My partner doesn’t know anything about HTML, but asked me how to make her WordPress pages and posts look better. When I looked at what she’d done I realised she had simply typed in her entries — as any reasonable person would expect. The entries were a mess of <br> tags, with no marked-up headings, paragraphs or lists (all types of text she’d used).
I briefly debated with myself teaching her some rudimentary HTML, then remembered she was also setting up half a dozen others to contribute to the blog too. No, what was needed was a way to make it easy for the contributors to apply some formatting through the web interface. Much as I shudder to even think it, given that many people are familiar with a formatting toolbar in Word, something similar in WordPress would work well.
Since she was using Firefox I made sure to check
Use the visual editor when writing in the Your Profile section of the Users section in the Dashboard.
That wasn’t very satisfactory though as it included buttons for bold and italic, but not for headings or paragraphs. Some searching soon led me by a convoluted path from Working Solo:
Did you know that there was an advanced formating toolbar in WordPress 2.1? …The key combinations to make this magic happen are:
Windows users : alt-shift-v (Firefox) or alt-v (Internet Explorer)
Mac Users : ctrl-v
This very simple little WordPress plugin shows the Advanced Toolbar button in your WordPress 2.1x WYSIWYG Post Editor. No more fumbling around for the correct hotkey to show these “hidden” buttons. Just click the button…
The Advanced Toolbar seems to do the trick. It includes a pop-up for headings at various levels and paragraphs, along with buttons for special characters, pasting from Word, and other formatting. The plugin adds a small button at the end of the standard toolbar — click it to show the Advanced Toolbar.
Remember that not all browsers display all the toolbars. If your favourite browser doesn’t offer a toolbar for use while editing posts, try Firefox, Flock or Opera which do.