Scribefire.com is a great 3rd party add-on to the Mozilla Firefox Browser. Lately, the emails and calls have been coming in about how to setup AR Blogs, get API's, and how to use Scribefire with ActiveRain Blog posts. First off, the reason I mention Scribefire is that it is one of the few third party apps I have found that works well and doesn't conflict with the AR Network HTML format.
Some members on AR use MS Word, Publisher, Front Page and other sources which often times (but not always) has hidden HTML codes, tables, and formatting that is incompatible with ActiveRain. You've seen them, you know the ones, these are the posts that show funky looking codes, push the sidebar half way down the page, and make Blogs look like "you know what" when they load on your computer screen.
Why Use Scribefire?
Though the AR Blog Post editor may seem somewhat simplified and to some, a bit archaic, it still does a great job for creating great text content, adding images, photos and links, and producing search engine friendly creations. However there are many who want to customize and create larger fonts, add color to their fonts, use a different style of font etc. This is where Scribefire does a great job and works well with AR.
THE MAIN REASON FOR POSTING THIS
Where most of our members get hung up is when downloading Scribefire as their Firefox add-on. Somewhere in the process, Scribefire asks for your Blog URL, API, and other information that IS NOT NECESSARY to begin using the Scribefire tools on ActiveRain. The requested and "perceived as required" information is ONLY for use on Blogging Platforms where you plan to use ScribeFire as the total replacement tool for creating your Blog posts. IE: Wordpress, Blogger, Self-Hosted Blogs etc. NOT ON ACTIVERAIN.
Here's the Scoop on How It Works
Go to Scribefire.com, download it and add to your Firefox Browser. BYPASS all the additional questions and other stuff they want you to enter. (unless you are using scribefire on another blogging platform) To begin using the Scribefire tools and options, just press the "hotkeys" FUNCTION + F8 while in the edit mode of a Blog post, and the Scribefire Window (shown below) will open up in the lower section of your computer screen. Now you will have two areas to work in, your AR Blog post, and the Scribefire editing window.
Create your text, change your font color, select a larger sized font, use a variety of different style fonts, have a field day, and when you're done, just highlight the section you've created in the Scribefire window, copy it (CTRL+C) and then paste it into your AR Blog post body (CTRL+V) You can do this using the ActiveRain WYSIWYG tab. Save your post in "draft" mode to be sure everything looks just as you want it, then make the necessary changes you want before making your post public.
DISCLAIMER.. I mean Warning.. NO... A QUICK TIP!
One thing to be careful of is that you don't go CRAZY with Font Colors and sizes. Sometimes the colored fonts and multiple sized text can make your Blog Post hard to read and unpleasing to the eye. Yellow font colors are difficult to read, Big Fonts can take away from the message in the little fonts, and multi-colored Blog post (for some) can and will cause nausea. (IMO)
SUMMARY and PURPOSE
The Scribefire add-on tools will allow you to enhance your AR Blog posts to your liking, give you a bit more versatility, and keep the AR network and your Blog clean of those Hidden and incompatible HTML codes. Many of these outside third party apps can and will make Blogs on AR look like "you know what" and frustrate AR members beyond your wildest imagination. I'm not kidding, you should see and hear some of the emails and calls I get. lol~ NOT!! :-)
For my next trick, we'll look at how to insert iFrames and tables into your Blog post without completely blowing out your Blog. This is one of the more common errors I see on ActiveRain by members that not only affects your AR Blog, but does even worse things to your Localism and Outside Blogs.