« Submit your Best TypePad Hack(s) | Main | More Thoughts on Blog Stores »

John T. Unger

Now taking Requests (More obviously than Before)

John T. Unger April 11, 2006

I've had a number of requests come in through comments and emails, which is great. That's exactly how this blog is designed to work. In a recent comment Tom Maddox wrote:

I don't understand how this blog serves as a forum. I don't see a way to start a topic or ask for help with particular problems.

You can submit questions, requests and topic suggestions in the comments on any page. I'll get an email alerting me to it, and will respond as quickly as I can. If the question relates to a specific post, the best place to leave it is in the comments of that post.

Is there a specific Hack you'd like to request? Is there an issue, idea, problem, or topic you would like more info on? Feedback you'd like to leave? This page is a good place to leave requests so that others can see if they've already been addressed. I'll do my best to find answers as soon as I can.

More Like This: Community , Dialogue , Info , TypePad Hacks

Comments

Bill Burnham says:

Has anyone published a decent guide to TypePad's CSS sheet? I have hacked it on my site to change a number of things, but basically had to use a lot of trial and error because there's no reference guide or map that spells out which HTML/CSS tag applies to which design element. I figured that this would be something that SixApart would list in the FAQ/knowledge base, but no luck. If no one has created it, perhaps we can create some kind of Open Source version where everyone gives their 2 cents.

Bud Parr says:

Bill, TypePad does have a decent guide to their CSS layout:
http://support.typepad.com/cgi-bin/typepad.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=8
https://support.typepad.com/cgi-bin/typepad.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=11&p_lva=8

The second link there even has a graphical layout.

Also, check out some of the developer tools available as extensions in Firefox, particularly CSS viewer, and there's one that outlines block level elements, etc. I think you'll find those helpful.

Bud

john t unger says:

Bud,

Thanks for fielding that one!

Laurie says:

Hi, I've been using typepad for a while now and would like to expand its use in my business. I've been thinking of transferring my main site over to a host that provides full mail list/guestbook/news/calendar services, setting up selling etc there, and keeping Typepad for blog and special offer pages, etc.

Question is this: Is there a *simple* way to take the Typepad css AND template structure into say, Dreamweaver and copy my content (re-adding the image links) to re-create the look of my blog onto the new site. There will be things I want to change, but I'm just looking to not have to start from square one. (PS I've set up a full site before -www.suzannemcdermott.com -and have used css some, but I'm not a real whiz at this stuff). I appreciate any guidance.

john t unger says:

Hi Laurie,

I'll respond to your recent comment in a separate post soon... there isn't really a "simple" way to create a new site based on your typepad blog, but there ways to go about it that would be not too difficult. I want to think about it a bit and see what the clearest instructions are that I can provide.

Bud Parr says:

If I can jump in on that, just want to say that you can also keep your blog at TypePad and just map over a sub-domain to the TypePad site.

Here's an example:
http://drinkup.jasonebullock.com/

His main site is www.jasonbullock.com, hosted on its own server, but for blog, typepad was a good choice so he would never have to worry about software updates.
If he put in a favicon of his own, you'd never really know it was Typepad.

Bud

john t unger says:

Bud,

You're always welcome to field questions and make suggestions!

In fact, that's a really valuable bit of info that's often overlooked.

Any thoughts on converting a blog to regular HTML? At present, I'm thinking the *fastest and easiest* way would be to recreate the layout from scratch using tables, then import the style info from CSS. I'm not all that hot at laying out content with CSS positioning, so that's probably how I'd do it. But I'd welcome any better suggestions.

Bud Parr says:

If you mean pulling the blog's design out of TypePad, that's a tough one. TypePad's CSS is rather complex in that there are imported styles @import stylesheet (I think to keep those styles from confusing older browsers) and (potentially) user styles that compete with what's already there, plus all the extra module stuff and the alpha-beta-gamma thing to make it easy to switch layouts, plus there's a funky little style trick they use, hiding content way off the left; in short, don't try this at home folks.

I think the best way to go is to just worry about exporting and importing the content and making the site anew. If moving over to a server, then using MT (as a logical choice), try using movable style http://movablestyle.com/ which is an easy to use template wizard for MT, then hack away.

If not that option, I think dreamweaver/golive also come with blog templates.

john t unger says:

Hey Bud,

It sounds to me like Laurie's not looking to move or re-create her actual blog… she seems to want to build a separate site someplace that allows her to host other types of apps not available in TypePad and "re-create the look of my blog onto the new site."

Laurie, My advice would be to do the basic page layout from scratch in Dreamweaver. That part isn't likely to take too long since we're just talking about columns and headers. As for the CSS, Bud is right that there's a ton of stuff that really only applies to blog layout, or legacy issues, etc. But you could certainly scroll through it and copy just the parts that apply to text styles, links, etc. That would probably be the easiest way to go about this.

Laurie says:

John & Bud,
You're right, I can get the basic layout in tables and go from there. I appreciate your help! I was looking for the easy way out, but I guess that's it. Thanks for taking the time to look at this.

Laurie

MiamiGirl says:

Hey guys. I wanted to know if you know how to put google adsense code in every other post automatically? I saw a hack over at Problogger but it's for Wordpress. I would also be interested in putting the code just on the Main Page of the post. Any ideas?

Thanks ahead of time.

MiamiGirl

john t unger says:

MiamiGirl,

that's the second request for the adsense hack so far. I'll see if I can come up with something…

I've been putting it off because I don't have an adsense account myself, but I'll add it to the list of "hacks in development" and try to get you an answer within the next week or two.

Gotta finish the ones that are on my plate, first, okay?

MiamiGirl says:

John I figured it out. I will submit the hack a little later this week. Thanks MiamiGirl.

john t unger says:

MiamiGirl,

Cool! Glad you got it and look forward to seeing what you came up with!

dthomasmaddox says:

A question about podcasting. Typepad support rather glibly says they "support" podcasts, but I can't see that they do much more than allow you to import files.

And my feed just shows a podcast file as part of a posting (have a look at http://blog.opinity.com/2006/04/a_talk_with_ste.html for an example).

In short, it looks like a podcast doesn't show up as a podcast in an RSS feed but as a blog post.

Shouldn't there be more?

Tom

dthomasmaddox says:

And a question about image captions. If I just import an image into a post, is there any way to caption the image?

Thanks,

Tom

Bud Parr says:

This isn't really a good answer, but I don't there are any for adding captions (I tend to do mine right in Photoshop). Anyway, here's a caption help page:
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www/captions.html

john t unger says:

Tom,

I really haven't played with podcasting at all yet, so I'm not sure what to suggest for you. Can you be more specific about what you'd like to see? Are you looking for a way to embed the file so it plays on the page, for instance, or do you want other specific features?

To make the podcast playable on the page I do have two suggestions…

1. del.icio.us has a javascript solution called PlayTagger that you can use to make MP3s play right on the page. It has an on/off setting so that readers don't *need* to hear it (or wait for it to load) unless they want to. Go to http://del.icio.us/help/playtagger to find out more.

2. Feedplayer is a pretty sweet podcasting player you can add to your site for free. It updates content from your RSS feed, allows your listeners to subscribe, etc. More here: http://www.bigcontact.com/feedplayer-slim.php

Let me know if that helps. If not, let me know more about what specific features you need and I'll see what I can trck down for you.

john t unger says:

Tom,

RE: image captions… Are you asking how to change the title and alt tags for the image? All you need to do is switch to the edit HTML window in your compose post window. Scroll through the text and code until you find the image and edit the tags by hand. TypePad automatically inserts the file name for both of these. Just be careful not to change the file name for the actual image itself.

michele says:

There are a lot of really good design templates over at http://www.thestylecontest.com/ but I haven't a clue how to integrate those designs into a typepad template.

This has to do with CSS and advanced templates. Can you share in a post how to integrate the files after unzipping them? Step 1, step 2. That would be helpful.

Love this site!!
Michele

raylen says:

how do i get on myspace at school..? the proxies r blocked..?

Christian Robinson says:

I am trying to make posts that have very particular spacing. The posts are step by step instructions and therefore must have an image along the right hand side that goes along with each step. My problem is that sometimes, not always, typepad is deleting or stripping out my line brake
tags. It seems to work a little better if I go in a edit the HTML manually but even then if I go between the preview and edit modes of the post some of the brakes get deleted. Is there a way to turn off some kind of HTML clean up or extra line brake deleting?

john t unger says:

Raylen,

Sorry, can't help you on that one…

Christian,

My suggestion would be to post the all the photos as a draft entry first, then copy the html into an external editor like dreamweaver to get the layout just the way you want it. You could use tables to make sure that the breaks are just where you want them. When you've got it all looking the way you want, take the html from dreamweaver (or whichever) and paste it into th ehtml field for typepad. Save the post as a live entry and you should be all set.

I pretty much do all my more complicated layouts "off-blog" and then paste them in. I find that works much better for me, especially when I'm using PayPal buttons, etc.

I know it kinda defeats the whole purpose of blogs as online editors, but when you really have a very specific goal sometimes it's better to use a more advanced tool that's designed for that goal.

john t unger says:

Michelle,

I think a lot of the template at the style contest will be available as default templates once they choose a winner. I was looking at the site in more depth the night before the contest ended (yeah, yeah, I *meant* to submit last minute. Alas, too much going on) anyway, I was looking and noticed that they have some totally stellar design resources that were put together for the purposes of the contest.

I will be posting more about how to do that kind of template hacking in the future, when I get caught up a bit with the stuff that's currently on my plate.

If you get impatient (and that's okay to do) remind me. Often, the squeakiest wheel will get the grease!

Beth B. says:

I am a techie turned blogger mom with a typepad collaborative blog (svmoms.com). I really enjoy using typepad and blogging. I have searched the knowledgebase but can't seem to find how to create drop-down boxes for categories (you have some cool drop down boxes).

I am so happy that you created this blog! Added it to our site favorites and to my own personal favorites!

The comments to this entry are closed.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c4fdf53ef00d8341cf3ac53ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Now taking Requests (More obviously than Before):

typepad hacks is a typepad featured weblog typepad hacks is listed on Alltop social media

Subscribe

Email RSS Comments  
Subscribe to TypePad Hacks with email Read TypePad Hacks posts via RSS Join the conversation at TypePad Hacks via RSS (comments feed) subscriber count

Search

Socialize

Twitter Logo
    follow typepadhacks on twitter

    Read and reply to the 100 most recent comments at the TypePad Hacks Community Page


    Grazr

    Colophon

    Powered by TypePad
    Member since 03/2005

    TypePad Status

    Creative Commons License