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Do I need custom CSS upgrade to...

  1. Hi folks. I'm very new to WordPress but I've been a software developer or architect on a variety of technologies for about 15 years now and I'm familiar (not expert) with the concepts of HTML, CSS, and the stuff that goes on under the hood in the back end.

    Before I had a blog set up, I wrote a couple of articles in Google Docs with the intention of getting them up on some blog. I figured blogger/blogspot (currently set up on a subdomain of my website via Google apps) should work seamlessly, but it turns out that I was drastically overestimating blogspot. Wow, what a chunk. A bit of hunting led me to WordPress and I'm fine with getting onboard with it. If I can get my articles to show up as they should, I'll be getting the domain mapping upgrade to make it appear under my company website.

    The articles are straightforward in the formatting department, all they have is a few levels of headings (format applied by the style control in Google Docs), and the occasional use of bold, italics, and a few passages of sample code which is indented and rendered in Courier New font.

    I've selected the Journalist 1.9 theme, and I'm happy with how it looks. I just need the ability to apply similar formatting to my blog posts as what I've got now in my documents.

    I'm assuming that I'll have to copy & paste as unformatted text, because the other approaches I tried all resulted in tons of span and div tags with styles defined and applied right in the post - so if I wanted to tweak the theme in the future those changes would not apply to the imported articles.

    What I need some assurance/guidance on is that I'll be able to actually define and apply these basic styles to the posts once I've got my plain text starting point. What I need to be able to apply is just:

    1) Hierarchical numbered lists.
    2) A "code" style that applies an indent and font. Good if some border or shading can be applied to that section.
    3) A "note" style that applies and indent and italics. Also good if I can apply some border or shading.
    4) 3-4 levels of headings where I can specify font, size, and bold/italics for each. I don't care if I have to do the numbering manually.

    This seems pretty modest. Do I really have to get the CSS upgrade to do it? And then do I really have to go editing CSS by hand to make it work?

    Assuming I do: once I've defined those styles, how do I apply them? Will there be options in the WYSIWG/Visual editor, or do I have to add markup to the post via the HTML editor?

    Any help to get going with this would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Phil Martin.

    The blog I need help with is datasports.wordpress.com.

  2. As far as I am aware you don't need the paid upgrade to do this. Numbered lists, for instance, are available via the related icon in the editor. You could do all of this with just basic HTML coding, but you would be coding paragraph by paragraph.

  3. 1) You can see hierarchical ordered and unordered lists here: http://flippintestblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/21/ordered-and-unordered/ . I got the second and subsequent levels by clicking the "indent" button.

    2) There is a shortcode for posting code segments on your blog.

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/code/posting-source-code/

    3) Not built in. You would have to do the HTML by hand for info/note formatting, but once you had it, you could keep it in a text file and then just copy and paste it. You could certainly use the CSS upgrade to define a style that you could then apply to a paragraph or paragraphs as "inline" CSS.

    4) There is an indent function that works with text, but I've never tried it with h2, 3 or 4.

    If you define styles and such in the CSS, there will not be any buttons appear in the editor. You will have to apply them as inline CSS from the HTML tab while writing the posts.

    Joomla templates (most) are about the only ones that I'm aware of that have note/alert/etc. styles defined by default and available from the style pulldown in the visual editor.

  4. Thanks very much.

    So, the short story is that I'm doing markup by hand, and the choice is if I want to do copy & paste HTML or centralize my styles in CSS.

    I really appreciate the info and pointers here, thanks again for the fast and informative replies.

    Sincerely,
    Phil Martin.

  5. Pretty much yeah.

    On the hierarchical lists, the them on the site I referenced on ordered lists is one of the better. Some themes will allow hierarchical, but do not go 1. the A. then i. the a. etc. They will only show 1. then 1. then 1. then 1. etc. They all allow hierarchical as far as I know, but the numbering and such may be less sophisticated.

  6. If you use the correct HTML tags (or click the right buttons from the wordpress toolbar) when making or editing your posts then this is possible but the styling depends on the theme. You can add inline CSS to make adjustments if you wish. Easier customisation is possible if you buy the CSS upgrade, the only difference being it will mean you add one line of code to the CSS instead of adding the style code inline in each and every post/page where you want the changes to be made. You would still need to have the text formatted properly for the CSS upgrade option to work.

    The short answer is "no" you don't need the CSS upgrade to achieve what you want. You'll need to make sure the text is properly formatted with HTML anyway but buying the upgrade could make things a little easier depending on the level of customisation you want.

  7. Thanks again. I did get the Custom CSS upgrade and I'm able to modify certain styles.

    For some reason, I can't seem to modify the formatting applied to the tag, and I'm not clear how I add new styles and apply them. I want to add 2 new styles - one for my code samples and one for notes. Both will be based on the<br /> <blockquote> style and look similar (different icon, and different font, but otherwise the same).</p> <p>Thanks,<br /> Phil Martin.</blockquote>

  8. That's funny, I should have left the angle brackets out of my post! I meant to say:

    Thanks again. I did get the Custom CSS upgrade and I'm able to modify certain styles.

    For some reason, I can't seem to modify the formatting applied to the code
    tag, and I'm not clear how I add new styles and apply them. I want to add 2 new styles - one for my code samples and one for notes. Both will be based on the blockquote style and look similar (different icon, and different font, but otherwise the same).

    Thanks,
    Phil Martin.

  9. I can only give you more advie if you invite me to view your blog (it is set to private at the moment) or let me know the theme you are using, the first option would be easiest. Then I can give you some example code to try.

  10. Thanks hallluke - I've given you access.

  11. On further reflection, I assume that I want to use <div class="BLAH"> tags to apply styles from the CSS, where BLAH is the name of a class defined in the CSS.

    However, I tried that and it didn't work. Hmmm...

  12. Try adding the following to your CSS. Remember to add the absolute path to the images you want to use, it shouldn't be wider than 60 pixels and then it will match up with your blockquotes.

    .mynote {background:url("URL") no-repeat scroll left top transparent; padding-left:60px; font-style:italic; margin-bottom:15px;}
    .mycode {background:url("URL") no-repeat scroll left top transparent; padding-left:60px; font-family:courier; margin-bottom:15px;}

    Then use div class="mynote" and div class="mycode" in the HTML on your posts or pages to apply the styles.

    You might also want to look into the sourcecode shortcode if you are pasting any type of code. I use it on my portfolio site here on wordpress.com and it saves me the hassles of formatting everything each time. It looks good too!

  13. Thanks halluke. The key was the period prefacing the class names in the CSS. A true RTFM moment. :)

  14. Don't worry you're not the only one. I'm always forgetting which places theme authors have used classes and IDs and guessing the wrong way!

  15. It looks like that even upgrading to Custom CSS gives some hazzle. Upgrade cost is so much that I can't afford to only style up my <h1> <h2>,... <p>. But then I need to style by hand, which is real painful.

    Hoe important money is!

  16. It's very important to Ho's, I can tell you.

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