OK, friends, last week I had an article explaining what all of those little buttons are in the WordPress writing panel, and what they all do. I only got half way, though, before the article started getting so long. Here is a tip for your own writing… if your article is too long, people won’t be able to digest it. Best to keep your article shorter, and just continue it in a later post, like I am doing now.
So, if you are a WordPress newbie, nothing wrong with that. I want to help you learn all of the different things you can do to spice up your post when writing. All of those little editing buttons shown at the right will help you add a bit of spice to your writing. But, use them sparingly, if you go too hog-wild then it will be too distracting, and people won’t read your articles! You know, like if you are eating your supper, a little bit of salt and pepper will spice it up and make the meal more interesting. Too much, though,might make it inedible.
Let’s get on with today’s lessons
Text style editor
This selection area will allow you to change the style of text. For the most part you will use “Paragraph” which is the default selection. From time to time you will use other types of text, though. For example, in the text just above this paragraph, that is “Heading 2” text, which makes it bigger and bolder so that it is kind of the “title” or “header” of this part of the article. Where it says “Text style editor” that is in Heading 3 text, so you can see there is a difference.
When you click on the little arrow at the right where it says “Paragraph” a drop down box will show with many different choices of text styles. If you don’t know what they look like, just try them out and see! Keep in mind that the looks of each text style is different (sometimes it is significantly different) with each different WordPress Theme that you try.
This icon is used to underline text in your article. It will make the text underlined, just like you see in the previous sentence. To use this tool, just highlight the text that you wish to underline, then click on the button.
This icon is used to align your text fully. It will make the text come out even on the left and right margins. If you are into publishing, you probably know this process better as “justifying” your text. No worries, it is the same thing, WordPress is just using a different terminology.
Select Text Color
This icon will open up a drop down window that will allow you to select the color of the text. If you want green text that is fine, red text or any other color! To use the tool, just select the text that you wish to re-color, then click on the color you want to use, it is that simple.
Paste as plain text
If you have some text from another program which may have some type of odd characteristics, you can paste that text as plain text into WordPress using this tool. Sometimes if you paste text that has odd formatting or something, it will mess up the display of your WordPress, or it will also break your RSS feed. I have experienced this, and it is no fun, so make good use of this tool!
Paste from Word
Just like in our last example, if you paste text that was from Microsoft Word, it can be harmful to your WordPress site. It can mess things up! So, if you are going to write in Word, then paste it into your WordPress site, use this icon to make sure that everything works OK.
Much like the previous two tools, this icon will let you erase any formatting in the text of your WordPress article or post. Just select the text that you want to remove formatting from and click on this little “eraser tool” and everything will work fine!
Insert Custom Character
If you need to insert some kind of text character which is not included on the keyboard, this is the tool for you! For instance, I want to write Ð, but it is not on the keyboard, so I just used that tool! All I can say is that ¢, Å, ψ and many other cool characters are available. You may never use them, but isn’t it comforting to know that they are there for you? 😉
If you have indented your text and wish to take it back out again, this Outdent tool allows you to do just that. Or, if you have indented like 3 steps, and wanted only one step, you can outdent it one time to make it two steps. Sounds confusing, but the use is fairly intuitive. Play with it a bit to try. Usually this tool is not active, unless you have already indented text, then it becomes active.
If you wish to indent a paragraph, this is the tool that you use. Now, keep in mind, it does not indent only the first line of the paragraph (that style of writing is fairly outdated and not widely used anymore), it indents the entire paragraph. Generally, indentation is used only sparingly.
If you get stuck and need help, click on this button and “help is on the way,” so to speak. A dialogue box will pop up on your screen showing you various help topics that will hopefully bail you out of whatever problem you have encountered.
OK, so that wraps up all of the buttons in the WordPress writing panel. Now you know what they all do if you read this article and the previous one! If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments area.