1 tip for faster blogging: Use Textile
Ian Lurie Apr 20 2011
This is a tip that’ll either:
- Save you 20 minutes per blog post; or
- Lead to much better-looking blog posts.
I recommend E-Text Editor for the same tools on Windows. However, I’ve been told that NotePad++ isn’t bad, either. Windows folks, if you have recommendations, post ’em down below.
It’s easy to learn (far easier than HTML, if you haven’t already learned HTML). It’s also far easier to format your post while you write it, because Textile commands are far ‘lighter’—translate that to easier to use—than their HTML cousins. Best of all, you can convert a Textile document to a nicely-formatted HTML document in about 10 seconds.
In the process, a text editor like TextMate will:
- Convert all apostrophes and quotes to ‘smart’ quotes.
- Generate lists from two simple Textile symbols: “#” or “*”. That’s a lot easier than typing <ol><li>blah blah</li></ol>’, yes?
- Convert any special characters like a greater than symbol (>) to the respective HTML entity, so it displays properly.
- Convert everything else to well-formatted HTML code.
Then you can just cut and paste it all into your blogging software, add any images or photos, and you’re good to go.
Here’s what this post looked like in Textile before I converted it:
Then I clicked “Textile >> Convert to HTML” and voila! An HTML-formatted post.
And, of course, you can see how it looks in HTML. You’re reading that right now.
Sometimes the little tips are what count. Give this a shot. Even if you know HTML like the back of your hand, I’ll bet you’ll find that for writing blog posts, Textile is easier.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More