Formatting on Medium

“Pieces of metal type arranged on a composing stick” by Hannes Wolf on Unsplash

I’d like to illustrate Here a few formatting details on Medium that you will probably want to take advantage of.

(1) Adding Written Text and Images

All you need to do is to click on the + button in the left margin, and select the icon for the type of text or file you want to add. You can also Cut-and-Paste or Drag-and-Drop files and images from your hard drive. This includes links to videos on YouTube or Vimeo. Medium is also set up to interface particularly well with Unsplash, which is an extensive archive of photos that have been licensed for reuse.

(2) Subheads

If you want to mark a new section of your essay—like Acknowledgments, or Author’s Memo, or References—then type out the name of the section, highlight it and choose the small T from the dialogue box.

(3) Block Quotes (BLQ)

If you are quoting more than one sentence of a text, then you probably want to mark it off as a block quote. Type out the quote as a separate paragraph, select it, and choose the icon from the box that appears. The result will look something like this:

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anyone else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe), on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously. (Dickens 1).

One sort of cool thing is that when you block a quote you no longer have to add quotation marks, since the blocking is itself a mark of quotation.

(4) Live Links

If you want to link to another text on the web, you do not need to retype the entire URL into your essay or references, like this:

That’s boring and ugly, and inefficient—since you will still not have given your readers an actual hyperlink to the text you’re discussing.

Rather, you can simply type in a name for your link—something like, Steven Pinker—select that name, and type in the link to it in the dialogue box.

So the previous sentence now looks like this:

Rather, you can simply type in a name for your link — something like Steven Pinker— select that name, click on the link icon that appears in the bos, and type or paste in its URL.

In your list of references, you can then do something like this:

Pinker, Steven. 2014. “Why Academics Stink at Writing”. Chronicle of Higher Education (Sept 26).

(4) Images and Captions

.Cute Cat Poster

When you insert an image into your document, decide whether you want your text to wrap around it (like this) . .

or if you want the image centered by itself, like this:

Hang in there!

Click on the image and select the appropriate icon at the top. You will also want to caption images and videos, which you can do by typing into the box at the bottom of the image.

One constraint: Medium makes it difficult to change the size of images. However, they do provide a useful “Tips and Tricks for Posting Photos and Images”.

(5) Saving, Publishing, and Editing

Medium saves all of your work automatically. When you are ready to publish your piece, you simply need to click on “Publish” in the upper righthand corner of the screen. Before then, you can copy and “share” a private link to your piece with readers you’ve selected. So if you do not want to make your writing available to other readers outside this class, you can simply share it with me.

You can also control the Creative Commons license under which your writing appears. (You’ll recall our talking about CC earlier this semester.) To do so, click on “Manage Content Licensing” in the pull-down menu near the Publishing box, and you will be presented with a familiar set of options.