How to Use (Read: Avoid) Blogger's New Editor

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Some time ago, Blogger, a Google subsidiary, changed its post editor. I haven't used the native editor for much in years, so the impact of this change on me was only mildly irritating. I found ways to avoid the problems I encountered and mostly forgot about it.

Apparently, though, the change has been quite a headache for others, including people who, like me, sling their own HTML.

Since I'm happy enough with the platform, but mostly avoid using its editor, I figured I'd pass along my solutions to the problems others have mentioned.

The biggest source of problems from the change (which was motivated by security considerations, I think) is that switching between the editor's Compose and HTML modes can introduce unwanted changes in the markup. (For example, italics tags get changed to emphasis tags and hypertext anchors get removed altogether if one toggles to Compose after working in HTML.)

Another problem is that the post list is ... not helpful.

So here is how to avoid using the editor for (1) new posts and (2) editing old ones. If you want advice on the nitty gritty of using the native editor beyond these, you're on your own.

1. Composing New Posts

  1. Edit your post in the text editor/word processor of your choice.
  2. Log in to Blogger.
  3. Hit the New Post button.
  4. If you intend to upload media, like images, set the editor to Compose View. Upload any images, and set whatever parameters you need now. (You can insert images within HTML Mode, but you will not be able to toggle caption mode there. I suppose you could get boilerplate to do that, but that solution strikes me as more cumbersome than using the tools in Compose View.)
  5. Switch to HTML View. For any images, there will be extraneous paragraph tags, break tags, and non-breaking space entities before or after the tags containing the media and formatting instructions. Remove them, if you don't want them. Each caption will have a trailing break tag, too.
  6. Dump the content of your blog post into the Blogger editor. (I usually have mine in this order: Post Title, Caption(s), and Post Body.) Cut and paste within the editor to assemble the post the way you need. Luckily, using Preview does not alter your post, so you will be able to get a good idea of how it will look as you make final edits.
  7. When satisfied, hit Publish.
You may copy or use my screeenshot as you please, with or without attribution.
2. Finding and Editing Old Posts
  1. Log in to Blogger.
  2. From your blog or using a search engine, find the post you want to edit and visit that post.
  3. In case the editor opens in Compose View or you inadvertently switch modes during editing, select the body of your post, then use your browser's View Selection Source capability to obtain the HTML. Save this somewhere as a backup.
  4. Find the pencil icon on the bottom of that post. (This appears only when the author of the blog is logged on.)
  5. Click the pencil icon (circled in screenshot) to open the post in the editor.
  6. Make sure you are in HTML View and make your edits.
  7. Preview and publish as before.
I hope you find this helpful. If you have encountered other issues and have workarounds that might help fellow Blogger bloggers, feel free to leave a comment below.

-- CAV

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