Course on Text Formatting

By Deane Barker on April 14, 2008

Good buttons, bad buttons: Rachel, over at Contented, is developing a course based around a pet-peeve of mine: text formatting. Combine this with her courses on writing for the Web, and you have a couple classes a lot of Web editors should take. (See this post for a nice rant on this subject.)

Formatting web content: that’s the new CONTENTED course I’m working on at present. And it struck me that every WYSIWYG editor has good buttons and bad buttons.

Bad, bad: Bold, italic, colour text, font size, centre text and right align text.

Good buttons: bullet list, numbered list, blockquote, insert link and insert image.

Excellent buttons: Heading 1, Heading 2, Paragraph styles etc.

The bad buttons are OK if you don’t mind your content looking naff. In other words, use them if you are doing your own thing, rattling on about your shopping. Steer clear of them if you want to create a professional impression.

We’re discussing lumping in some writing and text formatting classes with every Web project we do — it’s that important.

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