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Copy Text from Word

If you are using the rich text editor in WordPress.com, there is a special icon on the advanced tool bar which when makes it easy to insert text from Word into your post or page. 

To get to the advanced toolbar, click on the last icon on the right in the editor (looks like rows of dots in a square) to open up the Advanced Toolbar.  The paste from Word icon looks like a little page with a “W” on it.  Click on it and a window will pop up where you can paste the text from Word, and then click Insert.  It strips out all the code and pastes it as plain text. If you simply paste text from Word into a post, and then click on the HTML tab above the post text area, you will see all the gobbledy-gook it inserts into your post.

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In a recent in-class session on WordPress.com, a student said she was able to upload a video to her free WordPress.com blog.  But that is not the case — you can only create a link to a video hosted elsewhere on the web with the free account (such as YouTube or GoogleVideo).  Even though you are linking to the video on another site, I love the way it appears as thouigh the video is hosted right on your blog and visitors are not directed away from your blog page!

In the new dashboard interface, if you click on the “Add Video” icon to the right of the “Add Media” command above the post content area, the window that appears will display a list of the file types you are allowed to upload.  Unfortunately, none of these are video formats. 

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If you simply type a web address in a post, and then put a space or period after it, it will automatically turn into a web link.  But the link will use default settings that will NOT open up a new window when someone clicks on it.  I would much prefer my site links to open up a new window.  Follow these steps to build a new link that will open in a new window:

  • Enter the text that will become the link – such as:  Shoutcast Radio.
  • Highlight the text that will become the link with your mouse. 
  • Click on the Link tool on the post toolbar, and a link window will open.  Enter in the web address in the first box after the http:// (If you are pasting the link, make sure you don’t have the ‘http:// part in there twice!)
  • In the Target line, choose whether you want the link to open in this same window, or to open the link in a new window.  (I recommend a new window.)
  • Put a title for the link if you wish – in this case enter Shoutcast Radio – and click the Insert button.  (Ignore the class box.)

 

Akismet Changes

Recently, WordPress unveiled some improvements in the Akismet interface (which lets you control spam on your blog) which were announced in January. One great improvement is that there are now tabs that separate spam by type, such as a comment, pingback or trackback. WordPress is also starting to discard spam on posts that are more than a month old, to keep the size of your Akismet queue down. But if your spam queue does not get that large, you can turn this option off under Options, then Discussions. For more details on this announcement, visit this post:

Click here to read Matt’s January 2008 announcement regarding new Akismet features!

As a computer instructor at a large suburban library, I enjoy helping people of all ages improve their computer skills. I find a large part of the task is simply helping folks get a handle on the lingo.  And blogging introduces a whole new language that can be rather mystifying even to those with an extensive computer experience.

So I highly recommend to my students — and anyone new to blogging  — the excellent glossary I discovered today over at the WordPress.org Codex site.  It is not overwhelmingly huge, and defines many important terms related to blogging in very simple language.  You can find this great resource here:  http://codex.wordpress.org/Glossary

I like to use the short video “Blogs in Plain English” from Commoncraft in my beginning blogging classes.  I find it helps those new to blogging quickly gain a better idea of what it’s all about.

The video is embedded below, but I urge you to visit the Commoncraft website, where you will find more great beginner videos on topics like photo sharing, and social networking:  www.commoncraft.com