WordPress Editor

Not Exactly Everything You Expect

The online WordPress Dashboard Editor has seen many improvements lately and does many neat things. WYSIWIG, “what you see is what you get”, is not one of them. That is quite intentional of the part of WordPress since blogs need to be responsive since mobile devices have become the leading means to follow blogs. There are some things it does poorly.

For a long time my theme for my “presentation” blogs, Gallery Ludwig and Silver Canvas, has been Nishita because it offers a gorgeous, full width (1024 pixel) layout. This way I can show off my photos and art as large images on a dark field.

To prepare my posts I use Live Writer, either the orphaned Windows Live Writer or the new Open Live Writer, so I can control the layout and see precisely what my post will look like. Alas, there is one feature that is very important to me that is lacking. Let me show you.

WYSIWYG-17

Because I have a mess of different blogs for various topics I have a “gateway” site, Cafe Ludwig, where I show my latest blog posts. This is done using Display WordPress Posts (Jetpack) widgets. WYSIWYG-19I like images there to help my readers quickly recognize what’s new. When posting using Live Writer just the post title shows as illustrated on the left side of the above image, see the post title circled in yellow.

To get an image to show, there has to be a “Featured Image”. That can be set in the WordPress online editor but not in Live Writer. So I prepare my posts in Live Writer and “Post draft to blog”. Then I go to the online editor, select my specific blog, click Posts, find the draft, click Edit, scroll down to Set featured image, click that and click the picture in the Media Library … A rather bothersome chore.

My posts are rather simple, mostly a single photo or art work, so I figured to do it all in the WordPress Dashboard Editor. After all, I had done it so many times I knew what it would look like. I pre-sized the image to 1024 pixels and used the very simple drag-and-drop upload method to insert the photo. I selected Full size. The surprise was that the image published not at all full size. See the illustration on the right. The photo of the thistles is much smaller than the photo of the anchor which was done using Live Writer.

This annoyed me no end.

So I compared the settings and HTML code in the Dashboard Editor.

WYSIWYG-15

Notice that the setting in Image Details says Size  Full Size – 1024 x 768. However, in the “Text” view (the code is inset in the illustration above) the code reads “width=“774” height=“581” . Not exactly the same.

Why, why, dear WordPress do you deceive me?

What about when posting using Live Writer?

WYSIWYG-14

Well, the Image Details dialog does not show any size settings, but the code shows width=“1012” height=“772”. (Inset.)

Hurray for Live Writer! Brickbats for WordPress!

.:.

© 2016 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Blogging, Live Writer, WordPress | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

AI Photo Interpreter

The computers are watching us!

Drum roll please! Now for the latest from Microsoft Cognitive Services: CaptionBot – an online AI (artificial intelligence) thingie that looks at photos and tells what it sees – sort of supplying a caption for the picture.

Of course I had to try it! I didn’t give it my  simplest photos either. The last one was this:

CaptionBot-1

Well, it said “… it’s a bunch of traffic lights hanging from a wire.”  Not exactly. It got “wire” correct, although there are at least four of them, not counting the short ones. And only a computer algorithm could see these transformers as traffic lights. Well, I guess we still need drawing boards – let’s get back to them.

… and with that I think I broke it.

CaptionBot-2

Go ahead, try it, it is fun!  CaptionBot.ai 

But please be kinder than I was. We need to nurture these youngsters😉

 

.:.

© 2016 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Computer - general, Digital Photos, Microsoft, Photos | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

WordPress Sharing

Sharing your blog posts to Social Media

One of the nice features of WordPress is the automatic sharing of posts to Social Media accounts. Setting up the sharing options is in the Dashboard > Settings > Sharing and there it now provides a link to Publicize Settings in the WordPress online editor.

Publicize-1It gets interesting there. The various media are shown, you can select the accounts where you want your posts to be added by WordPress. There is a step to grant permission. If you have multiple accounts or pages you can specify where your post will be shown.

For Facebook you can share to only one of your pages. For Twitter and Google+ you can share to more than one account or page. 

When a post is published, WordPress places a post on the Social Media pages. It is fascinating that such posts are not what you get when you do it yourself.

Let’s take a look. If you tweet the URL of a blog post it looks like this:

Twitter2

The tweet will show the link and any text you add, but nothing more.

However, the automatic tweet from WordPress shows the Featured Image. That image is also added to your photo collection and it link back to the blog post. Very neat and impressive.

Twitter

FB2

For Facebook it is similarly impressive. If you put the URL in a Facebook post, Facebook offers the Featured Image and sometimes others for showing in the post. You can select one image. Your own Facebook post would look like this:

The WordPress placed post on the other hand, once again is more impressive. It includes not only the featured image, but also the other images from the blog post. My habit is to use one of the images in a blog post as the Featured Image, so in this case that image is shown twice in the Facebook post. Even more useful is the inserted excerpt text from the blog post. FB1

The automatic post to Facebook also adds the other images in the blog post to the Facebook photos collection.

Google By now you are likely convinced that the way to publicize in Social Media is to let WordPress do it.  Well, it isn’t the best solution when it comes to Google+. Here is what the automatic post shows on my Google+ page.

A nice enough post, A text excerpt and the Featured Image.

There is a downer, however, right at the top the Google+ post says “Shared only with you”. That is of little use, certainly not worthy of the word “publicize”.

I have not (yet?) found the option for setting this to an automatic public share.

.:.

© 2016 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Blogging, WordPress | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Nik Tools now FREE

Google Nik Tools are now FREE Downloads

Google announced today that the Nik Collection of photo enhancement tools would henceforth be free downloads.

Nik Software tools, primarily designed as Photoshop plugins, have achieved a stellar reputation over the years. Most of my B&W photography friends use Nik Silver Efex Pro and consider this tool an essential part of their tool kit. NIK-01

It has been part of my tool box for several years. Nik Software was acquired by Google in 2012.

The collection consists of seven individual plugins that work in Photoshop, PaintShop Pro, and other editing software. The tools can also be used as stand-alone applications.

A photo can be loaded into a Nik tool by simply dragging it from Photo Gallery to the desktop shortcut icon for the specific tool as illustrated here.

NIK-09

All these tools, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, Color Efex Pro, Analog Efex Pro, Dfine, Sharpener Pro, HDR Efex Pro, offer rich sets of option for fine tuning photographs. These are professional level tools, yet they are easy to learn and use.

NIK-10

Here are links to the Google announcement and the Nik Collection site (download from there).

.:.

© 2016 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Digital Photos, Photo Editing, Photography | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments