How to bring back the date on Sticky Posts in TwentyThirteen

By default, the TwentyThirteen theme suppresses the date byline when a post is marked as Sticky (in which case, it’ll always be displayed at the top of the posts list).

That’s usually great, because Sticky Posts are often timeless announcements, and the fact that they’re a year or two out of date doesn’t look as handsome as if the date byline would simply be removed. I like this as a default behaviour.

Here’s what a default sticky post looks like, without the date displayed:

But of course, every now and again you may want to break the rules and shake up the whole universe. I did this on my iOS Dev Diary recently, where an announcement post would have been very helpful with the date displayed (I didn’t intent to keep it there for long).

So how do we bring back the date on Sticky Posts in TwentyThirteen? Let’s find out!

Continue reading How to bring back the date on Sticky Posts in TwentyThirteen

How to take a screenshot on a Chromebook

My wife recently got hold of an Acer Chromebook. She just got a promotion in her job, and part of said promotion was a laptop so that she can work 18 hours a day more efficiently.

The biggest question we both had less than 10 monies after switching it on was: how to we take a screenshot with this thing?

Short Answer

To take a full screenshot, press CTRL + F5.

To take a partial screenshot, press SHIFT + CTRL + F5. Now left-drag the area you’d like to take a screenshot of.

If your Chromebook doesn’t have F keys, look for a rectangle with two lines next to it. It’s known as the Switch Window key. It’ll most likely be the fifth key from the left in the top row, not including the ESC key. It looks like this:

Resulting files will be stored in the Downloads folder.

Further Reading

Let Google dazzle you with a whole host of keyboard shortcuts available for Chromebooks:

  • https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/183101?hl=en

How to bring back the Author Byline in TwentyThirteen

I could have sworn that when I started using Automattic’s TwentyThirteen theme over five years ago, it displayed an Author Byline in the meta description. That’s the text right underneath the title of a post, the same line that displays the post date, categories and tags.

I remember this because there were many an instance on which I had to hide that Author Byline, because on single author websites, crediting yourself over and over again just leads to a cluttered reading experience. Furthermore, if you have several tags and categories to display, the meta line can easily run over into a second line, adding to more clutter than we want to see.

Turns out that over time, the WordPress team have had a lot of feedback about the Author Byline, and it turns out that nine times out of ten, people just didn’t want to see it. So they decided to invisibilise it by default.

Thanks to David Greene and P. Chandra for bringing this to my attention.

Let’s take a look at two options that can bring it back in TwentyThirteen. Continue reading How to bring back the Author Byline in TwentyThirteen

How to fix the Disappearing Mobile Header in TwentyThirteen

I’ve recently changed themes on this site, from my own development of P2 Categories to Automattic’s TwentyThirteen. P2 Categories was not mobile friendly by default, and TwentyThirteen gives all my major notebook sites a cohesive look, making maintenance easier for me.

One thing I’ve noticed about TwentyThirteen is a small bug that’s been discussed several times around the web: when no header text elements are shown (under Appearance – Customise – Site Identity), a graphical header image disappears on mobile devices. Or more accurately, when the screen width changes to anything below 767 pixels.

If a site title and description are shown, the bug does not present itself, and instead the theme resizes the header image as well as the text without issues. That’s the behaviour I’m experiencing on both my 3D Dev Diary and my iOS Dev Diary.

I did some digging and found a suitable solution for this problem. Let me share it with you here.

Continue reading How to fix the Disappearing Mobile Header in TwentyThirteen

How to build an Amazon link efficiently

When you want to share a product on Amazon with someone else, the easiest thing to do is to copy whatever is in the browser bar at the time and paste that elsewhere. While this works, it’s not an efficient way to link to a product.

The URL is often extremely long and contains additional parameters that tell Amazon’s systems either how the product was found or referred, or what else to display on the current product page. Most of that additional information makes the URL longer than it needs to be.

In this article I’ll show you how to build a short and efficient link without additional parameters, such as tracking information.

All we really need is the regional Amazon domain and the ASIN of the product and add these two together, separated by the letters “dp”.

Continue reading How to build an Amazon link efficiently

How to create a YouTube Subscription Prompt Link

Ever wondered how you can send a link to someone with an immediate prompt to subscribe to your YouTube channel?

It works by appending a parameter to the channel link you’d like people to subscribe to. It doesn’t have to be your own channel either.

Here’s how to do it.

Find the YouTube Channel URL

There are plenty of ways to do this, I won’t go into detail here. Check out my article on how to find your YouTube channel URL instead.

Let’s take my own YouTube channel’s URL for this example. It’s https://youtube.com/user/wphosting (if I remember correctly).

Append the sub_confirmation parameter

Ordinarily, if I would share this link with someone else, all that happens is that they land on my YouTube channel, and my channel trailer starts playing. The end.

But if we append the following parameter, the user is asked if they’d like to subscribe to that channel.

So in my case, the full subscribe URL would be https://youtube.com/user/wphosting?sub_confirmation=1. Try it out and see how it works!

When the other party receives the link, all they have to do is click on a SUBSCRIBE or CANCEL button.

If a user is already subscribed to the channel, no message appears. If a user is not logged into YouTube, they will be prompted to do so after the above dialogue (and then they’ll subscribe to the channel).

Credits

Thanks to David “The 8-Bit Guy” Murray for this insight! He’s been using such links successfully in one of his latest collaborative videos, the ThinkDifferentChallenge.

After it went live, Jan Beta noted in a Pattern post that his subscriber count went through the roof.

WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg: What does this mean for you

In this episode I’m explaining the implications of the new default text editor in WordPress 5.0. It’s called Gutenberg, named after the man who invented the printing press (and hence revolutionised how printed books were duplicated and distributed at the time).

I’ll also show you how to test drive the Gutenberg editor in WordPress 4.9 and earlier, and how to bring back the Classic Editor if Gutenberg is not for you.

I’m not going into details on how to use the new editor, this is just an explanation what Gutenberg means, where the change will happen and how to remedy your WordPress instance if you feel lost with it (like I did when I first tested it last week).

Catch this episode on my WP Guru Podcast:

How to take pictures with Photo Booth on macOS

In this episode I’ll show you how to take pictures with built-in and external USB cameras using Photo Booth on macOS. Photo Booth is the equivalent of the Camera application in iOS.

I will also explain how to export your images, where they are stored on the hard disk, and what you can do if the built-in camera gives you an error message.

For Ivy-Jo.

Troubleshooting

As I’ve explained in the screencast, if Photo Booth or any other app is giving you grief about there camera “not being available”, you can try to reset the VDCAssistant process on macOS.

To do this, open the Terminal app, then type the following:

Provide your administrator password when prompted, and without a reboot, Photo Booth should be working as it should. Thanks to Turn It Off And On Again for this tip!

Catch this episode on my WP Guru Podcast:

How to turn text into an audio file on macOS

Ever since Lion, Mac OS X 10.7, there has been a great and very underrated feature built-in to every Mac: the ability to highlight some text and have macOS turn it into an audio file.

This is a wonderful way to listen to written text while you’re on the go, or if you want to skim through text you or others have written while you’re occupied with another activity, such as walking or driving. I love this feature!

I’ve seen the option in the context menu many times, but I’ve never dared to use it until today. Perhaps I held off for so long because the option reads “add to iTunes as Spoken Track” – and I’m just not a big fan of iTunes.

Turns out, this text-to-audio option bypasses iTunes altogether. It doesn’t open automatically and we won’t need it to transfer tracks to our iPhones either. What a relief!

Let me show you how to do it in this article. Continue reading How to turn text into an audio file on macOS

How to find the URL for your own YouTube Playlist (2018)

I’ve seen a lot of web interfaces in my time. YouTube’s has got to be one of the worst ever. Fact! I am frequently shocked how unintuitive the simplest of things are, and how cumbersome and ugly the whole design is.

Take something as simple as sharing your own Playlist. There’s this unbelievably unhelpful Google article that apparently explains how it works.

Which it doesn’t. At least not at the time of writing.

Here’s how to find and share your own YouTube Playlist’s URL (with screenshots, as of August 2018). Continue reading How to find the URL for your own YouTube Playlist (2018)