tumblrtips

12 crucial Tumblr tricks you probably don't know

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Did you know that only the first five tags you use in any given Tumblr post are searchable?  

If not, don’t worry. While Tumblr has a Tips page, most don’t know it exists, and it only scratches the surface of potential shortcuts and tricks—features like the ability to display your tags in chronological order, to browse your dash using keystrokes instead of the scroll bar, and to view only the photos on your dash by appending the word "photos" to the tumblr.com url string. (Try it and be amazed.)

Over the years, Tumblr users have have stumbled across these kinds of discoveries and passed them on to their friends, creating through countless reblogs a rough wiki of sorts.

Below, we present some of the best and most basic navigational and communicative functions of Tumblr that you probably don’t know about.

1) You can keep Tumblr from truncating long text posts.

Tumblr's default behavior when reblogging long text posts is to reblog them as links instead. If you want your readers to have the full context of what you're reblogging in order for it to make sense, there’s actually an easy fix this.

To make sure long posts get reblogged as text—or to truncate them if you only want to link to a shorter text post—go to the top right corner of the post and click the icon next to your settings.

The drop-down menu will give you the option to change the format of the post. If you have a text post, clicking "Reblog as text" will retain the text of the post up until its original "read more" line.

2) How to grab a permalink of a post on your dash.

Frustrated that you can never access a direct permalink to any post on your Tumblr dash? You can. See that little flappy top right corner? Click on it.  

3) You don't need to insert a blank .gif at the bottom of your photosets in order to show full-sized photos.

By default on Tumblr, most photos appear in thumbnail form on your dashboard.

To get around this, many Tumblr users have evolved a complicated workaround that involves creating a single-pixel, transparent GIF and uploading it along with the picture they want to display. Uploading the transparent GIF. will automatically stretch your photo to the fullest size when being displayed.

Our tip: There's already a workaround for this. Just go to your settings, select the Dashboard, and click "show full-size photos."

Save, and voila!

4) Allow anyone to reply to any of your posts directly from the dash.

For reasons no one can fathom, replying to people on Tumblr is a tricky thing. Sometimes you can't reply until you've had someone friended longer than two weeks. Sometimes you can't reply with photos. It's a strange world. But one thing is certain: sticking a “?” in your post will cause this happy little message to pop up for readers:

Check the box and profit.

5) Make sure you tag posts with people's Tumblr usernames

Since personal messages and communication are often lost in the noise of a busy Tumblr dashboard, many people have evolved the method of tagging other Tumblr users' usernames to alert them when there's a post they want them to see. That way, a user can browse posts tagged with their name and catch up on any messages they might have missed.

However, since Tumblr only makes the first five tags visible in a search, if you're not careful, you might tag them on a post they never see, simply because you didn't include them in the first five tags you used. Another factor to consider is that only the most recent 200 tags of a search show up, so if you've tagged someone with "Jane," their name might get lost in the crowd.

Helpful hint: If you have a generic username, you might end up browsing a number of unrelated posts instead of the ones that are actually directed at you. In such cases, it's helpful to put a note on your Tumblr homepage alerting people that there's a different tag they can use to alert you to their posts.

6) Use "/chrono" to browse your own tags in chronological order.

On any given page of a Tumblr user, add "/chrono" to the end of a url string and browse to your hearts content from the beginning of their journal, or your own.

Similar to the Tumblr /chrono function, you can also search through a Tumblr by date using “http://username.tumblr.com/day/YEAR/MONTH/DAY”.

Note: These only work on individual Tumblrs, not on general tag browsing.

7) Tumblr.com/photos lets you see a mosaic of photos on your dash.

Just append /photos to tumblr.com and view only the photos on your dash in pretty tile form.

8) Filter your dash by type by using "/show/[mediatype]".

Appending “/show/text” to tumblr.com will let you see only the text posts on your dash.

This also works for photos, links, quotes, audio, chats, and videos.

9) Send asks to users directly from your dash.

By mousing over a user's icon you can send them messages or unfollow them.

10) Don't want to spam your dash with a bunch of asks at once?

Go to your inbox and open a reply box to any message.  Now hold down your "alt" key and WATCH THE MAGIC HAPPEN. It will add the asak to a queue instead.

11) Know your limits.

Tumblr inserts arbitrary limits for what you can do on a daily basis. The most frequently encountered are:

  • The posting limit. You can post or reblog no more than 250 posts a day, and only 75 of them can be photos. The day ends at midnight EST.
  • The friending limit. As many people discovered during the Mishapocalypse, you can only friend between 250-300 people on Tumblr in a day.
  • The queue limit. The queue can only hold 300 posts at one time.
  • Tthe ask limit. You can only send 10 asks within a single hour, and only 5 of them can be anonymous.

12) Recover your old custom themes.

You can get many of your old customizations back by visiting this link. You might have to play around with the settings to get the ones you want, but this will let you revert back to a previous theme without having to browse through the many available themes trying to find the one you used to have.

It's simply not possible to cover all the ins and outs of Tumblr in one tips post, but if we've left out your favorite tip for better tumblring, be sure to let us know in comments!

H/T to apriki and tsunderecapricorn

Additional contributions by Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Photo by hudiokalemwa/deviantART