How to spruce up the appearance of your screen text ....

A puzzle : why do so many people (including me in the past) post their writing in tiny, unadorned text? Too small, not bold, no indents.  Several questions and some bumping around magically produces the instruction for boldface : <Strong>.   Double size fonts are <h2>.  To indent paragraphs about five spaces the command is <p style="text-indent:30px;p">.  This article includes all three.  There are many other choices for formatting and each writer can choose which ones are best suited to individual preferences.  I prefer larger type for people with vision problems, but once you see the basic idea how HTML changes screen formats and symbols, you can select and customize to your heart's content.

The <h2> and <strong> commands just need to be put in once, on the very top line by themselves. and they apply for the whole article.  The indent command must be put in for each new paragraph.  That sounds yukky, but there is a fairly easy solution.

First I create a file in my word processor for e-mail names -- especially the difficult ones to remember.  At the top of that file I keep my favorite HMTL commands. For indents, I can copy the indent commend with Control-C. Next switch to the NeighborMedia draft text and paste it in at the beginning of each paragraph.  No typing.  I would love to do TAB but that does not work.  This routine does. Example : go to <p style="text-indent:30px;p"> in your word processor file, and copy it and paste it into the beginning of the first paragraph of your story text. <Go to the beginning of the second paragraph and paste ... and so on.

Now my problem is how to put two spaces at the end of each sentence.  HTML does not allow this, using the space bar.  If you hold down the space bar and put in ten blanks, HTML automatically strips out nine of the spaces and leaves one.  If my draft has two spaces, HTML gives me only one.  I was looking for a way to tell HMTL, "Hey this means something.  It is an important space.  Don't erase it."  The trick is to insert a blank space followed by the symbol for a blank space.  Now I have my two spaces.  It does not look very pretty at the end of each sentence in your draft, but it comes out looking nice on the NM screen.  These special symbol commands do not need a < to make them work.

Saul was able to direct me to a website with all the HTML instructions (including how to design a website) but I just wanted formats and symbols.  Go to and it gives me a long choice of symbols, each with its own code number rather than 160.  The & and the # always go in front, and here is what you get.

1/4 is "¼" using & followed by #188
1/2 is "½" using & followed by #189
3/4 is "¾" using & followed by #190
cents is "¢ using & followed by #162
British pound is "£" using & followed by #163
Japanese yen is "¥" using & followed by #165
copyright is "©" using & followed by #169

To find out what numbers to insert to get different symbols -- including accents in French, German, Spanish, etc. -- go to  The only one not listed is < : you must always type & followed by #60 if you want to show a < in your post. All of the other symbols on your keyboard go directly to the screen without being changed.

Steve K.