How-To: Keyboard Shortcuts

Are you missing the underline and justify text buttons in the WP-Admin Editor? Several users have noticed their disappearance and commented about it in the community forums.

You can still use keyboard shortcuts to perform the above actions. If you need a reminder, you can find them by clicking on the ? in the second row of toolbar buttons above the editing box. If you don’t see that second row, click on the Toolbar Toggle button at the far right of the first row of buttons.

Editing Tools in the WP Admin/Classic Editor

While this change doesn’t affect those writing in the Calypso Editor, it’s an additional annoyance for users who favor writing in the WP-Admin Editor.

One caveat worth mentioning: Justifying text may cause issues in responsive-width themes when viewing on certain devices.

This gives me an opportunity to repeat a poll from a couple of years ago where you let us know which editor you are using. Let’s see if things have changed since then. This poll will close 1 week from today.

Other recent news is the collaboration between Google and WordPress.com which allows you to directly publish to your WordPress.com or Jetpack-connected site from Google Docs, including all the formatting, images and all. Have you tried it yet?

Build Your WordPress.com Site-The Tutorials

Two of the biggest hurdles you need to overcome when starting out on WordPressdotcom is theme choice and basic site set up. Up until now the first resources have been Learn WordPress.com and your own theme’s Showcase page, which gives detailed set up instructions for each available theme. While these resources are useful, they can be too long or not concise enough if all you want to do is get your site set up and running quickly.

In addition to Build Your Website in 5 Steps and Set Up Your Blog in 5 Steps, WordPressdotcom recently added specific Tutorials for niche bloggers, but they are really great for anyone just getting started. Currently offered are:

Each tutorial is full of suggestions and tips for selecting a theme, editing your About page (more on that in a future post here), adding a Contact page, setting up a static front page, creating a customized navigation menu, adding images, sharing to social media, adding mailing lists and many more topics. If you want to dig deeper into each of these topics, links are included to separate articles in the WordPress.com Support site, as well as to each tutorial’s demo site so you can see what the final results look like.

These tutorials are an excellent resource for new users, especially when done together with Blogging U’s courses on everything from Blogging 101 to Building a Business Website.

UPDATED: A new site tutorial: Build a Site to Help Sell Your House Tutorial

Tweet Shares Missing?

Singing The New Dash Editor Blues

Since about 2011-12, WordPress.com users have been redirected to the New Dashboard (“New Dash”) after logging in on the main WP.com log-in page rather than to their primary site’s Dashboard. This change coincided with the introduction of the WordPress.com Reader and “Freshly Pressed” to the New Dash.  The “Quick Editor” was added and allowed users to select a Post Format to make a quick post on their site directly from the New Dash.

Continue reading “Singing The New Dash Editor Blues”

Reblogging Revisited Again

Following several tests in two different browsers, it now seems that in spite of a Staff remark to the contrary, if a site owner has disabled the Reblog button on their site, it does not appear to be possible to reblog a post from that site via the WordPress.com Reader or anywhere else the Reblog button may show. Even if the Reblog button does appear, it is a “placebo button”, i.e. it seems to work, but does not produce the expected results.

With assistance from Sylvia of 2Sojourners, we know the following as well (as of the end of March):

When reblogging from a WordPress.com website that has  images embedded from a 3rd party site, like smugmug, those images are not transferred to a reblogger’s Media Library. They are, however, hotlinked from the 3rd party site if that site allows hotlinking. Consequently, if you are paying for bandwidth on that 3rd party site, anyone reblogging those posts on WordPress.com is adding to your bandwidth costs.

If the original poster initially allowed reblogging on their site, but later turned off reblogging, the entire content of the reblogged post disappears, including the link back to the original site. This leaves behind only the reblogger’s comment (if any) and any images that may have been transferred to the reblogger’s Media Library. In the case of my test post from 2Sojourners, this left only the post’s Featured image in my test site’s Media Library. (Featured images must be uploaded to WordPress.com in order to appear.)

Screenshots of the test process are being worked on and I hope to upload them shortly. Many thanks again to Sylvia for giving me permission to test reblog her site.

Will it stay this way? Given WordPress.com’s ever-changing environment, probably not.

 

The New Reblog

Post updated on 2014/03/10

Reblogging on WordPress.com has a long and contentious history. When it was introduced in June  2010, there was a firestorm of protest by long-standing members of the community against what we felt was an usurpation of our copyrights. At every turn, WordPress.com Staff told us again and again how reblogging was a good thing and that Staff would not take down reblogged material or allow us to disable the Reblog button on our sites.

Fast forward to today, 3 1/2 years later, after the creation of who knows how many WordPress.com splogs whose only purpose was to reblog other people’s content (and maybe include a link to their real site) and we now have the ability to decide whether we wish to allow logged in WordPress.com members to reblog our content or not. Well, almost. 

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Use the Support Search, Luke!

With the upcoming Automattic Annual Get-together (Automattic being WordPress.com’s parent company), many of the support options usually available to even those WordPress.com users with paid upgrades will be temporarily closed or minimized and support requests will be channeled to the Community Support forums for assistance. Yikes!

Those of us who regularly volunteer in the Community Support Forums are well acquainted with user frustrations when it comes to getting a timely answer to an urgent question. What doesn’t always seem obvious is that answers to many of the questions asked in the forums can be found in one of the best resources around – The WordPress.com Support Site.

Continue reading “Use the Support Search, Luke!”