Converting your Blogger blog posts into a Book

We're always up for a new challenge. This one was posed to us by +Ben Morrell who wanted to transform his blog into a book, or more simply a Word document that he could edit before shipping off to a printer. Sure, he could have gone and copy/pasted each blog post into Word, but his blog was started in 2002, having over 10 years of blog posts.

But we've managed to create this transformation process using tools that all bloggers likely have at their disposal.

Step 1: Getting an export of your blog's contents
The best way to get all of your content out of Blogger is by using a site called the Data Liberation Front. The DL is an engineering team inside Google whose purpose is to make it easier for users to move their data in and out of Google Products (so it's safe!). Go here to grab your content out of one of your blogs (by clicking on Configure then Create Archive). You will receive a ZIP file from this export which contains a file inside such as YourBlog.atom.

Step 2: Rename the file
Open up the ZIP file and drag the YourBlog.atom file into a folder on your desktop. Rename the file from YourBlog.atom to YourBlog.xml

Step 3: Download the style sheet and xsl template
Download this style sheet and this XSL template and save them in the same directory with your new YourBlog.xml file.

Step 4: Edit one line in the XML file in a text editor
Open the XML file in a text editor and change:
<?xml-stylesheet href="http://www.blogger.com/styles/atom.css" type="text/css"?>
to be
<?xml-stylesheet href="transform.xsl" type="text/xsl"?>

Step 5: Drag the XML file into either the Safari or Internet Explorer browsers
Yes, Safari browser or Internet Explorer browser. Chrome and Firefox might try to apply their own default styling to the XML file, so it works beset in these other two browsers.


The XSL file we've set up is set to do the following transformation:
<h1>Post title</h1>
<h2>Post author</h2>
<h3>Post date</h3>
Blog post content

It does this in reverse order, so it's going from Oldest to Newest posts. If you'd like you can change this to be ascending in the XSL file, and you can add more to the XSL file if you'd like to bring in comments, but we figure this is enough for most. It will also load in external images for the blog posts.


Step 6: Select all and copy paste into Word
This might be a bit tough depending on how big your blog is, but we were able to do a 12 meg blog archive pretty easily. Simply select all, copy, then open a new Word document and hit paste. You might need to wait a bit, but it will work.

Step 7: Save the Word document
Save the document before you start working on it! Once saved, you can edit to your heart's content, resizing images, moving them around, reformatting... everything. Links and images are all preserved as well as much of the formatting.


And that's it! If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below!

Comments

  1. This tutorial is only for techno savvy ! i think , It would be better it if it is written with simple and easy language for common users .

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  2. Give it a try and follow the directions! It's pretty simple, especially when you have the files in front of you.

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  3. Awesome! Looks pretty simple with the step by step explanation. Was not aware of Dataliberationfront, thanks a ton for this info. If some1 need more simpler way, then request David Kutcher to create a widget/tool for a fee. For most of us this tutorial should be more than enough. Thanks for this post.

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  4. Hi
    I try your solution but the file is just open on IE and we see the code not the blog page.
    It is like IE don't understand that it have to convert all the xml/html code.

    Does anyone know why is it doing this?

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  5. That's awesome - thank you! I had no idea what to do with that .xml file and thought I'd have to reformat it all in Word myself.


    I couldn't get it to work in Safari, so used Firefox instead which was fine.

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  8. Hi. This is great. Strangely some of my photos are loading...90% are. Got any ideas why this might be the case?

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  9. Thanks a ton. This is what i was looking for converting one of our blog contents to word document.

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  10. For some reason, after altering the .xml file, when I reload Safari I only have a blank white page? Hmmm...

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  11. Love this idea!

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  12. Hello, I can't action Step 4. I've opened up word and have tried finding the code to replace with new code and it says it can't be found? Can you help me please. It is driving me mad, that I can't complete this simple process? Thanks Claire

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  13. Thank you SO MUCH for these great instructions! I had been dreading the task of archiving my blog, thinking I would have to do it post by post, which would have taken months. As it was, even following your instructions it took me quite a long time to copy and paste it all into Word documents (one per year), but the process was smooth and now I've got it all downloaded for safekeeping -- 1,600 pages! Thank you once again. - Karen Franklin at http://forensicpsychologist.blogspot.com/

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  14. Oh boy, it works, 100%. Wow. 1000 x thanks.

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