Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hands Up How To

Jamie encouraged us on a recent podcast and online to share something that we learned the hard way, in an effort to others that hard journey. Wouldn't it be nice if someone just told us to place a loaf of bread on top of eggs in a bag on their own and carry by hand? Okay, that was my first thought but I decided to something that might be more helpful for those of use who do a lot of online writing & posting and have to deal with formatting frustrations. You know 'em, formatting frustrations, when all of a sudden your post has oodles of added formatting be it text or odd images or who knows what and you can't get rid of it. Here's how.

You can easily ditch any formatting in one simple way: Use Notepad.

It's a text-based program, you'll likely find it on your computer under 'All Programs, Accessories'

Then...
Copy text
Paste into Notepad.

Voilà! No formatting.

See that accent on Voilà? It's courtesy of pasting into Notepad.

More Notepad de-formatting uses:
  • You can past any accented letter: é, ǽ, ǿ....
  • It's also great if you have a list in Excel but don't want all the formatting & columns? Paste into notepad!
  • Have text within charts? Dump it in Notepad (might require some re-jigging to line things up)
  • And of course any block of text with formatting attached to it, be it links or styles like bold, italics, etc.
But, ... I want my Formatting!
  • Okay, we can make that work too. Notepad ditches formatting when you need it, but it can also keep it. For blog folk, you can copy the straight HTML from the 'Edit HTML' tab view of your post paste it into notepad. It will keep all that handy dandy HTML formatting. Remember when you paste it back to use the 'Edit HTML' post window again for the best results :)
More uses for keeping the HTML:
  • Do you have templates you use for re-occuring posts? Save your template in HTML format in notepad, work on new posts there and then and you have the formatting all ready for your re-occuring posts to post online. You can even work with this template if you find yourself offline. Plus, you'll a back up.
  • Also, having your work in HTML format is great way to share a post it if you are guest posting because it's more universal than sending a link or linked text in an email or post as it works across more platforms. It's also handy to have your bio, contact details, etc if you write guest posts, are a guest or contribute to a collective site.
  • You can also copy your HTML post, put it in Word to spell check and then dump it back to Notepad to remove all the extra formatting Word adds.
What's so awesome about Notepad is that it can both retain or remove things you want to keep or want to ditch, once you know your formatting needs. I use it every single day and it's saved me hours of re-jigging, re-formattting and fixing. It works. I hope it saves you time & formatting frustration :)

No comments: