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Editor's Checklist: Website Consistency

By       Message Rady Ananda       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   11 comments

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If you are a queue editor, it's really important that you read this document created by senior editor Rady Ananda. Thanks, Rady, for doing an extraordinary job. ~ Rob Kall

We're looking for consistency in our image, but writers submit their work in all kinds of formatting. Some people are visually impaired and have trouble seeing what they submit in anything less than 12 pt. Sometimes, people produce their work on a blog site that does not allow them to change the font or size, and then copy that work into the OEN Article Textbox. So, they will always submit it differently than what we want. We understand this. As web editors, you need to know how to change the formatting to adhere to OpEdNews preferences (see asterisked items below).

First, highlight all the contents of the article box (make sure your cursor is inside the article text box hit CTRL A). Then select the correct size, font face, or color.

But sometimes, this doesn't work. There are two other ways to fix the formatting: using Notepad, or using HTML code. If you can't fix the font size or face, don't accept the article. Just make the edits you can make and leave the article for someone who can fix the font size and face.

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Fixing the formatting using Notepad. (Windows users will find Notepad after hitting START, Programs, Accessories.) Copy and paste the article into Notepad. If the article has any embedded links, also copy it into your regular word document. Fix the formatting while in Notepad, then delete everything in the Article Textbox. Copy and paste all from Notepad into the Article Textbox.

Copy the links from your Word document into the correct place in the Article Textbox. Long URLs must be embedded (see below).

Fixing the formatting with HTML. As a web editor, knowing HTML basics is a great skill to have; here's a free online tutorial. Once you understand how HTML works, you may find this cheat sheet handy scroll down to the HTML Tags Chart. HTML code p inserts two lines and HTML code div inserts a single line (each HTML code must be enclosed in the less-than and greater-than signs).

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This is what OpEdNews wants for all articles (as with any set of rules, there will be exceptions that require a judgment call):

** Font face: Verdana 10 pt (size 2) non-bolded black type, single space, left justified.

** No indentation at the beginning of a paragraph.

** First letter caps on article titles no ALL CAPS titles. There will be exceptions, e.g. if the news is BREAKING: or EXCLUSIVE: followed by regular 1st letter cap rules -- or, if it's some outrageously important news, like OBAMA WINS. See Chicago Manual of Style for headline capitalization rules if you are unsure. (In the 15th edition, it's Rule 8.167, including the other rules it references.)


  • In MSWord, copy the URL, highlight the word or words you want to embed, hit CTRL K, CTRL V, return.
  • In WordPerfect, copy the URL, highlight the word or words you want to embed, then click on Tools, Hyperlink, CTRL V. Hit OK.

    To embed URLs using OEN's system:

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    Here's the short explanation by Managing Editor, Amanda Lang: If you highlight a "word/title/phrase" in OEN Populum editor, then click on the "link" button in the editor, a box will appear enabling you to paste the URL address in the box. Hit INSERT and you have a highlighted link that is functional.

    Here are detailed, step-by-step instructions:

  • Highlight any word or words you want to embed (For example, USDA says, "raw milk is bad for you."). Highlight the words, 'USDA says'
  • Once you highlight a word, the chain link icon lights up. (Try it - if you then click on an empty space, you can turn off the chain link icon; if you double click on a single word, you turn the chain link icon back on; or you can turn on the chain link icon by highlighting more than one word.)
  • Notice the chain link icon has a broken link icon and an unbroken link icon. (Use the broken link icon to remove an embedded link or to turn off the icon.)
  • Now that the chain link icon is lit up, click on the unbroken chain link. A dialog window opens up. Follow the instructions - paste your long URL into the appropriate spot. CTRL X will cut the URL from the article box. Put your cursor in the URL link box in the dialogue window. Hit CTRL V to insert the URL into the link box.
  • The words you want to embed go in the spot called 'Title' - you can copy them (CTRL C) from the Article Text box and then paste them into the chain link icon dialogue box (CTRL V).
  • At "Target" I suggest you click on the down arrow and select Open in New Window. This lets people click on a live link in your article where a new window will then open up for them - without removing them from your article.
  • Don't worry about "Class" - ignore it.
  • Then hit INSERT at the bottom left of the dialogue window.

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    In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

    Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

    She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

    All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

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    The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

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