Monday, 19 February 2007

Putting a video in the sidebar

Ok, so how do you put a video in the sidebar, such as the one under my profile on the right?

I'll do my best to take you through the steps... hopefully I haven't missed out anything. I've included everything I can think of (including some things that might seem obvious)

*Let me know if there's something you get stuck on, and I'll see if I can find out why...

(1) Go to the page where the video is, and highlight the 'embed code' (highlighting is automatic in YouTube when you simply click on it).

(2) Then Copy the code. The easiest methods to copy the codes are:
  1. Hold down control key (that says 'Ctrl' bottom left of keyboard) and then press 'C' or
  2. Right-click on highlighted embed code, and scroll down to where it says 'Copy' and left-click

(3) Go to the blog 'Template' page:

I've played with this page quite a bit, so I'm quite familiar with it now, but I remember it as being quite daunting when I first started. Don't worry about it... it gets easier the more you play :-D

Scroll down the Template box until you reach the bit for the sidebar. On my blogs it has usually been about 3/4 way down the template page (if you're looking at the scroll-button on the right of the box...) above the 'profile' bit.

This has usually been helpfully 'titled' by the person who designed the template. Here I've underlined it in red for you:

Scroll down just a little bit further, to immediately after the profile container shown here:

Click in the space below the profile container and Paste the embed code into the template (it's ok to make a line space or two before and after the video code, as the spaces don't show up... This helps to identify it later, if you want to do more to it)

Two easy ways to paste are:

  1. Right click on the page, and scroll down the pop-up until 'paste' and left-click.
  2. Hold down the control key, and press 'V'.
[When the video code is pasted in, the cursor pops up at the end of the line, and it seems to suddenly 'change' the page. Don't worry - it's a long line of code, and has just gone a long way to the right! First time I did this, I thought I'd erased all the rest of the template, which seemed to have disappeared!! :-) ] :

If you were to take a look (clicking on the 'preview' button at the bottom of the box) the video would be huge - as big as it is on the YouTube page, so next you will want to make it smaller.

Twice within the code, you've just pasted in, are instructions on how big it should be. This can be adapted to however big you want. For the sidebar, you'll obviously want it a lot smaller, or it will make the sidebar pop down to the bottom of the page after all the posts!!!

Within the line of code you've just put in (go back to the beginning of the line using the left cursor key) look for the bit that says object width="425" Height="350"

I've found that changing the Width to 200 and the height to 180 seems to fit pretty well:

(9) Repeat for the second place in the code it mentions width and height

(By the way - at the end of the line of code is that little tag I mentioned in my previous post that can cause trouble when putting it into the main post):

Adding a Title

In my sidebar, you'll see I haven't simply put the video in. If you don't want a title, skip ahead to step (12)

I put in the title just above the video code just put in.

Using the same 'link tags' (which I can't put in here as blogger will then link whatever's in the post here) I talked about in the previous post I linked Mother of Invention's name as part of the title.

Then added the words

song "From the Soul Within" (with my video)

You can write anything, and it will appear on the sidebar:

(You can also place your writing just as easily after the video code, so it appears underneath)

Center the Video

(12) If you want to center the video (or anything else you put in the sidebar, for that matter) it is a simple matter of using the center tag we saw in the previous post. Place an [open center] tag before the code (and any other writing you've added):

...and, of course, close the tag after the code, or everything else on the sidebar will be centered, whether you want it to be or not!

Want the Video to come on automatically when someone arrives at your page?

If you don't want it to play automatically, then go on to step (16)

In the same way there were the width and height instructions twice in the video code, so there are two places you will need to add code to make the video play when someone arrives at your page. Both times, it looks like a web-page url:

At the end of this bit, still within the quotation marks "" add this:


(Don't forget to add this same code again, towards the end of the video code):

*** Vital ***

(16) SAVE!!!
Click on 'Save the Template Changes' button.

So, this is what it looks like when you go to the blog:

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Sunday, 11 February 2007


For every tag opening, there is a tag closing...

So if you get a message 'no closing tag' that's what it means! You have to go into edit mode and search for which tag isn't closed... sometimes takes a while...

These are the most common tags you'll find in your html (I can't put them here, because blogger will treat them as being used here - and will do funny things to the post (see end!! :-D ):

Transferring a draft post from 'Word'

The most common reason for this message is because you've written your post in 'Word'... this has a huge amount of tags in it, and for some reason doesn't transfer very well (I know, I tried a couple of times! :-S )

Do you have notepad (you almost definately do! :-))?

If you don't usually use it:

(1) go to the "start" button bottom left of the screen, click on it

(2) go to "All Programs", click

(3) go across to "Accessories", click

(4) go down to "Notepad", click

If you use notepad (rather than Word) to write the draft post, without any changed fonts etc, then you can copy and paste into the blog 'compose' window in that form, and then alter fonts and put in links etc afterwards.

And if you have a post you are already having problems with, you maybe able to copy and paste to "Notepad" (which doesn't store tags - keeping it reeeaaallly simple) it might get rid of the tags so you don't have to take every one of them out and start again....

Embedding, such as a video or slideshow:

The other common occurence for this message is when I've 'embedded' something - either a video or slideshow. You get given the html to put in the post when you create either one, and it's fine when you first put it in.... but then you go back and change something, and hey presto - there's the message "Unable to publish this post... blah blah blah ... tag isn't closed":

So far, it's always been the [open embed] tag (which I can't put in here, because it'll embed the what I place after it), which has been the problem, when I've had this message.

All you have to do is find the section, in html mode, which relates to the video / slideshow and add a [close embed] tag to the end of it! That easy!

...and here's what blogger did to the tag information contained in the first picture above:

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Thursday, 8 February 2007

How to link within a comment

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