What are tags and categories in WordPress blogging?

Tags and Categories



When you shop for clothes you look at the tags to learn the size, material, and more on the items. Tags work the same way for blog posts, they give information about the topics covered. They help readers find articles of interest.

This post is tagged “tags”, “categories”, “Blogging”, “WordPress”. Tags are thus for the public. On most blogs readers find them at the top or bottom of a post. Like this:


Tags-01When a reader clicks on such a tag, other articles with the same tag are shown. Readers can also set up tags they wish to follow in the WordPress Reader.

“Categories” are a tool for the blogger. They help you organize your posts by, well, by “category”. You can set up a menu item for a category. When the item is clicked a page is generated that shows posts that were marked with that category. This is most useful if you blog about several distinct topics, say “travel”, “photography”, “cooking”, you, or your readers can then see the related posts without having to sort through others. Take a look at the menu bar on this blog. If you click “Posts on Blogging” you get my posts on that subject, but only my posts! Similarly if you click on one of the links shown in “This entry was posted in” at the bottom of my post, you get just my posts on that topic.

To recap, “tags” are topics assigned by many bloggers and the Reader will find posts on that topic from all bloggers. “Categories” are your own and keep the reader in your own site.

When you use the WordPress.com online editor you can assign categories and tags in the sidebar as shown in the illustration on the left.



© 2016 Ludwig Keck


Why do the edits made in Picasa not show in Photo Gallery?

Ah, the ways “Of Mice and Picasa” [*]. How the computer mouse works, you know pretty well, but Picasa, now that is a different creature altogether.

When you make an edit to an image in Picasa those changes are not incorporated into the image file. Well, some are, but for the most part those changes Picasa just stores away for its own use.

Here is an example. Let’s say you have a precious photo of that fine wheel on your motor carriage. To show really what a hot conveyance your vehicle is you apply the Heat Map effect in Picasa.


You want to touch it up in Photo Gallery. Low and behold, the Heat Map effect is not there. The photo looks exactly as it did before.

Let’s look in File Explorer. The photo there does not show the edits either. Indeed, the edits only show in Picasa and not in any other program or app.


See that “picasa.ini” icon in File Explorer? That’s your hint that Picasa does things differently.

But you want to share your Hot Wheel with your friends. What to do?

The solution is easy, but something you have to remember. In Picasa, after you have made any edits, do a “Save As…” and save a copy of the image. That image will have the edits incorporated and they will show properly everywhere.



[*] With all due apologies to John Steinbeck. No offense was intended.


© 2016 Ludwig Keck

How do I get the RGB value for a color?

Use Paint to read RGB color values

If you are looking for a tool to give you the RGB color values for some area in an image, don’t hunt any further. You already have it in your Windows PC. It is in Paint.

There are many occasions when the red, green and blue color values are needed. Here is a short procedure for getting those values.


Continue reading

How do I draw shapes in Paint?

Windows has included a pretty powerful painting program throughout the years. Paint doesn’t get much love or attention even from Microsoft, but it is right there even in Windows 10. You won’t see it even in All apps unless you look in Windows Accessories, there, in the secondary menu, you find the old goodies.

For a simple program that is older than the hills Paint has an amazing variety of options and it is not always obvious how to accomplish a specific task. Drawing shapes is one of those areas where you might need a bit of help.

The shape tools are right in the middle of the ribbon at the top of the Paint window.


There are 23 shape tools from a simple line to more complex shapes like stars, a heart, and a lighting bolt. They may not all show in the ribbon depending on your window size. There is a tiny scroll bar to help you get to all of them.

Shapes, except for lines, have outlines and interiors. Click on a shape to get started. Define how you want the shape drawn with the Outline and Fill options.


The first two options under Outline are No outline and Solid color. That’s pretty straight forward. The next five, Crayon, Marker, Oil, Natural pencil, and Watercolor select how the outline is to be drawn. Experiment with these if you like.

Below the Outline option is the Fill selector. This defines the interior of the shape. No fill leaves the interior transparent, that is only the outline is drawn. Solid color is just that, uniform, opaque color. The other five option are interesting. These are partially transparent just as you would expect when using those drawing tools, or “brushes”. With the Marker brush you get a uniform, transparent color overlaid on the existing background.

The next tool is Size. That defines the width of the outline.

Now we come to color.


There are two color selectors, Color 1 and Color 2. Color 1 is the foreground color, the main color, it is the color of the outline for shapes. Color 2, the background color defines the shape interior fill color. Click the color selector and then the desired color patch to the right. There are 20 color patches available.

But wait, there’s more!


Click Edit colors and you get the full gamut. This allows you to define custom colors. These will become the patches, up to 10,  under the 20 normal patches.

You can set a custom color from the larger selection of patches or from the multi-color patch by clicking inside that area. You can adjust the color intensity with the slider at the right. You can also specify the color by entering the numeric values, 0 to 255 in the Red, Green, and Blue boxes or the Hue, Sat, and Lum fields. This allows you set any of 16,777,216 colors.

Now let’s draw a shape

With the preliminaries done let’s get to the shapes. Let’s start with a simple box, a rectangle. Paint-05Click the Rectangle icon. Move the pointer into the drawing field. It will now take the shape of a thin cross with a dot in the middle. Paint-06Place the pointer to the upper left corner of the rectangle that should enclose the drawn shape. Press the left mouse button and drag the shape to the right and down. Of course, you can start at any corner position.

Paint-07When you release the mouse button the next bit of magic happens. The shape defining rectangle will take on a dashed outline and resizing boxes will show at the corners and the side midpoints. You can resize the shape at will. Move the pointer to the inside and you get the four-pointed “move” pointer. You can now drag the shape to any position you like. Paint-08You can even change color and other parameters as long as you do not click somewhere on the outside of the shape defining box. When you are satisfied with your art, click somewhere outside the shape and it is set in place.

Of course, the same procedure applies to any other shape.

One more trick: Hold down the Shift key while dragging the shape to get a square outline for squares or perfect circles.

Well that should do it. Isn’t this simple tool amazing? And we only covered shapes!



© 2016 Ludwig Keck