A Quick HTML Lesson - Part 1

As much as I love the platform I use for my blog (Blogger), I was more than a little frustrated when any links that I included in my posts were opening in the same page, therefore taking my reader away from my article.  I want the link to give my readers some additional information but I also want to keep the reader at least until the end of the post, not send them off on some random journey around the World Wide Web.  I could point out here that the options available using 'right click' on the mouse show "open in new tab/window" but why does this need to be any more difficult that it already is.  Reading my blog is supposed to be enjoyable, not a lesson in CLAIT.  What was more frustrating was that in my role as contributor on two other blogs powered by Wordpress, I noticed that there was an option in the WYSIWYG* post editor on Wordpress for the facility I needed.

I have emailed Blogger, sent a message to them via Twitter but received no answer (nice customer service, Blogger... can you hear my tone?!).  I also sent out a general panic-laden message via various social networking sites where I received a number of very helpful suggestions about editing the HTML in each new blog post with a certain line of coding.  This was too technical for me.  Yes, I know some basic HTML but not enough to start messing with each post.  I mean, how many times have you seen me post a general AARRGGHH message on Twitter with an angry-at-myself type message following regarding my blog settings - usually when I try to add something new to the side bar.  Even Paula tweets with great regularity, "What have you done now?"  I can imagine her sighing and rolling her eyes at me...

Anyway, with my finger poised over the "create a new blog" option on Wordpress, I sent out a last ditch attempt at asking the Twitterverse which has returned a fantastic result (via @Shar13) from @mkayes (who also runs the "Celebs That Twitter" website - a verification service for Twitter).  He has provided me with answer I require.  And, because Blogger aren't willing to impart that little snippet of knowledge for all HTML-challenged users, I shall:

(new dashboard)
  • Log in to Blogger and click "Template"
  • Click on "Edit HTML" and "proceed"
(old dashboard)
  • Log in to Blogger and click "design"
  • Click on "Edit HTML"
(continue with...)
  • Approximately 7 or 8 lines down you will see <head>
  • Put your cursor next to the closing arrow and hit your RETURN/ENTER button (to create a new line)
  • Type <base target='_blank'/>
  • Save the template

Et voila!

It's bloody fantastic.  Now ALL my links (past and current) open in a new window/tab.  I've learnt something new for today (and I'm staying on the Blogger platform), I've made a new technical friend (sorry Martin, you're my hero), I've found a new website and the sun is shining.  All is good again in my little bubble.  Until the next crisis...

*WYSIWYG = What You See Is What You Get - a system where you can enter text, edit and view more or less what the final output will look like without knowing much HTML

Picture Credit: Google Images