Nifty tip for commenters: a brief guide to the Text Formatting Toolbar Extension

Are you struggling with formatting your blog comments in the appropriate HTML? Want to quote clearly, add a link, emphasise a little?

You might have noticed the link to the Firefox add-on “Text Formatting Toolbar Extension” just above the comments box. I’m just posting to plug it some more! Because I ❤ this little gadget.

If you're anything like me, you're always fumbling over typing things like {blockquote} (with angle brackets, of course), or you can't remember the tag in the first place, or you forget to close tags and suddenly the whole blog goes italic on you (or, hrm, magenta, not that anyone’s done THAT lately).

The Text Formatting Toolbar Extension fixes all that by giving you a click-n-tag interface for all your HTML and BBCode needs. BBCode = bulletin board code, used on web fora. It does something called “Wiki Code” too.

You need Firefox first, so grab it if you haven’t already. Then install the Text Formatting Toolbar Extension, and restart Firefox.

Now go to the View menu, choose Toolbars, and choose Text Formatting toolbar to show it as a bar in your browser window. You’ll see something like this appear below your Navigation and Bookmarks bars:

Picture 1

Look to the end, click on BBCode, and switch it to HTML in the dropdown. Now you’re ready to highlight the relevant text and apply formats to your comments on Hoyden and anywhere else. Just hover over the different widgets to see what does what, but they’re pretty self-explanatory: the giant quotemarks do a blockquote, the wee planet Earth does a link (it will ask you for the URL), the bold and italic and strikethrough you’ll recognise. Go easy on font colours and sizes though, eh?

And while you’re installing nifty toolbars, grab Stumbleupon. Tell it a few interest areas, then click the Stumble button for a random website. Click the thumbs-up or thumbs-down, and Stumbleupon will learn what you like, and feed you ever more relevant stuff.

If you’re browsing around and you see a webpage you like especially and would like to share with others (say, a particularly poignant or witty Hoyden post, just for example), click the Thumbs Up to submit the page to Stumbleupon, which will ask you to plug in a brief summary, review or excerpt (One sentence, nothing onerous). SU will then start sharing your likes with others who have similar interests.

Categories: Meta, technology


4 replies

  1. Thank you!
    blue milk’s last blog milk recommends

  2. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? L’s always finding handy things like this.

  3. good god. lifesaver. thank you!
    Tim’s last blog post..Keeping the oldies entertained

  4. You’re welcome! Tigtog and I were chatting, and I was musing “You know, what I’d really like is a little toolbar or extension or something that would provide GUI HTML formatting tools ….. *googles* …. Oh, wait.”
    Lauredhel’s last blog post..Estrangement, entitlement, evaluation: questions arising

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