Google Blogger Headaches

6 years ago | Alice (Blocked)

Google blogger is seriously winding me up. Every time I make a new post, it messes up all my formatting and I have to manually reapply all of it just to get any of it to actually show up. It didn't do that in the past. I would just copy and paste my latest chapter into a new post and bam, working fine. Now though it removes everything from indents to italics. Argh.

As if that weren't enough, I've just run into a new and inexplicable oddity. I uploaded Chapter 66. Chapters 1 through 65, their html addresses were fine. For example, the end of the addy for Chapter 65 reads
/chapter-65.html
But when I posted Chapter 66, it reads
/chapter-66_5125.html

And you want to know the really weird bit? If I name it Chapter 67, or Chapter 66a, it doesn't have that random string of numbers on the end. It ONLY does that if my post is CALLED Chapter 66. Just ... wth blogger. WTH.

I'm seriously thinking about moving to a different service, but that would be a ton of work as well. Double Argh.

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Page: 12

Responses

  1. SgL (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Alice - you must have missed our other thread about webhosts and such, but I just had a similar meltdown with blogger a few weeks ago. (therefore http://online-novel-blog.blogspot.com/ now is at http://theonlinenovel.wordpress.com/ .)

    Wordpress will import everything fairly cleanly, including comments, to a wordpress.com blog. I'd say go for it.
    The only thing I had to redo was accounts. I had a contributor on the old blog, so had to add her to the new one.

    One other thing is if you create a new wp.com blog, change your default admin account username to something other than "admin" as the hackers always try to use that to break into accounts.

    Also, wp.com's UI doesn't give you the fancy header code off the bat, but if you know basic html you can code in the html window using common tags like <h2></h2>, <h3></h3>, etc.

    Meaning the formatting is simplified down but it's MUCH easier to clean up.

  2. DaringNovelist (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    I do three things to make sure formatting doesn't go haywire:

    1.) I either write the text in a plain text editor, or I run it through the plain text editor before pasting it into Blogger's window. (Word processors -- especially Word -- have so much junk in them they screw up the code. A plain text editor strips that junk out.)

    2.) I do all actual formatting in Blogger. (I'll use underscores to preserve italicized words like _this__ -- two underscores at the end so I can use a search and replace to put in front and end tags if I need to. You can use other symbols to return other styles.)

    3.) Sometimes Blogger fixes its own errors if you click back and forth between "compose" and "html" windows. This is particularly true if the Compose window is not recognizing line breaks or returns. (They are there, but sometimes with pasted text, they don't show.)

    You may have different problems, but these practices keep my coding issues to a minimum.

    Camille

  3. Alice (Blocked)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Thanks for the advice. I might check Wordpress out and give it a try, though I have almost zero html skills.

    I do all of my writing in Wordpad, and I used to be able to copy and paste my chapters from that without losing all of the formatting, but I guess blogger changed. It's so frustrating.

  4. DaringNovelist (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    There is one other very simple reason this could be happening, so you might as well check it out:

    Sometimes the "compose" window gets flipped to the "html" window. If you paste formatted text into the html window (depending on where it came from) you may just get the text itself, without formatting. This happens in other programs too: it remembers the last mode you were in, so if you clicked on the html button for any reason (even by accident) it may stay there for all future posts, until you click the compose button.

    Otherwise... the problem could be that, because you don't know html, you are treating the website too much like a word processor -- which is a very bad idea with websites. With paper, you control every detail of where things appear. With a website, you have to create a layout that is compatible with many many different kinds of devices and software, and it will look very different on each of these.

    Even with Wordpress, you don't want to format paragraphs in a word processor and then copy and paste. Don't use indents. That's something which, in the internet world, needs to be done with advance coding skills -- you need to use a style sheet. And generally even then, it's not recommended for the web -- just for something more controlled like an ebook.

    When you do that kind of formatting -- in a word processor and then paste -- it sometimes looks okay to you, but I guarantee there is something hinky with the code, and it will look awful to some of your readers. So, if you don't know how to code, don't do any formatting in a word processor. Maybe italics, but even there, weird stuff can happen.

    In the meantime, your problem with naming your page.... is it possible that you have an earlier draft of that chapter in that directory? Blogger tends to change your title when there's already something with that name. If that's not it, then you can change the permalink name in the post settings column on the right of your screen under "links." It will way "permalink ?" and give you what it would automatically call it, and underneath that you can change from automatic to custom permalink, and then put in what you want. (You JUST put in the part you want that page to say, not the path or the .html. So you'd put in "chapter-66")

    It's also possible that you somehow have some invisible character entered into the box where you put the title in, and Blogger is inserting the code for that -- but that usually involves and ampersand, so it's not likely.

    (BTW -- The new Blogger does seem to have trouble with ampersands. It's driving me up a wall.)

    Camille

  5. SgL (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Actually, now that I think about it the problems became much more obvious the last month or two, Alice. I think something about the UI is indeed whacked. I kept getting really awful code inserted automatically even while writing within the Blogger window. (Could it be related to this? http://buzz.blogger.com/2013/04/improvements-to-blogger-template-html.html )

    When I would go to the html editor (raw) and try to clean it up and then flipped back, the problems would also reappear. It really drove me crazy. The goofy thing was that I had not changed the template since starting that blog last fall. So it's not just you....

  6. Nick Bryan (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Yeah, I want all my paragraphs to be enclosed in proper <p> tags rather than separated by
    - yes, I might be overly pedantic - and the Blogger editor does NOT like that. If I add the <p> tags in HTML view, I have to never switch to the standard editor ever again, as it removes them all. Sigh.

    Hobson & Choi - my blackly comic mystery serial - existing now on Jukepop Serials!
  7. George M. Frost (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    I've gotten comfortable with putting <i> for italics in Word as I write so that I can paste directly into the HTML view. Then I switch to compose, change the font to Courier, switch back, and copy/paste <br /><br /> everywhere that I want a new paragraph. But perhaps that sounds more tedious than it is.

    The Zombie Knight Saga -- undead superheroics
  8. Alice (Blocked)

    Posted 6 years ago

    At the moment I write a chapter in wordpad, open it with OpenOffice (I had Microsoft Word on my last computer but it fried, my new one has OpenOffice) then save it as a html. Then I open it with my browser and copy paste the text into blogger. That keeps the indents (some of the time) but loses things like italics, which I have to manually put back in. Of course if I make any major edits to it before publishing, blogger has an annoying habit of adding random paragraph breaks, which I don't use or want.

    I just don't get it. If something isn't broke then don't fix it. Blogger used to work fine for me, but the changes they've made just make things more difficult. I still have no idea why Chapter 66 has a random string of numbers after it.

  9. Amy Kim Kibuishi (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    When I copy and paste the text from Word it somehow maintains the formatting in blogspot for the most part. At least, so it appears on my computer! Not sure how my blog appears to others but I haven't had any complaints from readers (yet). Any problems with formatting for me have been fixed in the word doc itself so it's all consistent once pasted into the blog.

  10. MrOsterman (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    My favorite quirk of quirks is that Blogger will change my static link in my tabs from "Chapter 1" to whatever page I last updated. So if I update the table of contents, I also have to go in and make sure that my chapter 1 link still goes to chapter 1 and not to the TOC.

    Mind the Thorns a Reader Directed Urban Fantasy
    Bastion: The Last Hope a web novel of the end of days
  11. George M. Frost (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Haha, oh yeah, I noticed that, too. It's really annoying.

    The Zombie Knight Saga -- undead superheroics
  12. Chris Poirier (Moderator)

    Posted 6 years ago

    The chapter-66_5125 thing—is it possible you have a second draft saved? If it already felt the chapter-66 name was taken, it might try to disambiguate with some extra stuff. WordPress does that. It can be highly annoying.

  13. Alice (Blocked)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Nope. Drafts are marked as such in the posts section of my control panel, and there are none. I've checked, and there are no other Chapter 66's in my list either. Still have no clue about that.

  14. Alice (Blocked)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Blogger hates Goldilocks.

    What I mean is, I was getting my next update ready to go for tomorrow, but Blogger is once again playing havoc with my formatting. Only this time it's especially stupid.

    I use Trebuchet, Normal Size, for all my chapter posts. I want to stick to that to maintain consistency. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that Blogger utterly refuses to accept 'Normal' size text now. I did a little experiment, if you use Blogger you can see it happen.

    Blogger has five size selections - Smallest, Small, Normal, Large, Largest. If you use any of them, then switch to html mode, you will see the html coding for the font size. Well here's the results.

    Smallest = xx-small
    Small = x-small
    Normal = small
    Large = large
    Largest = x-large

    ... what happened to normal? If you manually rewrite the html from 'small' to 'normal', then you do get normal sized text. Which is fine if you're just testing it out on a few random words. But if you have an entire formatted post, with paragraphs and everything?

    Blogger hates Goldilocks. Small is too small, large is too large, normal is just right. But it won't let me have normal without a boat load of manual tedious html rewriting. What the hell, blogger. What. The. Hell.

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