Saturday, November 19, 2011

How to add a custom category to the side bar on your blogspot blog, and populate it with links to selected posts

In my side bar on this blog, I have a category called STATA, below which are links to all my posts that are about STATA tips (right now, I have only one such post). Here is a link to the page that gave me instructions on how to do this:

Basically, here's what you need to do:

1. Pick a name for the category; this will be the same as the name of the label that you will apply to all posts that you want to include in the category. So your category could be something like (without the quotes): "STATA tips" (under this would be links to your posts related to tips on doing things in STATA) or "Books I am reading" (under this would links to your posts that discuss the books you have been reading)

2. In, click "Dashboard" and click posts to list all the posts for your the blog. Create the label that you chose in step one and apply it to all the posts that you want to appear in under this category.

3. Click "Layout" in the left sidebar and select "Add Gadget." In some templates for blogger, you might have to click "Design." When you click "Add Gadget" a pop-up window will appear.

4. In the left sidebar in this window, click the first tab, "Basics." Then scroll down and look for the Gadget "HTML/Javascript."

From here you can follow the instructions available at the link above. The only think I would do differently from the instructions at the link is that I would make the changes (e.g replace  YOUR_BLOG_URL, etc.) BEFORE saving, NOT after.

Good luck!

Friday, November 11, 2011

How to embed a spreadsheet into a blog

A friend of mine is a translator (English, Russian, Tajik), and she keeps in a spreadsheet a record of some of the phrases and words she translates. I suggested that she make this available on line for other translators to refer to. We had no idea how to do this, so I looked up how to embed a spreadsheet into a blog (she has a blog). I found the following resource:

Which it tested. It works - see the embedded test spreadsheet below:

If you want to change the content of the spreadsheet, you can log into your account (free, see the link above) and make the change in your original spreadsheet. When you refresh the blogpost page, it updates the spreadsheet with the change.

The only think I have found, so far, that one needs to be mindful of is that if your text is longer than then size of the cell that you put it in, then you need to adjust the with of the column in your account accordingly, in order to show the entire content of the cell.

UPDATE: Suppose you want to use google docs instead of It is possible - check this out:

This actually looks MUCH better. The instructions that gave me a rough idea of how to do this are here:

But actually the directions don't match the menu options available in google docs - it must be outdated, I guess. For example, this link says to "click on Publish in the upper right corner to open the Publish sidebar on the right side..." etc.  Here are some updated instructions (as of 18 Nov 2011):

1. In google docs, open the spreadsheet that you want to embed in your blog.
2. Click "File" then select "Publish to the Web" to open the publishing menu.
3. Under the second heading, the one that says "Get a link to the published data," click on the box immediately below it (which by default is "Web Page"), and select "HTML to embed in a page."
4. There is a textbox at the bottom - in that text box is HTML code. Copy and paste this code into your blog (make sure you've set your blogger editor to "HTML" and NOT "Compose"). 

Anyone have any ideas on how to get the "Sheet 1" out of the spreadsheet name above? Or how to reduce the size of the box when there are lots of empty cells?