Reducing Blogger and "Hello" frustration
This post is only for newbies and others who are screaming about blogger.com's tendency to eat their posts. It is a possible path to reduced stress.
To get posts written and posted successfully despite Blogger's bugs.
- Compose your rough draft in a Notepad program. Do NOT compose in a Blogger window, you will tear your hair. Life is too short.
I use Super Notepad Lite, a free editor with excellent HTML clipbooks.
- Be paranoid, save frequently.
- When your draft in Notepad is finished, and saved, open a new post window at Blogger and paste your text file into it.
- On the Blogger site I use the "preview" window to do my edits. Be paranoid -- Every Time you make a change while on the Blogger site, flip over to your Notepad program and dump the changed text into the open Notepad window and Save It Again.
- Save your satisfactory post as a DRAFT on Blogger, cause you're not finished yet.
Now, on to Hello, the program I use to upload my .jpg files to Blogger. This program is not perfect but it works.
If your post is going to have multiple pictures, I find it least annoying to send them all at once this way:
- While working on your own hard drive, create a new picture sub-directory for each post and save all its pictures in that one place.
- Open the "hello" program, click send pictures and then use explorer.
- Find the sub-directory into which you put the pictures for this post. While in the sub-directory you can use control A (or hold down the control button while you click) to select many pictures at once.
- Click open and the batch of pictures will appear in a little row under the left pane of "hello."
- Click on the first picture. Now, on the right, in the enter your caption pane, type two pipes (the pipe is the shift position of the key that's south of the backspace key and east of the curly parenthesis).
- Click publish. The upper right pane will say: "Your post has been queued and will be combined with the next post."
- Click on the next picture, type two pipes again, repeat as necessary.
- When you have clicked on your final picture, type anything OTHER than two pipes in the caption pane and hit publish.
- Wait, wait, wait. Don't try to hurry "hello." When it's ready, you'll know, because it will open a new browser window or tab with your blog visible in it.
- Now open an Edit Posts window at Blogger. In the list of posts you should see the draft of your text file, and just above it, the new pictures file (named with with whatever not-pipes caption you used just before publishing the last picture).
- Click edit post and open the pictures post. Copy the whole thing onto your clipboard and then flip over to your Notepad program and paste the picture file into its own Notepad window. Save it. Now you have one Notepad window open with your already-saved text file in it (identical to the text draft you just saved on the Blogger site), and one Notepad window open with everything from the Blogger picture-code window in it.
- Before you continue editing in Notepad, go back to Blogger's Edit Posts page and save that picture file, which "hello" published for all the world to see, as a DRAFT. Otherwise it is hanging out there on your blog for people to puzzle over while you finish your post.
I've had people leave "huh?" type comments on my picture file before I've had a chance to delete it. Hopefully someday "hello" will let us send our picture files as drafts, rather than make us scurry over and hide them ASAP.
<img border='0' class='phostImg' src='http://photos1.blogger.com/img/5/2980/400/jos.jpg'></a>
This picture was called jos.jpg on my computer. Everything else was put in there by "hello" and the entire blob of code now represents the picture.
Use Notepad to merge your picture-codes into your text draft:
- Go to the picture-code window in Notepad and highlight the code blob for one of your pictures. Remember, it starts with <a href='http://photos1.blogger.com/ and ends with </A>.
- Copy this blob to your clipboard. Now switch to your text draft window and paste the picture blob into the text draft at the start of the paragraph where you want the picture to appear.
- If you want text to flow around your picture, add an "align" command just after <img border='0' in the second set of brackets. You can use align="left" or align="right".
- Go back to the picture-code window in Notepad, select the next set of picture-code (ignoring the flotsam), cut-and-paste it into the text draft, and repeat until all the sets of picture-code are copied into the text window where you want them. You don't need the stray bits of flotsam left over so now you can delete the picture file.
- SAVE THE WHOLE NEWLY COMBINED FILE!!!
- Copy the whole newly combined file onto your clipboard. Now go to your Blogger "Edit Post" window, and replace what's there with the new text you brought over from your SAVED Notepad combined file.
- Use "preview" to see if your pictures are where you want them to be, keeping in mind that preview is buggy and sometimes you won't know if you got it right till you actually publish the post.
- If any of your pictures are overlapping, insert this code on its own line directly after the text which precedes the overlap:
<br clear="all" />
I never tried to explain something like this before. If it confounds you, let me know and I'll try to fix it.
One advantage of this system: you end up with a text file, saved in your Notepad program, which is a perfect backup of your post. I save all these little files into an "old post" directory, numbered, and intend to burn them onto a CD-RW from time to time.
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