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Blog, short for weblog — a compound word formed from web and log — has become a popular writing format for many kinds of periodic writing, including journals, diaries, articles, etc. Blogger™ is one type of blogging software. It is a free Google product, and users of Blogger™ can take advantage of a free hosted blog. There are a number of Blogger™ tricks that can make using it smoother, easier, and better.
First, for the blogging newbie, there are some Blogger™ tricks that are in the form of don’ts. The first is, don’t paste material into Blogger™ from Microsoft Word®. Many people are used to composing in Word®, and with some other blogging software one can do this, but with Blogger™ it makes a real mess in the HTML, and one’s posts won’t look the way one wants. Instead, you can compose directly in the Blogger™ interface or, if that seems to risky to you, in NotePad® or TextEdit®.
The second tip for newbies is not to trust the preview. It is incorrect about spacing and fonts. If one were to compose a post in, say TextEdit® and to leave a line of space between each paragraph, when previewed in Blogger™, that space would appear to be gone, and one might feel moved to insert <br> after each paragraph. This would actually result in two spaces between paragraphs. In addition, the title of the post shows as a serif font when it posts as sans serif.
Blogger™ tricks for more experienced users include checking out Blogger™ in Draft, Google’s own cutting edge Blogger™ development page. This is where features in development can be tried out. Examples of new features in 2010 include new customizable templates with accompanying layouts for one, two, and three columns. Background patterns and images from iStockphoto® are another new item.
Blogger™ tricks and tips are also available through many independent forums, so the next trick is to periodically check out what other people are up to by searching the Internet generally. The people running sites that show up in these searches are likely to have tried out the latest features and then pushed to extend them even farther than the developers imagined. Here one can find tricks, but also “hacks.” It’s best to wait and see how others fare with “hack” suggestions before trying them out oneself. But for those looking to remove the Blogger™ bar, add animated .gifs toBlogger™, or add a favicon, seeking is likely to bring a solution.
Another Blogger™ trick is when one wants to do something and can’t figure out how, look for a gadget or third-party app to solve the issue. Blogger™ extras are listed by the operating system they work with. Last of all, when one can’t find a Blogger™ trick to accomplish the desired end, there’s a trick for that, too. What one does is go to the Google Product Ideas for Blogger™ page. This is where feature requests and new gadgets can be requested. Users who are signed in can vote on others’ requests, so if new ideas aren’t being accepted at a particular time, a user may still be able to make a statement by voting on others' ideas.