The Publishing Defaults ( formerly called Display Settings in Movable Type 4 ) section allows you to configure how entries are displayed on your blog, how Movable Type generates automated excerpts of your entries, and how Movable Type generates URLs for your entries and other blog content.
This setting allows you to define the quantity or duration of entries to display on your published main index or on any other index template wherein an MTEntries tag is used without the lastn or days attributes to override it. This quantity is defined in terms of the actual number of entries OR number of consecutive 24 hour days.
Order: This setting controls the order in which entries are displayed in your blog as well as printed out by the MTEntries tag when no sort_order attribute is included with the tag. By default, entries are displayed in reverse chronological (descending) order.
Excerpt Length: If an author has not explicitly provided an excerpt for an entry or a page, the system will automatically generate one when needed using the first N words of the entry body where N is defined by this setting. The default is 40 words. This is done after applying the entry's specified text formatting filter and removing any HTML that may have been included. Note that this setting does not override the display of an excerpt that has been explicitly provided by the author through the Create Entry or Create Page screen.
Date Language: This setting controls the language used for date and time display on your published blog; specifically, this influences the month and week names, and the AM/PM specifiers.
Basename Length: Determines the default character length for the computed entry and page basename (the core of the individual entry's file name) for new entries. The default is 30 characters, but may range anywhere from 15 to 250 characters. Note that users can override the default computed basename on the Create Entry and Create Page screens.