While browsing the ThemeHybrid support forums, I came across an individual who shared a project he was working on called WP-Editor. While the plugin is not called WP-Editor, there are three plugins that make up the project that enhance the visual editor of WordPress. They are:
- WP Editor Boxes Add-on
- WP Editor Buttons Add-on
- WP Editor Columns Add-on
WP Editor Boxes
This plugin contains four different styles of boxes that can be applied around content to be used as visual cues. The styles displayed in the following screenshot are Notes, Alert, Error, and Download. The colors match up well with their intended meaning. To apply a box style, highlight the content within the visual editor and select the box style from the dropdown menu. You can use the text editor but you’ll need to know the class names that make up the box style.
WP Editor Buttons
This plugin has five different button styles. White, Black, Red, Green, and Blue. Creating a button is as simple as highlighting the text that will be linked and applying a button style using the dropdown menu. This is the easiest way I’ve discovered to add a button to a post short of using an image.
WP Editor Columns
Instead of using CSS tricks or class names that are difficult to remember, Editor Columns provides up to four different ways to display columns. You can display 1/2 by 1/2, 1/3 by 2/3, 2/3 by 1/3, or 1/3 by 1/3 by 1/3. Using columns is easy but sometimes I found myself screwing up the content and having to start over. I think this would go away after using the plugin for an extensive period of time.
Although you can use the text editor, these plugins are to be used primarily within the visual editor. In fact, you won’t see any of the drop down menus when the text editor is being used. However, if you know the class names by memory or have them in a document, you can use those instead.
Despite the WP Editor project being a work in progress, I found the three plugins that are currently available easy to use without needing a manual to get me started. While many themes provide the same functionality through the use of shortcodes, if a user were to switch themes, those styles would disappear. By using a plugin to add these visual elements, users are safe to switch themes without losing the look of their styled content. These plugins are a solid way to easily add visual punch to otherwise boring text.