Wednesday, January 31, 2007

New Blogger Tips

As the switch to the New Blogger becomes mandatory, several of my friends are switching their blogs, but few are using New Blogger's custom layout. The custom layout automatically lists and counts all your labeled posts, making it easier to find that post on Yoda's grooming habits from 2003. If you use Labels with a classic Blogger template, you will have to make links to your labels yourself and only the first twenty labeled posts will appear, with no way to get to the rest. This is why you should really use the custom layout.

When I switched last weekend, I was back to a 2-column layout and all the links under my old umbrella heading "Work Online" were wiped out because I listed each piece's date of publication as normal text followed by a link to the piece itself. To make a mixed text-and-link list in the New Blogger, you need to select "HTML/Javascript" from the "Page Elements" tab under "Template". From there, you can enter whatever HTML you like in the space provided. (This is how I put the Thrilling Detective Support button back on my blog after I switched. You'd do the same for stat trackers, counters, etc.) If you're making a relatively simple link list, though, I recommend you select the "Link List" page element. It lets you organize your links with a few clicks as opposed to the ol' cut-and-paste method.

From the same "Page Elements" tab, you'll be able to see where each element (link list, profile, blog archive, etc.) will appear, and each element can be placed, dragged, and dropped wherever you like. Also, link lists and other created content are saved separately from the look of your page, so you can switch from Douglas Bowman's Minima to Dan Cederholm's Tic-Tac without having to redo your links.

I was able to restore my 3-column layout thanks to Beautiful Beta.

New Blogger's custom layout. Try it, you'll like it.

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