WordPress TinyMCE Editor

WordPress TinyMCE

With the update of WordPress 3.9, there has been a lot of confusion over the buttons available in the free WP Edit plugin hosted on WordPress.org. This post is meant to serve as an introduction into the WordPress content editor we call TinyMCE.


WordPress is fabulous. Create your pages, publish your posts, and be seen by millions! But, what is it you are actually using to create your content? Is it a rich text editor developed by WordPress? Is it part of WordPress at all? Who is responsible for the buttons available? Read on to learn more…

WordPress and TinyMCE

The editor used by WordPress is not developed by WordPress. In fact, it is developed by a 3rd party named TinyMCE (Tiny MoxieCodeEditor). They are the ones who have developed the editor we are accustomed to seeing in WordPress. There are many other rich text editors like TinyMCE… but WordPress choose TinyMCE for various reasons. It’s easy to hook into.. adding additional functionality. It’s stable, tested, and has been around for quite a while.

TinyMCE Versions and Buttons

TinyMCE had been using version 3 of their software for quite some time (3 years running). During this time, dozens of developers in the open source community created buttons for this editor. This includes the ever-popular buttons like “Advanced Link”, “YouTube”, “Attributes”, and more. These were freely available for TinyMCE version 3; and with some tweaking, I was able to get them working in the WordPress editor. So, I added them to Ultimate Tinymce.

Now, TinyMCE has updated to version 4. This update has introduced a completely new framework.. causing most, if not all, of the older buttons to become obsolete. They were written using the old coding practices.. and simply can’t be easily converted to the new framework. They must be re-coded from the beginning. I have taken on the very laborious task of re-coding as many of these as I can. I’ve already completed about a dozen (available in Pro); with still over a dozen left to complete.

A Presentation of the new TinyMCE version 4 is also available.

WordPress Default Editor

The default WordPress editor has also undergone many changes. This is partly due to updating their core files to include the updated TinyMCE version 4. This is what is causing so many plugins and themes to experience difficulties when attempting to be run on the new WordPress version 3.9.

Before installing WP Edit or WP Edit Pro, I STRONGLY urge everyone to use the default WordPress editor first. Become familiar with the new changes before attempting to use WP Edit or WP Edit Pro. This will clarify many of the support questions I’ve been answering.

So much functionality has changed.. it’s important to see how the basic editor works. THEN, activate WP Edit or WP Edit Pro.. and see how it ‘picks up’ where WordPress stopped.


Now Try WP Edit (Pro)

Once you have become familiar with the base changes of the editor; then you can begin to see where WP Edit and WP Edit Pro have their advantages. Only after fully experimenting with the basic default WordPress editor will you become familiar with it’s new features and nuances.

You can see how it allows you to add new buttons; move old buttons around; and modify other areas of the editor.

Why is only 1 Row of Buttons Available?

If you have configured multiple rows of editor buttons; yet when you go to create/edit a new post or page, you are only seeing one row of editor buttons.. then this is because of the “Toggle Toolbar” editor button. The toggle toolbar editor button is not available in the drag and drop interface.. because moving it to any other row will cause the buttons to disappear completely.

Instead, this button will always be added to the end of the top row of the editor; to the very right of the custom button arrangement.

Hover over each button in the top row of the editor, looking at each tooltip. When you see the tooltip that says “Toggle Toolbars”, click that button. You will immediately see that the functionality of this button is to expand/collapse all other editor rows of buttons.



Again, many themes and plugins have been affected by this update. If your content editor is still not displaying properly, then please take the time to read the post I created over on the WordPress Forums titled How to Troubleshoot Visual Editor Issues. It contains all the information on how to properly troubleshoot visual editor issues.

Please feel free to comment below.. and share your experiences.


A newer article for troubleshooting a blank/broken WordPress content editor can be found Here on the Knowledge Base.

Josh Lobe has written 54 articles

Josh Lobe is the sole developer of WP Edit and WP Edit Pro. A father of two; a husband to a beautiful wife; and a small home in the suburbs... he primarily enjoys coding in WordPress and designing websites.

31 thoughts on “WordPress TinyMCE Editor

  1. Oli Valenghi says:

    Hi Josh, Fantastic plugin! Thanks so much!

    Is there a way to add fonts to the available font list? We use fonts that aren’t in the supplied list.

    Thanks in advance!



    1. Oli Valenghi says:

      Another query is, is there a way to force all text to CAPS? Also, is there any way to adjust tracking? I’m assuming not but if there is and i’ve missed it it’s worth asking!


      Thanks again!



      1. Josh Lobe says:

        Currently no way to force all text to caps; but I’ll consider adding an option. I’m not too sure if this is something that many users will desire. I’m not sure what you mean by “adjusting tracking”, but please feel free to elaborate.

    2. Josh Lobe says:

      Thank you. Yes, you can upload custom fonts via the “Fonts” tab of WP Edit Pro. Just follow the directions, and the stylesheets will be created automatically, and the font names will appear in the “Font Family” dropdown button.

    1. Josh Lobe says:

      The setting to disable the “fancy tooltips” only affects the tooltips on the WP Edit Pro settings page (Buttons tab). It does not do anything to the tooltips displayed in the content editor.

  2. Khyati says:

    I installed WP Edit but I do not see the option to edit the font size and family. Please let me know if that is included in this versionas well. This is the most important to my needs now.

      1. Chris says:

        Josh, I must have set up the buttons correctly WP Edit because I can use the font family pull down menu whilst in page editor mode but I still cannot see where to change the default font. Every time I go to a new paragraph I have to change the font to my preferred font because it reverts back each time.


        1. Josh Lobe says:

          Hey Chris, sorry for my delay.

          Well, the font dropdown selector is just that… a selector. It allows you to “select” a different font for highlighted text. It does not let you set a default font for the entire editor. In order to do this, you would need to set a css rule in the “editor stylesheet”. Something like “body {font-family: …..;}” should work. (replace …. with the proper declaration).

          Let me know if you get stuck.

  3. indira howard says:

    Hi I have the very latest version of WordPress, I think it’s like 3.9.1or something and I’ve tried everything but I just cannot get my comment section to change, I’ve used all the plugins I can think of but to no avail :/ Is there anyway I can either change back to an old version of wordress or is there a way to override the new wordpress ๐Ÿ™ please help….btw I have the WP Edit plugin aswell. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Josh Lobe says:

      I’m not sure what you mean by the “comment section”.
      At this time, WP Edit Pro does not alter the comment area at all.
      I’d suggest creating a support topic on our free Support Forum.

  4. Kathy Anderson says:

    Josh, just reading through your posts on the WP editors before I go upgrade to WP 3.9. Great info! Thanks for the tips so we can prevent headaches and panic calls ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You’re the best! /ka

    1. Josh Lobe says:

      Thanks Kathy, I think I feel the dust starting to clear from support… so hopefully I can get back into development soon, and begin expanding my team! We’ll talk more again soon, personally.

  5. RDub says:

    I for one appreciate all your hard work. If I could afford it I would upgrade to the pro version just because, or I would at least donate some to you. Maybe I will succeed and one of my sites will start producing. Until then, All I can offer is my deepest gratitude. -RDub

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