Main | Contact John T Unger at TypePad Hacks »

John T. Unger

Frequently Asked Questions

John T. Unger March 1, 2006



Got a question? I bet you do. Instead of me guessing what you might want to know and trying to come up with stock answers, I'd like to invite you to ask me your question right now.

The real beauty of blogs is that you can post your question below as a comment, right where everyone can see it. I'll answer it in it's own post and provide a link to the answer here in the comments.

If all the Q+A's are collected here, on this post, we'll have a great FAQ in no time. So fire when ready!

More Like This: Info


Craig says:


We have recently got ourselves a typepad ac, i can't for the life of me work out to have a feed on our website showing our recent news articles from typepad, any chance you could point me in the right direction.

Thanks and kind regards,

Craig Ruddock

Graham says:

I'd like to know if there is an easy way to make a three column design with the main post column being on the left while two list columns appear on the right?

john t unger says:

Hi Craig,

That's a great question and I have two answers for you. I've written them up in a post here:

john t unger says:


That's definitely a good question. I don't know the answer, but I will find out for you. I seem to remember thinking it wasn't doable before I started messing with advanced templates, but already I have an idea of how it *could* maybe be done. I'll try some things out and post the answer into the entry above as soon as I've got a solution.

john t unger says:


Sorry it took me so long… Your tutorial is up and ready here.

Fisking Central says:

Is there a way of editing the pre-defined templates without first building them from scratch? I use Vicksburg Red at the moment, but in a 3 column layout, the middle column is far too narrow. What is the easiest way to extend the width, while maintaining the look of the blog otherwise?

Cheers for your help, and great site!

john t unger says:


If I'm understanding your question right, you'd like to be able to change the width of a column in a stock layout without converting to advanced templates… is that correct? If so, here's how you do it:

Go to the design tab for your blog and click on "change Theme." At the very top, click "edit this element" for "General Page Settings." A pop-up window will appear, offering you several options for the styles of your columns. The Main Content Column allows you to edit your center text column settings. At the very top of this section, there's a drop down menu that allows you to select from the following widths: 300, 400, 500 or fluid. My suggestion is to use a fluid width, which will expand the column to fit any browser window… but some people prefer to have a set width.

Your choices are limited to the above in Basic Templates, but if you convert to advanced you can hack around in the template and CSS code to set a fixed width other than the choices listed above.

Hope that helps!

Richard Murray says:

Hope you can help with this. I can't seem to find an answer anywhere. When viewing my site through Internet Explorer (at least with 6.0), the text size is way too big. Particularly in the posts themselves. When viewing it through Firefox, Opera, or Safari, everything looks fine. I just noticed this recently as I only mainly use Firefox myself. Do you know what causes this, and what can be done about it? My site looks ridiculous when viewed through IE.

Thanks in advance for an help you can give.

Fisking Central says:

Dear John,

Thanks for the above comment. However, I can't find the "edit this element" button - at least not for a pre-defined theme. I want tou use Vicksburg Red and 3 columns, just with a wider middle column than the pre-defined layout offers. Am I just being stupid?

Cheers again,


john t unger says:


Your blog looks the same to me in explorer as it does in FireFox. Did you check it on the same machine you used to view the others, or is there a chance that you were viewing it on a different machine with a smaller pixel dimension to the screen? Older screens with less resolution will display sites as larger. It's also possible that the preferences in IE were set to display larger type.

That's my two best guesses anyway.

Bud Parr says:

You may want to see this article at "Learning Movable Type"

It applies to IE5, but it seems you are having the same problem, so worth a check.

Bud Parr says:

Oops - wrong link: From my last comment, the link for Learning Movable Type is:

john t unger says:


Oops. My bad… You have to select custom theme in order to access the the "edit this element" button. And you're right, it then ditches all the info from the previously selected pre-defined theme and forces you to start from the default colors and settings. Sorry, I forgot that because I've never tried to replicate or alter the pre-defined themes…

However, all is not lost. If you're really set on the Vicksburg Red motif, what you *could* do is view the source for your blog in a separate window or tab and recreate all the colors and settings as a custom theme with the width alteration you desire. It's more work, but worth it to get exactly what you want.

It seems like it *should* be possible to edit the settings on pre-defined themes, using them as a starting point but I'm going to guess that the reasoning behind not offering that option was that the pre-defined themes were designed to offer people an easy way to set up a blog without having to mess with the design at all.

Richard Murray says:

John and Budd,
Thanks for the help. I figured it out. I had an open tag near in the code. Doh! God knows how long I had it there. I haven't viewed the site through IE in so long.


john t unger says:


Glad you got it! Odd that it only showed up as a problem in IE… I had an open tag in one of my typelists once that caused the entire blog to display in bold type. Took forever to figure out what was going on with that.

It's probably worth running your blog through the W3C Markup Validation Service every once in a while. It should catch errors like this (in fact, it's much, much more finicky than I quite like).

brian says:

I'm sorry if this has already been covered elsewhere, but I've been googling for an hour with no luck. I have a website in which I want to incorporate my typepad blog as a sort of newsfeed on teh main page. As I understand it, domain mapping will just forward the user to my typepad page. Is there any way to incorporate the blog as content?


john t unger says:

Hi Brian,

The answer you're looking for is here:

robert tayag says:

i always read your blog,got lot of info!visit mine too!

The Franchise King says:

Hi John,
From a non too techy dude from cleveland. Ok. I have been a typepad blogger for a year now, just upgraded to pro to use some css stuff, and am lost!
I have just redid my blog- The Franchise King Blog, and am using "powell street'.
Love it, but want to make the pages wider...
i thought could do it, but not...
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanx, Joel Libava

john t unger says:


Refer to this Knowledge Base article: Using Custom CSS to Change Column Widths. It should tell you what you need to know.

Abby Straus says:

Hi there.

The main body column of my blog isn't showing up in IE. Being a Firefox user, I'm not sure how long this has been happening, but I just started getting word of it from readers. The text shows up in the code, but no dice in the browser. I have IE 7...not sure about others.

Any suggestions?

Many thanks for your help and this great resource.

Abby Straus

The comments to this entry are closed.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Frequently Asked Questions:

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


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



Twitter Logo
    follow typepadhacks on twitter

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



    Powered by TypePad
    Member since 03/2005

    TypePad Status

    Creative Commons License