PDF files in Blogger and other blog stuff

UPDATE 10/1/10: Now that I’ve moved my entire blog to WordPress, this post is not completely relevant, but I am leaving up as it may still be helpful to some.

Blogger. Blogspot. Whichever. Both. Same thing. It’s where I started. It’s where I remain.

I’m not a techie, seriously. I know I’ve somehow managed to impress a few of you with that whole e-mail button gadget thing, but seriously, I can’t even remember how I ever figured that out in the first place, but I’m sure I read about it somewhere online. Though I wish I did, I simply don’t have it in my budget to hire someone to walk me through all the technical blogging ins and outs. I believe I’ve got my post content pretty nailed down, but too often I need to figure out some way of modifying my blog outside of the basic Blogger constrictions. Such as converting to 3-columns (which is now available from Blogger, awesome), or tightening the space between my sidebar gadgets, adding a signature to my posts, and adding other stuff here and there. Typepad and WordPress have features available that Blogger doesn’t, but they both seem so much more complicated to me. Blogger is so user friendly and everything I needed to learn outside of what they can offer me I have found by Google searching my questions, for example, “How to hide the Google Navigation bar on my blog”. There are always answers and usually if you patiently search a while you can find very simple tutorials on tinkering around with the HTML of your blog, whether you (like me) understand the whole HTML thing or not.

When working on your blog’s design/layout, you should always save a copy of your HTML as it is before you start messing with it, in case you goof up. Blogger allows you to download a full template of your HTML, but I usually cut and paste the entire HTML section into an email draft, date it and save it. Then if I get confused and have already changed my code for good, I can always go back and replace it with my earlier version. The best thing to do, of course, when tinkering with your HTML is to only preview the changes, and not save them until you’re completely sure you like it.

My biggest challenge to date is posting PDF files of graphics in Blogger. Files in PDF format allow me to share vector* graphics (line-art) for those of you that want to manipulate the artwork with your design software. JPEG (raster*) files are great for images such as photos or scanned vintage postcards, for example, that can be altered with photo editing software. But enlarging a JPEG image from the original file size can create an ugly problem.
*If you’re not familiar with vector files or what they are for, check out the podscast from CreativeCow.net.
Other blog platforms, such as Typepad and WordPress allow you to do this effortlessly. Unfortunately, hosting PDF files is not an option for Blogger. And since there’s no EASY button on your computer, I’ve resorted to using 3rd party sites to host my PDF files. I’ve created a Google Group which allows me to upload PDF files and share their link from my blog post. The problem with that is that when the PDF file is being accessed by more than one person at the same time, it jams all up and someone gets a “bandwidth exceeded” notice and they are unable to access the file. Then I get emails.

It was recommended on several blogs I’ve read to use the site Scribd for sharing PDF files. It’s a pretty fun site- you can upload your files and direct peeps right to your files hosted there. That works great for me, but I have no doubt it annoys some of my readers to have to sign up with Scribd just to get the files. Then, today, I received a comment on one of my older blog posts noting that Scribd was charging a fee for the “archived” file. Yikes! That’s no good!

So, until the blog police come knocking on my door, or my new brilliant idea goes down in a ball of flames due to some glitch I can’t imagine at this point, I have created my own solution for hosting PDF files for immediate download from my Blogger blog. Are you ready for this- I created an entire new blog over in WordPress just for the sake of uploading PDF files. THAT I can figure out on WP. Once I upload them on WP, I grab the URL of the PDF and paste it as a link to the just for-show-JPG-image or thumbnail I’ve placed in my blog post on Blogger.

Did that make sense?

And by the way, it certainly can’t hurt to claim your blog’s name on the other blog platforms out there just for safe-keeping. Again, I may be summoned to appear in blog court over all of this manipulation of blog sites, and I really don’t want to cheat the system illegally (bloggerly speaking,) but I’m kinda patting myself on the back for finally coming up with a solution to the no PDF file hosting problem with Blogger. (Likely others have been troubleshooting this way before me and I’m not all that ingenious after all.)

So, now the work begins…I will slowly but surely go back into all my previous posts and change out the PDF downloads to be accessed through my new WordPress blog. Ultimately, you shouldn’t notice anything but ease now when clicking on free PDF images to download, no re-direction, no sites to sign up with, just a click to download. However, this could take months for me to do as I will get to each file as I can, in and out of projects and other life commitments, so thank you in advance for your patience in dealing with the files as they are.

To get the party started, here’s a PDF file for you to try out. Click on the image and let me know how it goes.

And… an important reminder for you bloggers, crafters, artists, designers out there:

Start branding your name TODAY!

• Create a blog with YOUR name on it, like I did: catheholden.blogspot.com . It’s free, and even if you already have a blog by another name, get one or more with your name. You don’t have to use it right away, or I suppose- at all, but it’s there when and if you need it one day, or to keep others from snagging it should you become famous, (if you’re not already.)

• Register a domain name with your name, such as catheholden.com, assuming you have a name that isn’t too common and already taken. Your name IS your ultimate brand, start owning it. I use GoDaddy.com to host all of my domains, cheap. They have a toll free number, pick up the phone and talk to a real person who can walk you through purchasing your domain and answering even your lamest, most rookie questions, they are GREAT!

Oh, and you Blogspot Bloggers- here’s another little nugget that took me way to long to figure out, but finally did with the help of my Typepad friend, Apron Thrift Girl: How to create multiple pages in Blogger. The solution is crazy simple: when signed in, go to blogger in draft. On your DESIGN page, you’ll find a gadget for PAGES in the layout!

UPDATE: The first two comments to this post brought up the question of creating posts for a later date. It’s easier than you think, click on my image below!ANOTHER UPDATE: Well it didn’t take too long for my WordPress PDF idea to fail. I’m already getting emails that there is trouble with those files uploading. BUT the good news is that I’ve gotten some GREAT advice in the comments, so I am giving Google Docs a try, starting with the cheese labels of the previous post. I’ll get to the others as I can. In the meantime, if you are having any trouble with files, just email me.

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66 Responses to PDF files in Blogger and other blog stuff

  1. #1 - kpaints says:

    Oh, my I am loving this…education blogger style….I need all the help I can get. Say, while we are on the subject, maybe sometime you could do a post on how to schedule a few days worth of posts…say before a trip out of town. I can't for the life of me find any instructions. Thanks.

  2. #2 - Country Dreaming says:

    Thanks for this important info.
    kpaints brings up a good point–re:scheduling a few days worth of posts.
    Keep up the education!!


  3. #3 - Scrapthat says:

    You had me for the first few sentences and then I just read blah blah blah blah blah….not that you didn't do well at explaining…I'm sure you did, I'm just not techie at all- I talk in dohickies and thingamabobs. LOL
    I'm glad you found an easy solution though! 🙂

  4. #4 - Stephanie says:

    Wow! Thanks for some timely and awesome tips… I am taking action asap!
    To kpaints and Country Dreaming: if you're on Blogger, click on "new post". Click on "post options". Then, under the "post date & time" select the "Scheduled at" button. It will then (and only then) give you the ability to alter the date and time fields and allow pre-posting. Hope that helps.

  5. #5 - Cathe Holden says:

    kpaints and Country Dreaming, I added an update to the post to answer your question, just like Stephanie said as well!

  6. #6 - jdavissquared says:

    you are absolutely one of the most giving bloggers i've come across. always willing to share such great ideas! thanks cathe!

  7. #7 - Helen LS says:

    So much easier to download. I didn't care for Scribid.
    Thanks for the change!

  8. #8 - Deb says:

    The PDF download worked great and I, too, like this much better than Scribid. Thank you!

  9. #9 - snips says:

    Just discovered your blog and have been reading back…you're a crafty genius! I've been loving all your posts. Thanks for all the great projects and awesome tips!

  10. #10 - Karen says:

    thanks. I found this very helpful. I just logged onto you from another blog–Bausermans…so…yay and thanks!

  11. #11 - Robin says:

    Works great to get to your images on the WP blog! Thanks for the info and the images!

  12. #12 - YaYa's Little House says:

    Thank you for doing this, I've only been blogging a month and this is very helpful, thanks for taking the time.

  13. #13 - Amy @ Living Locurto says:

    Thank goodness!!! I hate Scribd. I love being able to download directly from a site. I can't believe they are going to charge now. They will loose a lot of traffic by people leaving.

    Great tips! You are always so helpful.

  14. #14 - Linnea skriver: says:

    Your information is just so valuable. If I had known that before (downloading pdf-files and multiple pages in blogger) I did not have the need for bying my own domain and webhotel. Well now I have done and I´m going to create that with Joomla and cms;-)

  15. #15 - Linnea skriver: says:

    I have a question: I use Windows Live Writer to create my postings. Will that be able to handle the "more pages"-gadget? Any experiences on that?

  16. #16 - Ann says:

    That worked great Cathe – so easy! And you've just given me a lightbulb moment…. I thought what the heck are multiple pages? and when I realised I was delighted and will be checking out the "how to" soon! My grateful thanks for this post!

  17. #17 - Izzy says:

    Oh, this is great and the .pdf link works like a charm! I recently did a blog makeover all by myself, the buttons, the banner, everything just like you – googling everything! And I'm more than satisfied!
    Just a few days ago I wanted to make all my DIY tutorials available in pdf and hit a wall… So thank you for this post, I will give it a try!
    Kisses from Croatia!

  18. #18 - Marissa says:

    Cathe, it works beautifully! Thanks, I was one of the bloggers in trouble too. My visitors will thank you!
    Just a tip about emailing so robots cannot pick your address due to @ sign and fill your mail with junk. Instead of writing in html mailto:joe@… You can only write mailto: joe gmail… (without @) and then outside add a note like this one: "Click and add the sign for email". You can see it in my blog.

    Hope it helps!
    Keep reading you

  19. #19 - Kitty says:

    Oooh! Thanks for the tips – especially the one about multiple pages. I haven't tinkered with my blog design in ages and hadn't realised that Blogger has expanded it's capabilities a bit more.

  20. #20 - Amy says:

    Thanks for this! I have wrestled with how to post pdf files in blogger. I finally went with scribd, but I wanted something easier! The wordpress way is genius! Just genius! I'm on my way there now. Thanks again!

  21. #21 - Felicia Kramer says:

    Wow – you must have heard me swearing the other day! Your new way to download PDFs works perfectly! I have avoided downloading before because I hate being forced into signing up for something I don't want to sign up for. So thank you! And thanks for the info about multiple pages and post scheduling. Perfect! So thank you again.

  22. #22 - Molly says:

    Thanks Cathe! This is a GREAT post that I know a lot of us struggle with! Appreciate your taking the time to share!

    The note about adding additional page: pure gold!

    For myself, I upload my documents into Google docs, change the security settings to allow everyone read access and grab the link to share — this has worked great for me (however I don't have the traffic you have ;o) and so I've never had anyone experience an error that you reported when using your previous system)

    Thanks again!


  23. #23 - Kelly says:

    PERFECT timing. This is something I've been wanting to do but wasn't finding good/helpful info. Thank you thank you!

  24. #24 - Melanie says:

    Wait, blogger now has 3 columns? I need to go and check! I just can't get into it all … maybe one day … if I am famous like YOU, I will.

  25. #25 - Laura @ Ms Smartie Pants says:

    Thanks for sharing the info. I still feel a bit like a dummy, I don't know all this "lango" but I will play with it and digest it. I too can't see spending money on something new to me. Great tips, thanks!

  26. #26 - CraftCrave says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [31 Jul 12:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  27. #27 - Cindy Sue says:

    You are just too cool! I was going to put you in my, this is said with love and tongue in cheek, 'You Techy Savvy thing you – girls who share geeky know how' and of course you're already in my 'You Artsy – Crafty Little Thing' section, but you say you're not techy savvy, want to change your mind?

  28. #28 - Rebecca says:

    Thank you Cathe! Not a blogger myself but didn't care for Scribd either and this works fabulously! I never complained though…cuz hey…you're giving us wonderful files for free! Enjoy your weekend you genius! 🙂

  29. #29 - West Michigan Quilter says:

    What a great idea. I don't care for where I'm stashing my PDF files and am always looking for something else. This is my answer. Thanks for sharing.

  30. #30 - Cheree says:

    Cathe…thanks so much for posting on my TC post to tell me you were looking into scribd charging for archived pdfs! Your post explaining your work around is great! I like to share PDFs of things I do as well. I used to host my PDFs in Google docs and make them public…but I think I'll switch it to WordPress. By the way, your PDF I was looking for on scribd I had already downloaded on my computer when you first posted it. But I was lazy and came to your site instead of hunting it down on my computer. I wasn't sure where I had put it…but I found it without too much trouble. Anyhow…if you haven't already fixed that PDF…don't worry about making it a priority! Thanks again! I truly enjoy your blog, your style, and YOU.

  31. #31 - Cheree says:

    One last thing…your "Easy Button" graphic cracked me up.

  32. #32 - VBR says:

    Wonderful blog. I have had so much fun visiting. Love your work and appreciate the instructions and advice for blogging and creating.

  33. #33 - Laina Lamb says:

    I'm a graphic designer and I hate having to deal with web page design too. I work around it the best I can and would never mind having to go to a second blog to download. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

  34. #34 - Christie Cottage says:

    Wonderful post. Maybe I should head on over to wordpress and snag me one!


  35. #35 - Nat says:

    Thank you for reminding me to brand myself. I've been pondering doing it and what domain to claim as my own, and reading what you have to say helps me make my decision. I worry about losing readers, but if I do it soon that won't matter because I hardly have any right now, so it's a good time to do it, eh? You have a marvelous talent and a wonderful blog. Thanks for all of the inspiration!

  36. #36 - Corey says:

    I can't believe you're using WordPress just to serve PDF's! That's like parking the mule carriage and giving the kids hay rides in the SUV.

    Anyway, it seems to work for you, so, that's okay w/ me.

  37. #37 - Limar says:

    Thank you for explaining all this so well, and thanks for the lovely frames. It worked fabulously 😀

  38. #38 - Juliet A says:

    This may not be of value to you, but when I need to offer a .pdf on my blog, I upload it to Google Docs. Free and easy! I love Google Docs for all kinds of file sharing, and for interactive spreadsheets.

  39. #39 - kathysews says:

    That was awesome. You are so far ahead of me, but I really appreciate the helps. Soemday I'll be that far along. I appreciate you taking the time to do this.

  40. #40 - Melissa P says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this work-around! I appreciate all your generosity but this is especially helpful. After pulling my hair out over embedding pdf's, Scribd was my last resort too. It's good to have an option. Keep up the good work!

  41. #41 - Abbie says:

    excellent info Cathe! Thank you.. I use acrobat.com to host my pdf's and it works pretty well so far. No fees and easy to access… I haven't gotten a single complaint yet. 🙂

  42. #42 - Zoë Yule says:

    Hi Cathe, It's always a relief to hear other people do the same thing I do and google what you wat to do until you find a way, without having to learn an entirely new language! By the way, you don't need to be in Blogger in Draft to access and create static pages – the tab should be available from your usual dashboard http://buzz.blogger.com/2010/02/create-pages-in-blogger.html

  43. #43 - Alyssabeth's says:

    As always, great advice, thank you!

  44. #44 - goodlife2go says:

    Thanks for the blogger info. I'm using Google group to hold the PDF files as well. Since my traffic is much less than yours, I don't have the problem at the moment. But it's good to know solution if I have the same problem one day.

  45. #45 - TidyMom says:

    You're too sweet!! I hope you get your whole pdf thing figured out.

    I wanted to mention one thing you might want to add on your how to post for a later date….make sure you tell them to click "Publish Post" and not Save….

    Cathe you're the BEST!!

  46. #46 - Country Dreaming says:

    Thanks to Stephanie and Cathe for the info.


  47. #47 - Kelly says:

    I just implemented this in my post tonight. Worked like a charm. I'm going to stick with this method for now unless I run into any problems.

  48. #48 - linda from vegas says:

    Yipee! The cheese labels are now downloading. Thanks for switching to a different download engine.and thanks for the cheese labels!

  49. #49 - Lydia says:

    Thanks so much for posting this helpful information, specifically regarding domain names. I've just registered the name of my new business! I did have to call GoDaddy for some assistance, but they were awesome just like you said. Thank you again!

  50. #50 - Jerry Blogger says:

    SO cool, very nice, thanks for sharing.

  51. #51 - Jennifer says:

    I just found your blog today and I am enjoying reading it. I wanted to give a suggestion for uploading/downloading PDF files. I am a scrapbooker (digital) and in the scrappy world we often use http://www.4shared.com. Its a great site with free uploading/downloading. There is a bandwidth limit unless you pay the yearly fee. However, your readers can download for free without signing up and without paying anything! Check it out, its fantastic really.

  52. #52 - Mel M. M. McCarthy says:

    First off, I hope it's not creepy to say I LOVE YOU! I'm sure you hear it all the time, but I just wanted to add my heartfelt thank you to the chorus. You deserve to hear it constantly. 😀 You are just so creative and generous and just plain brilliant. Secondly, thank you ever so much for sharing your blogging knowledge as well as your creativity. I too love the usability of blogger, but have struggled with PDFs like mad. I tried scribd & read their terms of use & if I remember correctly, they claim the right to use your files however they want. I was using 4shared but it's sort of obnoxious… I'm excited to try adobe acrobat out. Well, sorry to ramble… and thanks again!

  53. #53 - Valentin Zaraf says:

    I wonder why an artist like you can't have a professional blog…
    If you will migrate to a professional WordPress platform (on your own domain) that will improve more, will be more easy to post, share, attach, send, distribute – there are a lot of instruments which can make your blog-work easier: when you post a message it will be posted in the same time on Facebook, Twitter and could be more social networks connected.
    So I recommend WordPress on your own domain – if you need help, I would be happy to do it for you.

  54. Pingback: FUN WITH DECALS PART 1: In the Kitchen Free PDF Images and Giveaway | Just Something I Made

  55. #54 - Brenda Howell says:

    Wow! Thank you for leaving this up, even though you have moved off Blogger! I am just getting started and I have so many thoughts and projects to share. Navigating Blogger will be muc, much easier after reading this post. One thing I cannot figure out though, is how to add your current blog to show my Blog list. Aww well. All in due time, I suppose!

    I have spent the last hour browsing your projects and freebies, and going over to your posts on the SC Johnson site. Thank you and God Bless, Brenda

  56. #55 - will says:

    I LOVE YOU. The PDF problem was driving me mad !

  57. Thank you so much for this post. It was a life-saver tonight because I could not figure out how to get a pdf file on blogger. I read your post, claimed my wordpress account, and grabbed the url on wordpress for the pdf. Amazing! I definitely learned something.

    Thank you!

  58. #57 - resultats des courses says:

    I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest
    but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. Cheers

  59. #58 - Jenn Starns says:

    Thank you so much for this! I am in blogger and I wanted to post a free printable without it popping up to a middle man site in between. I was able to make a new word press blog and easily uploaded my pdf, then used that url link pasted into my other blogs link. It went right to the pdf!!! Thank you, you are a genius.

    Jenn Starns

  60. #59 - Phyllis Hepditch says:

    Just found your blog and been reading your older post on pdf and blogger. Have you had success with google docs? The answer is probably on her somewhere, but I’m just finding my way around at present. I want to upload a free booklet on my future blog (a project in progress) and haven’t found a really reliable way to do it.

  61. #60 - Levitre lifts says:

    ΡDF files in Βlogger аnd otheг blog stuff | Just Ѕοmething I Made.

  62. #61 - Mrs. LGR says:

    Dear Cathe, Thank you for your article. It gives me hope that perhaps my blogging dreams can live soon. I am especially wanting to start a blog to showcase some of my poems, but I have been told that my font choices will be limited, and that using PDF files to upload to the blog will be practically impossible. That has not been encouraging. I really take a lot of delight in preparing beautiful presentations for my poems, especially for the acrostic sonnets, which sometimes take hours of typesetting before they are ready for printing. But in the end, they are not only well-done, they are visually appealing: a real work of art. I am a SAHM with very little computer skills, and often find anything even remotely technical very intimidating. Where would I begin? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me. Gwen

  63. #63 - Jamie Honley says:

    Hi Kathy:

    I am organizing my sewing spot and need some nice pretty labels to mark boxes, plastic storage cabinets do you have anything on your sights for these or could you direct me to a sight that might have them I need them in PDF form so i can type in the names on the decals from a list I have created.

    Thank you

  64. Pingback: » How to Start a Blog - Medicare pdfs

  65. #64 - Martha Clamentine says:

    Hi I am a new user of blogger platform I’ m still learning and this is an awesome new lesson for me.Appreciate your contribution to my learning.Thanks for share