How to Paste HTML in Craigslist
By Christina Ash
Craigslist provides a basic template from which users can create and publish their classified ads. The template provides space for an item description and the ability to upload images into the ad. This is enough for most people, but if you need something more to make your business stand out, or if you want to highlight some points related to duties in a job description, you have the option of using HTML commands.
Write your advertisement in a word processing program, and decide which HTML features you want to include and where they will go. Use the word processing text formatting features, such as bold and italics, to help you visualize what your final advertisement will look like.
Review the list of HTML tags that can be used within Craigslist to ensure that you can format the text as you wish. Change your design to remove any HTML tags that are not supported.
Sign on to Craigslist and click "Post to classifieds" on the left side of the homepage. Enter the posting type and category on the first two screens. Fill in the details -- posting title and other fields -- at the top of the Posting Details screen.
Copy and paste your formatted advertisement text into the Posting Description field. Craigslist will accept some formatted text, such as bullet lists, and you won't have to write the HTML code for these features.
Identify which HTML features weren't accepted and generate the HTML code for each additional HTML element you want to use. Either write it yourself or use pre-existing code. One way to access HTML code is to find a Web page that includes the format that you want and click on View Page Source, which is usually somewhere in the pull-down menu of your browser. In Internet Explorer, click the "Tools" menu and select "F12 Developer Tools." In Firefox, click the "Firefox" menu, select "Web Developer" and choose "View Page Source." You'll get a screen of all the text and the HTML codes used, and you'll have to search for the code that you want.
Identify the text in the Product Description field for which you want to use the HTML feature, and either type or copy and paste the HTML tags around the text. For example, to bold "Great Offer," type "<b>Great Offer</b>." Do this for all the HTML tags that you want to add. You'll end up with a mixture of text and tags in the Product Description field.
Click "Continue," and carry on through the Add Images page to review your advertisement. If some of your HTML code has not been accepted, return to the Posting Description page and check that you've closed all the tags. Another reason may be that the code is not supported by Craigslist.
Make any changes and check the preview again. If everything looks correct, click continue from the preview screen to publish your ad.
You don't need to use HTML if you want to place a link in your ad. Just type the web address, making sure that it starts with "http://" and Craigslist will automatically convert it to an active link.
If you combine different HTML tags, be sure to close the tags in the opposite order to which you opened them.
Don't add too much HTML to your ad. Craigslist users are used to seeing ads that are straightforward, clear and fast to read.
Christina Ash has been writing since 1982, throughout her career as a computer consultant, anthropologist and small-business owner. She has published work in various business, technology, academia and popular books and journals. Ash has degrees in computer science, anthropology and science and technology studies from universities in England, Canada and the United States.