Allen Stern: Would You Pay $1 For A Feed?
Skitch is my new friend! (Especially when used with MarsEdit!)

Using MarsEdit with NetNewsWire to accelerate posting from blog articles (i.e. what the "Post to Weblog" button can do)

In recent weeks I've started to use NetNewsWire for my RSS feed reading and have quite enjoyed one very cool aspect of it... this button in the top menu bar:

With one click, the text of the post appears over in MarsEdit where I can then write additional comments and post the entry. What's very cool is that if you select/highlight a block of text before clicking the button you get only that part brought across into MarsEdit. So if there is a paragraph you want to include in your post, simply highlight the paragraph, click the button and you're off and blogging.

(NOTE: In order for this to work with all the fields, you need to be in the "News Items" screen in NetNewsWire and not a "browser window" opened up inside of NNW. You can still use the button in those other windows, but it won't bring across the name of the blog and the URL of the blog itself.)

However, one thing I noted right away was that the format of how the text was brought across into my blog was not the way I wanted to have it appear. I would have to do extra work to go and change it around to fit the style of how I write here. For instance, I like to put "quoted" text in a <blockquote> and in italics. So each time I used the magic button, I had to do this re-formatting.

No more. I discovered in the MarsEdit preferences this little tab:

Which by default contains the text:

<p><a href="#url#">#title#</a>: "#body#"</p>

<p>(Via <a href="#sourceHomeURL#">#sourceName#</a>.)</p>

It was then a simple matter to change that to the style that I want to use:

<p>Over on <em><a href="#sourceHomeURL#">#sourceName#</a></em> the post "<em><a href="#url#">#title#</a></em>" contains this text:</p><blockquote><em>"#body#"</em></blockquote>

Now when I do this highlighting and clicking the button, I get something like this:

which looks like this when published:
Obviously once it is in MarsEdit I can write additional text, modify the text I've brought over. Many times I will change the text after it's brought over to say something like "Over on his blog, Lee Hopkins writes an excellent piece called... " but the bulk of the work has been done for me. I have links and the text and it's formatted in the way I want it to be.

Very nice integration between NetNewsWire and MarsEdit!

P.S. Naturally this only works with Macs... sorry about that Windows users! (On the other hand, you have the awesome Windows Live Writer!)

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