Getting a Better Post Editor

Most WordPress fans do their work directly in their web browsers, using the Word-
Press editor. But if you’re working with long documents and you’re missing your
favorite conveniences, you have other options.
One is to upgrade your WordPress editor. This approach makes sense if you’re happy
creating your posts in the familiar Add New Post web page but don’t feel like you’re
getting enough help from WordPress. Using a plug-in, you can swap in an editor
that has a bit more muscle. (Of course, you’ll need a self-hosted WordPress site to
change your editor, because WordPress.com doesn’t let you add plug-ins.)
You can search for a pumped-up post editor on the WordPress plug-in page (http://

wordpress.org/plugins), as explained in Chapter 9. Plenty of them offer advanced
features like search-and-replace, style-based editing, and support for creating tables.
One of the most popular is TinyMCE. Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/tinyeditor
and learn about installing plug-ins on page 287.
Another solution is to do your post-writing work in another program. You’ve already
learned that you can paste in pure HTML using the WordPress editor’s HTML view
(page 178), but this technique is a bit touchy—paste in the wrong markup and you
can scramble your site. A better approach is to use a program that lets you compose
rich content, and then posts that content to your site safely and cleanly, without an
awkward cut-and-paste step.
On a Windows computer, you can use Microsoft’s free Windows Live Writer to
compose properly formatted posts on your desktop, even if you don’t have an
Internet connection. When you’re ready, a single click publishes the posts on your
blog. Windows Live Writer is available free at http://tinyurl.com/win-essentials. Mac
fiends can find similar blog-writing tools, including the popular—but, sadly, not free
(it’s $40)—MarsEdit (www.red-sweater.com/marsedit).
NOTE WordPress has a list of even more desktop post editors for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux at http://

tinyurl.com/blog-client. Most offer handy formatting features, and all of them let you compose your work offline.
Finally, Microsoft Word lovers can use their favorite word processor to write Word-
Press posts using the little-known “Blog post” template. Word asks for your site’s
URL, user name, and password, after which it lets you create new posts and edit
old ones, all from the comfort of the Word window.
TIP Although it’s tempting to do your WordPress work in Word, with its silky smooth formatting features and
AutoCorrect, the free Windows Live Writer program is still a better choice. That’s because Windows Live Writer
offers a few key features that Word omits, like the ability to schedule a post for future publication (page 100),
add tags, and edit your post’s slug (page 120).

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Getting a Better Post Editor

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