FreeForm - Visual Printable Guide
This outline has been prepared to help new FreeForm users get an overall view of the basics.  It is made available within FreeForm as a ready reference that is formatted for printing.  If you've landed on this page from within FreeForm, it opens in a new window, so just close it when you are done.  Otherwise, use the back button of your browser to exit.

Visit the tutorials here - Probably the best way to learn how FreeForm works!!!

1.  FreeForm Startup Page - Loads when the Launch FreeForm link is clicked from
FreeForm Startup Page This page explains in further detail how FreeForm works and includes a handy Practice and Test tool to make sure that pictures stored at your web host will work with FreeForm and eBay.

2.  The Builder Page:  Retrieving a Saved Description/Template
Load Up
Look for "Load Up the Builder With" and to the right are links to retrieve what you have saved in one way or another from within FreeForm.  This is also where you can load up samples and examples including the Template Examples.

The Builder Page:  Backgrounds, Fonts, Text and Link Colors

Global Features
Here is where you make settings that apply to the entire presentation.  Includes the Frame Builder Tool that can be used to surround the entire presentation with a multi-layered frame.

The Builder Page:  Input Areas

By inserting and removing Input Areas create the sequence of your presentation.  Use any and as many as you desire, in any sequence you desire.  None are required - whatever works best for you.  Each Input Area has settings that apply to it, such as background color, borders, text size, text color, etc.  Here are the types:

TitleStore and optionally display a title
TextFor textual content
PictureTo display an image (an image is either a photo or a graphic such as a logo, a divider, an icon, etc)
Thumbnail LinkTo display an image and/or text that when clicked on loads up another page or shows another picture in a new window
TermsFor textual content with a built-in heading that reads "Terms and Conditions"
Email LinkDisplay text and/or an image that when clicked on starts the process of sending you an email
Auctions LinkDisplay text and/or an image that when clicked on links visitors to your other eBay auctions
Website LinkDisplay text and/or an image that when clicked on links people to a web page or your eBay AboutMe page
CodeInclude JavaScript or HTML to add features not already built into FreeForm (such as Shipping Calculators)
Gallery BuilderFor creating galleries or menus for display within your presentation

You do not need to use all of the different Input Area types to create an effective presentation, nor do you need to use them in the order listed above.  You may mix and match as many of them as you want, however you desire.  For example, an excellent layout includes the display of a Picture, then Text to discuss it, then another Picture, then Text to describe it, etc. for as many pictures as you have to show.

The Builder Page - Insert and Remove Input Areas

Every Input Area has a "Remove" link on the left side and between every Input Area you will find a bar that looks like this and is used to insert any given type of Input Area at that location in the Builder:

Click a button to insert that type of Input Area at this position in the Builder

(For faster page loading be sure to remove all unused Input Areas!)

The Builder Page - Preview, Help, and QuickSave buttons

  • Preview - Opens a new window to display your ENTIRE presentation - not just the one input area from which you click

  • Help - Opens a Help window with information for the type of Input Area in which it was clicked

  • Quick Save - Attempts to perform a temporary save of the ENTIRE Builder contents - not only the input area from which you click.  Permanent saves are done from the Preview page.

Throughout the Builder are ? question mark links that also open help windows with topical information

3.  The Preview Page - Preview, and when finished go on to Save, and Use what you have created
FreeForm Preview Page The Preview page opens in a new window and displays your presentation.  Click on any part of it and be returned to the Builder page to the Input Area that corresponds to where you clicked.  On the Preview page there is a menu from which you may save your work and/or go on to use the presentation you created for eBay (or anywhere else).

4.  Saving your Work - Use the menu provided in the Preview page
Saving in FreeForm consists of storing the entire Builder and its contents into a "container".  All of the Input Areas, their settings, and their contents are preserved.  Containers are safely located on the FreeForm or EAPH servers and accessable via passwords.  Saving is performed from the Preview page.   Retrieving is performed from the Builder page.

Saving the "ingredients" rather than the results enables the loading of a previously saved presentation and being able to easily make changes in the Builder to produce a new presentation.  So, every time you save in FreeForm you are actually saving a template for future presentations.

Supposing you have saved descriptions for later use, the way to use them is to retrieve them in the Builder page, then go to Preview, then on from the Preview menu to "Use This Description".

Saving requires a registration process to assign a password for use with your email address.  Your email address is held in complete confidence, not used for any purpose other than to provide a password and store what you have saved.  EAPH members have an additional method for saving explained in their EAPH Launchpad.

5.  Use This Description Page - Use what you have created for eBay (or anywhere else)
FreeForm Use This Description FreeForm translates entries made to the Builder into HTML and that HTML is placed into an HTML Results Box.  That HTML will work for eBay auction and Store item descriptions, eBay Motors, eBay Sell Your Item 2.0, eBay Sellers Assistant, Turbo Lister, eBay locations all over the world, for eBay About Me pages, or any other site that accepts HTML content.  Full instructions and links for using the HTML are provided above and beneath the HTML Results Box.

6.  Make a Web Page - Another way to use what you have created
FreeForm Make a Web Page You may use this tool to make a Web Page.  You may either copy the HTML to create your own file or use the "File Download" button to save a file to your computer.  Web pages have different HTML requirements than do item descriptions or pages created for use on eBay.  This Tool takes care of that providing for a page title, meta keywords, meta description, and page transition effects.

7.  Publish EAPH Web Page - available to EAPH hosting members
FreeForm Publish EAPH Web Page This tool provides the same features as the Make A Web Page, but also enables the page to be published directly to hosting web space.  Throughout FreeForm there are EAPH links for other features that are available to hosting members - made possible because FreeForm and EAPH are operated collectively.