Monday, 7 September 2009

MAKING BLOGGER BLOGGING A HAPPIER EXPERIENCE

Copyright-free pic from Flickr

I wonder whether you've noticed that Blogger has updated their blogging platform, to make things easier for us?


Does your New Post text box look like this?

If not, you need to update your tools.


Here's how:
Go to Settings > Basic






Scroll right down to the bottom of the page, and you'll see this:




Click on it! You now have the new Editor.

OK - done that... now what?

What you get is the new New Post text box, and you'll see things are a little different. You get Undo and Redo buttons, for a start! This is guaranteed to make life easier (I don't care to remember how many times I wiped a potential post by mistake).





Next to the Undo and Redo buttons, you'll notice button F - which is the font button.

Your font is set via Layouts > Fonts & Colours, where you set the main fonts, sizes and colours for the entire blog.

UPDATE 2 August 2010
To change your font, go to Design - Template Designer - Advanced (but beware of touching anything else, especially the actual template layouts, as these will wipe out all your customising, tweaks and widgets. Make sure you save a copy of your template before you do anything!)


The F button changes the font within a post, eg: a header where you want a different typeface to really stand out. I have used Arial to label the top photograph.


You'll notice I've used Courier to add any amendments to this post.


T - this changes the size of the text. My first paragraph is Large, and the top photograph is typed in Ariel, Small. This sets it apart from the body of the text and makes it visible without being too prominent.


I now use the captions facility (you're given this option when you upload a picture).


B button is BOLD


I is for ITALIC


ABC is the strikethrough - use this when you go back in and edit an old post, to show you have changed something. Highlight the text with your cursor, then press the ABC button to make it strike through.


A is the text colour. Again, I'd use this for emphasis - perhaps to highlight links or text you particularly want to be noticed.



The highlighter symbol . Again, highlight text with your cursor, then press the button (the little arrow allows you to choose your colour). Great for links within a post!

Links: type your text in the top box - a name? Name of a blog? Then put the url or email address in the box below - the link will show in the post, and clicking on it will take you to the url or open an email page for you.

Link - add your hyperlink. NEW - you can add email addresses.

The picture button lets you upload pix one at a time into the box. Click on the picture you want to add to your blog, then click Add Image and it will appear where your cursor is in the body of your blog post. This is NEW - all pictures used to load at the top of your post, which was highly frustrating. And the Preview didn't help much either.

Addition 2 August 2010
You now get a GREAT preview, and what you see is what you get!



Select Small, Medium or Large (this is the thumbnail size of your image - clicking on it when published will still bring up the full-sized picture) and Left, Centre or Right to position it. These pix are all Medium and I set them all Left.
Added 2 August 2010
There is now a new addition: when you upload your picture, you get the choice of position and size - and can also add a caption to your picture! The text will centre under the picture and is also a smaller size of font. Of course you can edit this using the F and T buttons on the post toolbar, so you can choose a different font and change the size as well as Bold and Italicise it.

I've also found that perfect image positioning in the post is now possible - just let the picture load and leave it alone. Don't tell it to go left, right etc, and let it stay at the default size, and the text wraps perfectly! You'll notice the positioning (and captions) on the pictures now!
Don't you just LOVE captions!
 We're all familiar with the appearance of our text: left, right, centred or justified . Full justification is a new option.
We are also familiar with numbered or bullet-point lists as well.
The quote marks highlight a paragraph like this, in case you aren't familiar with this funtion.
Tx - this removes the formatting from a piece of text. Especially useful if you've copied a passage of text from Word, as this can Do Strange Things to your post - as when all my links suddenly went blue, and I couldn't change them. I had to go through and delete all Word formatting from every single affected post!


And once you've hit Publish Post, you'll see a little pencil icon. Click on that to edit the post - no more going to Customise > Dashboard > Posting > Edit Posts. Don't see that icon? Then you need to go to Layout view, and click Edit in the main posting block, as shown below.

 
When in Edit, you'll see this:

Check the Show Quick Editing box, and save it.
Whilst we're at it, why not change your COMMENTS link. You know, where it says 0 COMMENTS or 51 COMMENTS. Why not change it to something more interesting, eg: ... lovely people left a comment. 

Here's how:

And here's how it looks on the page!

The Quick Edit symbol - the little pencil

You might like to read my other post about improving your blog to make it a nicer place to visit. (Notice how I highlighted the link?)


This is how adding the link looks in the new editor:


 And you get to proof-read it as well, before finalising it.


And finally....

Add a label cloud! Way nicer than lists - although lists have their place too. 

Go to Layout > Add a Gadget > Label, and choose your settings. 

If you don't like the look of Blogger's label cloud, here's my earlier post on how to customise and install your own, like mine on the right. Blogger shows justified text, and this other method doesn't - which suited this particular sidebar better.


post signature
your photo name

10 comments:

  1. Thank you, Susie, for pointing that out, I had not noticed it! Will try it with my next new post :-)

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  2. susie, thank you, thankyou, and thanks.
    what do i need to do to my site yo make it more reader friendly like yours?
    i am just struggling with this computer stuff.

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  3. Hi Bob

    Thanks so much for the compliment! I'll do a full post on this, but the essence is (in my opinion: others may disagree) is to keep your paragraphs short. I find long paragraphs a strain to read.

    Pet hates (also difficult to read) are: small text, centred text, italic text - except to emphasise something. I particularly HATE with a passion two blogs I visit, which have small italic centred PINK text - I no longer even try to read, just look at the pictures.

    And I like to have a picture on every post as well. I'm all for eye candy!

    I hope this helps.

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  4. Hi Susie! Thanks for mailing this link to the KCUK group. I can't believe it took me til now to figure out there was yet another update from blogger. The new features will make it so much more comfortable to blog. Especially the "undo" and "redo" buttons.... LOL
    A big thank you!

    Hugs,
    Wezz

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  5. Wezz - I am so pleased this was helpful. Anything that makes life easier, lol. Scream if you ever need help.

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  6. I am so glad I stumbled across your blog! I had no idea this existed and it's December already! Thank you!

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing! I didn't know about the updated editor until I came across your link on What Works for Me Wednesday. I used to use Live Writer and loved it, but there's a bug in it now that won't let it work on my computer, so I'm back to blogger. This will enhance my blogging! I've shared on my blog and linked back here.

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  8. i have played around with the new editor and have found a major flaw. i have an end of post image- in the new editor, every time i hit enter in my post that image appears! it is so annoying! any ideas on how to fix that?

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  9. I never knew there was an update - thanks!!

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  10. Has anyone had trouble adding a link to a picture? Even when I copy and paste a button, the link shows up underneath it. Also, I can't find a spell check on it.

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