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cfud_scrapbook ([personal profile] cfud_scrapbook) wrote2012-01-07 09:43 pm

Guide to Dreamwidth

Hello! This guide will cover a lot of the things that you need to know about using Dreamwidth. While the majority of the site is a lot like Livejournal in terms of how it operates, there are a few big differences.



If you don't like the styles that Dreamwidth gives you (Tropospherical Red, Tropospherical Purple, Celerity, Gradiation Horizontal, Gradiation Vertical, or Lynx), it is possible to change how your page looks by using some userscripts that have been created. There are a few out there thanks to some awesome script writers.

    This style will allow you to have a style that looks very similar to Livejournal pre-release 88.
    There is also a lot here. It ranges from different styles, to different tiny icons for usernames and the various functions you can use to edit entries, fixing the page-width, and tweaking the navigation bar.
    • For journal layouts, Dreamwidth has a ton that you can pick from by going to organize → select layouts, or you can go to [community profile] dreamwidthlayouts or [site community profile] dreamscapes.
    • You can find already made tables for various things at [community profile] dreamcodes.
    • Instead, head over to organize → manage account → display → uncheck the box on "Show my journal's entry pages in my chosen style instead of the site skin." This will turn off custom commenting for you and anyone that visits your journal.


Over at Dreamwidth, you can import content from your Livejournal account to your Dreamwidth account. It doesn’t take long, either! Just head on over to this page! Stuff you can import include:

    • Profile data (basic bio, interests, etc.)
    • Friends (your LJ friends will automatically be granted access to your Dreamwidth account as OpenID friends if you choose this option.)
    • Custom security groups (filters!)
    • Journal entries (all your journal entries! Take note that if you import entries to a community, the only option you have when you try to edit them on your Dreamwidth account is to delete them. You will have to log into OpenID to be able to edit imported entries in a community.)
    • Journal comments (not your comment count!)
    • Tags
    • Icons (If you have 30 icons on LJ and only have a free acount on Dreamwidth, when you import these icons, you’ll be able to use all 30 on Dreamwidth, but if you manage your icons/edit them, you won’t be able to use half of them anymore. It’s basically the same thing that happens when you have a Paid Account Trial on LJ, and it runs out. The DW team are aware of this glitch and will be getting rid of it soon so please, don’t rely on it and tip in some money if you can spare it!)


This one is a big one! The HTML differences between Dreamwidth and Livejournal are pretty big due to how Dreamwidth tries to make their website as accessible as possible. Don't worry, we have your back.

Here is a list of basic (some not so basic) HTML codes that you might use for roleplaying purposes!

    • First up, linking, blockquoting, bolding, underlining, italicizing and showing images are all the same, so nothing new to learn there.
    • Font size, on the other hand, is a bit different. Rather than going <font size="1"> or what have you, you use <big> and <small> tags (remembering to stack them to make the font bigger and smaller)
    • While changing the font face remains the same, if you want to change all of your font attributes, it’s a little different. You’re using <span> - an example is this: <span style="font-size: 16pt; font-family:trebuchet ms; font-style: italic;">look at this awesome text!</span>, which when applied will look like this: Your mom is an awesome text. You can take stuff out, but always keep the semi-colon at the end. Your layout will thank you.
    • Blink tags work in posts but not in comments.


This is something that varies a bit between Livejournal and Dreamwidth! While which code you use to make [profile] thomasthetankengine happen doesn't matter much since they'll both do the same thing, there is a slightly different code used here. These codes also work with OpenID and Feeds, too.

<lj user="thomasthetankengine"> <user name="thomasthetankengine">

Something to note is that, while Livejournal allowed the ability to add a title to the username, it is impossible to add titles at the moment on Dreamwidth.


Cuts are actually a lot like usernames. Both codes are useable and function the same, but Dreamwidth still has its own special code if you want to use that instead.

<lj-cut> <cut>
<lj-cut text="thomas the tank engine"> <cut text="thomas the tank engine">


Okay, this is a pretty cool one! Dreamwidth also allows you to link to other websites and it gives them a cool icon when you do that, too. Here are the websites currently supported and the HTML for them: archiveofourown, blogspot, deadjournal, delicious, deviantart, insanejournal, journalfen,, livejournal, plurk, ravelry, twitter, tumblr, and wordpress.

<user name="thomasthetankengine" site="">


Dreamwidth has actually developed some really useful features for icons!

    • Multiple icon uploading: All you have to do is click "add another from file" or "add another from URL" beneath the icon form we're all familiar with, and it will populate another set of fields for you to fill out. Just click "proceed" when you're done, and it should upload all the icons you have selected at once.

    • Changing your keywords without breaking threads(!!): If you check the box marked "rename keywords" directly under the description field of the icon you're changing, it will go through and change all previous keyword references to the new ones you just entered. This allows the icons to stay associated with the same comments as before.

    • Description field: This allows you to enter a description that will serve as alt text for people with screen readers. This isn't the same as your tooltip, so don't worry, your actual keywords will still show up while mousing over an icon.


• On Dreamwidth, you can decide to track top-level comments only by clicking the yellow bell (tracking icon) at the top of the entry, and selecting "Notify me when: someone makes a top-level comment on (entry)." This will allow you to get notifications for the first comment in every thread only!

• You can reply to screened comments without unscreening them and have a complete conversation screened if you want!

• Much larger character limits -- 30,000 for a post, and 16,000 for comments. Now you have to try extra hard if you're looking to break them.

• Friending is different here on Dreamwidth, as well. There are two things called 'subscribe' and 'access'! Subscribe will allow you to just follow the public things someone posts, and access will allow you to see the locked things people have. It's possible to do one, the other, or both, if that's what you want. It's pretty cool! So, basically, if you get two emails - one of someone subscribing and another of them granting you access - that's why.

• LJ Login and LJ Juggler both work with Dreamwidth!

    • To get your account set up on LJ Juggler, go to ‘Add or Remove Accounts’, swap the site to Dreamwidth, and throw in your account information.

    • To get your account set up on LJ Login, click on preferences and enable Dreamwidth. It will give you a second login thing, and from there, just go ahead and add your accounts like you would normally do it with Livejournal.

• Notifs are a little different, too-- while Livejournal had 'view the thread starting from this comment', 'view the entire thread this comment is a part of', 'view all comments to this entry', and 'reply at the webpage', Dreamwidth has a different setup.

• On Dreamwidth, it goes like this: 'reply at the webpage', 'view all comments to this entry', 'go to the top of the thread this comment is part of', and 'view the thread from the beginning with this comment'.

It's not a big thing, but it's worth noting because the links in the notif are different than they were when they came from Livejournal.

• Currently, at the moment, Dreamwidth does not allow a notes and it does not have a scrapbook function.

• It's important to note that the character limit on usernames is also larger than Livejournal's, with usernames on Dreamwidth being able to contain up to 25 characters.

• You know how OpenID accounts tend to appear as ""? Well, Dreamwidth has a cool feature where you can claim those as your own, and every comment you've ever made will be claimed by your Dreamwidth account. Just go here, make sure you're logged into the right accounts on both Livejournal and Dreamwidth, and input the information. You'll get an email after an hour, and once you confirm, the OpenID will always show up under your Dreamwidth username. Be careful when you do this, though, since it isn't possible to undo it!