How to Link

Students have some difficulty making their links "look nice". By this, I mean that there are regular words in a sentence that are highlighted in some way (orange in this blog) so that people know that if they click on them they will be taken to another web page.

At the start of the semester, students need some help doing this. There are two different techniques you'll need to master.

For each, you should first have a page that you want the link to go to. In your browser, there's a bar that contains the "web address" of that page (nerds call this a URL). You're going to copy and paste that, so keep that page open.

URLs are the thing that looks like this: That's not a link, I just colored it to get your attention. Browsers have gotten really casual about how much of that they show you. These days, they may drop the http, and the colon, and the two forward slashes, and sometimes the www, and often the single forward slash at the end. Typically though, if you go to that address bar in your browser and highlight and copy the address, it will grab all that other stuff that it chose not to show. This is good: just don't freak out if what you end up pasting doesn't look like what you copied.

1) If you're posting, linking is easy. To post, you already need to be logged into Blogger, and working in its editing window. Just highlight the word(s) that you want to be your link, and click the button Link on the button bar above your post. A dialog box will open. Now copy and paste the web address from the page you want the link to go to into the box labeled web address in this dialog box. Click OK, and you're done.

2) If you're commenting, it's still fairly easy (it looks worse than it is). The problem is that if I actually type out what you'll need to type out, your browser will turn it into a link, and then you've won't be able to see it. So I'll take you to a webpage instead. I'm assuming that you've decided on the words(s) that you want to be the link, and the web address that you want the link to go to. Now, go to this website and look at the example near the top. See how there's some code inside greater than and less than symbols, then some words, then a little more code? That's how you're going to make your link. You can even copy that example into your comment, and modify it to suit yourself. The only things you need to change are the word(s) that you want to show as a link, and the web address of the web page that you'd like the link to go to (paste that in between the double quotes). That's it. Shoot me an email (with a copy of your comment) if you can't get it to work.

One last note: you own your own posts, so you can always go back and update your links if you think they don't look right. I expect posters to keep on top of this. But in Blogger, comments are handled differently. Once you submit those comments, they can't be edited any more. So if you don't like how your link looks, your only choice is to copy your comment, delete it, and paste it back into a new comment. It's a pain, so I don't worry about whether commenters go back and fix their links.

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