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John T. Unger

How to Make TypeLists Without Titles

John T. Unger December 5, 2006

One of the requested features on the Agenda Page reads:

I would like to be able to make a notes TypeList that does not display a title, only the content.

There are times where it might be nice not to have the clutter of a Typelist title. On many blogs, I like to post an image at the top of the sidebar with no title above it. Most ads and many widgets have their own title, making an additional title redundant. Also, because space is limited above the fold, you might want to maximize the use of space in your Sidebar.

If you're using Advanced Templates, the easiest way to make titles disappear is to add content directly to your sidebar template. This is also the only way to position a graphic at the top of your sidebar without having a title above it. Here's how you do it:

  1. Go to the Design tab for your blog
  2. Under Index Templates, find the template labeled Sidebar and click on it.
  3. Add any HTML you want. I find that it is often easiest to format the HTML in an external editor like Dreamweaver, but you can also use the TypePad Compose Post window for simple things like editing links or images and then copy the HTML code from the Edit HTML window. Any HTML that works in a normal web page can be added to your Sidebar Template, including CSS and Javascript.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Click Republish.
  6. View your blog and make sure the code displays the way you want it to.

If you're using Basic Templates on your blog, you can still add items to your sidebar without titles (except at the very top) by using paragraph or break tags to set items apart from one another in a Notes style TypeList.

For instance, in my current sidebar, everything under the Subscribe heading is pasted into a single Notes TypeList until you get to the Rate my Blog item. The items below that are pasted directly into the Sidebar Template until you get to the Blog Tools headline which is another Typelist.

Really, all of that content could be in a single Typelist, set apart by paragraph or break tags except the code for the Recent Comments. (Recent Comments can be added to a Basic Template Blog from the Change Content Selections section of the Design Wizard, but must be added directly to the sidebar template to run in Advanced Templates).

Additional Notes: Even if you're familiar with HTML, some of the following may be useful to you.

  1. Be extremely careful to properly close HTML tags! An unclosed tag in your Sidebar Template or TypeList will prevent your posts from displaying. It's pretty common to make a mistake when you're cutting and pasting code. Fortunately, it's also easy to fix.
  2. Before you save and republish, copy all your code into a text file, in case something goes wrong. If you include a tag that isn't supported, you will find that all the code that followed it has disappeared forever after the save.
  3. I find that the easiest way to organize items in my TypeLists is to paste all the items into a single Note field in a Notes style TypeList. Typelists don't support drag and drop reordering of items added in individual fields. If they're all in one field, I can re-order them by simply cutting and pasting in later edits. On the other hand, it can be useful to separate groups of items into different TypeLists just so you know where to look for them.
  4. Use comment tags to set off individual segments of code. Not only does this make it easier to edit the source code at a later date, it also makes it less likely that you will have a cut + paste error with your tags. Comment tags and the content within them will be ignored by the browser. <!-- This is a comment tag -->
  5. I find that CSS div tags work better than HTML for some things (like text justification).

Bonus Hack: Add a TypeList Title Header to an Existing TypeList

Why would you want to do that? Well, now that you know that you can paste as many items as you want into a single Notes style TypeList, You might decide that it's easier to separate items with a header than put them into separate TypeLists. Less maintenance, more editing capability. The most common reason I would do this is to avoid having to add a new TypeList to a blog that runs in Advanced Templates. One of the complaints I hear most about Typelists is the difficulty of guessing the correct file name to add a new Typelist to a blog using Advanced Templates.

The tag to create Typelist titles is: <h2 class="module-header">Title</h2>

More Like This: Advanced Templates , Agenda Updates , Hacks for Typelists , Typelists + Sidebars

Comments

Showpeople says:

This is a great simple instruction. Thanks very much. Have been trying to find it in the Typepad documentation with no luck. Hits the nail on the head.

Debra Hamel says:

>>One of the complaints I hear most about Typelists is the difficulty of guessing the correct file name to add a new Typelist to a blog using Advanced Templates.

Yes! That is so annoying! I've gone so far as to make dummy blogs and add the TypeList, then see what it's called. Nowadays when I'm adding new things I forego TypeLists and put stuff straight into the sidebar. It's just easier.

Debra Hamel says:

>>If you're using Basic Templates on your blog, you can still add items to your sidebar without titles (except at the very top) by using paragraph or break tags to set items apart from one another in a Notes style TypeList.

By the way, I'm virtually positive it's possible to omit the title even at the top using basic templates: you just give the list a title that's inside comment tags:

Debra Hamel says:

Me again. My code, of course, didn't show up. Let's try that again: <!-- TYPEPAD TITLE -->

john t unger says:

Brilliant idea, Deb! I just tried it, and it does *almost* work… It creates a working typelist with no title, but still shows the underscore horizontal rule below where the title would go.

Of course, if you wanted a horizontal rule to go between items, that could be useful.

john t unger says:

Deb,

>>Yes! That is so annoying! I've gone so far as to make dummy blogs and add the TypeList, then see what it's called.

You'll like the upcoming post I'm working on that solves this problem in several easy ways!

Debra Hamel says:

For that you can redefine your module-header style in your stylesheet so that there aren't horizontal lines. Of course, then you'd have to add horizontal lines to other typelist headers.... What would happen if you styled the typelist title that you don't want underlined? Would that override your module-header style? So the title would be something like this:

<span style="border-bottom:0px;"><!-- NON-UNDERLINED TITLE --></span>

Katie Konrath says:

I'm using the Typelist organization code (< !-- A -- >) to create Typelists without names. Of course, I don't use a horizontal line under any of my Typelists, so it works almost perfectly in a Basic template.

The only problem is that the items won't be flush with the top of the blog, but that's also not an issue in my case.

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