WordPress.com Provides Writers With 2 Editors for Use When Writing Your Blog
Actually, they provide 3 or 4 if you include their ios and Android apps too (I haven’t looked, but I assume they offer an Android app too.) These seem to be in a constant state of flux. Maybe in part that’s because I’m a beta tester for their ios app. But it seems to me that the newer of the 2 online, browser-based editor changes often too. The older one, which was the one in general use when I joined WordPress…doesn’t seem to change much these days.
Below is a Screenshot of the Old Editor
Displayed a Little Further Below is The New & Improved Editor…or is it? (new and improved I mean!)
The new and improved editor isn’t actually all that new anymore. I’m guessing it’s maybe a year and a half old by now. But I still think of it as the new one and I still prefer the old one for most things. Although I do appreciate some of the streamlined aspects of this editor. What I’m referring to primarily is how the menu bar which typically would be anchored at the top of the screen kind of floats. Maybe the floating is limited by bandwidth issues, or maybe it’s because I primarily use an iPad for all my writing, But the floating aspect only 1/2 works for me.
When the toolbar works correctly, I can be anywhere within a page and if I want some formatting changes I can easily and quickly add them because the menu appears to almost float right above my onscreen iPad keyboard. This is really great when it works because I tend to write long posts and having to scroll all the way up to the top of the screen to change the size of a font can take up a lot of time…especially when done repeatedly. But as I mentioned earlier, this only functions correctly about 40% of the time for me.
In regards to other aspects of the new editor…I often get confused by it. For example, I still don’t get how to use the spellcheck or proofing utility that I’m certain must be built into it. Also. when I add images, I can’t do all the things with them that I can when using the old editor. The most notable missing items are that I can’t change the size of an image to a ‘custom’ sized one. And I can’t add a clickable link to the image easily by accessing the little menu that appears in the old editor that displays the Custom URL field for me to enter the URL I want. The reason I would ever do this is to make an image also act as a link to something. So that when someone clicks or taps on it, you’re taken to a different site.
I could be wrong but I think there’s a way to move the Settings Menu for a post or page to either the right-hand or the left-hand side of the screen too. In fact…I think I did that once (because I remember it being on the left at one time)…but I don’t remember how I did it so I can’t change it back. If anyone knows how, please share it with me way down at the bottom of this post a little ways past the ads that WordPress.com adds to my posts.
But all of those issues are fairly minor in the big scheme of things. What isn’t minor, are 2 bigger problems that really hinder the usability of the new editor for me a lot.
The First Reason is My Key Reason for Preferring the Old Editor Over the New One
The main reason that I continue to use the old editor most of the time is because I use a lot of images in my posts. I usually use the ios app to write the first draft of my posts…that’s also where I add all of my images. My main workflow is to create the content first using the ios app (or oftentimes a Markdown app like Ulysses for really long posts.) Then I fix it up online and put the final polishing touches on it.
When I use the new Editor for this (which I rarely do because of the problem I’m about to mention,) as I scroll down through my document, oftentimes I must accidentally touch an image causing it to disappear. If I notice this and it’s a brand new post, I can easily re-add the image. But if it’s an older one that I’m updating or adding information to…finding the exact image for it again can be a real chore. I have to scroll through rows and rows of hundreds of tiny thumbnails representing my image library at WordPress. I can quite literally spend an hour or more doing just that. Granted, I do know that I can change the size of the tiny thumbnails, making them larger. But if I do that it makes them too large unusually lengthening the time it takes to scroll.
In any event, finding the missing image(s) can be a HUGE problem…and that’s the best case scenario! The worst case is that I never even notice that an image…or several…were deleted! I can only imagine what my poor readers think when I reference an image that isn’t even there!
The possibility that I may lose some of my images because I used the new Editor just isn’t worth the risk!
My 2nd Reason for Disliking the New Editor Can Be Summed Up With the Question: Where Did Save Go?
When using the old editor, writers are always required to manually Save their work. The new Editor does that for you…rather it’s supposed do that for you…but that feature doesn’t work very well either. So most of the time I need to manually Save my work. Sadly, finding how to do that is no easy feat! That tends to be a problem with auto-saving features in general I’ve found…the developer thinks that they don’t need to include a manual Save alternative because a user should never need to use it. But they are wrong…and I think I know why.
I’m not sure if this is truly an Apple ios network problem or it it’s unique to our network…but my iPad Pros (which are the ones I use for everything) drop the network constantly throughout the day and nighttime. The only way to rejoin our WiFi is to turn off WiFi completely and then turn it back on again.
I suspect the problem is multi-faceted and blame can be attributed to both. The reason I say this regarding Apple devices…is because this problem is unique to my iPad Pros. Any regular iPad Airs we have and even the new iPad 5 don’t constantly drop our network the way that the Pro iPads do. Also, they do it on other people’s networks too!
So, I’m pretty certain that Save used to be at the top of the menu items which now appear on my right-side of the screen…under the Post Status section. But I can no longer find it there. Today, after taking a chance on making some edits to a post I’m writing on how to create your own custom email signatures on an ios device…I wanted to leave the Editor webpage entirely…but I was warned that if I did so I’d lose my changes.
This isn’t the first time that this has occurred! But I couldn’t remember what I did the last time to solve the issue.
Which is primarily why I’m writing this post today as a way for me (and anyone else who needs it) to find Save easily
The screenshot below shows you where Save was moved to:
Hopefully, I’ll never lose Save again now that I’ve written this handy little guide!
I seriously considered showing the steps needed to get from the new editor to the old editor. I took the screenshots and everything. But, it’s such a long and convoluted path that it would probably take me 1/2 – 1 full hour to edit and annotate all of them. That would serve no real useful purpose other than to illustrate something that doesn’t really need illustrating.
However let me just point out here that in my screenshot at the top of this post (of the old editor) I also show the convenient link that one can click on to bring themselves immediately to the new editor. :-/
I know that the WordPress.com’s ‘higher powers’ really want us to use the newer editor…but with the seriousness of the problems I discuss here…I hope you can see why that will never happen for me.
To read any comments or if you’d like to leave a comment yourself…please scroll down towards the bottom of the screen…past the WordPress ads to find the Comment area.