Saturday, January 5, 2013

Blogger Tip - get rid of the weird formatting!

I don't usually post "for Blogger bloggers only" things, but I have to make an exception for this one, because it's something that was driving me batty for the longest time. And I know it's something that affects other Blogger-using bloggers as well.

Have you ever copied and pasted from an email or from a Word document or (with permission) from another blog, and ended up with something that didn't match your blog at all? Or, if it looked okay, as soon as you tried to move a paragraph or add something, it all went wonky? Or it looked okay in compost mode, but the spacing changed when you published the post?

That's because Blogger copies the formatting from the original document. You can see what it looks like if you click the HTML button, where you can see the coding that works behind the scenes. If you've copied from another source, there's a LOT of coding, and you don't need most of it.
Click the HTML button on your own Blogger blog to see what the formatting looks like
It's even worse when your source uses special colors or font that doesn't match what's on your blog. Or if someone uses a background color that doesn't match your blog..

AND, that extra formatting can cause other problems. Sometimes it makes it look funny in particular browsers, or on mobile devices.

You could go into HTML mode and strip out all that extra formatting by hand, but that's pretty tedious.

My usual method of fixing the coding was to copy the text and paste it into Notepad, then copy from Notepad and paste that into Compose mode in Blogger. That works just fine, except that it strips out any hyperlinks in the text as well as all the formatting code. If there are one or two links that need to be replaced, it's not such a big deal. But if there are a lot if links, it's annoying and time consuming to put in a bunch of links and then test to make sure you got them right.

Oh, if only there was a way to strip out the formatting, but leave the links!

BUT ... there is!

I don't know why I didn't notice it before, but there's a button that removes all the formatting for you, but leaves in the hyperlinks. So you have to go back and put in bold and italic, if you want it, and you'd have to resize fonts for headlines or subheads, if you do that. And if you want some text centered, you'd have to change that as well. But you end up with a MUCH cleaner post in the background, without any coding that Blogger doesn't understand.

Even better, if you ever need to go into the HTML and change something, YOU don't have any extra formatting that you don't understand.

How do you work this magic? All you do is highlight the text where you want to remove the formatting and click the Remove Formatting button.

Voila, you have plain, unformatted text, but the hyperlinks remain.

See, wasn't that easy?