December 30, 2012

Posting images to Blogger and email-to-post

For the last few days, I've been trying to figure out the best way to make blog posts to Blogger. In a previous pots, I wrote about how much I like the Notebooks app. But I still ran into trouble trying to post images directly into Blogger. Namely, none of the images in my post showed up in my blog when I tried to use Blogger's post-by-email feature (my preferred way of posting blog posts).

After experimenting with multiple options, it seems that I've finally figured it out. First and foremost, the images must come from a publicly-stored place. In other words, it's not possible to just insert an image from iPad into a post and then email the post to blogger- the images won't show up. Blogger does allow you to upload images via email, but the images must be attachments. And while this is useful, it also means that the images can not be edited within the post (of course, you can always edit the image, etc. from Blogger's online dashboard, but that's not what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to work on a post from iPad while offline). To be clear, in each case, I tried to copy and paste the post into gmail to send to Blogger.

So what did I do and what worked?

Here's what I tried in terms if inserting images directly from iPad:

  1. RTF: copying and pasting an image from iPad
  2. RTF: inserting the image from iPad
  3. txt/markdown: using markdown to insert the image from iPad using the app's insert image feature, then processing the post to RTF before copying and pasting
  4. txt/markdown: copying and pasting an image from iPad

None of the above worked regardless of whether I wrote the post in txt or RTF.

So what about using an image that is publicly stored somewhere?

  1. RTF: copying and pasting a public image into RTF
  2. RTF: inserting a public image using app's feature
  3. txt/markdown: inserting an image from Dropbox (from both a shared public folder and the photobox folder of Dropbox), then processing the post to RTF
  4. txt/markdown: inserting a publicly available image from the web or public Picassa

Of these last 4, only #6 and #8 worked. Here are some examples:

Inserting an image directly from ipad:

Inserting an image from Dropbox:

Inserting image from photos folder of Dropbox:

Inserting image from Dropbox's public shared photo folder:

As you can tell from the above examples, none of the images that came directly from iPad worked. Now, here's an inserted public image (#8):

And from a public Picassa album (#8):

Since this post was created in txt and markdown, I can't show you examples of the RTF versions, but you can check this post for the example.

In short, here are the steps for the best way to get images into Blogger:

  1. make sure that images you want to insert are already online with some kind of image-hosting service such as Picassa
  2. then you can compose the post via txt/markdown or RTF provided you insert the public images (don't copy and paste the images!!!)
  3. if the post was created in txt/markdown, you won't be able to just copy and paste the txt into Gmail so you'll have to get it into some kind of formatted file. To do this in Notebooks, select "Process…" to a "Format Document…" (See image below)
  4. finally, copy and paste the RTF to gmail and send it to your blog.

Btw, if you don't want to create a new RTF file in addition to the markdown, you could also copy and paste the preview. Sometimes, I even find that this works better.

Also, I just tried to copy the rich text into Blogger's app and it doesn't work.

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