WordPress 4.5 Adds Inline Editing to the Links Modal

Today Andrew Ozz, one of the maintainers on WordPress’ core Editor component, announced some major improvements coming to the links modal in the 4.5 release. Currently, when adding a link to text in the visual editor, a modal launches where you can paste in the URL, add link text, and set the target to open in a new window. The modal also expands to let you search for and link to existing content.

The TinyMCE link modal in WordPress 4.5 will allow for inline editing. It can actually detect when a user is entering a URL or attempting to search for one. The search uses jQuery UI Autocomplete, making it fast and easy to search through existing content. The gears icon launches the full modal with advanced options to set the target and title attribute.


The links modal improvements are the result of WordPress core contributor Ella Iseulde Van Dorpe’s work on a ticket opened to make this UI similar to the way Google Docs handles links. The experience of linking in the visual editor is now tighter and much more elegant and intuitive. This is one of the many small, yet impactful ways that WordPress is improving with each incremental release.


29 responses to “WordPress 4.5 Adds Inline Editing to the Links Modal”

  1. I have mixed feelings about this. If it can make searching for existing posts a bit easier, I’m all for it. However, I think the old interface did a fine job.

    If it were me, I’d have polished the modal popup a bit further, doing things like autofocusing on the search box and adding selective search (like searching only posts, pages, etc).

    Maybe a bit of parsing like Google would be nice, such as typing type:page to narrow down results more easily.

    • I agree that the old modal was fine as well, and I had my doubts about this new approach when I first saw it. But it’s grown on me. This new tooltip does a good job of keeping you “in flow” – that is, you’re still in the editor, rather than navigating to a new pop-up window.

  2. Is it just me but why wouldn’t you either add the autocomplete feature to the existing modal or move everything to this new inline modal. Also does that mean if you edit a link it brings up the full modal. Just seems a bit weird trying make things easier by making one bit easier and an other an extra click.

    • Absolutely. To me this change is a major hazard. I need to define the “open in new tab” plus most of my llinks are externar which means an extra http:// until the system figures out what I want to use. Loads of extra work for nothing in return. Actively looking for a way to disable this so called “improvement”.

      • I have to agree this is a step backward. If I want to use an internal link, I have to scroll horizontally to see the entire names. Everything worked fine and now there are extra steps involved. BTW, if you’re going to mess with the link system, throw a “nofollow” checkbox in there too requiring less editing too.

  3. This feature breaks the editor.

    In this image you can see the modal window goes to the bottom of the page. And the editor is blank and frozen. To make it work again, you have to close the page/post and then open it.

    This behavior is present in many sites, with different plugins. Java script conflict?

    Anyone with a similar problem?



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