Repost from the old site.
Many people comment on blogs, either using Blogger‘s built-in commenter or the commenters on Movable Type or Typepad (two blogging platforms that compete with Blogger).
However, when most people make links in either of these commenting systems, they mess it up and end up making a huge hyperlink that scrolls across the page and is not clickable (Movable Type and Typepad‘s commenters may have ways to make a clickable hyperlink – I am not sure).
Another problem when using commenting systems is that many people do not seem to know how to differentiate quoted comments with your own comments. The best way is to put the quoted comments in italics and leave your own non-italicized. You can also bold either your comments or the other person’s comments.
When you don’t differentiate between quoted comments and your own comments, there is confusion about who wrote what.
So, as Lenin asked, “What is to be done?” Well, one thing you could do is what I do, and that is to set up a template for commenting on blogs. I will next show you some HTML code to put in your template.
Even better yet, you really don’t even need to know any HTML to make and use this template. Of course, although Blogger does not require any knowledge of HTML, any HTML knowledge you can acquire will always help you to use Blogger better. There are plenty of basic HTML books out there. I strongly recommend the HTML 4 For Dummies book as a great starter book for any beginner.
How to make your template:
First of all, to make your template, use a plain text file. I do not recommend using Word or any other mainstream word processor, nor should you use your email program or newsreader. On Windows platforms, Notepad automatically uses plain text for all of its files. There are other plain text editors out there, like Notepad++ (one of my favorite applications). The Mac has a correlate of Notepad called Text Edit.
On Windows, find Notepad by going to Search – Files and Folders and typing in Notepad. When you find it, right click and choose Make Shortcut. A message will come up saying, “Windows cannot make a shortcut here. Do you want one on the desktop instead?” Choose Yes. Now go to your desktop and note that you have a shortcut to Notepad there. Leave it there.
Now, double-click Notepad to create a new file. It will open a new blank file with the title “Untitled“. Now go to File – Save As and a Save As screen will come up probably asking you to save the file on your desktop, but it may ask you to save somewhere else, like My Documents. Wherever it asks you to save, make a note of where it is saving the file so you can find it again.
Under File Name it will say *.txt. Save as Type will be Text Documents (*.txt). Encoding will say ANSI. Leave Save as Type and Encoding as they are unless you really know what you are doing. Now, under File Name, go to the beginning of the *.txt string and delete the *, leaving the .txt. Now start typing a name for your file.
Let’s call it HTML for Blog Comments (but you can call it anything you want). Make sure to leave the .txt at the end of the file name. When you finish typing the file name, click Save. You can now go look on your desktop if you want and you should see a saved file sitting there called HTML for Blog Comments.
Now go back to the opened Notepad file that is open in your taskbar and click on it to open it up. Notice that the title has changed from Untitled to HTML for Blog Comments.
Now we are going to start typing. Type the following characters in your Notepad file:
<i> </i> <i> </i> <i> </i> <i> </i> <i> </i> <i> </i> <i> </i>
To make it easy for yourself, just type a few of them and then select those with your mouse, hit Control-C to copy them, and then hit Control-V to paste them next to the ones you have already typed. This way you can have as many or as few as you like. I have 22 pairs of
<i>'s in my template. The i in brackets is an HTML italic tag. The
<i> is the opening tag and the
</i> is the closing tag.
Now, next time you are making some comments on someone’s blog and you want to quote the other person, go to this Comments Template and mouse select – Control-C copy the italic tags in your template:
<i> </i> <i> </i> <i> </i> <i> </i> <i> </i> <i> </i> <i> </i>
Go ahead and grab them all. Now go to the comments box and Control-V paste the italic tags into the comments box. Now put your mouse cursor before the tags and start typing. Hit enter a few times to give yourself some space to type. This way the italic tags will always be a couple of lines below your typing so you do not get confused.
When you want to quote another person’s text, go find the other person’s text you want to quote, select it with your mouse and Control-C to copy it. Now go to the comments and very carefully put the mouse cursor in between the
<i> opening italic tag and the
</i> closing italic tag. Hit Control-V to paste the text you want to quote in between the opening and closing tags.
There should now be an
<i> in front of the quoted text and a
</i> at the end of the quoted text. Now hit enter a couple of times to give yourself some space to respond to the quoted text. Repeat as many times as you want depending on how many snippets of text you want to quote and comment on.
Use the preview button on the commenting system to make sure the quoted text is in italics.
If you don’t like italics and would rather use bold, or want both italics and bold for some reason, then add some bold tags to your template. If you want to put some bold tags in your template, just type a few of these bold tags
<b> </b>, then copy-paste them as described above until you have as many as you need. Your bold tags in your template would look something like this:
<b> </b> <b> </b> <b> </b> <b> </b> <b> </b> <b> </b> <b> </b> <b> </b> <b> </b> <b> </b> <b> </b> <b> </b>
If you want to mark some text in bold, just copy and paste the text in between the opening
<b> and closing
</b> bold tags. Once again, preview it in the commenting system to make sure the text actually got bolded.
Now that we have italics and bold tags in our template, it is time to move on to hyperlinks. Yes, links. If you look at comments on blogs, you will notice that comments with links are often not properly written, and tend instead to scroll across the page wildly. Furthermore, they are usually just text representations of the link addresses, something like:
As you can see, that is not clickable at all, although it is a hyperlink. If you copy it and paste it into your address bar of your browser, your browser will take you to the webpage. If you put it into many word processing programs or many email programs, those programs will automatically make a link out of it.
But Blogger will not do it, neither in its compose editor when making posts nor in its commenter. If you want it to show you up, you need to make it into a hyperlink. You will need to write this code in your template:
Now save that line to your comment template. When you want to make a hyperlink in comments on a blog, cut and paste that line above:
into the commenter. Now go and find your hyperlink. Select it with your mouse and copy it. Go back to the commenter and look closely at the code above. Carefully place your mouse button between the two quote marks: “” so your cursor has one quote mark on either side of it. Now paste the url in between the quote marks.
It doesn’t matter at all how long it is either. It won’t scroll. That code can handle huge url’s and it will not lengthen the resulting hyperlink at all. Now you need to call your link something. Look closely at the code now, with the url pasted into it. Look for this space where the two brackets are pointing at each other:
Extracting the brackets from the code, I refer to these two:
Position your cursor in between the two brackets that point at each other and start typing something. You can call it my link, or link, or click here, or anything you want. This is what will show up clickable in blue on the web page. When that text is clicked, it will take the person to the web page:
<a href="Paste url here">Type Name for Link Here</a>
Now, if you are feeling really brave, you can try it on your own. Go to a blog somewhere and practice. In fact, you can even practice with this blog post here in the comments section. Use the preview section to look at how your HTML template code came out. That way you can try to correct any errors before you post your blog comments. One more thing: you are starting to learn a bit of the magic art of HTML!