I’ve been asked to put up a short primer on how to properly format your comments so that you can take advantage of what HTML I’ve allowed. And I’m of course happy to oblige!
There’s a quick reference by clicking on the “allowed HTML” link right above the comment box. It gives you the following possible code:
<a href=”” title=””> <abbr title=””> <acronym title=””> <b> <blockquote cite=””> <cite> <code> <del datetime=””> <em> <i> <q cite=””> <strike> <strong>
To use a tag, enter it as shown. That starts the tag. Type whatever text you want, then close it with the slashed close tag as shown below. The parameters are optional, but some are necessary for the tag to be functional. They go only in the opening tag, not in the closing one. The quick reference shows what parameters are available for each tag, but doesn’t say whether they’re important or not. See below for what each tag does.
<a> — the A stands for “anchor”, which is the old-timey HTML term for a link. Enclose text in one of these to create a clickable hyperlink. The href=”http://someurl.com” parameter says where the link goes. title=”” says what shows up in screen readers for the visually impaired, and might show up in a tooltip if you hover your mouse over the link. <a href=”http://google.com”>Link to Google</a> would render as Link to Google
<abbr title=””> — an abbreviation. The title is the expanded form of the abbreviation. <abbr title=”refridgerator”>fridge</abbr> would render as fridge. Acronyms function identically: <acronym title=”Hypertext Markup Language”>HTML</acronym> would render as HTML .
<b> — Bold. <b>LOUD NOISES</b> renders as LOUD NOISES
<i> — Italics <i>stage whisper</i> renders as stage whisper
<strong> — Strong text. Most stylesheets render this the same as Bold, but it’s entirely site- and stylesheet-dependent.
<em> — Emphasis. Most stylesheets render it the same as Italics.
<blockquote cite=””> — Blockquotes. Put pulled-quotes into these to give them the pretty, page-specific rendering. The cite parameter is for referring to a specific webpage, though most times you’ll be using it to pull quotes from the same page, so feel free to omit it. <blockquote>Ken Ham is a poopoo head</blockquote> would render as
Ken Ham is a poopoo head
<cite> — use this to format citations to specific works. It renders on the screen as emphasis in most places, but can be used to index a greater work and custom-format the “works cited”. Use this if you have an expansive body of work and want to make sure it’s accessible to scholarly readers.
<code> — Pre-formatted code. Use this if you want to use monospace, to indicate code that should be typed exactly as seen into a command line, etc. <code>10 PRINT “Hello!”</code> would render as
10 PRINT "Hello!"
<del datetime=””> — this is for “deleting” a chunk of text, and marking the date/time when it was done. You can omit the datetime parameter. Use this for marking up someone else’s work, or if you need to revise your own and annotate when each revision happened. It usually renders the text as struck-out. <del>oopsie</del> renders as
<strike> — Strikethrough. Usually renders the same as “del”, but it doesn’t have the connotation of actually having deleted the text, much like how “bold” doesn’t mean “strong”. Semantics, semantics.
There’s also one site-specific trick I can share — I enabled a plugin for my comments called SmartYoutube that allows you to very easily post Youtube videos in the comment field. All you have to do is take the full URL to a video from Youtube, and add a “v” as follows:
Normal text: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7Ky5R-vxns
This however will embed the video: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7Ky5R-vxns
So paste the URL, then add a v between the “http” and the “:”. Once you post it, it will embed.
Most of the skills you practice here are transferrable to other sites. Probably not the Youtube trick though. That’s SmartYoutube-specific. Enjoy your commenting!