How to embed images from Google Drive into a post

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Here's a tip that took me a while to figure out so I'm posting here and hoping it will be useful to others.

I'm getting ready to start charting my heart rate and I want to be able to paste charts into posts. I use Google Drive for all of my documents that I keep in the cloud and I want to be able to embed heart rate charts from there. When I get the sharable link for a sample chart image file, click on the "image" button in the forum and paste in the URL, I got a broken image icon. When I click on the "link" button and paste in the URL, I get a link which works but I want to embed the image file, not have to click to see it.

The problem is that the sharable link that Google gives you isn't a "direct link" to the image (or other) file. It's a link to a piece of code that brings up the image in Google Docs when you click on it. What you want is a direct link that returns an image, not some Google code to display the image.

This page converts a sharing link to a direct link IF the file is one that you uploaded to Google Drive:

Google Drive Direct Link Generator

My example sharing URL is this:

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 10.07.06 PM.png

The direct link (which downloads the PNG image file when you click on it) is this:

And, the embedded image looks like this:

If you're not married to Google Drive there are a zillion image sharing sites that let you avoid the URL conversion step. - free image hosting / image upload is the first one I found with very little Googling. You upload a file and it gives you a direct link to it.

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