Monday, July 26, 2021

Plug the holes in Blogger's widgets


Formatting tools formerly found in widgets
Former formatting tools

Inexplicably, Google has rolled out new widget dialogs lacking basic functionality.

These dialogs are the versions you get when you create or edit a widget from the Layout page of the Blogger dashboard.

The Text and HTML/Javascript widgets are missing the palette of formatting controls such as bold and italics and hyperlink.

There's currently no way to upload an image into the image widget.

I have to believe (and please, do not burst my bubble of hope) that someday Google will come to its senses and remedy this.

In the meantime,

Use the post editor

  • Create a new draft post or page, which you will not publish, and use the formatting tools there.
  • Give it a title that will help you to avoid publishing it, such as "Trash Me" if you are going to delete it or "Scratch Pad" if you are not.
  • Once you have created whatever formatted text and/or image you want to put in your sidebar, switch to HTML mode, copy all the code there, paste it into your widget, and publish.

Brave new world

If you use an older theme, you can avoid this by enabling the quick-edit tools and accessing the old versions of the widget dialogs directly from your blog.

Update: Google has removed the quick-edits from all blogs.

The latest round of responsive themes lack this option.

Google, however, is removing the quick-edits from all blogs. It did so for four days in January (and reversed itself), and earlier this month for sidebar widgets only (and reversed itself).

My crystal ball: soon nobody will have this option and we will all be using the new dialogs.

Maybe the formatting controls will return by then.

If not, tedious workarounds R us.


As of late July, the removal of this option from all blogs is again underway.

Alas, no formatting controls in the new dialogs.


  1. Why oh why won't they leave things alone?????!!!!

  2. Thanks for this post. It shouldn't have been necessary, but it is appreciated.

  3. Adam - I tried this but I am confused? Does this apply to the sidebar widgets? I"m confused how you can edited the sidebar this way?
    Helpless in Houston

    1. @cotedetexas, the only way to edit a sidebar widget now is from the Layout page of your dashboard.

      And the only thing the editing window will accept at present is html.

      To edit yours, locate the widget on Layout and click edit.

    2. I tried to remove some blogs on my blogroll widget in the layout. I clicked on the trash can and clicked save but nothing changed.

  4. T_T Thanks for writing about this so extensively! you are a awesome i dunno why google doesn't build blogger better that quick edit tool was the best go to tool! i'm so bummed the new infinite scroll dashboard way more time consuming (also resets to top of list) you have to almost have two browsers open one for viewing/reading the posts and one for the dashboard to keyword search the post to find and THEN EDIT

  5. Many thanks for this, will give it a whirl tomorrow.

    I did find a sort of solution by going to add gadget in layout, selecting add a link, that does allow you to add more and edit, but so long winded compared with before. And pretty basic in as much you can't highlight, change colours etc.

    As you say, Blogger might come to it's senses one day. The reply they provided to me was something along the lines it had to be removed as it wasn't compatible wit their new security updates.

  6. Ahhh thank you so much for your post!
    I thought I was going crazy because the quick edit tool disappeared. I first assumed that the error was mine. Fortunately, I am not crazy. Google is just ... rude to its bloggers. Hopefully the tool will come back one day. I keep my fingers crossed.

  7. I did not understand Adam. Can you help me privately. Help me in social media like fb or instagram in dm. Bg the way What's your username in insta, I will follow you and ask some questions about blogger. Please provide me.

    1. @Gyanworld, sorry my writing here is not good enough.

      The only place I give help is in the help community (link in sidebar). Where there are many capable volunteers.

      Why: Help there is available to others with similar problems. That makes it worth my while to help there.

  8. Same problem here in Holland. No ordinary text in an text widget. Hope Blogger or Google will bring the easy possibilty back asap.
    Now it is very complicated cause Im not used to write in HTML.
    Why so complicated to write in HTML in the gadget in DASHBOARD??? Must be very disappointing for bloggers.

  9. Thanks for the workaround. It works, but what a pain. Any idea why these extremely useful features were removed? It boggles the mind.