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Thursday, November 22, 2012


G+ ostensibly lacks formatting options for stylized text, but don’t sweat it: The options are available via hidden text commands. To italicize your characters, simply place _underscores_ around them. Use *asterisks* instead of underscores if you want a word to appear in bold, and -hyphens- if you want to strike through a word. You can even use more than one formatting option. For example, typing _*test*_ will make the word test appear both bolded and italicized after you publish the comment. Craftiest of all, if you want to call out another G+ user in a Stream post, simply type “+” or “@” (without the quotes) before the person’s name, and then click the person’s name in the drop-down list that appears. Your pal’s name will appear as a link to his profi le in your post, and he’ll be notifi ed that you mentioned him.


When you send a private message to a friend, you might not want its contents broadcast across the Interwebs. Disabling resharing on a post ensures that only the people and Circles you send the message to will see it. To disable resharing, click the downward-pointing arrow in the upper-right-hand corner of your post. Then select “Disable reshare,” and you're done! The same drop-down menu contains a bunch of other useful options, including the ability to mute a post, which removes the conversation from your Stream and tells G+ to stop sending you notifi cations related to the thread.

In G+ parlance, a Stream is simply a fl ow of conversation. As Google describes it, “It centralizes all the content people have shared with you, as well as the people who are trying to share with you, but who aren't yet in your circles.” Streams may appear chaotic, but you can exert some control over the torrent of posts by using various Circle-related tricks. Plopping down a period at the beginning of a Circle’s name—.MaximumPC, for example—rockets that Circle to the top of your Stream list. Circles that start with an asterisk—*MaximumPC—show up just below those, while the default G+ Circles— Family, Friends, Following, and Acquaintances— appear after that. Custom-created Circles that don’t start with asterisks or periods bring up the rear.

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