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Post Body :: Character, Paragraph Formatting in Compose Mode. Post Preview

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Characters/Paragraphs » Compose/HTML Mode  
 

The content that we include in the blog post, would form part of the blog pages i.e. it would be displayed in a web page. Therefore, formatting the content within a post would amount to formatting content within a web page. To format content within a web page we use HTML tags. A part of the content having a certain format would have relevant HTML tags at the beginning and ending.

There are two modes in which you can handle the content of your post, the HTML mode and the Compose mode. To use the HTML mode you need to know how to use HTML tags for formatting content. Using Compose mode would be like using any other word processing program. However only some of the options available in a word processing program would be available here.

We learn using the Compose mode initially and later learn to fine tune the HTML code that would be inserted on using the options in the compose mode.

• Characters and Paragraphs

Text for the purpose of formatting is classified into two, characters and paragraphs. A Character is the smallest unit that can be independently formatted. The total formatting options are studied under these two heads.

A character formatting option is one that can be applied to one of more characters. A paragraph formatting option is one that can be applied to one or more paragraphs.

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Character Formatting [Compose Mode]  
 
There are two ways you can apply character formatting.

• Select Text and Apply Format

  • Type the text without thinking about formatting.
  • Select the text you want to format
  • Choose the character formats you want to apply to the selected text by
    • Clicking the relevant button on the tool bar
      (Or)
    • Pressing the keyboard shortcuts related to the formatting you wish to apply.
  • De-select the text to notice the chosen format getting applied.

• Set/Apply Format and Type Text

  • Click at the point where you want to insert text.
  • Set/select the formats you want to apply to the characters that are entered from thereon by
    • Clicking the relevant button on the tool bar
      (Or)
    • Pressing the keyboard shortcuts related to the formatting you wish to apply.

You will notice that the options set getting applied to the text that is being inserted at the insertion point.

• Keyboard Shortcuts

To use the keyboard shortcut, select the text and press the relevant shortcut keys. You may use the following shortcuts
  • Ctrl + B – To apply bold formatting.
  • Ctrl + i – To italicise text.

Paragraph Formatting  
 
A paragraph is a container. Apart from text, it can hold different other entities. It may contain pictures, tables etc. By formatting paragraphs we mean arranging the content within the paragraph taking the total content as a unit. There are two ways you can apply paragraph formats

• Select the Paragraph and Apply the Format

  • Type in the text that would form the paragraph.
  • Ensure that the cursor is within the paragraph (click anywhere in the paragraph with the mouse or move the cursor into the paragraph using the keyboard navigation keys).

    If you want to apply the format two or more paragraphs at the same time with the same option, select content from the paragraphs such that at least some content of all the paragraphs you want to so format is selected.

  • Apply the paragraph formatting option you want by Clicking the relevant button on the tool bar

• Set/Apply Format and type Text

  • Click where you want to start a new paragraph.
  • Set the formatting option you want to use.
  • Start typing.

    The paragraph formed would have the characteristics you chose.

All the paragraph formatting options that we can think of in a word processing program would not be available here.

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Paragraph Alignment  
 
align = Place in a line or arrange so as to be parallel

There are four options, left alignment, right alignment, centering and justification.

Left Aligned Paragraph:

Just from the few blogs I have read till now, after I have come to know of blogs, I could understand the variety and depth of information that we can get on any and every topic on this earth. You can get information from and about every nook and corner of this earth. You can get to know and see events as and when they happen... because bloggers are the fastest reporters on this earth.

 
Right Aligned Paragraph:

Just from the few blogs I have read till now, after I have come to know of blogs, I could understand the variety and depth of information that we can get on any and every topic on this earth. You can get information from and about every nook and corner of this earth. You can get to know and see events as and when they happen... because bloggers are the fastest reporters on this earth.

Centered Paragraph:

Just from the few blogs I have read till now, after I have come to know of blogs, I could understand the variety and depth of information that we can get on any and every topic on this earth. You can get information from and about every nook and corner of this earth. You can get to know and see events as and when they happen... because bloggers are the fastest reporters on this earth.

 
Justified Paragraph:

Just from the few blogs I have read till now, after I have come to know of blogs, I could understand the variety and depth of information that we can get on any and every topic on this earth. You can get information from and about every nook and corner of this earth. You can get to know and see events as and when they happen... because bloggers are the fastest reporters on this earth.

Bulleted/Numbered Lists  
 
In electronic documents, a series of paragraphs taken together form a list. Each paragraph within the list is a list item. That is the reason we identify the options relating to formatting lists as paragraph formatting option.

List items have identifiers. They are marked with a sign/symbol placed to the left of the first line of the paragraph forming the list item, with a gap between the paragraph text and the sign. All the list item identifiers are aligned along a vertical line.

• Ordered/Unordered Lists

List are basically classified into two as Ordered and Unordered lists. Unordered lists have symbols (filled circle, filled square, unfilled square etc), characters (letters, numbers, etc) or images as their identifiers. In word processing programs they are also called bulleted lists. In Ordered lists the list items are ordered from top to bottom. The list items have values that indicate the order of each item. The first list item having the first number/letter, the second one the second number/letter etc. In Word processing programs they are also called numbered lists where we use numbers for identifying the order.

There may be many options available for choosing list item identifiers in word processing programs. The options available in web documents (web pages) are limited.

Within blogger.com there are only two types of lists that we can create using the options on the compose mode.

• Bulleted Lists

What we learnt :
  • Creating a user account
  • Creating a blog
  • Creating a post within the blog
  • Formatting post text

 

 

• Numbered List

What we learnt:
  1. Creating a user account
  2. Creating a blog
  3. Creating a post within the blog
  4. Formatting post text

• Nested Lists

A list that is placed within another list is a nested list. It is possible to nest lists to any level. It would be convenient to handle lists of more levels if you know HTML. What we can learn in computing and the programs that we may use:
  • Word Processing
    1. Microsoft Word
    2. Open Office Writer
    3. I leap
    4. Word Perfect
  • Web Desing
    1. Microsoft Front Page
    2. Evrsoft 1st Page 2000
    3. Macromedia Dreamweaver
  • Programming
    1. C
    2. C++
    3. Java
    4. Visual Basic

If you know HTML/CSS you can have greater choices for creating lists.

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Creating/Formatting Lists  
 
In the text area in blogger, using the compose mode, you can create lists in two different ways.

• By Typing the list items first

  1. Type in the first list item. Press the ENTER key to move to the next line for creating the next item. Do not use the ENTER key anywhere in between.

    The blogger program considers each carriage return to be the beginning of a paragraph for the purpose of creating lists.

  2. Type in the second list item and press the ENTER key at the end.
  3. ...
  4. ...
  5. After completing entering all the items, select all the text representing the list items.
  6. Click the tool button for formatting the list (bulleted list or numbered list depending on which type of list you want to create)
  7. Deselect the text to see the list.

You can notice the list getting created with the list item identifiers placed before each item. To view the HTML code inserted, switch to the HTML mode.

• Set/Choose the Format and Type the List Items

You may make a list by choosing the format for the list first and then typing in the text representing the list items.
  1. Place the cursor at the location where you want to create a list (on a new line)
  2. Choose the type of list you intend to enter by clicking on the appropriate tool button.

    You will notice a list item identifier (either with a bullet or the number 1) inserted at the cursor location.

  3. Typing the first list item. Ensure that you do not use the ENTER key till you reach the end of the list item.
  4. After completing typing the first item, press the ENTER key. This will insert the list item identifier for the second item.
  5. Type the second item and press the ENTER key at the end to create the list item identifier for the third item
  6. ...
  7. ...
  8. After entering the last item, press the ENTER key twice to end the list.

    When you press it once, the list item identifier for the next item will appear and when you press it the second time the identifier will be removed.

Block Quote  
 
A web page is a big object which is built up with the help of a number of elements. All that we see in a web page like paragraphs, tables, images, horizontal ruler, etc., form these elements. The various elements within a web page are defined using what are called HTML tags [p - a paragraph, table - a table, img - an image, etc.]. The HTML tags together with the content in them are what are called HTML elements.

All the elements permitted within the BODY of a HTML document i.e. a web page are classified as either block-level elements or inline elements. Inline elements contain text and other inline elements. When rendered visually, inline elements do not usually begin on a new line. Block-level elements contain inline elements and other block-level elements. When rendered visually, block-level elements usually begin on a new line.

A blockquote is a HTML element that is used to display content distinctly (like a quotation). Blockquote being a block level element may contain any other block level or inline elements.

The formatting options used to display the blockquote distinctly are dependent on the template being used for your blog. To have an idea of how the content placed within the blockquote would look post a sample to your blog. You can edit the post subsequently to modify it.

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Format Eraser  
 
Sine, the format of text (either character formatting or paragraph formatting), images etc is decided by the HTML tags that surround it, erasing the format implies removing the HTML tags that govern the way in which either the text or the image are to be formatted.

• Erasing the Format

The format erasing tool is available only in the compose mode. To erase character formatting, select the content (text) whose format you want to erase and click on the "Remove Format from selection" tool.

When you click the format eraser, the code relevant to the format that had been applied to the selected text is removed. You can notice this if you check the HTML code before and after the removal.

The blogger program would make relevant adjustments in the HTML code to enable the removal of formatting from the selected text.

To remove the paragraph formatting, select the total text representing the paragraph and apply the tool. Removing the paragraph formatting this way may not work always. In such cases, you may have to know HTML to remove the paragraph formatting tags.

• Cannot Undo/Redo

Please be careful in using this tool, since format erasing cannot be "Undone" (Ctrl + Z) or "Redone" (Ctrl + Y).

• Erasing Image Formatting

We use HTML tags to apply formatting to images (borders, spacing, etc). However, the image formatting cannot be removed using the format eraser. If you select the image and then use this tool, you would see no result.

Post Preview  
 
The preview of your blog post is not an exact replica of how it would look when you finally publish it. It only helps you to have a brief idea of your post. Moreover it is also with a white background.

You can use the link "Show Preview" towards the right end of the tool bar to display a preview of your post. You can get back to the compose/html mode using the "Hide Preview" link at the same position.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut → "Ctrl + Shift + P" for toggling between showing and hiding the preview.

• Be Conscious of the template you are using for your blog

One problem with choosing the various formatting options is that the text area in the compose mode as well as the post preview would display the content on a white background. The template that you are using for your blog may have a different colored background. Therefore, you have to be conscious of the environment of your blog as it finally looks.

To be sure of it, publish the post and open it for reediting to choose the options that you think would be best suitable.

HTML/CSS  
 
The post is a part of your blog. The blog itself being a web page, your post would also be a part of a web page. Therefore, composing your post is nothing but composing a part of the web page.

HTML and CSS are two areas you need to know to format create and make up web pages. Knowing these gives you far greater control on formatting your post.

If you are reading through these pages, the subsequent pages give you an idea of what HTML and CSS are and how to handle the code that is inserted by blogger when you use the compose mode for creating your post.

Author Credit : The Edifier ... Continued Page 12

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