June 14, 2005

Importy Time!

Okay folks, the magic importeriser is ready. (As long as you're not on MT3. I'll set up MT3 tonight.)

How To Import Your Posts

1. Get a valid MT-formatted import file. (See below for instructions on how to choke one of these out of Blogspot.)
2. Rename it as import.txt
3. Upload it to your archive directory, whatever that might be. If it's small, you can simply use the Movable Type file uploady thing.
4. In Movable Type, click on Import/Export.
5. Select Import Entries As Me.
6. You probably want to set the default post status to Publish.
7. Click Import Entries
8. Watch as your entries are imported.
9. Yay!

How To Choke A MT-Formatted Import File Out Of Blogspot
1. Log into your blog on Blogger.
2. On the Settings tab, choose Formatting.
3. Set it to show the last 999 posts. If you have more than 999 posts, you'll have to export them in pieces somehow.
4. Choose the first Timestamp option. This is the MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM:SS AM format.
5. Set Convert Line Breaks to No.
6. Save.
7. Go to Template.
8. If you don't hate your current template with the fury of a thousand suns, you might want to save a copy. The easiest way to do this is to copy it into Notepad or your local equivalent.
9. Paste this puppy in its place:
AUTHOR: <$BlogItemAuthor$>
DATE: <$BlogItemDateTime$>
10. Note that this doesn't do recent Blogger stuff like post titles. (Blogger has titles now, right? You can add this line to export those, I think:

TITLE: <PostSubject><$BlogItemSubject$></PostSubject>

Put that immediately after the DATE line and see how you go. (I'll test this and see if it works.)
11. DON'T SAVE!! If you save, it will crap up your blog.
12. Click Preview.
13. On the page that comes up, right-click and choose View Page Source or View HTML or whatever it is on your browser.
14. Cut and paste the results into anything other than Microsoft Word. Notepad or Wordpad are good choices. So is vi.
15. The first few lines, before the first line beginning with AUTHOR:, are crap that Blogger insists on putting there. Delete them.
16. The last line might also be crap, but it probably doesn't do any harm.
17. Save this as import.txt. This will work with Mozilla or Firefox. I'm not sure about Internet Explorer, but I will test that. There's a big problem with this process breaking up your formatting, so that each paragraph is broken down into a number of lines of fixed length and it doesn't flow properly. This will happen if you simply save the page using Save As.... I don't know why. If you follow these steps exactly, though, it will work.
18. Upload your file and import it as above.

It might not be a bad idea to try this with Blogger set to only show 5 posts. Then when you mess it up, you will only need to delete 5 posts rather than 999.

Posted by Pixy Misa at June 14, 2005 03:14 AM

Great googly moogly! The importerator is up!

I knew something was up when I saw a field rabbit putting the smack down on my labrador today.

Posted by Jim at June 14, 2005 03:30 AM

If anybody needs a hand with this send me an email. jim@jpeacock.net

I'll send a note to all of the recent immigrants too.

Posted by Jim at June 14, 2005 03:40 AM

Wow, you are brilliant!

Posted by Sissy at June 14, 2005 04:14 AM

Holy Canoli Batman it works!

Something like 180 entries in one fell swoop! I had to do a tiny bit of cleaning up but that is sweet, now I've got posts back to Jan. 2004!!!

Rock on Pixy and all, it be good, all good my friends.

Posted by Oorgo at June 14, 2005 04:31 AM

Jim, you're going to get pounded with spam if you don't ubfuscate that clear-text email address!

I can also help folks with their import if they wish (lightanddark[at]canada[dot]com). Jim, should we get folks to put their help requests here on MuNu? Or do you want to just forward along any you get that are more than you can make time for? Whatever works for you.


Posted by Light & Dark at June 14, 2005 04:36 AM

That has just saved me about 1 gazillion hours of effort getting (1) Gray Monk and (2) G'day Mate fixed up. Thanks a billion....

Hmmm. Maybe that was 1 billion hours and a gazillion thanks... I always forget which way roughd they go :)

Posted by Ozguru at June 14, 2005 07:39 AM

It should be working for MT3 as well now. :)

Posted by Pixy Misa at June 14, 2005 08:28 AM

Okay, I'm having issues importing from my Mu.nu MT2 site to MT3. The import.txt file looks good on my computer, but when I do the import on MT3, it doesn't load any of the entries (though it says that it is done).
This is the message I get:
Importing entries into blog 'Daniel-centric'
Importing entries as author 'Daniel'

Importing entries from file 'import.txt'

All data imported successfully! Make sure that you remove the file that you imported, so that if/when you run the import process again, that file will not be re-imported.

Posted by Daniel at June 14, 2005 12:49 PM

Hmmm. Sounds like it couldn't find the file. Let me do a little test.

Posted by Pixy Misa at June 14, 2005 12:55 PM

It will say "Importing entries from import.txt" even if the file isn't there. I should probably fix that.

Posted by Pixy Misa at June 14, 2005 12:56 PM

I just tried it, and it did import my test file, but for some reason it also imported the -------- separator as well.


Are you sure your import.txt file is in your archive directory?

Posted by Pixy Misa at June 14, 2005 01:02 PM

I'm using the MT3 upload file - is that the problem?
The file is in the archives at http://playpen.mu.nu/daniel/archives/import.txt and it looks complete to me...

Posted by Daniel at June 14, 2005 02:53 PM

It's telling me to do this:

All data imported successfully! Make sure that you remove the files that you imported from the 'import' folder, so that if/when you run the import process again, those files will not be re-imported.

How do I do that?

Posted by Machelle at June 14, 2005 02:55 PM

Machelle - you can delete files through the file manager in CPanel. Or you can just not click on Import again. :)

Posted by Pixy Misa at June 14, 2005 03:00 PM

Daniel - Sorry, there's something wrong with the patch on MT3. I'll need to do a bit of digging.

Posted by Pixy Misa at June 14, 2005 03:01 PM

My problem is that the preview window dies if I try more than 20 posts or so. Is there a timeout value somewhere I should be adjusting?

Posted by Angry in T.O. at June 14, 2005 03:51 PM

Freakin' awesome! Thanks, Pixy!

Posted by Army NCO Guy at June 14, 2005 04:17 PM

why does this newfangled contraption hate me?

i've been trying to work with jim all morning but to no avail.

back to deleting 600 lines of

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Posted by kyer at June 14, 2005 05:08 PM

Paul - I'll send any overflow to you or Phin. Fear not on the email, SpamBayes protects me like a jealous momma bear.

Kyer - Did the file I sent you work?

Posted by Jim at June 14, 2005 09:19 PM

Angry - don't know. You can backup your old template and then go ahead and save the new template, and see if that helps.

Kyer - what happen? Send me a copy of the file and I'll take a look.

Posted by Pixy Misa at June 15, 2005 12:15 AM

No worries, Pixy. Jim saved the day, thankfully.

Now I just gotta go back and fix all the format issues (like weird tables I used to use instead of blockquotes, etc...)

Posted by kyer at June 15, 2005 01:00 AM

Good Gawd. I need to do this, but holy crap. I think I'd rather poke my eye out with a pencil.

I'm putting this on my things to do list... for sometime next week.

Thanks for putting this up, Pixy! Seriously. As much as I dread doing it, at least I know how to do it... or maybe I know enough to botch up my blog. Jim may be hearing from me...

Posted by Bou at June 15, 2005 02:59 AM

It used to be a lot easier, but then the new version of Blogger came along and screwed everything up. That's when I mostly stopped doing imports for people; it was just too hard to get a working file. :(

Posted by Pixy Misa at June 15, 2005 03:38 AM

Pixy Rocks!!
Easy as pie, all done, importo magnifico.
Pixy Rocks!!

Starts singing: Did you ever know that you're my hero......

I'll be glad to help if y'all need it.

Posted by phin at June 15, 2005 09:28 PM

Yay, Pixy! Thank you for the clear and concise instructions, and for setting Munuviana up to handle it.

Not only did I make the migration from Blogger with minimal effort, I did it while vacationing and using a dial-up connection.

Thanks to Jim, too, for the heads up and for being willing to help and/or do the migration for me!

Posted by Dave at June 19, 2005 08:19 PM

I followed your instructions exactly when I tried importing my files from my Blogger site, but received this message:

"Importing entries into blog 'Mark Nicodemo'
Importing entries as author 'Mark N'

Can't open directory '/home/nicodemo/www/archives': No such file or directory"

Jim advised that I simply create a post. I created two, but neither appear on the site and I still receive the same message as above.

Posted by Mark at June 20, 2005 12:40 AM

I'll check it out...

Okay, there were two little problems, one with your blog setup, and the other with the file (it was called import.txt.txt).

You should be okay to import it now. Oh, and your post shows up now. :)

Posted by Pixy Misa at June 20, 2005 03:19 AM

Thank you for your help!

The funny name for my import file probably came from

"2. Rename it as import.txt"

Anyway, my mistake.

Mark :)

Posted by Mark at June 21, 2005 09:11 AM

Free frogs!

(Just a test comment, please ignore.)

Posted by Pixy Misa at June 26, 2005 11:55 PM

Oh gads. I'll have to try this with the old journalspace stuff. I never wanted to inflict an archive file from there on Pixy, but if I can make a mess of it mine own self, great.

Am I essentially right in thinking I'll need a file in the same format as the above Blogger example, only minus the [Blogger] tags? If that's all that's required, the rest of it seems simple enough.

Posted by ilyka at June 29, 2005 07:40 AM

Yep, if you can do that, it should work.

Posted by Pixy Misa at June 29, 2005 10:24 AM

THank you. It worked. Only thing I ended up doing to see it was rebuilding it. Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Posted by VW Bug at July 13, 2005 09:20 PM

Is it wrong that I tremble contemplating trying this?


Posted by RedFalcon at July 15, 2005 12:38 AM


What to do if we wish to import beyond the original 999 posts from our old Blogger accounts?
(I had over 3000 posts there.)

By the way, the titles to my posts did not import. Instead of my original titles, it simply copies the first 3-4 words of the post. (Not a BIG deal, but perhaps there is something that can be done to remedy this?)

Thank you.

Posted by Mark at July 15, 2005 07:17 PM
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