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Thursday, September 03, 2015

Blogger Magic - Repositioning Sidebar Gadgets

One of the more challenging limitations of Classic (HTML based) templates involved the template packaging.

Each template provided a combination of background, colours, fonts, and layout. If you wanted any different combination - a different background, for a set of colours and fonts, you would have to compromise on the layout. Or a specific layout meant a compromise on the colours and fonts.

Surely, somebody remembers the "Minima" vs "Minima Black" choice? And settling for the serif fonts, to get the right layout?

With the Layout class templates (XML based), Blogger introduced the "Fonts and Colours" wizard - and a beginning to making the packaging more modular.

Even with "Fonts and Colors", selecting blog layout required choosing the right template.

Then, Blogger gave us the Designer class templates - and choosing a layout became just a matter of proper use of the Template Designer, and the dashboard Layout page.

Now, the posts and sidebars arrangement is simply a matter of using the Layout tab, in the Template Designer - and choosing an acceptable combination of posts and sidebar columns. You will want to use the dashboard Layout page, after you use the Layout tab.

As an example, I'll provide my Template Test blog.

See the choices, in the Layout tab?


See the clever choice of posts and sidebar sections?

You'll see a small tweak in the Layouts page, that you don't see here. There's a second full width sidebar section, below the two half width sections - not shown in the Layout tab.


Even here, there is still some magic. By re positioning sidebar gadgets, using the dashboard Layout page, one may make them sit side by side, or above and below, each other - and when re positioned, may make some gadgets narrower or wider.

Please don't confuse the Template Designer Layout tab (shown above), and the dashboard Layout page (shown below). The two complement each other, in this exercise - but they are not the same!


Here we have gadgets Text1, Text2, Text3, and Text4 - Text1 above Text2, to the left of Text3 above Text4.



See the Text1, Text2 pair in the half sidebar width - to the left of Text3, Text4?



Now, take Text1 and Text3 - and re position them above, into the full width sidebar section.



And now we have Text1 above Text3, in full width, above Text2 and Text4, in half width.


This is just one possibility, of many. If you look at the Layout tab in the Template Designer, you can see an assortment of choices, for posts and sidebar sections.


See the mathematical combination of choices, for both posts / sidebars, and footers?


This is one less obvious benefit of using a Blogger standard template.

Dude, hit me with a comment!