Formatted Comments

One thing that has always confused me when using Blogger is why the comment form lacks any real features. When we use Blogger to write a post the dashboard gives us lots of options for formatting text and adding links etc. but when, as a reader of a blog, you want to add a comment you are presented with a simple text box. If I want to add a link or make some text standout I can, but I have to manually enter the required HTML. This isn't too much of a problem for me, but I'm sure there are many people that read blogs and leave comments who aren't comfortable writing HTML. I'm guessing that this explains why I see so many comments that contain URLs which aren't actually links.

So to make my life a little easier, and to enable other people to easily add formatting and links to their comments, I've developed a script that provides buttons for bold, italic and for adding links. Unfortunately I couldn't find a way of adding something to a blogs template to make this work, rather I've developed a Greasemonkey script that, once installed in your browser, will add this functionality automatically to every Blogger hosted blog you visit.

If you are using Firefox then you will need to have the Greasemonkey extension installed. If you use Chrome then (due to an annoying change Google have recently made) you will need to install Tampermonkey, and for Safari you will need to install NinjaKit. The script also works in Chromium (the open source version of Chrome without the Google branding) without requiring you to install an extension first.

Once you have your browser ready you can simply click this link to install my script. If you are using Tampermonkey then, when asked, click OK to install into Tampermonkey rather than Cancel to install natively in Chrome.

Once installed whenever you go to add a comment on a Blogger hosted blog you should find links for bold, italic and to add a link just above the comment box. Hopefully there shouldn't be any bugs as a) it's a fairly simple script and b) thanks to Adrian it's actually undergone some user testing, but if you have any problems or any suggestions for improvements then leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do.

Updated 14th July 2013: Added the link to NinjaKit for getting it to work in Safari.

12 comments:

  1. Cheers Mark Tamper Monkey works What a star bar you are.

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    1. Excellent, glad to hear you got it working in Chrome.

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    2. I assumed you were happy so gave you a plug ADRIAN'S IMAGES . I hope you are not inundated with numpties like me. Once you provided the 'Tampermonkey' I was away. Ta. I'm also back to Chrome which is my preferred browser.

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  2. But I suspect that any hope of installing it on Safari is a lost cause. C'est la vie. I'm well pleased with the options you've given us Mark.

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    1. Given that I don't have easy access to a Mac to check I don't know if this will work properly or not but you could try installing GreaseKit; it should give you the same options as using TamperMonkey in Chrome.

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  3. I have followed your instructions successfully and have the blogger commment editor above the comment section on my blog, however when I paste a link such as
    http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g324/Lesmore/adriansprman1.jpg
    it is still not clickable. How can I correct this? Thanks so much for your help.

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    1. Hi Glo,

      If you use the standard Blogger web interface for writing blog posts then it works the same way as adding a link to a post.

      What you need to do is to write some text into the comment field that you want to turn into a link. Then select that text and then press the new link button. You'll then end up with a dialog box asking you for the URL the link should point to.

      Hope that helps

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  4. Many thanks, Mark. Your reply has cleared things up for me! Here's proof :)

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    1. Excellent! And I love the image of Adrian.

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  5. Thanks Mark for sorting the Safari problem so that if anyone need it (or for the record for me if I forget!) install NinjaKit on Safari and then click the link above in your penultimate paragraph and install your script. Brilliant.

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