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Playing With Space

No matter how long you’ve been blogging, there is always more to learn. As part of the Weekly Writing Challenges,…

  • Ready to write? We’ll give you a new challenge each Monday. Publish a new post on your blog that interprets the challenge. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More

No matter how long you’ve been blogging, there is always more to learn. As part of the Weekly Writing Challenges, once a month, we’ll highlight a feature in the WordPress.com Dashboard and challenge you to incorporate it into your blog. We want to help you take full advantage of all the tools available on WordPress.com to make your blog the best it can be — and to make your friends jealous of your web wizardry.

To participate, tag your posts with DPchallenge or leave a link to your post in the comments. Please be sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge; obvious attempts to link-bait will be deleted. We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed each Friday.


Last week, Cheri posted on the WordPress.com News blog that National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) is officially on. The idea of NaPoWriMo is to publish one poem per day during the month of April, or 30 poems in 30 days.

Depending on your poetic style, your formatting for poetry may vary quite a bit from your regular blog posts. For example, instead of new paragraphs, many writers choose line breaks or indentation between lines in their poems. In your Visual Editor on WordPress.com, you may have noticed that your spacing doesn’t always stay the same as when you first typed into the editor. By design, the editor will automatically remove any extra spaces for you so that your text appears consistent within your post.

If you’re trying to write a poem or prose, or just play around with spacing on your site, this can be frustrating. But we’ve got you covered! There are also some handy tips and tricks for adding unique formatting to your posts within your editor.

For line breaks, like
this one,
press Shift and Return at the same time on your keyboard. This lets the editor know that you don’t want to start a new paragraph, but do want to start writing on a new line.

Preformatted

If you want to add spacing, like indentation on a new line, select the Preformatted option in the second row of your Visual Editor.

Using the Preformatted option will let you add extra spacing, without it
     being removed by the editor. 
          Just like I did
               here.

For this week’s challenge, write us a poem. The poem can be about anything you choose, and in any style you choose. The catch: play around with the formatting in your verse by following the tips we’ve shared in this post, or taking a look at our Writing and Formatting Poetry guide for more in-depth instructions.

As always, if you have any questions about these tips and tricks, let us know in the comments and we’ll be here to help.

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Comments

  1. Hmmm… I don’t know how we would fit this one into the format of our gallery site. We do like to keep the look and style of the text consistent, so we might have to sit this one out. But it’s a great challenge nonetheless! Looking forward to reading what others come up with.

  2. I detect a psychic Daily Post connection.
    Just before we get frustrated enough to ask
    But interested enough to care
    You respond
    Thank you!

    Twenty-two poems to go. : )
    Publish reformatting has been annoying.
    Problem solved

  3. Just a note to say that there is an error in the Writing & Formatting Poetry guide that you’ve linked to. In the Summary section it says to use the ampersand nbsp for new lines – this won’t work – it will just add an extra space – it’s shift + enter for the new line. Later in the page it explains it correctly – just pointing this out as it might cause confusion.

  4. I have a poem i copied from a page in poetry, I have always admired this poet, I thought I should share her thoughts in my blog during this national poetry month. I gave her credit, I even did a small introduction about her. Is it wrong to publish her work on my page?

    1. Great question! Crediting someone else’s work is really important, so it is always best to add a link back to the original source. If you’re sharing the full poem on your site, it’s a good rule of thumb to ask the author for permission.

  5. This one looks like tons of fun! I love poetry, it’s something I’ve learned to enjoy since my elementary school days. Looking forward to reading everyone’s poems :)

  6. This is really helpful. My writing style incorporates a lot of “asides” and “statements” as I write. This would help freshen up the bolded texts and allow more movement throughout the page.

    Thanks for the tip!

  7. I did my verse page some time ago. I have a slightly bigger font, and play with indentations and font sizes particularly with “What is truth, said jesting Pilate” about 2/3 of the way down.

  8. How did you get some of the sentences to variate and center instead of all left margin side? I experimented with the ctrl shift which is great because I never knew what preformatted was..I only learned about the different size font by the choices re ‘Heading’ 1 2 etc. but controlling where the sentence begins has always stumped me….Diane

  9. I think I just got my answer . I should have read the information by link to writing and formatting poetry… if I have it right you have it in ‘preformatted and the spaces you put in will remain… Any time I tried this before the spaces would not stay there but that’s before I knew about the preformatted… I’ll do some more experimenting…Diane my site is hometogo232.wordpress.com

    1. That’s right, using the Preformatted option will let you keep your spaces intact. If you’re still running into trouble, just let me know!

      1. Should I have done the poem in paragraph and only used the preformatted to adjust the lines? I am guessing that I cannot change the size of any of it now…Diane

  10. Thanks for this! I wrote a short poem on Sunday and couldn’t work out the spacing, so I had to use another program to superimpose it onto a photo, then use ‘Add Media’ to insert it into the post! Very happy to have a much simpler solution!!

    1. You can change font size, style, and color within your blog posts without any upgrades. The best way to do so is through your Text editor, using HTML. We’ve got a step-by-step guide for that here. You can also change the font color and size from within your Visual Editor by using some of the icons on the second row of tools (more on that here).

  11. First of all I am not a poet though I always enjoy good poetry. Second, I am not a person who easy understand technical things, I write from heart not from mind :) But I like today’s challenge it make me able to learn new thing. Thanks for that.
    Hope readers will enjoy my writing.

    A child is missing
    http://hopeoflight.wordpress.com..

    1. In case some readers wonder where the poem is, first navigate to the heading “❤ April Love Poem ❤”, then scroll horizontally (using the provided horizontal scroll bar) to reveal the poem at the right side of the pretty heart.

  12. I think I am missing something here. My visual editor only has one row and does not give me format options. It does not look like the screen grab above. Can you please advise? Do you have to pay to get those options? I’ve been posting daily for over a year now and it is extremely frustrating that sometimes my posts don’t have any space between the lines when I enter them and I have to mess around for a while to get it to look consistent with the other posts. Thanks!!

    1. If the second row isn’t showing for you, you will want to click on the Kitchen Sink icon (the square icon all the way to the right) to enable those options. Let me know if you have any trouble! :)

60 Responses Ready to write? To participate, publish a post on your blog that responds to the prompt. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More