Blogger Hacks, Categories, Tips & Tricks

Sunday, March 26, 2006
PsycHo Template Building Tool
Great tip from Tarun, asking for an evaluation of the PsycHo template building tool. Well, as you can see, I took the assignment pretty seriously! Consider the tool evaluated.

As with any template builder, this would be great for a new site. If your blog is established, customised, and loaded with goodies, you may have to cut and paste a bit, but this is still a cool tool. It has built a great-looking (at least IMHO) template for Freshblog. I am still recovering from the sting of an inbound that said something like "bad layout, good content," and when I set out to fix the CSS in the template header it became a bit tricky.... Hopefully now the standard of the layout approaches the standard of the content.

There may be (will be?) bugs. Please leave me a comment. I'll be grateful for the heads-up. Font size, link color and such are on trial for the moment, and if the links are hard to find I'll choose a different shade of blue!

So. If you're starting out, and you want a slick looking template such as this, try PsycHo.
You'll find an easy interface that reflects your changes in real-time, and sub-divides the menu into the components of the page so that you can tackle one set of formatting at a time. There are also a number of spiffy export & share functions. Very good stuff.

And the Freshblog mantra? Back up your existing template before you make a change.

Filed in:
Posted at 4:16 PM by John.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Well John. I am using a template that I created using the tool from Psycho and it has been great till now.

Out of so many templates I have used, this tool allows me to actually decide how big my sidebars going to be. There is a great deal of flexibility especially for someone who don't have the time to weed through the xhtml codes.

The only thing that I noted is that when I tried to open my blog using Firefox and IE, wthe bullets on my previous post is out of the box when I open with Firefox. IE has no such problem.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Im on IE at a friend's home and the sidebar is just a bit too wide to placed next to the main content and is down at the bottom.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Overall, the new sleekness is refreshing. Just one major issue that I'm seeing (Firefox and IE): the dropdown menu fields for the archives/categories and the mailing list field are a bit too wide for the sidebar. Maybe just tweak the template code to reduce the width of those forms a bit.

Good luck with the new theme.

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Blogger John said...
Anon: Have tweaked the col widths a bit & IE6 seems to be rendering everything OK?

Googlist: Ah, the circa 1994 forms... Webtech in dire need of an overhaul. Will investigate controlling them w/ CSS. In the meantime, it seems that IE6 will pop the box that they're in so that they still fit, whereas Firefox floats them on top of (and therefore outside) the box.

Thanks both for the feedback!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
One more thing--would be great to hyperlink the blog title (in addition to having the "Home" link in the sidebar) when you get a chance.

Looks great!

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Blogger Aditya said...
Freshblog has needed a template overhaul for quite a while!
Good job! But I still prefer coding the templates manually for the best results. HTML and CSS isn't that hard to learn, and the results are amazing.

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Blogger Singpolyma said...
Not bad, but the narrowness makes it annoying on my big screen -- all that content you've got squished into a comparitively small space. Faster-loading than the old template though :)

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Blogger Mark K. Sprengel said...

I was anon. It looks fine on opera this morning. I'll try to check on IE at work and let you know. It wasnt off by much so I'm sure it will be fine since you tweaked it.

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Blogger Greg said...
I like the new, sleek, Freshblog look.

WRT drop-down select box width, try adding this to the CSS:

width: 10em;

(FreshTags' assigns the select element to the "showtag" class. The above CSS statement tells the browser to resist its instincts and cap the width control.)

For your non-FreshTags drop-downs (ie archives), you could just put the code in directly:

<select style="width: 10em;">

Of course, people who know more about CSS/HTML than me are free to jump in here :-)


ps. Oh, and is there room for the freaky-F Freshblog logo?

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Blogger Tarun said...
I think looks good.God heavens u found time to sit and evaluate.
How much would u give it out of 10?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
select { width: 10em; }

will do it for all selects...

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Blogger Tor said...
Hi John,

Try this in your style sheet

#SideLCol ul { margin: 0px; padding: 0px; }

to recenter your post titles that appear from the FreshTags Topics navigation.

I've been playing with PsycHo for possible Tor's Rants implementation so I can finally have a footer that doesn't float up onto or under the side columns on individual post pages. The template I'm using now doesn't seem to allow clear:both to work since the side columns are absolutely placed, and only the center column is relative.



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Blogger John said...
Thanks Stephen and Tor for the CSS... consider it implemented! I appreciate your willingness to help me out!

Greg, Am working on the return of the freaky-f

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Blogger mwgrl5 said...
Is anyone else noticing that the site is down? Can anyone advise me on when this will be back?

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Blogger John said...
Up as of 5/6 @ 10.45 am EST...

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