The Stardock Blog Navigator feature tour – Part V

Blogging with Blog Navigator Proffesional – writing articles with images

Originally posted on JoeUser.com

The fourth part of the article already available here…

If you have used any mail program supporting HTML there is really not all that much new I can show you here. Writing blogs with Blog Navigator is a breeze. Simply select New Blog Article from the File menu from the main menu or:

from the main toolbar and Blog Navigator will create a new editing windows for you where you can edit your article in a WYSIWYG manner. Let’s take a screenshot of this article being written… Ok, the screenshot is taken, but how do you insert it into the article. Well… for the screenshot to be available for your blog readers it has to be online somewhere, available from a web server. How do you put one on a web server? You can upload it manually with an FTP client or… let BlogNavigator do it for you.

Blog navigator allows you to add picture already available online by clicking the hand pointed tool button on the right of the lower toolbar. It will then ask you for an address and will make use of it. But! The real time saver is the button pointed at in the middle of the top toolbar. You can configure your FTP settings once and let Blog Navigator do the tedious job of uploading pictures for you. So I’ll click the button now… since it’s the first time I’m using it and i did not configure that option in the previous article, Blog Navigator informed me that I need to do it now. I clicked OK on the message box and configured it as specified in the table.

FTP server configuration

The first four fields are pretty self explanatory, you need to specify the address of the server and the port it’s using for for the FTP protocol. The username and the password are needed for the server to let you in. The “folder on the FTP server” you specify is the folder you want your file to be uploaded into. This folder needs to be available online through a web server and that’s what you specify in the last field – it’s the URL that represents the folder for browsers.

Let’s say I configured it like shown on my screenshot. If I’ll choose to upload a file from say… C:\BlogNavigator.gif – that file will be uploaded to the server ftp.skinstudio.net and will be put in the /blog_bin/bn/ folder on that server. After that I know (since I specified that in the last field) that it will be available as  Link .

Once the account is configured, and you will only have to do it once, you get the very dialog that allows you to upload the file:

The OK button will stay disabled as long as an existing file will not be chosen. You can enter the name directly or click on the Browse button and select the image you wish to upload. And we’re required to choose from between the three options.

  • The first one is the one I use to upload thumbnails I enter into this article. Just as it says in the dialog – it uploads the image and uts it in the article like you would paste an image into a Word document.
  • The second option I use for images that you get after you click on my thumbnails. I just make sure the thumbnail is selected before pressing the “Upload file” tool button in the article editor.
  • The third option has absolutely no effect on the article and simply puts a file on a server without doung anything else afterwards.

The editor features most of the elements you may need in your blog.

You can insert and edit links with “Link” option availavle in the “Insert” menu as well as from the toolbar. The “table” menu in the editor also allows you to insert and edit tables. and so on… most things can be done in a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) way. But for the most advanced options you may want to edit the code directly and for that you have the “Code” tab. If you want to make sure how will your code look and behave in Internet Explorer then the “Preview” tab is there for you.

Most of the WYSIWYG editing options is available from the lower toolbar also most of them are available with a handful of shortcuts. You will find the most important ones here.

Depending on the service you use for your blog the top pane fields may differ in number or flexibility. Blogger 1.0 does not allow for title. Only JoeUser offers a link, subtitle and subcategory in addition to regular category. Not all blogging services support categories at all. But that’s not your problem really. Blog Navigator knows those things and will only provide you with the fields the service allows you to specify.

I’m done! I want them to read it!

Now after the article is written here come the 3 important buttons:

You’ve got that very important message for the world you want them to read it. And here come the three, probably the most important, buttons in the editor:

  • post – put the article on the blog server but do not make it available to everyone but just me. It’s a hidden article that will become visile once you publish it
  • publish – put the article on the blog server and make it available to for everyone. Alternatively update the article and if not available to the general public, make it available. Not for every service it’s possible to hide the article back so make sure the published article is ready for the general audience.
  • postpone – keep the current version locally. If an article was never uploaded the article is just local. if however it was already published, do not change it on the server, but keep the changes on user’s computer for later update of the online version.

That’s it. That’s all you need to know to use Blog Navigator as your publishing tool and even that is pretty detailed since in most cases you will not even need the file uploading.

Have fun, and

Stay tuned for more soon!

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Article editor shortcut summary

Originally posted on JoeUser.com

Stardock Blog Navigator Professional offers a host of keyboard accelerators while you edit your articles.
Here you have a short summary of the most important keystrokes used by the article editor.

Formatting

Description (Command) Key
Toggle bold formatting CtrL+B
Toggle italic formatting CtrL+I
Toggle underlining CtrL+U
Increase paragraph indent CtrL+T
Decrease paragraph indent CtrL+SHIFT+T

Posting and file operations

Description Key
Save the edited article into a locally stored file CtrL+S
Post the edited article to online blog (make it visible for the user butnot to the general public) ALT+S
Publish the edited article to online blog (make it visible for the general public) CtrL+SHIFT+S
Upload a file/image to an associated FTP account for use in the edited article ALT+U
Insert Image CtrL+SHIFT+I
Insert Horizontal line at the end of the edited article CtrL+SHIFT+H
Print edited article

CtrL+P

Movement

Description Key
Move one character to the right. If an absolutely positioned element is selected, nudge the element one pixel to the right. RIGHT ARROW
Move one character to the left. If an absolutely positioned element is selected, nudge the element one pixel to the left. LEFT ARROW
Move down one line. If an absolutely positioned element is selected, nudge the element down one pixel. DOWN ARROW
Move up one line. If an absolutely positioned element is selected, nudge the element up one pixel. UP ARROW
Move right one word CtrL+RIGHT ARROW
Move left one word CtrL+LEFT ARROW
Move to the end of the current line END
Move to the start of the current line HOME
Move down one paragraph CtrL+DOWN ARROW
Move up one paragraph CtrL+UP ARROW
Move down one page PAGE DOWN
Move up one page PAGE UP
Move to the beginning of the document CtrL+HOME
Move to the end of the document CtrL+END
Cycle selection through block-level elements within the control TAB
Reverse-cycle selection through block-level elements within the control SHIFT+TAB

Selection

Description (Command) Key
Extend the selection one character to the right SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW
Extend the selection one character to the left SHIFT+LEFT ARROW
Extend the selection right one word CtrL+SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW
Extend the selection left one word CtrL+SHIFT+LEFT ARROW
Extend the selection up one line SHIFT+UP ARROW
Extend the selection down one line SHIFT+DOWN ARROW
Extend the selection to the end of the current line SHIFT+END
Extend the selection to the start of the current line SHIFT+HOME
Extend the selection down one page SHIFT+PAGE DOWN
Extend the selection up one page SHIFT+PAGE UP
Extend the selection to the end of the document CtrL+SHIFT+END
Extend the selection to the beginning of the document CtrL+SHIFT+HOME
Select all elements in the document CtrL+A

Editing

Description (Command) Key
Delete the selection or, if there is no selection, the character to the left of the insertion point BACKSPACE
Delete all of a word to the left of the insertion pointer, not including the space before CtrL+BACKSPACE
Copy the selection to the Clipboard CtrL+C
Paste the contents of the Clipboard to the current location CtrL+V
Cut the selection to the Clipboard CtrL+X
Delete the selection without placing it on the Clipboard DELETE
Toggle between inserting and overwriting text INSERT
Undo the most recent formatting commands CtrL+Z
Re-do the most recently undone commands CtrL+Y
Find text CtrL+F
Display the Hyperlink dialog box if the insertion point is within an <a> element CtrL+L
Toggle absolute positioning for the selected element CtrL+K

absolute positioning

A CSS feature that allows elements in a Web page to be positioned using style attributes that function like x and y coordinates. Using CSS styles, absolutely positioned elements also support a z-index that allows them to appear in front of or behind other elements on the page. Absolute positioning is a DHTML feature implemented through various style attributes.

Partially copyright © 2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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You thought you’ve tried them all already – now it’s time to try the ultimate experience!

Originally posted on JoeUser.com

First of all let me express how excited I am about the release of Blog Navigator. I think we did a good job on it and I am trully amazed at our approach to its release. 

Let me explain why.  Mind that Stardock kept a guy :) ) on a payroll for a better part of a year to do this.

We’ve been discussing the Blog Navigator release yesterday and Brad actually decided to remove ALL the RSS related limitations from the free edition of Blog Navigator! What does that mean? It means there is no longer a limit of a single instance of Basket, Article Monitor and Web Search (Internet Article Monitor) in the free version! You get everything that makes it a great RSS reader and it’s NOT a trial or a shareware that will nag you in any way, neither you are limited at how you use it. You can use it at home, and you can use it at work (I would not however recommend taking it to the beach – notebooks don’t like the sand involved)!

Thank you Stardock!

If you’re into RSS/feeds/syndication and already have a reader – Blog Navigator comes with a handfull of importing filters – it’s very likely that you will be able to move all your feeds within a minute or even have them autodetected and done automatically. So if you want to be sure you never miss an article on your favorite sites, want to monitor for a specific topic or any set of them or just need a cool web browser that will get some more articles in the background for you while you read another one – give it a whirl, share it with a friend, tell a co-worker they can speed up and enrich their daily lecture.

We really tried to make it the best possible syndication experience out there – now you can see if we succeeded. Tell us if you like it. We will gladly hear what we can do to make it better. I would like to thank all beta testers withough which suggestions it would not be what it is now – stressing the enormous part of Brad Wardell and Kris Kwilas in shaping the product and Randy Cox whose suggestions and patience in testing the consecutive versions of betas went beyond all limits.

For the best possible experience read my series of articles on Blog Navigator features and how to make the best use of it

You will find the first part of the series of the articles here.