If you stop and think about it- when working with WordPress, you spend the most amount of your time inside of the visual text editor. Isn’t it weird then how most of us never try to master the editor so that we can make the most out of it?
We spend hours tweaking our code, installing plugins and making sure that the site functions at its best and yet we ignore the content editor- something that is probably used on a daily basis.
One of the reasons for that is the fact that the WordPress visual editor looks nothing more than a very basic text editor. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like there’s much to be learnt about it or much that can be done with it. Not quite true.
In reality, the WordPress post editor is capable of a lot more than it appears to give away and today we’ll share 7 tips that will completely transform your WordPress content editing experience.
Turn on the kitchen sink
The title is not a cryptic message. The Kitchen Sink is a term used for the ‘toolbar toggle’ button that reveals a whole bunch of extra options in the visual text editor. By default the window only shows one basic toolbar with bold, italics buttons etc. but when you toggle the kitchen sink, it opens up another set of editing options that let you change text colors, format headlines & paragraphs and insert special characters.
Customize the editor screen
The default window that WordPress presents you with when you start a new post has a lot of boxes, headings and options. To a first timer especially, it can seem like a lot of clutter. What a lot of people don’t realize is that they can completely change how the screen looks by merely adjusting a few options.
On the top right corner of your window is a button called ‘Screen options’. Clicking that will present you with a drop down menu that will allow you to choose, the elements you see on your ‘edit post’ page. For instance you could uncheck the ‘Format’, ‘Tags’ or ‘Excerpt’ options to remove those boxes from the page and reduce the clutter.
Rearrange the window
Similarly, you can rearrange the positions of these boxes as well by clicking and holding on them. For example, many people forget to type in the category that a particular post belongs to as the box is somewhat hidden in all the clutter that a default ‘edit post’ page contains. You could drag that box upwards to make sure that it remains in your eyesight and you don’t forget all about it. The rest of the boxes can be arranged in a similar manner as well.
Reducing clutter is even more essential if you compose your posts in WordPress itself and could do away with fewer distractions. This is easily accomplished by enabling the full screen editor. That can be quickly done by clicking on the ‘Distraction Free Writing’ button on the top right corner of the editing window. The only thing you’ll see now is a full screen-editing window. Once you use this you will never go back. Promise.
A lot of people who are new to WordPress often get perplexed at how to deal with text. While any offline word processor like MS Word will give you an option to change the font size, WordPress doesn’t give you any such numerical options. It does however give stylistic options in terms of changing the font from the size of regular paragraph text to different sizes of headlines. So if you want to change font sizes, use those options without worrying about formatting issues.
Another qualm many people have with WordPress is that every time they press enter, it creates a new paragraph with double line spacing. What if you just wanted a line break with single line spacing? No problem. Just press shift + enter.
Remember that if you are struggling with any sort of alignment, or formatting issues, do not hesitate to switch over to the text editor. It might seem daunting to work with HTML at first but 9 times out of 10 it turns out to be much easier than you initially thought it’d be.
One of the most common questions from beginners as well as advanced WordPress users is about dealing with excerpts.
Remember those little excerpts on the home and category pages that ends with a nifty ‘read more’ link? How do you control that excerpt? After all you do not want WordPress to truncate the excerpt randomly in the middle of a sentence.
Thankfully the functionality is built within the WordPress text editor itself. That little ‘insert read more tag’ button that most of us seem to oversee can easily accomplish this task, allowing you to specify where exactly you want the excerpt to be cut off. To designate that position visually, it inserts a horizontal line in your post as well.