How to prep text for upload

Like blog platforms, the class runs on a proprietary system. You need to speak one of its languages to post content, from homework to comments. And we hope you'll be commenting a lot...

We highly recommend writing in a program off-line, then cutting and pasting. This prevents tech-fail sadness... and also gives you an offline storehouse of your work and thoughts. We'll archive the class site for at least six months – and teach you how to download material for further hoarding. But as a safeguard, and for quick reference, best practice dictates a copy on your computer.

Following are three approaches, in order of tech-fabulousness. The program's pretty intuitive, but we've walked through steps for those on (or craving) a learning curve.

But first, a quick word about rich-text mode. This allows you to format without hassling with html (that's hypertext markup language, which creates basic web pages). And, yes, that's wicked awesome. Almost better than Gutenberg...

You can enable and disable rich-text via a link under the "body" field on any submission. If you see a toolbar full of icons (b,i,u, etc.), it's on. Blogger, WordPress and other platforms have similar tools, so they're good to learn, for folks who don't intend to code or design via a WYSIWYG program (What You See is What you Get: a popular "cheat" for those with graphic design savvy and those who need to work offline for stretches).

Pro: rich-text lets users of any skill level add cool formatting and functions. Con: it's a little fiddly and you need to be jacked into the web.

1. THE QUICK AND EASY
Suitable for short, uncomplicated notes and folks who want to save tech headaches for other projects.

  • Type in a simple text editor like Notepad. Word's fine, but save as .doc or .docx, not a .html file.
  • Short paragraphs separated by blank lines are best for web publishing.
  • Simple formatting -- bold, italics and links -- may transfer. But steer clear of indents and other excitements.
  • Paste into the text data field.
  • Scroll down the page. Hit save.

2. GET RICH QUICK
Suitable for users who want a quick infusion of style without coding and respond well to toolbar icons. Blog platforms have similar interfaces. The classroom's a great, private place to practice using these tools...

  • Type in a simple text editor like Notepad. Word's fine, but save as .doc or .docx, not a .html file.
  • Paste text in the body field.
  • Underneath is a rich-text link. Make sure it's enabled.
  • A toolbar will appear above the entry field. This allows you to add bold, italics, links bullet points and so forth without knowing a scrap of html.
  • Mouseover the icons for a short description. For example: i = italics, the globe and chain = link, and so on.
  • Scroll down the page. Hit save.

3. GET YOUR NERD ON
Suitable for coders and advanced WYSIWYGers. Note, the site only accepts certain tags  -- try to avoid size- and font-selections, which especially in furiate the system.

  • Write and save html off-line, before inputting.
  • Underneath the data field is a link "Disable rich text". Click.
  • Devise a subject.
  • Paste text into the body. You can enable rich-text again to preview.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page. Hit save.

It usually takes folks about a week to feel comfortable on the site. If you encounter trouble after that, please chat with your lead instructor.