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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Spell check with Google toolbar in Internet Explorer to overcome broken Blogger spell check

I have used the spell check icon in the Firebox Google toolbar to check spelling in Blogger post editor and found it superior compared with could be done with the Blogger built-in spell check in Blogger's post editor, especially before Blogger was replaced with Blogger Beta, then became New Blogger of just plain Blogger (just why don't Blogger introduce versions so we don't have to refer to old classic Blogger and New Blogger as even sometimes calling a blog using the old classic Blogger template in New Blogger is different from the really old version of Blogger as with that, you can have labels, which the really old version of Blogger don't have)

Unfortunately, that don't work anymore with FireFox 2.o anymore and you cannot get FireFox 1.5 anymore. So I have to resort to the Blogger built-in spell check which is not my preferred choice. Now even that doesn’t work anymore. I have tested that with 6 browsers - Internet Explorer, FireFox, Opera, Flock, Netscape Navigator and Avant.

I have resorted to a more tedious Workaround for broken Blogger spell check (click BACK button to get back to this page).

Spell check with Google toolbar in Internet Explorer

Since the Blogger built-in spell check is broken, one day I tried doing spell check with the Internet Explorer Google tool bar by clicking on the spell check icon: (before you start spell check, you will see the word "Check". What you see now is "Stop" which will revert you post editor window to normal mode).

You can see the misspelled word in red, the corrected misspelled word in green, and when you click on a highlighted misspelled word (red in color), you will get a drop-down menu with suggestion of various possible correct spelling, one option to edit there and then, one more to "Ignore all", and this useful option - "Add to dictionary". This will be particularly useful if you frequently use words not in their dictionary, especially if you happen to be in a multilingual country and frequently use non-English words.

spell check with Google toolbar in Internet Explorer

Monday, February 4, 2008

Blogger spell check broken: Work-around

The built-in spell check in Blogger post editor no longer works. I have tested it in 6 browsers - Internet Explorer 7, FireFox 2.0, Netscape Navigator, Opera, Flock, Avant. When you click on the spell check Blogger spell check icon icon, nothing will happen, no matter how many times you click. But don't fret. There is a workaround.

Workaround for Blogger's broken spell check

Very simple. Prepare your post in the Blogger post editor as usual. When finished, press ctrl+A to highlight the whole post, then ctrl+C to copy into clipboard. Open MS WORD, and paste the post into the WORD file. Click "Tools" in the menu bar at the top and select "Check spelling and grammar". When done, press ctrl+A again to highlight the whole of the corrected post, press ctrl+C to copy into clipboard, open a Notepad file, paste into the Notepad file to strip off all the extra formatting that WORD has added to your post. Click ctrl+A and ctrl+C once more to highlight the whole post minus the formatting and copy into clipboard. Go back to the Blogger post editor. The whole uncorrected post should still be highlighted. Just press the "Delete" key to clear the post editor window, press ctrl+V to paste the corrected post into the post editor window. Add labels if you want, preview then click "Publish Post". Done.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Comments: Not getting email notifications

You can set your blog comments to notify you by email when a visitor comment in your blog by typing in an email address (recently they have changed that to up to ten email addresses) in the "Comment Notification Email" field:

Blogger comment notification email

You can also set to allow anyone to comment, only users with Google (used to be Blogger) account, only members of the blog. Recently a third choice was added - Registered Users - includes OpenID.

Almost all my blogs have comments set for moderation, so I never set it to send comment notification as I get notification for comment moderation and the comments are there, for me to save if I want. If I add notification for new comments, I will be getting double notifications. So I do not really have real life experience with getting email notifications for comments. But recently, a blogger had complained about not getting notification for comments. I can only refer him to my experience and that if I don't get some email notification for comment moderation, it is no big surprise to hear that other bloggers are also not getting some email notification for comments.

However, you may be interested in reading about my experience and problems with respect to this comment notification business and how I deal with it. At the bottom of the post, you will also see my advice as to what to do if you are not getting some email notification for comments.

Not getting email notification for comment moderation (click BACK button to get back to this page)

Moderate comments via email notification: advantages and problems (click BACK button to get back to this page)

Moderating comments from Dashboard plus problems.

I have been bugging Blogger support for a long time and the problem still exist.

If this is troubling you, I would suggest you set comments for moderation, and if you add an email address to be notified of comments waiting for moderation, but don't get some of them, at least you can see them in the Dashboard.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Different profiles for different blogs

Different Blogger Profile using different email addresses

Some bloggers, including me, wants to have different profiles for different blogs. An example is Enviroman Says: An Environmental blog and Blogger Tips and Tricks. In the first case, the profile photo is a meaningful environmental cartoon. In the second case, the profile photo is my real photo, a very rare photo of me laughing away. This can be achieved by using 2 different Blogger accounts, which means having 2 email addresses, which also means more work as you have to be active for the email addresses you created.

In the case of Gmail, their Terms of Service says if your gmail is not active for more than 9 months, it will be deleted, and I suppose your Blogger account together with your blogs will go too as they are all tied together by a Google account.

Yahoo promised email address for live when I created my first Yahoo email address, but you don't see that anymore. I have yet to find out what their new terms are, but I know for a fact your Yahoo mail is deactivated, but not deleted if inactive. It is practically impossible to reach Yahoo for clarifications.

Whatever it is, I would advice against using a Gmail address to create a Blogger account, and not only that, when you are signed into a Blogger account which uses a non-Gmail address, never create a Gmail account as then the new Gmail (Google) account will hijack the Blogger account and you will have to use the new Gmail address to sign into Blogger. I will write more on this later.

Advantage of using different Blogger accounts for different blogs to get different Profiles is that you can use different display names (names that will appear as "Posted by ....." at the bottom of all the posts in all the blogs, so this should be the method you use if that is what you want.

Another advantage is that you can add your lists of interests, favorite movies, favorite music and favorite books to the profiles, and each of them become active links with which you can use to find bloggers with the same interests and favorites, plus there is a chance that your profiles, and thus blogs, may be found by other bloggers doing the same thing. This may help increase traffic to your blogs as described in Increase traffic to your blogs by adding interests and favorites to your profile.

Different Profile using the same Blogger account

If maintaining more than 1 email address is too much work for you, you will have to use a work around like Different profiles for different blogs using the same Blogger account. The disadvantages of this method that at least one profile will not be a standard Blogger profile where you can add interests and favorites to try to increase traffic to your blogs as described in Increase traffic to your blogs by adding interests and favorites to your profile. Further, every posts in EVERY BLOG will have the same display name displayed as "Posted by .....". There is no work around this except perhaps to remove that "Posted by..." in those blog where you don't want your display name to be displayed.

Why I have the same display name in blogs using different Blogger accounts and how to have different display names for different blogs

I have a few Blogger accounts for various (non-sinister) reasons such as wanting a different Profile photo for different blogs, creating a Blogger Beta account when Blogger Beta (now New Blogger) was first introduced, fear of running into the limits for storage, etc. However, I chose to use the same display name for all the blogs. If I want different display name, that is not a difficult task to do. All you have to do is to sign into blogger.com which will take you to the Dashboard. At the top right corner, click on EDIT PROFILE and you can then change your display name to whatever name you want.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

How to get deleted Blogger account back

This is put up right at the top to help a desperate blogger who accidentally deleted her Blogger account and need help to get it back. So a quick section right at the top first and this post will be edited later:

First, Blogger usually will advice that the blogger probably has forgotten he of she has created more than one account and will suggest going to Forgot password and see if you can make some headway there.

Failing that, try problems. You may be taken on a merry-go-round, but perhaps if you have problem but come across a set of choices where there is a "report a bug", select that and see if you can connect to Blogger Support.

The rest of the post is not ready. Got to rush off to a gathering to support some people who had been unjustly arrested. Hopefully, this will lead to some solution. If not, leave a comment.

The rest of the post will be edited later:





This is a tough topic because the goal post keeps changing. I have made 3 previous posts which have multiple editing and updates because Blogger Support keeps changing the way they can be contacted. The previous posts are

Contact Blogger Support

Contact Blogger Support Part 2

Problems signing into Blogger Dashboard, don't see your blogs in Dashboard (note: Blogger Help says often the reason is because the blogger may have created 2 Blogger accounts and forgot about the other one, and therefore don't see those blogs in the forgotten Blogger account in the signed-in Blogger account. You may test this by

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Create new blogs with Google Blogger

It is very easy to create a new blog with Google Blogger. All you need to do is to sign into blogger.com (Dashboard) and click "Create a blog" link at the top of the Dashboard, and you will be taken to a page to create a blogspot.com URL:

Google Blogger create a blogspot.com URL

In the second line, you will notice that the http:// has already been added to the front of the URL and blogspot.com is already added to the back of the URL. All you need to do is to type in something in front of blogspot.com and the URL of your newly created blog will become

http://myblog.blogspot.com

where myblog can be anything you choose. However, preferably use some key words that will help describe the content you intend to put in the blog. This is for SEO (Search Engine Optimization (click BACK button to get back to this page) to help surfers using search engines find your blog more easily. There is a controversy over the use of hyphen ( - ) to separate words and I have not thoroughly research this area yet, but for the moment, I use hyphen for all my URLs. For example, the URL of this blog is

http://blogger-tricks.blogspot.com

I actually wanted

http://blogger-tips.blogspot.com

but that has been taken already by others and not available. I would suggest you check the availability of the blog URL you chose by clicking "Check Availability" and if it is not available, you can get creative and try to use alternatives that still have the key words in the blog URL. There are some suggestions in What to do if a blogspot.com URL is not available (click BACK button to get back to this page).

Using important keywords is important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization because the search engines places great importance on the URL of a website.

http://blogger-tricks.blogspot.com

and similar blog URLs are sub domain of blogspot.com and belong to Google Blogger, but now with the New Blogger (or just plain Blogger), you can register your own domain and convert your existing blogspot.com blogs to using New Blogger custom domain (click BACK button to get back to this page) and the new domain for your blog will belong to you and not Google Blogger, and many says command more respect from surfers as they say using blogspot.com is like using your house address for business. Potential business partners and customers may look down on the use of home addresses for business.

I have published a post giving reasons why I never use custom domain, but I have changed my mind.

What is more important to me now is the fact that the Google PageRank of a blogspot.com blog like this one belong to Google Blogger and you cannot sell a blogspot.com blog, but you can sell a blog using New Blogger custom domain (click BACK button to get back to this page).

None of my children have indicated any interest in taking over my blogging ventures, and I am in the process of using a custom domain. I can actually convert this blog to use custom domain, but the PageRank of this blog will not transfer to the new domain. Although Blogger will redirect traffic to

http://blogger-tricks.blogspot.com

to my newly created domain

http://blogger-tips-tricks.com

if I convert this blog to use the above domain, I am not sure about links to individual post pages (permalinks) of which there are many. I suspect they will become dead links and search engines do not like dead links on a website and may penalize the website for the dead links. I will later conduct a test to confirm this.

I thus have created this new blog Tips and Tricks for Google Blogger which will eventually be using custom domain when I find the time and is confident there will be no problems.

Diagnose a problem when you don't have access to a Blogger Account

Supposed a blog reader request help regarding a problem with their blog, but you do not have access to his or her account of what ever blogging platform he or she is using, what can you do.

Sometimes you can spot the problem by clicking VIEW > PAGE SOURCE (FireFox or just VIEW > SOURCE in Internet Explorer. A new window will open with the page source (source code) that is used to display your blog with a web browser.

I was asked about a problem a blogger had with replacing a graphic in her blog Header, so without access to her account, I had to view the page source of her blog. I found this in the page source:

#header-wrapper {
float: left;
width: 198px;
height: 148px;
background: url(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Zuzii37VUO4/RkyGmpyayOI/AAAAAAAABSo/Yi9cTKRQOcg/s1600/img1.jpg);
border: 1px solid #939A3C;


The URL of the graphic for background of her blog Header seem to be the one highlighted in red in the scroll box above. So the only thing I can tell her is to replace that

graphic background of the graphic image URL with another image uploaded to the web, and this is what I am going to tell her.

The only problem is, when I opened a new tab in the same window in FireFox which has tabbed browsing, which is my favorite browser and which is a browser recommended by Google Blogger, pasted her image URL into the address bar, instead of taking me to the web page with only the image she used as background graphic for her blog Header, I was asked to download a file which is very surprising. If her graphic image is not on the web, but only hosted by a file host which host the graphic image file and only give your the URL to download the image file, I would expect no image would be displayed in her blog Header. But when I viewed her blog, there is an image in the blog Header.

This puzzled me and I do not know what is the situation. I can only explain to her, asked her what she did, and see if anything can be done. If there is any development, I will put an update here.