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Tips for posting diaries and comments

[ *re my CAPS above, I dont mean to shout, am just trying to italicize/sorry. ]

By popular request [okay, the above comment in a diary], figured it might be nice let you in on some formatting commands that you can use to make your responses look even better, by emphasizing words or phrases and adding links to outside sources. The commands are easy and you can use them in diaries or comments.

The first thing to note is the formatting: this should default to "Auto Format", but if you run into an error or the formatting is not working, check the drop-down menu on the page to make sure it reads Auto Format. It also contains entries for HTML and Plain Text, but the commands below work in the Auto Format setting. You can also set it to HTML and use standard tags like B, I, U, A, etc. if you're comfortable coding like that.

Paragraphs and line breaks
In order to start a new paragraph, simply press Enter twice. To insert a line break, press Enter once. Note that text will automatically wrap to fit the size of the screen, so line breaks like that are generally unnecessary. In most cases, you shouldn't need to hit Enter at all except for paragraph breaks.

Bold and Italics
If you want to emphasize a word or phrase, you can type it into the text box surrounded in asterisks (*), *like this*. This will cause the text between the asterisks to be rendered in bold type. Similarly, you can also enter text between underscores (_) or slashes (/), _like this_ /or this/, in order to render the given text in italics.

Making links
You can't post on the Web without needing to insert a link every now and then. Creating a link is as simple as typing in the URL (the address shown in your browser's toolbar at the top of the window). Auto Format mode will automatically turn all URLs into links. For example, if you were to type the following text:

This website runs weblog software from

The resulting comment will look like this:

This website runs weblog software from

Of course, it's not always desirable to have the text of the link be the same as the target of the link. You can use brackets ('[' and `]') in order to specify both the link text and link target. For example, if you wanted the text "This search engine" to point to, you would type the following:

[This search engine]

Which will render like so:

This search engine

Making lists
You can create bulleted lists by entering a series of lines starting with an asterisk followed by a space ('* `). Numbered lists can be created similarly, by typing a series of lines beginning with a number follwed by a period ('1. `). For example, typing in the following text:

* Eggs
* Bacon
* Toast
* Hot grits

Will give the following result:

  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Toast
  • Hot grits

Also, you can make block quotes, I often use them when I'm quoting a long section from a source like an article or another website. Write it like this:

<div class="blockquote">Insert text of the quote here</div>

and it will look like this.

Insert text of the quote here

I'll add a permanent link to this piece in the sidebar, in case anyone is ever looking for it. ;-)