Almost there: trimming the sidebar

I noticed that the Archive links in the sidebar were getting to take up a lot of space–as they do on most blogs that have been around for a while. I also noticed that some blogs have either pull-down menus or a nice little year/month matrix.

So, since I’m not a hot HTML honcho and perfectly willing to ask for help, I asked a small but interesting group if they knew of an easy way to get one of those compact archives. Dorothea Salo immediately pointed me to two WordPress plugins.

With Blake Carver’s help (for reasons having to do with how and when this blog began, I don’t have full SFTP access to the directories), I’m now using Rob Marsh’s “Compact Archive” plugin. You can see the effect over to the right: One line per year of archives, not one list item (taller than a regular line) per month.

The only problem–presumably also obvious–is that my sidebar isn’t quite wide enough to hold all 12 month, so there’s a little wrap. Still compact but a bit ugly.

As I’ve looked at the template files, I can’t find a way to widen the sidebar (and presumably the overall page) a little bit–or, rather, I can find ways, but they don’t seem to have any effect.

If some knowledgeable CSS/template/WordPress person sends me a suggestion, I’d be delighted. Meanwhile, well, I claim to have a lot of skills. This isn’t one of them.

Update 6/2/07: Peter Murray suggested a solution–one that I would swear I had already tried, but maybe not. Anyway, it’s fixed now. Thanks, Peter!

2 Responses to “Almost there: trimming the sidebar”

  1. Peter Murray says:

    Walt —

    I think a solution is to bump up the width of the #sidebar. With a little experimentation using Firebug, I found that if this change was made to then the wrapping disappeared:

    #sidebar {
    padding:20px 0pt 10px;
    width:210px; /* was 190px */

    There didn’t seem to be any harmful side effects to making this change (although the width entries for #page and <body> may need to be increased by 20 pixels as well).

  2. walt says:


    I would swear I already tried that–but maybe I did and failed to refresh the view window, before reversing the change.

    In any case, the fix does work. Thanks!