WordPress 4.3 is on schedule to be released August 18th and contains a number of improvements. Among the enhancements to the visual editor are text patterns. Text patterns or text shortcuts allow you to quickly add unordered lists, ordered lists, headers, and blockquotes without having to use a mouse.
In the visual editor in WordPress 4.3, typing
- and hitting the space bar will generate a bulleted list. Typing
1) and hitting space will generate a numbered list. If you don’t want to create these lists or do so in error, clicking the undo button or hitting
esc will undo the text pattern.
Starting a paragraph with two to six number signs
# will convert the paragraph to a heading. Similarly, the greater-than symbol
> will convert the paragraph to a blockquote.
- ## = H2
- ### = H3
- #### = H4
- ##### = H5
- ###### = H6
It took a few tries to figure out but once I got the hang of it, I discovered that I prefer using text patterns versus clicking the appropriate button in the editor.
For example, the blockquote text pattern places text into a blockquote and automatically closes it while also starting a new paragraph. Traditionally, I highlight text and click on the blockquote button in the editor. Often times, I have to visit the text editor and close the blockquote to start a new paragraph.
Ryan Boren, WordPress core lead developer, created the following video which shows the text patterns in action on a mobile device.
Quick Previews of Links
WordPress 4.2 included a subtle but convenient feature for adding links to text. Pasting the URL to highlighted text automatically turns it into a link. The problem is that there isn’t an easy way to preview the URL without opening it in a new browser tab.
When you click a link in the WordPress 4.3 visual editor, a small inline link toolbar displays the full URL with buttons to edit or remove it. This avoids having to use the Insert/edit link modal window.
Changes to Word and Character Counts
Word and character counts have also changed in WordPress 4.3. Instead of updating counts when pressing enter or return, it will refresh when you stop typing. A lot more characters that shouldn’t be counted as words are excluded. Ella Iseulde Van Dorpe, WordPress core contributor, lists other notable changes.
- For character count, we no longer exclude any of these characters. This means that numbers and common western punctuation are no longer excluded compared to 4.2. Emoji and other astral characters are now counted as one character instead of two.
- We added a new type all, in addition to words and characters, that will count characters including spaces. This seemed necessary for Japanese and maybe other languages. This is now
- Shortcodes and HTML comments are now excluded.
To view details and a summary of all the work that went into improving word counts, check out ticket #30966 on trac. As someone who uses the WordPress content editor for a living, I’m anxiously looking forward to utilizing these enhancements on an everyday basis.