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16 Tips for Mastering the WordPress Content Editor

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Majority of WordPress users spend most of their time using the content editor to write posts and create pages. WordPress comes with an intuitive Gutenberg block editor that is very easy to use.

However, as a power user, you can significantly increase your productivity by learning some of the lesser-known tricks. This would allow you to create highly engaging content in less time.

In this article, we will share our expert-tips for mastering the WordPress content editor. These tips will teach you how to use the WordPress content editor like a pro.

Expert tips on using the WordPress content editor

1. Learning The Basic Blocks

Blocks are the main building elements of the WordPress content editor, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the block editor.

Using blocks in WordPress content editor

Each element inside your content is made up of blocks. By default, WordPress comes with plenty of commonly used blocks such as paragraph, lists, images, galleries, and more.

You can use these blocks to create beautiful content layouts. This makes it important to explore different blocks and learn how you can use them in your content. We will mention some of the blocks later in this article as well.

2. Start Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Using keyboard shortcuts

It is inefficient to move the mouse just to make some text bold or add a link. The content editor comes with several useful keyboard shortcuts that helps you accomplish common formatting tasks without using the mouse.

Using keyboard shortcuts help you save time and make you a faster writer. Check out our guide on the most time-saving keyboard shortcuts in WordPress.

3. Single and Double Line Spacing

Many beginner level users find it difficult to figure out how to create paragraphs and line breaks in WordPress.

To add a new paragraph in the content editor, you simply need to press the Enter key. WordPress will add a new paragraph with double line spacing.

Adding double line spacing in WordPress

However if you only want a single line break, then you need to press Shift + Enter keys together.

Check out our guide on how to add single/double line spacing in WordPress.

4. Rearranging The Edit Screen

The content editor is basically a clean canvas with a top bar and a column on the right. This gives you a clean user interface to create your posts.

The editor displays a toolbar on top of the block that you are editing. You can move the toolbar by clicking on the three-dot menu in the top right corner of the screen.

Top toolbar

You can also show and hide the settings column by clicking on the gear icon at the top.

Hide settings column

WordPress also makes it easy to switch to the Spotlight mode which makes the block you are in more noticeable by dimming rest of the content.

Spotlight mode

Need more white space on the screen? Switch to the fullscreen mode which gives you a clean canvas with just the toolbar at the top.

fullscreen mode

5. Changing Font Size in WordPress Visual Editor

We understand that typography plays a very important role in web content. You may want to use different font sizes to grab your audience’s attention or highlight different sections in a lengthy article.

Change font size in WordPress content editor

Simply select the block where you want to change the font size, and you will see the font size option in the block settings on the right.

6. Add Headings into Your Articles

Headings play an important role in improving readability. This is why search engines like Google also consider headings to be important for SEO. Using your focus keywords (words that users will use to search) in headings helps search engines understand the importance of those keywords.

The content editor makes it easy to add headings to your articles. Simply select a heading block and then select a heading size and text alignment from the block settings.

Adding headings to your articles in WordPress content editor

You can also add a link to your heading, make it bold, or italicize it.

7. Adding Columns to Your Posts

WordPress content editor comes with a built-in column block, which allows you to add content into columns. This makes it easy to give your text a magazine like look.

Simply select and add a columns block to your editor. You can select the number of columns you want to add from the block settings.

Adding columns to your posts

Each column will automatically contain a paragraph block. You can easily add any other blocks that you want inside each column. For example, blockquotes, images, paragraphs, and more.

However, if you want to add an image next to some text, then you’d want to check the next tip.

8. Adding Image Next to Text

In older versions of WordPress, it was quite challenging to add an image right next to some text with proper alignment. This problem was fixed with the Media & Text block.

Media and text block in WordPress content editor

It allows you to add an image next to the text block. It automatically adjusts the width and spacing between the two blocks.

You can make the block full-width and use the formatting options for the text block.

9. Adding YouTube Videos in WordPress

You can upload videos to your WordPress site. However, WordPress is not made to be used as a streaming platform and most WordPress hosting companies cannot serve large files adequately.

To learn more about this, see our article about why you should never upload videos to your WordPress site.

Instead, we recommend uploading your videos to YouTube or other stream sites and then embed them into your WordPress posts and pages.

Adding YouTube block in WordPress content editor

You can use the YouTube block to simply paste the URL of the video you want to add, and WordPress will automatically embed it for you.

You can also paste the video URL inside a paragraph or any text block, and WordPress will automatically convert it into the YouTube block.

Auto embed YouTube videos in WordPress

10. Creating Tables in WordPress Posts

The post editor also comes with a block to easily add tables into your WordPress posts and pages.

Simply add the table block and then select the number of columns and rows you want to add. Don’t worry you would always be able to add more columns and rows later as needed.

Enter the rows and columns for your table

After that, you’ll see a plain table. You can add content to table cells and choose table colors / style from the block settings.

Table block preview

The WordPress table block is good for basic tables, but it lacks many features. For example, you cannot select the header row, make columns sortable, highlight rows, and more.

This is why we recommend using TablePress. It’s a free plugin that allows you to create beautiful tables and add them to your WordPress posts and pages.

To learn more, see our guide on how to easily add tables in WordPress posts.

11. Adding Buttons in WordPress Posts and Pages

Buttons play an important role when you want to add a call to action into your WordPress posts or pages.

The content editor comes with a basic button block that lets you quickly add a button into your content.

The default Button block in WordPress

The button comes with three styles: squared, rounded, and with a border. You can also select the background, text color and align the button to center, left, or right.

12. Add Cover Images in WordPress Posts

You may have seen cover images used in the middle of an article on popular publications like the New York Times. A cover image is simply an image placed in the middle of an article, sometimes with an overlaying text.

The purpose of the cover image is to make your content more engaging. It also provides your users with a break from reading the text and look at an image to capture their attention.

The content editor makes it easy to add cover images into your posts. Simply add a Cover Image block and then upload the image you want to use. Ideally, it should be a larger image file that looks good in the wide format.

Cover image block

For more details, see our article on cover image vs featured image and how to use them on your blog.

13. Change Paragraph Colors

Another neat trick that often goes unnoticed, is the ability to change the colors. Most folks want to keep their text consistent throughout the article.

However, occasionally using colors can help you redirect user attention and highlight important parts of an article.

The content editor shows you color options in the right column, you can choose any colors you want. Just make sure the background and text color combination you choose is easy to read.

Change background and text color in content editor

14. Add Widgets into Your Posts

Widgets are quite similar to the blocks. They allow you to add web elements to your WordPress site without adding code.

Typically widgets are commonly used in sidebars or footer area of a website. However, you can also add some widgets to the content area such as contact forms.

Simply look for the Widgets section under the add blocks button. From here, you can use the commonly used widgets in your posts and pages.

Adding widgets in WordPress posts and pages

15. Adding Custom HTML in WordPress Posts

The content editor in WordPress is a fully visual WYSIWYG editor. However you can still add HTML code if you need to.

The easiest way to do this is by adding the Custom HTML block to your post. After that, you can simply paste the HTML that you want to add.

Adding custom HTML in WordPress post

16. Get The Word Count and Other Stats for Your Posts

When working on a lengthy article, you may want to see the quick outline of the article, how many words it has, and how everything is placed.

The content editor toolbar has two buttons for that on the top. First, the info button which shows you the word count, paragraphs, blocks, and article outline based on headings you have used.

Article stats

Right next to it is the block navigation button. It shows you all the blocks you have used in your article, and you can click on a block to directly jump to it.

Jump to a block in your post

To get more detailed data, you can see our guide on how to get word count stats in WordPress.

We hope this article helped you discover new tips for mastering the WordPress content editor. You may also want to see our guide on how to create an email newsletter and get more blog traffic.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

43 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
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  2. Mrteesurez says

    Nice post.
    I didn’t see any way to see word count, number of paragraphs,l and others in block before, I used to switch to Classic editor to do it.
    This post just teach me with block editor. Their are many things we still need to know about WordPress and blogging generally.


  3. Khalid says

    I cannot find the heading block in my editor. Is it that I have inadvertently deleted it. How can I have it back.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Your theme’s header is decided by your theme, not the post/page editor. For changing it you would normally go under Appearance>Customize. :)


  4. Sanavi says

    Very helpful for beginners. Bookmarking this article. I will surely implement these tips in my blog.

  5. Bob says

    Good article, looks to be a great tool for beginners like me, are there
    any video tutorials as I like to be shown what to do?

  6. Abhijit Bangal says

    I was trying to use the new gallery plugin for testing how it’d work with new blocks, which are now more flexible than before. But I stumbled upon the columns thing and tried out a few combinations. I think, to an extent, I’ll use less of the gallery plugin and more of columns. Of course, the columns cannot be everything that a gallery plugin can do/does. But to me, it’s helped me save a lot of time and energy.
    Extremely helpful! Thanks team!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Thanks for sharing how you’re using the block editor, while it won’t have all the features it can help those looking for a custom gallery setup :)


    • WPBeginner Support says

      Glad we could teach you something new and hope this trick helps with your content :)


  7. Michael Walther says

    Very good article about the Gutenberg editor. However, I am still not convinced. For me, the Gutenberg editor stays what it is – an excellent answer to a question that I did not ask. Like a huge SUV to drive my daughter to kindergarten. Don’t get me wrong, shiny huge SUVs are a fine thing, but I am just a wordpress author. I’ll stick with my trusty Toyota (ie the ‘old’ WP editor via plugin) as long as I possibly can.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Understandable, as the block editor improves it should become more useful for new WordPress users and have tools that those who have used the classic editor want to use :)


  8. Valentin Born says

    Nice overview … but ;)

    `By default, WordPress visual editor allows you to change the font size into paragraph text, headings, etc.`

    This is incorrect (and implies terrible advice)—don’t use “paragraph“, “heading“ etc. for font-sizes (… but for marking up paragraphs and headings)! While you offer a slightly better option in your mentioned article on how to change font sizes (namely, adding a font-sizes dialog, e.g. using TinyMCE Advanced), only at the very bottom of that article do give the important advice:

    `Note: If you want to change the font size of all paragraphs (i.e the entire post content), then DO NOT use the TinyMCE advanced. Rather, you would need to adjust the styling in your style.css file.`

    This should even be expanded upon: “If you ever want to change the font-size of a piece of content for purely stylistic purposes, create a class for that and add it to that element“ (perhaps with the help of a plugin)—otherwise you will manually have to crawl through every post and page, readjusting those manually set font-sizes, every time you change your theme’s base font-size.

  9. Pawan Singh says

    Hi Admin, would you please tell all your readers which editor you use. i’m impressed with the styling of text.

  10. Amanda says

    Great article! I learned some very helpful things, and was reminded of other helpful things I’ve learned from you! Thanks so much!

  11. kittkatt123 says

    Is there a keyboard shortcut to switch between the text editor and the visual editor? Or do I have to click every time?

  12. Rick Teisan says

    I asked how to add a visual to the media library. I was directed to thispage. There isnothing about adding a visual to the library. SUCKS. 39 MINUTES JUST TRYING TO ADD A PHOTO TO THE LIBRARY TO PUT IT IN THE BLOG POST.


    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Rick,

      On the post edit screen you will see a button labeled ‘Add Media’ you can click on it and then upload your photo.

      You can also add a photo to your WordPress library by visiting Media > Add New page in your WordPress admin area.

      Let us know if this solved your issue.


  13. Nadeem says

    Thanks so much for this easy and simple explanation of all the necessary suggestions for writing an article on wordpress. Keep posting such amazing articles. :)

  14. Rufus B says

    One of the best news letters yet from you guys. The links to other recommended articles was super helpful.

  15. jagmohan singh negi says

    hi syed , its my first landing page of my secrch in google and i dont think i have to go to other sourses to find any information about wprdpress ,blog ,adsense etc.
    really nice post with complete information and presentaion is 10/9 in my view.

  16. WPBeginner Staff says

    WordPress themes are responsible for handling all things related to the visual appearance of your content. Having said that, since each WordPress theme is different, the Visual Editor can not automatically guess what styles to use. To solve this issue, it is a standard practice to add an editor stylesheet in WordPress themes. It seems like your theme does not have one. You can ask your theme developer for support. Or you can create your own editor-style.css file and copy the rules from your theme’s main stylesheet.

  17. Gary Neal Hansen says

    Thanks for the great tips. At the beginning you say the visual editor is a WYSIWYG environment — but I don’t see what I type in its proper format and font until I hit the “preview” button. Is there a setting to have the editor function as true WYSIWYG?

  18. Derek Wyatt says

    When switching from HTML to Visual editor and vice versa, how do you keep the html information from stripping away? I haven’t noticed a pattern as to how this happens, it just springs up when I least want it to…

    As a safety measure, I just stick to the HTML editor because I don’t want to lose my formatting. Unless someone knows a way to prevent this?

  19. John Mauldin says

    I must say that anyone who doesn’t know about all the wonderful information your site supplies is really missing out on a Great opportunity. I love the fact that you present the information in direct, no b.s., format and written in easily understandable language most anyone can digest. Keep up the GREAT work! JM

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