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Tips and Tricks for using the WordPress Visual Editor

WordPress is JasonHunter Design’s favorite CMS to use because of its ease of use for our clients, but sometimes our clients still aren’t sure how WordPress works. Well, I found this article posted on the WPExplorer website and wanted to re-post it. I hope it helps!

The WordPress Visual Editor: Tips And Tricks for Beginners

WordPress was initially built to be a simple blogging system that made publishing content online a breeze. With time, it has morphed into a full-fledged Content Management System (CMS). Users now have complete control over the design and functionality of their WordPress websites. However, without content, design and function mean nothing and in that regard, WordPress remains true to its roots: content creation and management.While a lot of features have been built into the WordPress base software, content creation remains its core driving force. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the WordPress visual editor in this post and how you can better utilize it.


WordPress allows you to create and manage content visually rather than coding it directly into your files. Thus, it is called a WYSIWYG editor or “What You See Is What You Get” for the uninitiated. The editor tool has three parts:

  1. Visual Editor
  2. Text Editor (where you can enter code)
  3. Media Uploader (for uploading image files)

By default, the Visual Editor is active when you are creating a new post or page (Pages > Add New or Posts > Add New). If by any chance it is not active, click on it:


WYSIWYG means that what you see in the Visual Editor while editing your post is what will appear in the published post. The Text Editor allows you to enter plain text and also allows you to enter code (HTML markup) directly as if you were working with the actual HTML file. You activate it by clicking on the Text tab on the far-right of the editor:


The Media Uploader does just that: uploads media files to the media library so that you can insert them into your posts as you wish:


With this brief intro to the powerful WordPress visual editor, let’s now see how you can use some key buttons to create and edit content. I’m using the Blogger theme from our freebies collection for the illustrations.

Adding Text

First thing is to fire up a new page or post and open the visual editor: Go to Posts > Add New. By default, you will see a condensed toolbar when creating a new post:


Click on the Kitchen Sink icon to reveal other formatting options in the toolbar:


For basic content creation and management, the above formatting options will do just fine. Even if you’re new to WordPress, most of the icons will be familiar from other text editors such as Microsoft Word. In fact, all the icons on the visual editor’s toolbar perform the same function as identical icons in Microsoft Word do, so I’ve singled out the less familiar ones to discuss.

To add text, simply type your content into the editor window. However, sometimes you may have your content already typed somewhere and in that case you can simply paste it as plain or formatted text from Word using these buttons on the toolbar:


Using this route is fast and the visual editor does a good job of preserving much of your formatting from Word—better than standard copy and paste, at least. However, as you’ll soon discover, it is not a flawless job and sometimes you may end up with mangled text. I find that it’s much easier to paste as plain text and then do the formatting inside the visual editor.

Remove Formatting From Your Text

As we’ve seen or as you’ll see when you experiment with these formatting buttons, the visual editor has weaknesses when it comes to handling formatted text imported from other text editors. So you might find that working with plain old text is the better thing to do. This is the button you should be using to remove formatting from imported text:


Highlight your text and click on that button. Your text will now have the default formatting of your theme. Note that this button doesn’t work for some formatting types such as blockquotes and headers. There are other formatting buttons that take care of those types.

Changing Text Type

You’re going to have several text types in your document including paragraphs and headings. To change your text type, highlight the text portion you want to modify and click on the format drop-down menu on the extreme left of the editor’s toolbar. Select the format you want and you’re done:


Obviously, you can format your posts any way you want, but make sure there is some structure for consistency. Section headings, for instance, should have the same heading format, such as Heading 2, while the primary heading is typically Heading 1. In addition, standard paragraph text should have a default format and so should preformatted text and addresses.

Remember: the default formats for the various text types depend on your theme. Every theme comes with its own default styling for the types you see in the format drop-down box.

Use the Paragraph type in the drop-down box to remove formatting from headers since the Remove formatting button doesn’t work for headings and blockquotes.

Use the Blockquote button to format or remove blockquote formatting:


Full Screen Editing


If you like to work with minimal distractions, you’ll find the full-screen mode ideal for you and this is the button that activates it. It simply closes all non-essential stuff on the screen and leaves you with only with the content box and a condensed toolbar that automatically hides and appears when you hover atop the page.

Insert More Tag


While this is an often overlooked feature of the visual editor, it is very useful when it comes to displaying post excerpts on your blog. As you’re already aware, if you have published posts on your blog, WordPress displays excerpts of these posts on the home and archives pages. However, WordPress truncates the excerpts randomly and this could be in the middle of a sentence.

This is where the nifty Insert More tag feature comes in handy. It allows you to specify exactly where the excerpt will end. A link that points to the full post will be inserted where you specified the excerpt to end. There are many ways you can format this tag but, remember, by default it only works for posts (not pages):


Note: The use of the Insert More tag relies upon your chosen theme’s support. Most thoughtfully developed themes support it, but some do not.

Add and Remove Links


Inserting and removing links is straightforward too using these buttons. They are inactive by default until you highlight the text you want to make the link. The button on the left adds a link while the one on the right removes links.

Special Characters


If you’ve ever used the special characters button in Word, this too should be familiar. However, this one is more intuitive as it displays a character’s HTML and NUM codes as you hover over it:


What makes Magento so great?

Owned by eBay, Magento strikes an imposing figure in the world of eCommerce. In November 2013 it was estimated that this open source eCommerce web application was used by 11.91% of all online retailers that do business. It may not sound like much, but that’s a comparatively HUGE slice of the market. Launched in 2008, this application was built with an open source ethos using parts of the Zend framework, with the assistance of the open source community.

Leading eCommerce brands that trust Magento include: Nike, RosettaStone, OfficeMax, Men’sHealth, Vizio

Magento is a feature-rich eCommerce platform solution that offers merchants complete flexibility and control over the functionality of their online channel. Magento’s search engine optimization, catalog management, and powerful marketing tools give merchants the ability to create sites that provide an unrivaled shopping experience for their customers.

Magento’s intuitive administration interface allows you to tailor your site to your unique business needs. Completely scalable and backed by an extensive support network, Magento is the ultimate eCommerce solution.

This document provides you with an in-depth look at Magento’s feature sets:

Marketing, Promotions and Conversion Tools

  • Related products, up-sells and cross-sells
  • Catalog promotional pricing with the ability to restrict to stores, categories or products
  • Flexible coupons (pricing rules) with ability to restrict to stores, customer groups, time period, products, and categories
  • Generate a set of unique coupon codes for each promotion and export the list of codes for offline distribution, email, newsletters and more. Easily manage and monitor coupon usage and generate detailed reports
  • Multi-tier pricing for quantity discounts
  • Minimum Advertised Price (MAP)
  • Landing page tool for categories
  • Customer groups
  • Product bundles
  • Recently viewed and compared products
  • New items promotional tool
  • Persistent shopping cart
  • Google Website Optimizer integration for A/B and multivariate testing
  • Free shipping options
  • Polls
  • Newsletter management
  • Send to a friend for all visitors or registered users only
  • Send wish lists by email

Search Engine Optimization

  • 100% search engine friendly
  • Google Site Map
  • Search engine friendly URL’s
  • URL rewrites give full control of URL’s Meta-information for products, categories and content pages
  • Auto-generated site map for display on site
  • Auto-generated popular search terms page
  • Google Content API for shopping

Site Management

  • Control multiple websites and stores from one Administration Panel with the ability to share as much or as little information as needed
  • Administration permission system roles and users
  • Fully 100% customizable design using templates
  • Support for multiple languages and currencies. Web Services API for easy integration between Magento and third-party applications
  • Batch import and export of catalog and customer information
  • Content Management System for informational and landing pages
  • Tax rates per location, product type or customer group (i.e. wholesale vs. retailer)
  • CAPTCHA functionality to help prevent automated software from attempting fake logins. This auto-generated test ensures that the login is being attempted by a person and can be enabled in both the admin and customer login areas

Catalog Management

  • Simple, configurable (e.g. size, color, etc.), bundled and grouped products
  • Create different price points for different customer groups, such as wholesalers and retailers
  • Virtual products
  • Downloadable/digital products with samples
  • Unlimited product attributes Attribute sets for quick product creation of different item types
  • Inventory management with backordered items, minimum and maximum quantities
  • Batch updates to products in admin panel
  • Automatic image resizing and watermarking
  • Advanced pricing rules and support for special prices
  • Search results rewrites and redirects
  • Moderated product tags and reviews
  • Customer personalized products – ability to upload images and text (i.e. for embroidery, monogramming, etc.)
  • Customer sorting – define attributes for customer sorting on category (price, brand, etc.)
  • RSS feed for low inventory alerts

Catalog Browsing

  • Layered / faceted navigation for filtering of products in categories and search results
    • Filter products by price and display a range of prices based on even increments or by a similar number of products within each range
  • Static block tool to create category landing pages
  • Product comparisons with history
  • Configurable search with auto-suggested terms
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Ability to assign designs within category and product level (unique design per product/category)
  • Recently viewed products
  • Popular search terms cloud
  • Product listing in grid or list format

Product Browsing

  • Multiple images per product
  • Product image zoom-in capability
  • Related products
  • Stock availability
  • Multi-tier pricing upsell
  • Product option selection
  • Grouped products view
  • Add to wish list
  • Send to a friend with email
  • Share on Facebook

Checkout, Payment and Shipping

  • One-page checkout
  • Guest checkout and checkout with account to use address book
  • Shipping to multiple addresses in one order
  • Option for account creation at beginning of checkout
  • SSL security support for orders on both front-end and back-end
  • Saved shopping cart
  • Accept gift messages per order and per item
  • Shopping cart with tax and shipping estimates
  • Saved credit card method for offline payments
  • Configurable to authorize and charge, or authorize only and charge on creation of invoices
  • Integration with Amazon Payments
  • Integration with multiple PayPal gateways
  • Integration with
  • Integration with Google Checkout (Level 2)
  • Accept checks/money orders
  • Accept purchase orders
  • Additional payment extensions available through Magento Connect
  • Shipping integration with label printing – view, edit, print labels for all major carriers
  • Integrated for real-time shipping rates from:
    • UPS, UPS XML (account rates), FedEx (account rates), USPS and DHL
  • Ability to specify allowed destination countries per method
  • Flat rate shipping per order or item
  • Free shipping
  • Table rates for weight, sub-total, destination and number of items
  • On-site order tracking from customer accounts

Order Management

  • View, edit, create and fulfill orders from the admin panel
  • Create one or multiple invoices, shipments and credit memos per order to allow for split fulfillment
  • Print invoices, packing slips and shipping labels
  • Call center (phone) order creation – provides transparent control for administrators and front-end enhancements for customers during the shopping process. Changing product configurations, for all types of products, can be done by the call center sale representative on the admin side as well as by the customer throughout the shopping process. Custom product choices and configurations can be changed directly during order creation, in the wish list and the shopping cart
    • Includes the ability to create new customers, or select existing customers and view their shopping cart, wish list, last ordered items, and compared products lists, as well as select addresses, give discounts and assign custom prices
  • Assisted Shopping – customer service representatives and other admin users are able to manage products and coupons in customers’ shopping carts and wish lists through the administrator panel
  • Customized Order Status – tracking an order is easier than ever with customizable order statuses easily assigned to order states. A pre-defined list of order states (ex. new, processing, payment review, complete) represents the order processing workflow. An order status is assigned as a sub-category of the order state (ex. cancelled, complete, decline)
  • Create re-orders for customers from the administration panel
  • Email notifications of orders
  • RSS feed of new orders

Customer Accounts

  • Account dashboard
  • Address book with unlimited addresses
  • Wish list with ability to add comments
  • Order status and history
  • Re-orders from account
  • Recently ordered items
  • Default billing and shipping addresses
  • Email or send RSS feed of wish list
  • Newsletter subscription management
  • Product reviews submitted
  • Product tags submitted
  • Downloadable/digital products

Customer Service

  • Contact Us form
  • Create and edit orders from the admin panel
  • Feature-rich customer accounts
  • Order history with status updates
  • Order tracking from account
  • Password reset email from front-end and admin panel
  • Order and account update emails
  • Customizable transactional emails

International Support

  • Support for localization, multiple currencies and tax rates
    • Includes support for WEEE/DEEE in EU
  • Support for accented characters and right to left text
  • Configurable list of allowed countries for:
    • Site registration
    • Shipping destination addresses with ability to specify per shipping method
    • Billing addresses with ability to specify per payment method
  • European Union VAT-ID validation facilitates the tax collection process by automatically applying the correct tax rules according to VAT customer groups
  • EU cookie notification simplifies the EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive compliance process by displaying an opt-in message at the top of the storefront

Analytics and Reporting

  • Integrated with Google Analytics
  • Admin dashboard for report overview
  • Sales report
  • Tax report
  • Abandoned shopping cart report
  • Best viewed products report
  • Best purchased products report
  • Low stock report
  • Search terms report
  • Product reviews report
  • Tags report
  • Coupon usage report
  • Total sales invoiced
  • Total sales refunded

Mobile Commerce

  • Support for native applications on iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices
  • One admin panel for multiple devices
  • Seamless integration with your current product catalog, CMS and store configurations
  • Real-time customization including updates for promotions and merchandising
  • Support for a wide range of checkout capabilities
  • Mobile HTML5 – quickly and easily create a storefront optimized for mobile devices so customers can shop even when they’re on the go. This mobile interface uses HTML5 technology and supports iPhone, Android and Mobile Opera browsers. It includes out-of-the-box features such as:
    • Device-specific media capabilities for audio and video
    • User-friendly search and results display
    • Clean display of product detail pages
    • Pinch, multi-touch and scaling images
    • Easy swipe between product images
    • Zoom capabilities
    • Cross-sell and up-sell capabilities
    • Drag-and-drop of products to the shopping cart