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Submitted on
July 4, 2013
Submitted with Writer


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This article was written by PizzaPotatoNBacon for projecteducate's Community Week July 1st - July 7th. It is highly recommended for those who are having problems with the Writer and/or the new Journal Editor. It also includes some tips and tricks using it as well. If you want to learn how to use writer in Rich Editing Mode, Read this article by the lovely Astrikos. Oh, and that cake you're holding? IT IS A LIE. :stare:

Table of contents for easy navigation:

Whai hai thar :hai: Introduction

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Hello, one and all! :party:

  Today, I'm here to talk about Writer and the new Journal Editor as well, since it has been revamped to be just like Writer. Now, everything can be done via rich editing, aka, "no need for HTML 'cause we can just click shiny buttons and press shortcuts". However, many of us prefer the HTML Method. Probably because you need HTML for custom journal skin divs, or because it's stress relieving to type more, or maybe you act OCD towards formatting and you want to make sure everything is correctly formatted, down to the very last pixel. Whatever the reason, a lot of us miss the old days when you used HTML to do the magic. Of course, I don't think the site will revoke writer on the Journal Editor- and this is why I've prepared this guide.

  I've been using Writer a lot (I've used it way more than the actual journal editor) and I've tinkered with it a bit. I've also figured out some things. While is a huge pain in the neck, it also has a lot of uses and features that I love to bits. I also have to mention that, this guide contains something that should solve a lot of your problems regarding Writer and HTML, and I do hope you read on. It also contains table flips, explosions, kittens, and more, so really, why not start? ;)

After you've finished reading, this will be YOU.

:thumbsup: Writer Benefits - The Pros

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Okay, so while writer can be annoying, there happen to be a lot of uses for it, such as:

  • Jump in, jump out, return and continue - You can begin work on something like a contest announcement or an article, save the draft and jump back to it later when you have the time. Simple as that. ;)

  • Chat Logs

  • Private Drafts of any kind - In the case you're writing something and you want some private critiquing before you submit it. Take note that comments you receive on the draft won't be visible to anyone else but you after the link is submitted to dA. It will show a drop-down menu on the deviation that is only visible to you so you can switch from dA comments to comments

  • Event Fact Checking - Such as plans, private contest prize list & reminders, judging, throwing ideas around, scheduling dates etc.

  • Code Games/Scavenger Hunt Clues and Hints - An perfect example for this is the system of this here game: sifro. - Solve the codes!, which utilize journals for clues of each cypher.

  • Additional Info - Important/Additional Information you don't really need to make public/ fill your journal archive with

  • You can drag community made emotes like :igottago: by auxeru right into your draft, without having to get its code. You can only do this in Rich Editing Mode, however.

  • Journal Skin Testing & Live Previews

  • If you have the privileges to use Journal Skins, you can write group blogs and apply journal skins to them, even when your group is not a Super Group via Writer.

  • If the account is used by many individuals (like a group donation account, for example), Writer can be used for taking secret notes for the administrators/users to view.

Ctrl + E is your new best friend - Switching Editing Modes

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  Oh, goody! Someone made you an awesome gift for you. With a lovely composition, amazing details, and wonderfully done expressions, your friend has drawn a phenomenal piece of your favorite character! You have to tell all of your friends. You just have to. Opening up the journal editor, you write down a thousand words or more on how you're thankful, how you're excited, and how your other friends should watch this person- that kind of cheesy but happy stuff. You also add in HTML here and there, because screw those shiny buttons society wants you to use. When you're done, you click submit, and- uh oh. Your 1000+ word essay on "how awesome your friend is" has been messed up.

And everything crashes and falls as you RAEGG!!!1111!! over your messed up work.

  And then you print Writer's page and tape it to your punching bag, like you always do with all the things you love to hate. You miss the old journal editor. You miss the smell of your HTML doing exactly as it should. You miss spending afternoon picnics with it, and watching the sunse- oh wait, sorry 'bout that. I kinda went down memory lane there.

  But wait! It just so happens that, you can see it again. You can be sure your HTML will work as planned, you can be sure you will not be betrayed, you can be sure you will spend your Sunday afternoons like before. And why? Because, it was right there all along. ;)

Cheer up now! I told you there'd be kittens.

  "Lies, Fluffy, Lies. These are all LIES," you say as you shake your cake in the air. No, I do not lie. See for yourself.

Exhibit A, your honor.

  That is the option for switching to HTML Mode. Usually, the default mode that is on is Rich Editing Mode. This is mode is named "Rich Editing, because you edit your work using dragging and clicking stuff, aka WYSIWYG- what you see, is what you get. It was not meant for HTML, since it is purely "rich" editing. You see, when you use Rich Editing, the "backstage" mode, HTML Mode makes code each time you format something via Rich Editing in order to get the WYSIWYG effect. However, making edits tends to affect the code, and sometimes things can get dirty at the other side.

  Here is a dummy journal. Now, let's look at its code in HTML Mode: Rich Editing Mode HTML in HTML Mode, and HTML Mode HTML in HTML Mode.  :iconxzibitplz: no Xzibit go away this isn't "pimp my car"

Left one is pretty messy, no? The right one has some style. ;)

  Now, the cool thing about HTML Mode is that is, for a better word, the real HTML editing mode (obviously). Like I said, it's like the old journal editor- it's not really WYSIWYG, if not WYSIWYG at all. If your HTML appears broken, it's easy to spot the problem and fix it, compared to coding HTML in Rich Editing Mode. Try it- the shortcut for Windows Users is Ctrl + E, by the way. ;)

:spin: Let's meet HTML Mode

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  While HTML Mode is very similar to the old journal editor, there are some things you might need to know :nod: such as,

  • While HTML Mode is not 100% guaranteed to keep your code as it should be, if you ever find your HTML messed up, it is easy to fix things.

  • Sad to say, HTML Mode only changes the way Writer reacts to your input- it does not change the layout, the colors and the controls, so for those of you who expected an exact lookalike of the old journal editor, HTML Mode is like the old journal editor with a new face.

  • You have a draggable/adjustable Text Field - You can adjust the size of the text field by dragging the bottom right corner of the text field. While it is not necessary to do this, enlarging the size of the text field makes scrolling through your whole journal entry easier. The bigger the field, the less necessity for a scrollbar when browsing your journal HTML. Don't worry, this is only when editing the journal. No scroll bar will actually appear in your journal entry. (Unless if you were using a journal skin with a scrollbar)

  • If you spot a " ;" in your code, don't panic. It is a code for a space between characters: " ", as if you were pressing the space bar. Now, if you do find this, you can ignore it if you're supposed to have a space between your text (which i assume you do), or you can replace it with a normal space. :XD: Your choice.

  • If you want to use hot community emoticons (as many of the good ones don't have a PLZ account :grump:), you'll have to switch editing modes, since emoticons can be inserted via Rich Editing Mode only. I suggest writing all of your journal entry first, switching modes, then inserting the emoticons, then submitting said journal entry.

:8Bwoo: That's a wrap!

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  The lesson here kids, is to clean up all your legos after playing with them, every. last. one. The poor, unknowing adults can step on them and experience extreme pain. C: by darkmoon3636 So, it's time to keep your toys and make sure the "meaaannn" adults don't shout out curs- Oh, wait. This is supposed to be an article on using, not an important life lesson. Whoops.

  So, now that we've covered on how to deal with Writer and dealing with messy code, now's the time to tame this beast, and use it to conquer the world! or we can just stick to features and articles. your choice

Have any questions or concerns? Feel free to ask, though I don't guarantee that I'll have the answer to your question, or the question to  your answer. :8Bshrug:

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day. :heart:

More articles written by PizzaPotatoNBacon -  Alexandra R. for projecteducate
PE: The Gate To CSS - PE: Welcome, welcome! - Surprise! Let's talk about Feedback Taboos</a>

=fluf-studios for #projecteducate

Learn how to get around Writer's code whacking! :la:
Add a Comment:
Chivi-chivik Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't get that of the "Code games" :hmm:
PizzaPotatoNBacon Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Code games? :?
Chivi-chivik Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, one of the uses for Writer, up there!
PizzaPotatoNBacon Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Oh! Well, it's nifty if you want to hide clues or hints for things like scavenger hunts on deviantART. :la:
Chivi-chivik Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How do you do that? o.o
PizzaPotatoNBacon Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Student General Artist
You can "host" your hints/cues in without posting journals- therefore making some hints/clues unaccessible until you give a link to those hints/clues. You see, you can save journal entries via Writer, by clicking File > Save draft. Now, if you were to go to, you can see all of your saved journal entries. No one can actually access your without you giving a link to it, making it a great place to host all of your clues and hints. :happybounce:
Chivi-chivik Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I thought it would be something like this :D
Thanks for the info and the jorunal! :wave:
Minato-Kushina Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013
Thanks for all these useful tips! :happybounce: :hug:
PizzaPotatoNBacon Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Student General Artist
You're welcome~ :tighthug:
TheOwl68 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Love this! Thanks so very much! :love: I'd like to brush up on using some very basic HTML so this article has been quite helpful! Much appreciated :heart:
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