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Quick Hitters Two

Posted by on Mar 1, 2011

Wow! Almost a year to the day I wrote a post called Some Quick Hitters For A Sunday. That was before I started my weekly Sunday Question series. In that post, which turned out to be more than 1,100 words and thus not very quick, I tackled Olympic hockey, Syracuse University Basketball, a Commission Junction affiliate that never paid me, people stealing my posts, and snow; it’s always about snow in central New York. This post will be on different topics as well, but I expect it to be much shorter than last year’s post. Then again, it should be, right?

No, not Jerry Mouse!

Let’s start by talking about your mouse. Yes, the mouse you use on your computer. Does it have a scroll button on it? If so, did you know that, while looking at your browser, if you hold down the Ctrl-key and scroll either up or down that you can increase or decrease the size of the window you’re looking at? up, works for both fonts and images. There are some things that won’t get larger, though, but 98% of everything you try it on it will work. And it doesn’t matter the browser, although someone who has a Mac will have to tell me if it works there.

Second, you notice how the code on this blog is set up to do what’s called “justifying”? That means that the right side is always even; the blog does it automatically. Thing is, this was the only one of my blogs that did it; none of the others did, and none of my websites did it either. I decided I needed to change that so I went into the Stylesheet CSS of each of my other blogs, looked for something that said .postContent, then added this line of code: text-align: justify;. That’s it; and yes, you have to add the semicolon as well. Saved it and everything worked like a charm. In general I’d want to slap myself for teaching those who aren’t all that familiar with coding something like this, but it’s simple and your blog will look fantastic. And yes, there might already be another “text-align” in there, but that’s okay.

And, just to mention this, you can use this same code, only in a slightly different way, to get your websites looking smooth as well. At the very beginning of your wording, add this tag, without the little stars: [div align=”justify”], but obviously instead of the brackets use < and >. I had to put the bracket in there to keep the post from making the code disappear. Then at the end of all your wording, add this: [/div], again using < and > instead.

One more justification tip, this time with Word or Publisher. You probably know already about left, center and right justify. If you’re like me, you’ve never clicked on the last one next to right justify. Well, click on that, and your entire paragraph will justify; freaky! I haven’t been able to find it in Excelyet, but I’m going to keep looking.

Next, have you ever wanted to add the year of copyright to your blog? My friend Keith wrote a post titled Dynamically Add A Copyright Year To A Website. Basically there’s this bit of code you add to your footer and viola, somehow it knows what year it is and it’ll add that code to every blog page. Neat, right?

Then I decided I wanted more. I wanted something like that for all my websites, because I always forget to update that and don’t want to always have to do it every year. I came upon this blog by a lady named Cathy Stucker, who wrote code on this post titled Update The Copyright Date On Your Blog Or Website. The code she has works great, and I’m now using it on all my websites, although I have so many pages that I haven’t added to all the pages yet. I did change one thing, though; instead of having the word ‘copyright’, I use this HTML code instead to give me this © symbol; remove the stars, and make sure to add the semi-colon: &*#*1*6*9*;

You probably think we’re done, but I have one last thing for you. If you’re like me, every once in awhile you copy something that you want to paste somewhere else. Sometimes it’s in all caps, and what that usually means is that you have to re-type it. Not anymore! Copy it and pop it into Word. Highlight it, then hit Shift – F3. That will change everything to small letters. Hit it again and it’ll capitalize only the first letter of each word. Hit it one more time to go back to all caps; course, why would you want to do that? Neat little trick, right?

And there you go; some quick hitters, this time something useful. And it is shorter than the last post, though not by much. 🙂

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We kinda think alike when we constantly find little touches to improve our blogs.
Just as an anecdote – which happens to be a useful one too – this morning I discovered Ana Hoffman’s blog (I know, I am kinda late in that I guess) and I found this post where she talks about a SEO Super Comments plugin, basically linking a dynamic page to each of your blog comments in order to improve your backlinking and avoid Pagerank draining – complicated talk, just read it and it’ll clear up.
It happens like this most of the times, you read something cool around, you experiment, you tweak and improve. That’s the fun part after all.

March 2nd, 2011 | 5:33 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Exactly Gabriele. I like finding little things like this, but this is the first time so many came around the same time.

March 2nd, 2011 | 9:15 AM

Nice guide Mitch, I am sure it will be very helpful for many readers, those simple things really make websites readable and much better visually.

March 2nd, 2011 | 5:39 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Carl. The little things in life can be great. 🙂

March 2nd, 2011 | 9:16 AM

Hi Mitch, I thought that i had submitted a comment to your blog but it hasn’t appeared. Did you object to sething in it or did you not receive it?

It started with QUOTE:
I was delighted to come across your Aug 22, 2009 “Bloggers Can’t Hide Behind Fake Names Anymore And Defame Others” thread ( UNQUOTE.

Bet regards, Pete Ridley

March 2nd, 2011 | 9:41 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Hi Pete, I moved it to the post it should have been on and I commented back to you, which you should have received.

March 2nd, 2011 | 9:43 AM

Hi Mitch, thanks for that. I thought that the old thread might have been dead by now. Pete

March 2nd, 2011 | 9:47 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Nah; I have programs that help weed out spam so every post on this blog is still live.

March 2nd, 2011 | 10:14 AM

Hello Mitch,

Neat tricks to display html tags in your code you have to use the hex values or unicode (in your posts source). For example for %3E.

Also, if text-align: justify; is the last rule for that element the ; is not necessary :).

March 2nd, 2011 | 1:33 PM

Hmm, the previous comment might no make sense because the little (in case they are missing in this comment too, I am talking about the pointed brackets, that ones used for html tags) are missing.

March 2nd, 2011 | 1:35 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Now you know the initial problem I ran into, Alex. lol The blog automatically absorbs the code, which is why you have to find a sneaky way to fit it in. And in CSS, I think it’s probably best practice to tell everyone, especially if they’re new at it, to add that semicolon to the end of everything they do there.

March 2nd, 2011 | 2:07 PM

Thanks for the mention Mitch! Glad you found it useful. I didn’t know about the text-transform thing in Word. Sounds like it will come in handy someday.

March 2nd, 2011 | 2:55 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Your post inspired me to look at other things, although for different reasons. That’s how it all works, and that’s why I love the community. 🙂

March 3rd, 2011 | 2:31 AM

Hi, Mitch. Cool stuff you have here. You are among the few I have seen who have justified formats for their text. I, for one, am using left alignment. 😀 But, like Keith, I will probably make use of that Shift-F3 thing in word. I also didn’t know about that and I know that might come in handy someday. 😉

– Wes –

March 3rd, 2011 | 3:14 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Glad to help, Wes. As you see, there’s always something going on that can make for an interesting post.

March 3rd, 2011 | 9:44 AM

Great tips Mitch; I *like* keyboard shortcuts and did not know the Shift-F3 trick. I’ll get a lot of use out of that one! Thanks!

March 8th, 2011 | 7:11 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Allan. That one really snuck up on me as well.

March 9th, 2011 | 1:01 AM