+Jaana Nystrom

Welcome to my Circleverse!

Google+ is my passion: I want to help others to get the most out of it.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Text formatting on Google+ posts

While we are waiting for a simple WYSIWYG -editor or similar to appear on Google+ (I'm sure it's being worked on) here are some shortcuts that you can use to format the post texts.

Sometimes you have to leave one or two extra spaces before the _ or - especially after a +mention or they might not work.  With paragraphs the characters have to be repeated, for instance when using  _italics_.  If this doesn't work, edit it again, perhaps deleting the characters including the spaces before and after the word / paragraph, then try again.

I've noticed that 3 spaces should be enough after the last word, but sometimes it works with only 2, especially when you are copy pasting and type the _ first.
I just commented on a post and wrote _blushes..._ with 2 spaces: It didn't work so I edited and added the third space and that worked.

More tips on creating readable posts

When you write a post, pay attention to the paragraphs.  I mean, use them.  Especially with longer posts it's very tiring to read a text that is all in one piece.

+Ahmed Zeeshan wrote a very nice piece about the structure and formatting of your longer posts:

» A blogging platform
One of the appealing features of google+ is the ability to write lengthy posts. Combine that with the excellent commenting system and we get ourselves a very functional blogging platform. However, there is also another mis-used feature which all g+ content curators stand to benefit from if used properly: Rich text formatting...

Often times I see very long posts that are a giant block of text with no formatting or structure applied to them. They might contain top quality content but because they're not presented in an appealing way, mosts users do not bother to read through them. The lack of engagement then surprises the original author. This is even true for some of our power users.

Google+ offers us the chance to get rid of the ridiculous TL;DR (too long; didn't read) culture on the internet. That will only happen if we make our posts easier and simpler to read. Our readers should be able to take one look at the post and see exactly what it is about. The structure of the post should draw them in and encourage them to read all of it.
Read more about the structure in his Google+ post .


Now the web based +1 button (this one is for Chrome) also lets you add posts to your profile's +1 tab which has changed since the publishing of the Cheat Sheet.  With Pages it only adds the link to the Google+ page, but with individuals' posts you may open them from the time stamp in your browser and click on the external +1 button. The post is saved on your tab.

Note 2:  After the last Google+ Update in FEB13, the external Chrome +1 button seems not to save Google+ posts to +1 Tab on the profile page, again...  Hmm. Let's hope for a change.

More links and advice:

Think Google+ is a Ghost Town? You're using it Wrong, probably

+The G+ Resource  blogs about creating readable Google+ posts

What happens when you move your blog to Google+  by +Jay Acunzo

Quick video tip on formatting

Copypaste symbols if you want to decorate the text

Remember when posting: People love images.

When you are sharing links:  I'd advice you to use larger images added to the post instead of the links' own small ones in the linkbox, for attracting more attention if needed.

You may use a link shortener like http://goo.gl/ or http://bit.ly and add the link inside the text after you have uploaded or added (shared) the image from your Google+ albums.

Image is everything! :-)
Never just dump links without a headline and some snippet of the content or your own views and thoughts. Use hashtags related to your content, or create one unique for your own use.

Try to use a relevant picture and not do what I did here:  This is called "Linkbait" and has nothing to do with the matter in hand.  :-)

Quick tip for copy & paste without formatting:

You probably already know the keyboard shortcut for paste (Mac: command-v, Windows: ctrl-v). 

The shortcut for paste without formatting is easy to remember. Just add the Shift key. 
(Mac: command-shift-v, Windows: ctrl-shift-v).
Any thoughts on formatting?  Please leave a comment.