This post is on the Secondary Formatting toolbar. There are 13 buttons/droplists on this one and they’re going to take a bit more explanation and description. So here’s the list from left to right:
- Header and Paragraph types
- Align Full
- Select Text color
- Paste as Plain Text
- Paste from Word
- Remove formatting
- Insert custom character
- Outdent (decrease indent)
*Formatting described is used on the text in this post
The first button on this toolbar 1. Header and paragraph types, requires the most explanation or one specific reason. The formatting will rarely, if ever look the same between the visual tab on the create/edit screen and the published post/page, so it’s not exactly ‘What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)’. this is because of the use of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). It’s a good approximation of what it will look like.
Think of it like being invited to a Themed Costume party. The host knows sort of what you will look like because of the theme, but not exactly what you look like until you show up at the party. Same thing here. So let’s start with the styles.
The first choice on the preformatted drop menu is paragraph, the default font style for your blog. It’s your blog’s standard for posts and pages.The second choice is address, and that’s what it’s made for, to put a specific styling on addresses. This paragraph in that style is not how it was intended to be used, but you get the idea.
The next choice is preformatted. This is the rare exception on these styles. It will look exactly the same on the edit/create screen and on the published post/page. It makes the text easy to copy and paste. This formatting is very exacting, unforgiving and labor intensive. Unless you already can see a use for this format (like a code snippet or an e.e. cummings poem), you probably won't use it much.
This is the Heading 1 selection.
This is the Heading 2 selection.
This is the Heading 3 selection.
This is the Heading 4 selection.
This is the Heading 5 selection.
This is the Heading 6 selection.
The second button is the 2. Underline button. It’s fairly self-explanatory.
The next button is the 3. Align Full button. The purpose of this button is to have flush right and left margins, no ragged edges on either side. The downside to this format is to achieve the flush line on both sides spaces are added between words and can make the spaces visually distracting (typographers call it ladders and rivers).
Next is the 4. Select text color button. You get a drop list with color choices for the text you have selected using click and drag.
The next two buttons work in a similar fashion.
The fifth button on the toolbar is the 5. Paste as Plain Text button.You use this button when you want to paste text into a post or page. That removes formatting that could cause problems with how the text is displayed on the page. It’s basically the safest way to make sure that your posts and pages look good.
Next is the 6. Paste from Word button. Microsoft Word has a reputation for adding a lot of code that if you simply copy and paste, will have your displayed text go wonky. It’s so prevalent that this button was created. Use it if you want to bring something over from Word.
The 7. Remove Formatting button clears the formatting you might have in a paragraph or selected text should you change your mind about what you used or just decided to make a change.
Next is 8. Insert Custom Character button gives you a drop chart of those extra characters so you don’t have to find the HTML code or the Number code or yourself to write a mathematical formula or a word in a foreign language with diacritical markings.
9. Outdent (decrease Indent) button. It seems a bit backwards to have this button first since you have to have some indented text before you can outdent or decrease the indent button, but that’s what it does. If you’re outlining a process and you have multiple levels, just click the button and it’s done.
And the 10. Indent button is the other half of the pair. Use it for a Multilevel numbered outline or bulleted list and this will give you the next subset level.
Next is another pair that seems a bit backward, starting with the 11. Undo button. I don’t have a deinitive answer as to how many actions you can undo, but I do know it stores over 20 of the last actions. This depends on whether or not you have saved as well. Saving will commit all the actions and thereby clear out the individual steps.
The other half of this pair is the 12. Redo button. This will reverse a lost of the actions taken and has the same constraints as the Undo button.
Last, but not least is the 13. Help button. Click that you get a popup box with four tabs “Basics, Advanced, Hot Keys and About” . Each tab gives you specific help on those areas of the toolbar and how it works.
So that’s an overview of the Secondary toolbar in the WordPress interface. More to come soon.