Favorite Features: Rocking the Rich Text Editor

December 10, 2013

Favorite_features_header

Welcome to our special series on our favorite Typepad features! Every other week, we'll debut a new article full of valuable tips and tricks for the Typepad team's top feature picks. Each feature is already built-in and available right at your fingertips, ready to help you get the most out of your blogging experience. Miss anything? Check out the other posts in our series here.

This week's Favorite Feature post is from Mary Helen. Mary Helen has been a professional blogger on The Natural Beauty Workshop and Mary Makes Dinner since 2007, and started working with the Typepad Support Team in June 2013.

If you've been blogging with Typepad for a while, you are probably familiar with the basics of the Rich Text Editor. This is the default method for composing and editing posts on Typepad. This format was designed to be easy to use for everyday blogging, while the HTML tab is available for fine tuning and adding special components such as embed codes. 

While I am a big fan of keeping things simple, there are some special features in the Rich Text Toolbar that go beyond bold, italic, and underline. Today, I'm going to highlight some of my favorite features on the Rich Text Toolbar, helping you make the most out of Rich Text. 

Tips for Formatting Without Hiccups

As a rule, it's best to add formatting to your text after writing your complete post. This helps stop the editor from becoming confused, and can help avoid glitches or errors that can sometimes result from conflicting formatting tags. After you've finished adding the text and images for your post, go back and add changes to font, alignment, and color. 

It's also important to keep in mind that from a design point of view, a little goes a long way when it comes to formatting text. The occasional addition of a larger font or bold lettering can help break up your text, making your posts easier to read. At the same time, adding too many different sizes, colors, and alignments can make your posts look confusing and jumbled. While multi-color fonts can be very exciting, I recommend taking it easy on your readers by keeping things clean and simple.

Blockquote

Have you ever noticed that little quotation-shaped icon in your Rich Text Toolbar? It's easy to overlook the little guy, but by doing so you are missing out on a golden opportunity to customize your blog posts.

The Blockquote tool applies a default set of formatting options detemined by your blog's Theme. Neat, huh? To give you an idea of what Blockquote might look like on your own blog, here's a run-down of how this feature is styled on some of our most popular Themes.

Blockquote indents the text on:

  • Loft
  • Theme Builder
  • Metropolatin
  • Chevron
  • Element 

Blockquote on Loft

Blockquote indents and adds a colored background on:

  • Dapper
  • Block Party
  • Celebration
  • High Bar
  • Polished
  • Tectonic

Blockquote on Dapper

Blockquote indents, and adds a colored background and border on: 

  • Clean
  • Scene

Blockquote on Clean

Unlimited and Premium users can customize the Blockquote on their blog's Theme using Custom CSS. You can choose a border, background color, or even a special font for Blockquote. Check out this Everything Typepad post to learn some simple tricks for Styling the Blockquote tag

So what will you do with your customized Blockquote tool? Blockquote can be used to highlight anecdotes, poems, song lyrics, or of course, quotations. Check out how these Typepad blogs have made use of Blockquote.

  • Mary Makes Dinner: I use Blockquote on my own blog to highlight recipes. 
  • The Ruckus: This blog features song lyrics using a striking white on black Blockquote.

If you are already using Blockquote, leave a link to your blog in the comments below so that we can check it out. If you need help customizing the Blockquote on your blog, just open a help ticket. We'll be happy to help.

Bullets and Numbering

Making a list? Bulleted and numbered lists are great for breaking up long blocks of information. To start a bullet list, simply click the "Unordered List" icon. Start a numbered list by clicking the "Ordered List" icon. Press enter once to add another item to the list. Pressing enter twice will end the list, reverting your list back to regular text. 

Great ways to use lists:

  • List Ingredients
  • Share event dates
  • Linkups and roundups
  • Step-by-step directions

Insert Links, Images, Video, Audio, and Downloadable Files

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so how much do you think an mp3 file or pdf goes for? In addition to inserting images into your posts, you can also include audio files, videos, and downloadable files. The Insert Audio feature is great for sharing original music and podcasts. Inserting a video into your post can be a great way to share your favorite music video, recipe tutorial, or YouTube sensation. The Insert File tool is great for sharing spreadsheets, printable PDFs, and full-size graphic files. You can even embed a PDF or Powerpoint File into a post using the File Manager and HTML tab. 

Split Extended Entry

The Split Extended Entry feature allows you to break up your posts into two parts. The shortened version shows up in your Recent Posts, while the full version is available on the post's individual url. If you like to write extra long posts or include lots of photos, videos, or audio files in your posts, you might find that your blog takes a little longer to load than you'd like. Shrinking these posts with the Split Extended Entry feature is a great solution. This tool can also help your readers browse a larger number of posts more easily.

I hope these tips have helped you become a Rich Text Toolbar expert. If you have any questions about the features I've mentioned,  you can leave a comment on this post, start a thread in the Forum, or if you are a Pro Plan user, open a ticket at Help > New Ticket. We'll be happy to help! 

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