Monday, June 24, 2013

Social Media Monday—Tricks that Make Formatting Your Blog Easy


Almost daily I get emails from bloggers who have run into seemingly insurmountable formatting problems. Truthfully there’s not much more frustrating that to finish writing a great blog post and then spend hours trying to get it formatted like you want.

Formatting issues can take the fun out of blogging!
Formatting issues can range extra lines that won’t go away, to font sizes that won’t match. These things can creep into your written copy many ways. And can happen no matter which blogging platform you use.

I’ve even seen a blogger spend a weekend moving a blog from one platform to another to only run into the same exact issue. The easiest way for blogging problems to creep in is by using a word processing program to write your blog, then copying and pasting the text into your blog’s compose window.


BUT, that is exactly what I recommend you do. There are several reasons to compose your posts in a word processing program, like Microsoft Word. 
There are several advantages to composing your blog
posts in a word processing program first.
  1. Composing in a word processing program gives you a backup of your blog posts in case the unthinkable happens and your blog is erased or compromised.
  2. Most word processing programs have some version of spell check. This helps keep your blog posts clean and error free.

There are some things you’ll want to leave out of your post because they’re not compatible with the compose window of your blog. Things to avoid when you’re composing your post are:
  • Bullet points (add those after you copy your post into the compose window).
  • Automatically numbered lists. If you type in the numbers yourself, you’ll be fine. Just don’t let the computer do it for you.
  • Paragraph indentions.

Even if you’re careful to avoid those pitfalls there are times when your formatting just won’t work. To get rid of weird formatting that’s hidden in a word processor’s default programming you could add another step and copy and paste your post into a text editor before you move it to your compose window.

But who wants to add an extra step? Not me, that’s for sure!

How to remove formatting that's clings to a copied blog post.
So what’s a blogger to do?

Here’s a trick that will make your life easier.

  • Go ahead and compose your posts in a word processor.
  • Then copy and paste the post into your compose window.
  • Next highlight your entire blog post.
  • Now here comes the trick—it’s the small icon at the top of your compose window (it looks the same in Blogger, WordPress and Typepad). It looks like a capital T with a small red x beside it. Click this button and you remove any formatting you’ve inadvertently brought over from your word processing program.
This is where it's found in Blogger. It's just as easy to spot in WordPress and Typepad.

Now go to the beginning of your post and put in any formatting you want to include.

Now it’s your turn, what tricks do you use to make blogging easier? What issues do you have trouble with? Post your comments below and we’ll all learn from each other.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

21 comments:

  1. Hi Edie! I create a new blog post in Word (not a document, a blog post template) and then publish the draft to Wordpress through Word. So far, no formatting problems. I do wait and add any photos after the draft is posted to Wordpress though. Thanks!

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    1. Tom, this is a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing - Blessings, E

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  2. Thanks, Edie. Now I won't have to start over when I get those weird underlined sections! Any suggestions for spacing that looks okay with a photo in the edit mode, but cuts off part of a line in preview?

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    1. Pam, that probably has to do with the dimensions of your photo. Sometimes the photos in Microsoft Clip Art have weird white space around them. This is to make them the same dimensions. If you will DOWNLOAD the photo instead of copying it, these will disappear. You can also open your photo in your photo software (iPhoto, or Windows photo) and crop it to the dimensions you want. I'll be doing a post about photos soon, so stay tuned if this doesn't help. Blessings, E

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  3. Edie, as always, this is a most helpful post. Thanks for sharing. I never knew what that T button was about: just experimented by composing a sentence with a lot of unnecessary spaces, copied & pasted as you instructed, and when I clicked the T button it edited out the extra spaces. I love "magic" tricks when it comes to computers :)

    I'll Tweet this!

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    1. Elaine, I'm so glad this info was helpful! I appreciate the social media shout out! Blessings, E

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  4. Hi Edie -

    I like that trick with the icon.

    I have difficulty with a large space showing up between my graphic and the actual post. It looks fine in the compose stage, but when it publishes, there's a gap. Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Susan :)

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    1. Susan, see the answer I gave to Pam Glover above. That is probably the issue. But like I said, I'll be sharing a post soon (within the next week) about photos. Blessings, E

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  5. Thanks for the tips! I hate spending needless time fixing blog posts!

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    1. Pat, me too! Thanks for stopping by, blessings, E

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  6. Whenever I copy and paste from Word to Blogger, people who are viewing it in Internet Explorer often cannot see anything--nothing shows up. How weird is that? I'll try the Tx thing and see if that solves the problem.

    :)

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    1. Lindsay, yep that is a formatting issue. This should help. If not, just let me know and we'll figure out what's going on. Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  7. Edie, thank you! YOur posts are so helpful. I had no idea what that T icon was for at the top.

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    1. Crickett, I'm glad I was able to share something useful! Thanks so much for dropping by, Blessings, E

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  8. THANK YOU!!!!!! I appreciate that little trick. I just moved my blog over from Xanga and some of the formatting has been messed up. You just saved me lots of grief.

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    1. I'm happy to help! Be sure to email me with any questions you have - ediegmelson@gmail.com. Blessings, Edie

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  9. Thanks for the help, Edie. I'm new at blogging and thought I was just had newbie problems. I'm anxious to try the T icon out.

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    1. Sherry, all of us who don't come from a computer programming background struggle with this stuff. Trust me, it's not intuitive! Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  10. Thanks, Edie. Always helpful tips here. I sent someone over who had a question about social media. I hope they made it because this is the place to find answers.

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    1. Kim, glad to help. If the person you sent doesn't find the answer, give them my email address. I'm always happy to lend a hand. Thanks for the referral and for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  11. Hi Edie! Thanks for all the helpful hints you pass along. I always appreciate them so much. I'm not very computer savvy, although I can usually figure out how a program works (enough to suit my needs, anyway.) You make them even easier to understand! So thank you very much!

    Blessings,
    Andrea

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