Oh to be able to peek inside someone else's Typepad account and see all their lovely code! Yeah - I know - that sounds indecently nerdy doesn't it? But I'm sure you've been there - or somewhere close at least.
You know how it goes... you visit a blog, you see something on it that you fancy having on yours, but you're darned if you know how they did it or where they got it from.
Well, d'you remember that drop-down Archive menu I mentioned? Turns out that there's quite a few of you wanting to know how I did it.
So here's the bad news... I can't actually remember how I created it.
And here's the good news... that matters not one jot!
Because as long as I can see the code and show you what you need to change to make it work for you, then its JOB DONE. So let's get crackin'...
(This post contains a lot of images - click once on any of them to open up an enlarged view in a new window.)
Chances are that I grabbed the code from one of those sites that gives you codes for 'this and that' for free (probably googled 'dropdown menu' or something) and then adapted it in Dreamweaver, but you can do this using nothing more 'sophis' than Notepad.
If you don't know Notepad, then its time you two met!
You'll find Notepad hanging out in a folder called Accessories which sits in All Programs accessible from your Start bar (see image). Naturally, I'm talking PC here - not Mac. (If you know the Mac equivalent, please share same in a comment!)
Notepad is primitive. Very primitive. But that's a good thing, because it means it's perfect for constructing basic html code strings - and preparing blog posts - as there's no risk of any code being corrupted. Which is why I'm giving you the code you need to create your drop-down archive menu in the same format.
Click here to download Dropdown Archive Code doc now (Notepad .txt doc) and save it somewhere where you can easily find it again!.
We'll come back to this in a bit, but first, you need to create a Typelist to put the code in, so click on the Typelist tab.
Your Typelists will now appear in a list. The list is headed with a horizontal green bar and to the right hand side of that bar, you'll see Create a New Typelist. Click on that and a 2 Step form appears.
Step 1: From the drop down menu, select Notes. (as shown left)
Step 2: Type 'Archives'. (as shown left)
Click on Create New List. The screen view will change to this:
Open up the Notepad document you just downloaded and using your existing Archive menu to ascertain the URLs, paste them into the code as shown in the document. Once you've finished, copy and paste your personalised version of the code into the Notes field - the Label field should remain empty. (see image left)
Click on Save.
The screen view will change to this:
Click on Publish.
The screen will change again to this:
Place a tick in the box next to the name of the blog you want the Archive to appear on.
Click on Save Changes.
The screen view will change again to this:
Click on Order
and you get this view:
Drag and Drop your new Archive Typelist to wherever you'd like it to show and Save Changes.
You will now be taken to the Design overview page...
You probably have 2 Archive menus showing now, so we need to remove the original one. Go into the Select Content area and untick the box next to your original Archive listing. Save your changes and when you are returned to this page, republish again.
View Weblog and you can admire your handy work!
There's one other thing you could do here if you wanted, especially if you are creating a drop-down archive menu for a number of blogs, and that's to add a description to your new Typelist. This simply makes it easier to identify which list belongs to which blog. Without doing this, your list of Typelists would look something like this:
Notice the 'xyz version' note under the Archives title.
To add a note like this, click on the Configure link just below and to the right of the title of the list.
Enter your note in the Description box shown left and Save Changes. Sorted!
Only other thing is not to make the same mistake I made and forget to manually update your Archives menu each time you move into a new month...
To do that, simply click on the Typelists tab, click on the title of the Typelist you are editing - in this case - Archives - and then click on the words 'No Label' - you can now just add a new line of code to link to the latest month.
And that, my lovely, is that! If you have a go at this, and want to share your success, do come back here and leave a Comment with your blog URL so other readers can take a look. Let's indulge in some mutual appreciation :o)
On the other hand...
If you want a rop-down Archive menu on your business blog, but really can't be bothered with following these instructions, then why not Book yourself a 30 minute Blog Surgery session and Business Blog Angel will sort it for you.
NB. Apologies, but Blog Surgery sessions are only available to existing clients.