end in an image extension (.png, .jpg, etc.) and you still want it oneboxed, you must prefix it with an exclamation mark. – badp Jan 21 '12 at 22:05
What if you want to put like a caption under the image? – Christopher Markieta Jan 21 '12 at 22:37
@ChristopherM Just post a separate message? – Michael Mrozek Jan 21 '12 at 23:20
Yup. It's chat after all. Not a forum. – slhck Jan 22 '12 at 3:04

In most cases, it will automatically detect an image from the url (based on the ending); if it is unclear, just add a leading ! and it will try extra hard to think of it as an image.

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