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Blogging and knowing HTML: Even a few commands go a long way.

So my laptop died a pathetic death a few months ago, and I have not yet got it replaced as of yet. I do have a shiny new iPad 3 which was purchased for me by the hubby and is already obsolete due to the fuckers at Apple releasing a new device every 6 months. That's another post though. So, I have been writing exclusively via pen and paper and updating only what I desire via the blog. Lets share that experience, as I use Blogger.

The older app was simply the bare bones; type via your iPad or iPhone. No crisp screen orientation, as I had to do the whole 1X or 2X bit as well. Controls are seriously lacking. No post editor to help you along the way. No fancy buttons to push. You can upload a picture though, but can't place it where you desire-just at the bottom of the page. Editing was a complete hassle on the web, even if I did put the iPad on "request desktop site" as blogger didn't even let me scroll to the bottom of the page. So, you see, you have to know a little HTML to get your blog nice and pretty. Or at least readable.

I recently did an update of the blogger app. Of course they want to shove Google+ down your throat as there is a button to publish your post upon completion, but no text editor again? There still is no native iPad version of Blogger in the App Store, but version 2.0.0 says it now gives the following features:

-landscape mode
-scheduled posts
-publish to Google+

...and of course other improved user experiences and bug fixes. Which is great, but still no text editor or just fancy buttons which a tablet user can use to make their life easier. Many people use tablets daily or even exclusively, and the purpose of an application is to have most of the goodness of a website available on their device for the go. Many writers post via their phone and tablets. So it's time to learn a few HTML commands because obviously low ratings of apps and feedback in other ways cannot get a great dev at Google out of all places to get it together.

Doesn't matter. Learning new stuff is fun, and besides-you'll always need to know HTML.

So what is it, anyway? In geek talk, it's short for "hypertext markup language" or simply the computer language needed for the Internet, as the special codes are typed by the author of the site. All that weird looking text gets saved as an HTML file, and viewed on your browser. The browser then reads all that mumbo jumbo and translates the text into a visible form---something that we all see as text on our screen, or even special commands, such as underlines or italics. HTML allows website creation, and everyone to be connected; and they allow writers to get their blogs looking real spiffy and up to par.

Take for instance the situation I'm in. I type with a tablet on the Blogger app with no fancy buttons for underline, italics, and so on. Learning a few basic HTML codes, I can open my bare bones app, and use the codes when necessary. When I hit "publish" you (yes, you, the reader) won't see the HTML codes (if I did it correctly, that is.) you will just see what I want the text or the webpage to display.

Tags separate the code from normal text. I think of it like a sandwich: beginning tag, text, end tag.

Common Formatting HTML for blogs: (Place Desired Text Between Tags; as a general rule, don't leave any spaces after first tag and before end tag; HTML collapses spaces to one space and will not read blank lines. HTML tags are not case sensitive, but URL tags are.)

Learning anything new takes time and practice, so keep up with it, writers. You may never know when you need to know a little code to write your next blog post or fix up your website.

A great reference I found was via Scribd Basic HTML Commands

Wait...did I just code that right? If I did, you would be able to click it and learn yourself.

Huzzahs are in order.

Keep on writing,

-brr


Note: Image via Dummies.com by William Harrell





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