Safari tip – checking HTML when there is no preview option

By Grant Jacobs 09/03/2012

You know that really annoying thing, when you enter a comment on someone’s blog that lacks a preview feature, send the comment on it’s way only to discover that you forgot to close that italics tag? (Or bold, or underline.)

Here’s one way Safari users can check the HTML of their comments without leaving Safari. It’s not perfect, but some might find it fun to explore.

First enable the Develop menu. Although this is intended for web developers, we’re going to use one of it’s tools. Go to Safari > Preferences > Advanced and at the bottom of the Preferences pane enable ‘Show Develop menu in menu bar’. You should now see a new menu item Develop between Bookmarks and Window menu items along the top of the screen.

Clear the comment text-box you want to enter. (Word Press comment boxes typically have something like ’Leave you comment here…’ in them when you start.)

Select Develop > Show Snippet Editor.

Snippet Editor is a small tool that lets you type in a snippet of HTML in the top pane, and the result will be shown in the bottom pane. By default, the bottom pane updates as you type.

When you’re done, drag or cut and paste the contents of the top pane of the Snippet Editor to the comment text-box.

One obvious ‘catch’ is that you’ll still need to know what tags are valid for the blog in question. Most will take italics (i), bold (b), underline (u*), links (a) and a few more. How quotes are supported varies from one platform to another (in my experience).

(* Strictly speaking this is depreciated, but most blogs still accept it.)