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HOWTO: Individually Formatting Links

  • Dec. 5th, 2007 at 3:12 PM
Since questions still come up about how to hide various links, and since I know of two good techniques for it, I thought I'd compile it all into one tutorial/How To post. Depending on your account level (Basic/Plus/Paid/Perm), there are two primary methods to employ: CSS or S2 code, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

[All Account Levels] The CSS Method

For each link to hide, add the following CSS to the "Custom Stylesheet" box on the Customize Journal Style->Custom CSS page:
a[href*=text substring] {display: none;}

What goes into text substring? It depends what content you wish to hide, but it will be a substring of that link's URL. For example:

This code:Will Hide Links to:
†- Note that the "Flag" link is already hidden on non-public entries.
Archive and friends pages are still accessible with direct URLs, and functionality of the other links is not disabled.
a[href*=calendar] {display: none;}Calendar page
a[href*=friends] {display: none;}Friends page
.asset-meta-list a[href*=memadd] {display: none;}Add to Memories
.asset-meta-list a[href*=flag] {display: none;}Flag†
.asset-meta-list a[href*=subscrip] {display: none;}(Un)Track This
It's worth mentioning that display: none isn't the only CSS one could apply to individual links. Use this code to change all the "Leave a comment" links to blue:
.asset-meta-list a[href*=reply] {color: #0000FF;}

  • Available to users at all account levels.
  • Works on all themes, not just Expressive/Mixit.
  • Not all browsers recognize the [attr*=] attribute specifier. Internet Explorer 6 in particular, and maybe older versions of Safari or Opera.
  • Cumbersome for hiding/formatting multiple links
  • Circumvented by ?style=mine.

[Paid/Permanent Accounts] The S2 Layers Method

This method is similar to the one used here to change the entry link bar to images, although this one will allow you to customize the order of the links. Follow the tutorial for creating a theme layer, then add in this code. To reorder or remove links, change the order in the link_keyseq array.
function Entry::print_linkbar() {
# Makes the entry linkbar contents and order modifiable.
    var Link link;
    var string url = "";
    var string text = "";

    print """<div class="asset-meta">\n""";
    print """<ul class="asset-meta-list">\n""";

    # Here is where you would change the order of or remove linkbar links.
    var string[] link_keyseq = [ 

    var string{} link_caption = {
        "edit_entry" => $*text_edit_entry,
        "edit_tags" => $*text_edit_tags,
        "tell_friend" => $*text_share_this,
        "flag" => $*text_flag,
        "mem_add" => $*text_mem_add,
        "watch_comments" => $*text_watch_comments,
        "unwatch_comments" => $*text_unwatch_comments,

    foreach var string link_key ($link_keyseq) {
        $link = $this->get_link($link_key);
        if (defined $link) {
            $url = $link.url;
            $text = $link_caption{$link_key} != "" ? $link_caption{$link_key} : $link.caption;
            print safe """<li class="asset-meta-comments item asset-meta-no-comments"><a href="$url">$text</a></li>""";
    print """<li class="asset-meta-comments item asset-meta-no-comments"><a href="$.permalink_url">$*text_permalink</a></li>""";
    println "\n</ul>\n</div>\n";
Here is a similar function for changing the nav links at the page top:
function Page::lay_print_header_links() {
# Makes the nav linkbar contents and order modifiable.
    """<div id="message-window" class="hidden"></div>\n""";
    """<div id="header-photo">\n<div id="header-photo-inner"></div>\n</div>\n""";
    """<div id="header-text"><ul class="nav">\n""";

    # Here is where you would change the order of or remove nav bar links.
    var string[] views_order = [ 
    foreach var string v ($views_order) {
        var string url   = $.view_url{$v};
        var string text  = lang_viewname($v);
        var string class = "item";
        if($v == $.view) {
            $class = $class + " current";
        if($v == $.views_order[0]) {
            $class = $class + " first";

        $class = " class=\"$class\"";

        print """<li$class><a href="$url" title="$text">$text</a></li>""";

    var Link memories_url = $.journal->get_link("memories");

    # Memories
    if($memories_url.url != "") {
        println safe """<li class="item"><a href="$memories_url.url" title="$*text_view_memories">$*text_view_memories</a></li>""";

    # Menu end
    <div id="header-name">""";
    var string base_url = $.journal->base_url();
    var string friends_url = $.view_url{"friends"};
    if ($this isa FriendsPage) {
        print safe """<a href="$friends_url">""" + $this->view_title() + """</a>""";
    } else {
        print safe """<a href="$base_url">$.global_title</a>""";

    if(not $this isa FriendsPage) {
        print safe """
      <div id="header-description">$.global_subtitle</div>""";

    </div><span id="header-content-decor" class="decor"><b></b><u></u><s></s><i></i></span></div><!-- End Header Content -->
    </div><span id="header-decor" class="decor"><b></b><u></u><s></s><i></i></span></div><!-- End Header -->""";
Also, both methods can be combined-- one could change the layout of the entry linkbar and link colors, for instance.

  • Works on all browsers, regardless of CSS support.
  • Allows you to change the link order, which cannot be done with CSS.
  • Easier to change multiple links at once.
  • A Paid or Permanent account is required.
  • Also circumvented by ?style=mine.


Jan. 30th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
OK, that made it easier:
.asset-meta li {
padding: 0 5px;

What was the other problem? ;)
Jan. 30th, 2008 03:35 am (UTC)
But I want that padding there. I want space between the links! I just don't want the space to still show up between the links that aren't there. :(

The other problems, I don't think you can fix, sadly!

a.) I need a solution to this that works in IE. There kind of isn't one. :( I mean, without getting a paid account and physically removing the links, or convincing the creators of this layer to put classes on the links.

b.) I want to replace the "Memories" link with a link to the main k_a_r_a_k_u_r_a game, which also doesn't seem doable without editing the layer. It is so frustrating that a layout awesome enough to allow you to customize the sidebars so thoroughly doesn't give you options for including your website link on in the navbar or removing links rather than just renaming them.
Jan. 30th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
What did fix this part:

asset-meta li {
padding: 0;

asset-meta li a {
padding: 0 5px;

a[href*=flag], a[href*=edittags], a[href*=tellafr], a[href*=subscrip], a[href*=memadd] {
display: none;
padding: 0;
margin: 0;

Because my problem was having the padding on the list item, which wasn't set to display: none, rather than on the hyperlink. I feel very silly now.
Jan. 30th, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)
Heh, I was just typing up that suggestion as a reply when I saw the e-mail come in. About your other comments above:

a) The "CSS Method" should work in IE7, but definitely not in IE6. No, nothing I can do about that. =(

b) Yeah, I know. It's not very helpful to say, but everyone has their wishlists for every layout, not just this one. I don't know anything about what kind of decisions went into coding Expressive, as far as what features would be customizable, but if you have too many, you end up with something that's far too complex and not user-friendly. I may try writing a patch to incorporate some changes that were made to the Core layer, but there's no guarantee as to if or when any changes would be implemented.

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