Suddenly  in July 2021 and without any warning, Google decided to remove quick editing tools from blogger. The removal of the quick-edit tools has made Blogger harder to use.

Here’s how to get them back, at least for now.

Crossed wrench and screwdriver icon
The quick-edit tools let you jump from your blog page to edit. Some of us find them really useful, and they vanished on January 20. The trick is to use a browser extension that lets you unhide the tools. I am running this successfully on Chrome right now.

Do It In Your Browser
Most of the browsers have some extensions that will let you edit the formatting of websites when viewed through the browser. Chrome has Stylebot, Safari has Cascadea, Firefox has Stylus, and there are others.I don’t regularly use these and can’t endorse or advise, but here is how it works in Stylebot (for Chrome).

    – Install Stylebot from the Chrome web store (it is free).
    – Navigate to Stylebot from the new Stylebot menu (it is a tiny black square with an S in it at upper right).
    – Choose “Options.”
    – From there, select Styles > Add new style.
    – In that window, for each blog, specify the blog url and the formatting instructions, then save.

The formatting instructions are as follows:

    .item-control {display:initial;}

Those formatting instructions should work on any of the extensions for any of the browsers. You can just paste that in.

If that seems like too much, you may be satisfied with another solution that makes the icons active and clickable, but also invisible.

Update: This same formatting instruction will also show the “delete” link under each comment.

In any case, that’s the tutorial. Stick around for the discussion if you like.

How It Works (and what’s going on)
These browser extensions intercept the formatting instructions from a website and let you substitute your own, which get passed on to the browser’s rendering routines.

So you can use Stylebot at al. to make text darker or bigger or bolder, if you like.

In this case, we are using it to override the default instructions of “display:none” for the element “item control.” Do that, and you can see it again.

Since this happens on the level of your personal browser, it does not change how your blog looks to the world. (And even if your readers could see the quick-edit option, it wouldn’t work for them.)

So why did Google make this change? Why is “display:none” the default that we have to use these heroic measures to override?

A Theory of Google
I do not know, but I think this is another accident, or collateral damage.

I don’t think the folks at Google woke up on January 20, twirled their collective moustache, and said, “What new horror can we inflict on our users today?”

Rather, I think someone (at Google, but no not necessarily at Blogger) threw a switch and the ball rolled down the slot and struck the plate that moved the hammer that

Rube Goldberg’s “self operating napkin”

anyway you get the idea.

As Exhibit A, I will suggest that “display:none” has always been the default for Blogger themes, since the controls are generally hidden.

You being able to see them (and only on your blog) is the special case.

So the change could be in how Blogger “knows” you are you the person who is supposed to see the pencil.

Safari for one has long blocked third-party cookies for legitimate privacy issues. Maybe everybody is going to do that now.

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