09 July 2011

How to Do Cool Formatting on Your Blog

I'm encountering some great tips on formatting tweaks for this blog, and since the spirit of the blog is to share cool tricks and techniques, I'll be keeping a list here on this post.

How to automatically highlight author comments
This one is for Blogger users.  Blogger Sentral has a great template tweak that will automatically highlight your entries in the Comments section of your posts.  This is really handy when you have a conversation going with visitors.  I've implemented it in the comments on this blog.  Painless.  Just be sure:
  • Heed the advice to back up your template first.  
  • Don't miss the step that says to "Expand Widget Templates checkbox on top right of the HTML window."

How to automatically format code snippets on your blog
Here's a tip for any blog.  Sometimes there's occasion to post one or more lines of some sort of code.  If it's HTML, you want to be sure your visitors' browsers don't try to execute it, and you want to avoid spurious line breaks or other formatting.

There are a few approaches, but the easiest I've found is to just paste your code into https://gist.github.com/:

  • Paste your code into the window.
  • Click the button that says "Create Public Gist".
  • Your new gist will appear.  Click "Show Embed" and copy the result to your clipboard.
  • For Blogger users (other composition tools will be different but similar): As you write your blog post, click the Edit HTML tab and paste the embed code where you want it.  (It won't show up at all in the Compose tab.)



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