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Dates (and Backgrounds) in RapidWeaver

Today is December 31, 2017. Well, it was when I wrote this, but for you, it will already be 2018. So what if you need to display today's current date on your RapidWeaver page and keep it updated? 2day from Marathia's Stacks can help you do that easily.

I could, of course, have installed a script on this page that would keep the date above current and demonstrate exactly how 2day works but, as I'm on a tight schedule, I decided against it — too much work!
It would, however, have cost me just a few seconds to add Jeroen's 2day to the top of the page and to display a message with the date, formatted exactly as I wanted. But I no longer want to permanently display today's date. Been there, done that, didn't like the t-shirt any more.

Marathia – 2day
With 2day, you can format your date exactly as you want it to appear, with custom text both before and after today's date, so that your message says exactly what you want it to.

Stack settings
Text before Date – Enter a prefix of your choice, e.g. 'Today is '
Item #1 – Name of Day, Name of Month, Day of Month 1–31, Day of Month 01–31, Year 2 digits, Year 4 digits.
After Item #1 – Divider of your choice, e.g. comma. slash etc.
The same settings are available for items 2–4, but include the option 'Do not use'
Text after Date – Enter a suffix of your choice

Text Styling
Font Size
Font Colour
Style – Bold, Italic, Underline
Font Family – Theme Default, Web Safe Font, Custom Font

The names for each of the months and days may be localised.

2day also has a sister stack – LastPublished. The RapidWeaver snippet '%last_published%' used to publish a simple date, e.g. 31/12/2017, but the snippet is no longer supported. At the same time, the snippet doesn't really say a lot.
LastPublished has the same settings as 2day, but will display the publishing date instead of the current date, so that you can supply your visitors with a more descriptive date in any format that you wish.

2day and LastPublished, two useful 'pay what you want' stacks for displaying dates.

Whilst we're on the subject of Marathia's Stacks; Jeroen also published two free page background stacks to round off 2017!
Shards generates a random, angular page background pattern with up to 3 colours, plus a fallback colour for older browsers, that resembles neon shards.
Nebula generates a random background pattern that resembles nebulas in space. Nebula supports 2 colours and a fallback colour.
At first, I wasn't too impressed by Shards, but saw potential with Nebula. With time, however, both stacks sort of grow on you…


OneLiner – Resizing Text in RapidWeaver

Setting Headline sizes can be frustrating. What looks good on a large screen will often add unwanted line-breaks on mobile devices. There are a couple of stacks that allow you to set responsive sizes for different breakpoints, but again, what looks great on an iPad can look terrible on an Android tablet.

Jeroen (Marathia's Stacks) also became frustrated when formatting single lines of text for responsive sites. The result of his frustration: OneLiner.

OneLiner is a stack that allows you to set the width of a line of text to appear just as you want it on any screen. OneLiner's default setting will allow your text to fill its container width, however, it also has settings that allow you to define exactly which percentage of the container your text should fill. Example: Three single lines of text.

Marathia - OneLiner

Now if you analyse at this text, you're going to notice that the second and third lines of text are going to appear much too small on a mobile phone to be legible.
For this reason OneLiner allows you to override its' settings above, or below a set breakpoint and define a fixed text size.

Marathia - OneLinerIn this second example, I have set OneLiner to display the second line of text at 18px on mobile phones and the third line at 16px.
Instead of shrinking to fill the container width, the text now displays at a set size that is legible. Line-breaks appear within the text as soon as a word no longer fits on a line.

OneLiner also has further useful settings. Obviously, you can set h1–h6 and paragraph tags for your text, but you can also override the text formatting entirely by setting the font, font colour and alignment.

Stack settings

Tag – None (div) – (default) h1– h6
Set Custom Text Style – Bold, Italic, Underline
Align – Left, Centre, Right
Set Spacing – Letter, Word, Line
Font Family – Theme Default, Web Safe Fonts, Custom
Capitalise – Normal, All Upper Case, Initial Caps
Size Correction – Text width in %

Advanced Settings
Disable – Small Screen, Large Screen
Max Screen Width – Breakpoint
Align – Justification above/below disabled settings
Fixed Font Size – Above/Below disabled settings
Content – Custom, Site Slogan, Site Title, Site Footer

OneLiner is a cool stack that solves the frustrating problem of headline sizes elegantly and quickly.


Typed – Tickertape Reinvented

In the very early days of the web, many sites would display a tickertape message somewhere on the page. Said pages often had a black background and the tickertape text was neon green. It looked awful (IMHO), but the fashion persisted for many years. Many years – even today there are tickertape stacks available for RapidWeaver.
Weaver's Kingdom has just released a stack called Typed. It's a modern version of tickertape and is actually useful.

You never heard of Weaver's Kingdom? You must have, it's been online for weeks now and is the rebranded Archetypon from Lucas Tsolakien.

Tickertape is considered useful, because it can display large amounts of text within a very compact space. It is often used to display upcoming events.
Typed takes the idea to a new level. Instead of a constant stream of text running across your screen, Typed types text, deletes, or untypes it and then types a fresh text in its place.
My first thought was "Duh! Not another one!", but then I took a look at a couple of examples and changed my opinion.

Lets say you have a number of different products or services available. You could type a list such as:
We Design Websites
We Design Logos
We Design Print Products etc, etc.

Or you could position your text "We Design" and let Typed fill in the blanks at intervals of a second or two.
You've got your message across and, because it's animated, it gets noticed and – it saves a lot of space.


Stack settings
When you drop Typed onto a Stacks page, you'll see a text container with a + button to add child stacks.
Type your text alternatives into the containers and add, or delete child stacks as needed.
In the settings panel, you can set the Typing Speed and the Start Delay. You may choose to Shuffle your texts and set the Back Speed [untype] and the Back Delay.
You will probably want the text display to Loop [repeat], but this option may also be deactivated.
By clicking the final stack option 'Detatched' you can insert the code <span id="typed"></span> into any text block and Typed will insert itself [i.e. your ticker text] into said block instead of appearing on the page as a separate stack.

Typed 'types' your text across the screen, so by default it displays a cursor. Show Cursor can also be deactivated.
The next settings are for the text formatting. Override Styles, [Text] Colour, Bottom Border [underline] and Border Colour.

Typed re-invents and modernises tickertape and makes it a lot more appealing than it used to be.

Take a look at the demo sites at the bottom of Lucas' product page and see for yourself.


Dispatching Messages - Antique Text

If you'd like to present a special message to visitors arriving from specific websites, Marathia's ReferMessage stack will be just the thing you're looking for. If you'd like that message to look as if it came off an old and worn letterpress, then Jeroen's annual giveaway is the ideal addition.


ReferMessage let's you post specific messages to visitors arriving from other sites. A different message for each site. You can present the message as a splash screen, an introductory message text, or even sneak it in with your main body text. It will only be visible to visitors arriving from the sites that you have stipulated. Quite an interesting idea.

Let's say that you have a special offer posted on You can post a message on your linked page to greet visitors that clicked the link on special-deals and include a code to retrieve your offer. Visitors that find your site by chance or come from other websites won't see the offer or the code. You could add a second message and a new code for visitors from, perhaps with a different price. A good way to track the effectiveness of your A/B tests.

So how does ReferMessage work? I assure you – there's no witchcraft involved. Simply drop the stack onto your page, add whichever stacks you wish to display into it and then consult the settings panel. You will find a checkbox to Show in Preview Mode and a field to enter your Referring URL. If the name of the website is specific enough, you only need to enter part of the address. 'google', for instance, will load ReferMessage for any visitors coming from a google search. 'rapidweaver' is fine if you want visitors from or to see your message, but not specific enough to exclude one, or the other.

If you wish to display where the visitor arrived from within the ReferMessage text, you must activate Use URL in Text and add the tag <span id=’[unique ID]’></span> to the text. The Unique ID refers to the ID you must add to the next field in the settings panel.

So what's this Unique ID stuff? Well, as already mentioned, you want to display a unique message to some of your visitors. Each message requires its own ReferMessage stack and each of these stacks must have a unique ID to differentiate them.


Jeroen's Antiquify stack is his traditional free stack for 2016's Xmas period. It does nothing more than make text look as if it were printed on an old letterpress. The effect is random and looks different each time the page is loaded. The poster above was created with Antiquify using the same 'Aref Ruqaa' font as the 'CAMPBELL'S Soup Ad' text. You'll notice that the text looks bolder – as could often happen when the printing plates were freshly inked – and some of the letters have irregular weights. In some cases Antiquify can present your text with too much, or too little ink; too much, or too little pressure from the printing plate and with letters displaced.

There are two ways to set up the stack. Method one is simple enough. Add your text to the stack. Publish. Finished!
Finer fonts work better than bolder fonts. Serifs work better than sans serif. You might want to drop Antiquify into a Font Stack to define your font.

Method two. Add a Unique ID to Antiquify and use the same ID for any text stacks that you wish to change the appearance of. The Screenshot above uses method two.

More about the screenshot: The whole layout was created inside a ReferMessage stack and would hypothetically appear, if the page were visited from the Ninja News page. The right half was created with the addition of two paragraph stacks, each with an Antiquify ID.

ReferMessage is a useful stack for presenting targeted messages, or evaluating A/B tests. I especially like that it can be set within the body content, allowing a page's text to change depending on where the visitor arrived from. Antiquify is a fun stack and, if used thoughtfully, could be ideal for presenting quotes or other text snippets. Don't overdo things though, Antiquify has a few limitations (see the demo page)!


RWExtras – Gutenberg & Layerz

Johannes Gensfleisch, better known as Gutenberg, was the German blacksmith/goldsmith who introduced movable type to European printing and is the father of the modern printing industry. Like the scribes before him, he realised that large texts require a smaller printed area if displayed in columns. Type set in columns is also easier to read. What better name, then, for a stack that automatically divides your text into columns?

RWExtras' Gutenberg stack has been completely reworked for Stacks 3. It is as simple to use, as it is elegant, but it also has a wealth of features to render it completely responsive.

Simplicity: Drag Gutenberg onto a page and paste your text into it. Hit command + R to render/preview the page and you will find that your text has elegantly been divided up into four columns of equal height, with dividers between each column.

Could that be any simpler? I don't think so. You'll also find that if you reduce the width of your page, the text automatically reflows to fit the new width. The text content reflows to match the new column heights. Whilst reducing the screen width further the number of columns is reduced until, when finally reaching the mobile width, only one column remains.

Responsiveness: The settings panel contains the magic behind the transition. You will find the panel's settings reproduced four times. Once each for Small Screens, Mobile Screens, Laptop Screens and Desktop Screens, allowing Gutenberg's display to alter for each.

The very first setting is Content Type and can be set to HTML, Markdown, or Styled Text (default). Gutenberg renders each content type equally well.

The display settings that follow allow you to define the Column Count, the Column Gap (otherwise known as 'Gutter') and the Border (otherwise known as 'Divider' and not to be confused with the outer border) Weight and Colour. As already stated, these settings are repeated for each possible device. I found that there is nothing to be said against the default settings, however, if you don't like the dividers, you can set the Border Weight to 0 and reduce the Column Gap slightly.
No further settings are available. The emphasis is placed on simplicity.

Master Gutenberg utilised a number of tricks for one of his first books (The Gutenberg Bible). He implemented justified columns by using Ligatures, variable width Glyphs and Hanging Punctuation. Sadly, on the interweb, these are all things of the future. Whilst justified text is possible in RW, it usually doesn't look very good, so Gutenberg hasn't added it unless you include HTML tags.

The Gutenberg stack presents your text elegantly and highly readable on any device it is displayed on. 10+ forRWExtras!


If you wish to layer multiple stacks, one atop of the other, I don't know an easier way than Layerz.
With the added advantage of Stacks 3, you can even fine tune your layered stacks in RW 7's preview mode.

The simplest application of layered stacks, is to position an image caption over an image, but Layerz allows to to place any stack you wish over any other stack. Heck, you can even place text over text if that is your fancy!

Layerz is a lot easier to use than some layering stacks I've encountered. I remember spending hours for one review, positioning my (two) stacks exactly as I wanted them. Not so with Layerz.

Drop Layerz onto a Stacks page and you'll be presented with a container for your base stack. You can drop any stack you like into this container – it will most likely be an image stack?

Now, lets say you wish to superimpose a caption text. Nothing easier than that! Click the + button below your main content and add a text container of your choice. In the example above, I added Headline Pro from BWD.
Next, you'll want to position the stack exactly where you want it. But let's first take a look at Layerz' main settings panel. There's not a lot that you will need to set here, but you perhaps you want Layerz to be placed inside your Theme Banner or in withinan Extra Content area? If so, you'll need to take a look at the Stack Placement settings.

Now click the Layer stack inside Layerz; there are many more settings available here. I didn't want my rather large headline to obscure the image on smaller screens, so I left the Breakpoint set to 768px. On screens of this size and smaller. my superimposed headline now slides down below the image.

If you wish, you can also rotate your layered stack by setting a value for its Rotation. The z-Index may also be important, depending on which other stacks are in Layerz' vicinity. You can also add a unique ID in case you need to target it with specific CSS formatting.

Now we get to the actual positioning of your superimposed layer. In Horizontal, you can set Left, Right, or Centre. Margin allows you to move the stack away from the edge of the main stack.
The Vertical positioning of your layer is set to Bottom by default, but you may also set Top, Middle, or Transformed Middle. I found that 'transformed' worked best for entering my caption.

By altering the Bottom settings, you can now move the layer up or down – I moved my caption up by 5%. The superimposed layer's width is set to Proportional by default, meaning that on smaller screens it will will retain its proportions in relation to the main stack. Auto, or Fixed may also be set. My caption is set to 70%. The layer's height settings are similar to the width settings, so that you have complete control over the layer size.
If your layer doesn't stand out against the background, you can choose Fill Layer to add a background. In my example, I set 40% (opacity) white. And finally, we have settings for Corner Radius, Layer padding, Text and Link Colours, Font size and Line height.

Want to add more layers? Just click the + button in the main stack and experiment to your heart's content.

As I said, Layerz is really simple to set up and is one of those cool tools for challenging layouts.


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rjh web design

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We design websites and print-products for small businesses at reasonable prices. We specialise in Responsive Web Design.


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