Improve The WordPress
With TinyMCE Advanced
Be default, the text styling options in the WordPress Visual editor leave a little… (okay, a lot!) to be desired!
Default Visual Post Editor Option Buttons
Is it really any wonder that many bloggers are tempted to try to write their posts in Word and then commit the huge sin of copy pasting in from Word with their styling intact? (A problem because this brings in junk code by default.)
Fortunately, we can easily get ourselves some additional styling tools while gaining some features that make life easier in the long run too!
My current visual post editor buttons
As you can see, I have quite a few more options than the default system… and there’s even more where that came from!
Introducing the WordPress Plugin: TinyMCE Advanced!
TinyMCE Advanced is one of the plugins that I love so much that I run it on every single blog I own! It simply makes writing (which I do a lot of!) a less frustrating experience.
While, admittedly, the options are still not everything that is available in Microsoft Word, the fact that it’s stable, doesn’t produce junk code, doesn’t slow down the blog, and offers a few advanced tools that you’ll find helpful make it a winner.
In fact, I have all of my novice blogging clients use it because it makes their blogging experience smoother… which increases the likelihood that they will continue blogging.
Don’t mistake it for the much harder to use “TinyMCE Ultimate” (which is not as nice of a plugin), Advanced is actually the one you want!
The plugin is free, in the WordPress repository, so simply go to Plugins -> Add New -> Search, locate and install the plugin.
The settings, which is where you want to stop first, will be under Settings -> TinyMCE Advanced:
This might look a little intimidating but I promise you that it’s super easy to use!
The top grey lines are the “trays” that are available to contain TinyMCE styling features… and that we can move things around in. The important thing to know is that they will look really really long on your screen, but your visual editor is only about 1/4 to 1/2 of that wide… so don’t put buttons all the way out to the left or they will not display in the visual editor when we get there.
You may find that you like the (new) defaults, but I like to swap them around a bit, and get a couple of the extras from the lower box moved up into a tray. Keep in mind though that the “kitchen sink” button (which is a default button) needs to be at the right-side-end of the top-most row or it won’t behave correctly.
Once you’re happy with your trays, click Save Changes!
What about those other check boxes?
Well, I like “Advanced Image” (which adds a few options), “Advanced Link” (which lets me set nofollow links easily but does replace the existing link editor), and “stop removing the <p> and <br /> tags” (which lets me use the code that the html side makes in other uses such as on facebook tabs with ease). All of these checkboxes are optional and depend on your needs and wants. These are my favorites though. Click Save Changes.. and that’s it!
When you visit the post/page visual editor now, and click the “kitchen sink” button… you will see your new rows of buttons all neatly there to help you make your posts look spiffy!
This plugin replaces the very outdated plugin “FCK Editor” (which you need to remove) and gives you some really easy to use flexibility.
Where do you write YOUR blog posts? Do you use a plugin to improve the editor? Do you use an external blogging app?
Be sure to check out TinyMCE Advanced – I give it 5 stars!
~ Kim ~
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