Thursday, January 10, 2002

Neepery Bloggery HTML Geekery

I received an e-mail from someone wanting to know how I managed to put a picture in my blog. The Blogger interface, after all, doesn't offer you a button for "insert picture". I was halfway through the answer when I realized that, just possibly, other people might be interested too. Thanks to Blogger and tools like it, there are a lot of people creating web pages these days who might not know.

Well, first, of course, you have to locate a picture, and you have to know its URL, its web address. In my case, I took it myself with my widdle digital camera, then took it into Photoshop to crop it, increase the contrast a touch, and size it for the hole I wanted to fill. Then I uploaded the file to my FTP space. Chances are, your ISP is holdling some FTP space for you, too.

So. Now I've got a photo sitting at How to get it into my blog comment?

It's not well publicized, but you can use most HTML code in a Blogger entry. Since I'm one of those long-time web users who wrote his first page with Notepad, I know the form that the image tag takes, which is this:

<img src="">

That's the first line of my comment, right after the subject header. It's that simple. (I had to use another HTML trick to actually display the code rather than the picture, but never mind about that now.) (By the way, I strongly advise you against linking to images on other people's servers.*)

If you have a small image and you want text to wrap around it, put ALIGN=LEFT or ALIGN=RIGHT inside the bracket after the image source URL.

I can highly recommend HTML Goodies: Chances are, whatever part of HTML you're curious about, Joe Burns has written a tutorial to help you add it to your site.

*[LATER: Jerry's comment (click on the "comment" link) regarding copyright issues is well taken. However, when I warned you against displaying images that originate on other people's servers, what I had in mind was bandwidth theft. The web is a genial libertarian anarchy, in which intellectual property ownership is little more than a rumor -- but if you "borrow" bandwidth that someone else is paying for to serve images or other content to your site, you're asking for trouble.]

[LATER STILL: My inner geek demands that I mention this: If you have a web page editor like, say, Dreamweaver, you could use its power to format your comment however you want -- then go to the HTML source view, copy that, and paste it into the "Edit this Post" window in Blogger. But I daresay part of the popularity of Blogger is that you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on an HTML editor to make decent pages with it.]

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