Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Blogger adds a really useful auto-save feature - no more lost postings!!

Very quietly Blogger's added a really useful new feature that definitely makes my life easier, Blogger now automatically saves my blog postings, so loosing all my creative thoughts because of an accidental close-window or PC crash is now a thing of the past.

Originally there were two little buttons, 'publish post' and 'save as draft'. The latter finished editing the current post, saved it as a draft, and dumped you back in a list of all your postings so you could either re-edit the draft posting or edit a completed posting. Hardly user friendly and not inspired to make you use it frequently.

A few days ago I noticed that the 'save as draft' button had disappeared, replaced by a 'Save Now' button and a little note that told me that Blogger would automatically save the post. It's quite intelligent in the way it works, postings are automatically saved every minute or so or saved when you stop typing; so if you are in mid creative flow you don't get distracted by the autosave kicking in whilst you're typing.

The spelling checker appears to have changed as well (for the better) with the spell check button now changing the screen background green and all misspelt words being replaced by drop-down lists of alternatives so you can more quickly fix and replace the typos.
Previously spell checking put up a modal dialog (a bit like the Microsoft Word spell checker) so you could correct one spelling error, then search for the next mistake and laboriously work your way through all the errors. For some reason this didn't always seem to work properly in FireFox and I found it tended to replace the wrong letters when I used it so I've not bothered for some time with the spell check (perhaps you've noticed my frequent typos ...)

Finally, there's also a handy control-S shortcut to save the posting at any time and also new control-P shortcut to publish a post.

I'd quite like Blogger to extend the list of html tags buttons that are available in the post editor (currently there's just bold, italic, link and blockquote) and add a toggle between edit and preview mode, but these new feature's are definitely worthwhile and continue to expand the usability of Blogger.



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