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Flashy but useless "distraction free editor" (29 posts)

  1. jikamens
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    The one and only reason I used the full-screen editor in WordPress <3.2 is because it was a FULL SCREEN EDITOR, i.e., I used it when I wanted as much space for writing as possible.

    The fancy, shmancy "distraction free editor" in 3.2 is a big pile of useless for me.

    Looking at the feedback here, lots of other people don't like it either. And the response from the WordPress folks to this negative feedback seems to be, basically, "Oh, well, too bad, we thought it was cool so there you go, somebody'll eventually write a plugin to bring back the behavior you want."

    Here's a piece of feedback for you: DON'T REPLACE FUNCTIONALITY THAT PEOPLE USE THAT SOLVES A PARTICULAR PROBLEM WITH FUNCTIONALITY THAT SOLVES AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PROBLEM.

    If y'all thought the distraction free editor was so dang cool, you could have released it as an OPTION, without getting rid of the full screen editor. Or you could have released it as a nifty plugin, leaving the original full screen editor intact.

    I think the decision to replace the full screen editor with the distraction free editor was an extremely poor one which did a disservice to your users.

  2. a4jp.com
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I never saw the full screen editor. Maybe they can add an option to use that instead for people that aren't used to the newest version.

    I kind of like being able to hide everything in a way :)

    I just hope a filter gets added to the plug-in search. Search by version of WordPress (3.1.2, 3.2, etc...)

    Glen
    http://a4jp.com

  3. Rev. Voodoo
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Looking at the feedback here, lots of other people don't like it either.

    The only reason people normally come to a support forum, is to ask for help, or complain.

    Therefore, the only comments about the distraction free editor you would see on here, would be asking for help, or complaining.

    Rest assured, it has a lot of love around the internet. I personally don't care either way.... Perhaps somebody will make a suitable plugin for you.

    The announcements about the distraction free writing were made a long time ago. Many many opportunities were given to provide feedback on the front-end. The support was there, or it wouldn't have gone in. These things are community decisions. If you don't like the decisions, get involved! That's the best way to change things before-hand.

  4. jikamens
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I have no doubt that many people like it. That is not the point.

    The point is that many people liked the old full-screen editor too. I see no justification whatsoever for REPLACING the old with the new. The two could easily have coexisted side by side.

    I shouldn't have needed to "get involved" for the folks who maintain WordPress to know that this was a stupid thing to do. In my opinion, it's just that obvious.

    And I'm saying that as someone who actively maintains and contributes to several widely used open-source projects, not just some random blogger.

  5. Rev. Voodoo
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 3 years ago #

    The point now is that it's gone. I doubt it will come back in.
    WordPress has been moving in the direction of a cleaner, leaner interface. And a code base carrying much less weight. One that is simpler to use, for the common user. Not you specifically, not me specifically.

    The inclusion of so many editors seems counter productive to that goal.

    Progress is progress. Way back whenever it was when we had the last major overhaul, a few people hated that too. Some people fear progress and change. But I do believe the changes being made are for the better, for WordPress and the community as a whole......

  6. a4jp.com
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    If you have the files from the older version you might be able to have both. I used WordPress ages ago and after spending a few years testing most of the other options found it the easiest to work with.

    If you write a useful list of pros and cons for both systems the developers might review it, and bring it back or add a few options for you and everyone else. Is there anything we can try and help you with?

    [Sig removed]

  7. bret.miller
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    The new "distraction free" editor removed the distraction of being able to set heading tags. How is that useful? Now I have to switch back to the puny editor to change a line to a heading. That sucks. At least there should be a keyboard shortcut. But honestly, having a way to make something a heading is pretty basic functionality I would think. Maybe WordPress should allow an "advanced" editing bar in fullscreen mode so those who want all the features get two lines of buttons that actually do most of what's needed. It'd be better than not being able to do it.

  8. NetworkGeek
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Wow, you obviously love the old system quite passionately.

    Honestly, I was never aware of the old Full Screen Editor at all, or I might have used it. Never even knew that it existed at all.

    On the other hand, I really do like the new distraction free editor for composing text. Sure, I have to go back to the regular editor to add tags and other SEO related necessities, but I don't mind. For some writers, not having all the distracting buttons and switches that we don't use while writing actual text is quite nice and, as someone pointed out, a trend in design and UI.

    Again, maybe the feature you love will come back if you get involved and convince people it should. No, it's not fair that you should have to do that, but, sometimes that's what it takes when we're passionate about something.
    Or, perhaps, someone will code up a plugin to do what you would like to do. Have you ever written a plugin? Maybe you could give it a try! I'd support you and help test it, if you'd like. (And, that goes for anyone else who'd like to write such a plugin, too, BTW.)
    You might try asking Andrew Oz, since he wrote a similar plugin to use TinyMCE on WordPress.

  9. NetworkGeek
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Okay, there may be a plugin already that will do what you want. Check out Fullscreen for WP Super Edit. It may mean installing a couple plugins, but it also may fix your problem.

    Hope that helps someone!

  10. jikamens
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Fullscreen for WP Super Edit is not compatible with current WP.

  11. RyanWilliams
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I think what's important is to identify what you dislike about the new full-screen mode and then request that functionality. The new full-screen mode isn't going anywhere, and while the old one could have been maintained WordPress generally tries to avoid cruft and redundant features.

    I used the old full-screen mode a little and from what I can tell the new mode isn't that different at all. The key changes that I'm assuming are annoying people are:

    • No ability to have editing area expand to full width of browser window — could be fixed with a simple toggle
    • Editing bar is simplified and doesn't have full range of options presented on the main editing page — could be fixed by simply duplicating the WYSIWYG of the main editing page, even if stylised and/or toggled

    Anything else?

  12. Really Must I?
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    @Ryan Williams

    I totally concur with you regarding the Simplified Editing Bar - I want to use full screen writing, but since there is virtually no formatting/editing capabilities I can't/wont.

    It really was a useless change as far as I am concerned.

  13. bret.miller
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    @RyanWilliams
    The one and only thing I don't like about the new distraction-free fullscreen editor is the missing features of the toolbar. Other than that, I LOVE the look and feel of it.

    @NetworkGeek
    I did look for plugins that would help but didn't find anything for WordPress 3.2 that actually helped. I have actually written a couple of plugins, so if I can figure out how to hook into the full-screen editor in a way that I can modify the toolbar, I just might see about tackling it myself. No promises though. I'm a little swamped with other projects right now.

  14. NetworkGeek
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    @bret.miller
    Hopefully, you can get to it eventually, because I think a LOT of people would like that! And, I have to admit, even though I haven't used the feature before this version, I think I might be one of the ones who would like it.
    I did ask(beg) the author of Fullscreen for WP Super Edit to update that plugin for the latest version, but I haven't heard back, so I wouldn't hold out hope. If I were better with PHP, I'd take a crack at it, but, honestly, I stink as a programmer!

  15. converting2wp
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    +1 for adding a more complete toolbar to the full-screen visual editor.

    Full screen isn't only useful for writers -- but also for editors who are cleaning up the [semantic] formatting of others. In fact, I could argue that the full-screen view is even more important for those folks trying to make sure the entire article "looks" right.

    So the editors *could* click the help button and find the keyboard shortcuts for adding headings and such. But keyboard shortcuts? It's 2011 people, not 1986. Yep, I learned all those Word Perfect formatting keys, but my guess is that many folks who've come to WordPress from nontechnical fields may never have used a text formatting system that wasn't completely GUI driven. Please give them a break! (And if this means that they should be using something else to post/edit and using remote publishing protocols to actually change their text, maybe there could be a list of other editors that are recommended?)

  16. kato
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I love the distraction free feature.

    I would just like to ask for the key command shortcut to come back.

    Is there a way to do it with key commands??

  17. kato
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Also, do you guys realize you can hover over the top bar to get your formatting buttons. They nicely fade into view on hover.

    (That might be a new feature that wasn't available when this thread was started.)

  18. converting2wp
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    @kato - yes the fade in/fade out tool bar has been there since the beginning. But the problem, as noted above, is that it has only a handful of the formatting buttons that are available in the non-full-screen editor.

    Note that both the Full Screen and regular editor have keyboard shortcuts -- find those by clicking the help button. [Is that what you were asking about with the "key command shortcut"?]

    And one thing that might have been added more recently (given the comments above) is that Alt+, Alt-, and Alt0 can be used to widen, narrow and reset the width of the text area in Distraction Free mode.

  19. jikamens
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    And one thing that might have been added more recently (given the comments above) is that Alt+, Alt-, and Alt0 can be used to widen, narrow and reset the width of the text area in Distraction Free mode.

    Alt+, Alt-, and Alt0 have no effect on the distraction free mode in WP 3.3.1 on my system.

    Perhaps you are referring to the browser's ability to zoom in and out? On my browser that's Ctrl+, Ctrl-, and Ctrl0, and it doesn't actually widen the text area in the sense of making it fix more text, which is what I want; it just makes it bigger.

  20. converting2wp
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    @jikamens. No, I meant Alt and they work for me to, for instance, increase the number of words on a line. Firefox 9.0.1.

  21. If you're on a Mac it's different from a PC with the alt/ctrl.

  22. jikamens
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    @converting2wp: All I can tell you is that I've tried Alt+, Alt-, and Alt0 on both Windows and Linux with Firefox, and they do nothing. Ctrl+, Ctrl-, and Ctrl0 do zoom in and out, but they do not increase the number of words on the line, and they are browser functionality, not WordPress functionality (look at the View | Zoom Firefox menu and you will see this). So I think either you are mistaken, or you have some other WordPress or plugin installed which is providing the behavior you describe.

    One caveat: As I used Ctrl+ to zoom in on Windows, the number of words on one line of text did change slightly, presumably because of minor differences in font rendering at different resolutions, but it changed back when I zoomed in more, and certainly the number of words on the line did not consistently increase as I zoomed in, but rather remained approximately the same.

  23. When you have the DFW open, do you see a question mark?

    If you're using the Visual Editor, it lists all the key commands you can use.

  24. converting2wp
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    @jlkamens. Well, yes I understand the CTRL/+ CTRL/- CTRL/0 -- I recommend the CTRL/+ to my mother at least once a month.

    But all I can tell you is that I did use the ALT keys and saw the screen change as expected. I thought I'd check it again on WordPress.com == where there is the Help file that says the keys should work == but now I'm seeing just what you are: the ALT keys don't seem to have any effect. I went back to the site (WordPress.org) where I did the original test a couple of days ago -- and now they aren't working there either. And there haven't been any changes on the site in awhile.

    I haven't taken the time to search the WordPress.com support forums (yes, I know they are different) or to do a fresh clean install of WordPress from WordPress.org. Hmm...

    So yes, @ipstenu, I found the ALT keys only because the help button/question mark. Thanks.

  25. RyanWilliams
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    There does appear to be a quirk with its behaviour, but ALT+PLUS and ALT+MINUS are definitely intended to increase and decrease the editor width.

    After some brief testing it would appear that the shortcuts don't work at all when you first initiate the distraction-free editor, however if you click on the title the shortcuts begin working as intended.

  26. jikamens
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Aha! Yes, indeed, they do work for me when I click in the title of the posting, but interestingly enough not when I'm focused on the body of the posting. The fact that they don't work until you click on the title, as well as the fact that they don't work when you are focused on the body, both seem like bugs to me. But I'm glad to know how to get this feature to work so I can finally get back something approximating why I liked the old full-screen editor.

  27. converting2wp
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Thanks! I posted a question over on wordpress.com to see if they agree this is a bug.

    But I still think throwing away so many of the formatting buttons when switching to full screen is a bigger problem. If they're going to be hidden while the focus is on the edit window, what's the problem with having more of them there?

  28. But I still think throwing away so many of the formatting buttons when switching to full screen is a bigger problem. If they're going to be hidden while the focus is on the edit window, what's the problem with having more of them there?

    They're available via command calls, like using GoogleDocs or other modern visual editors. This is the way of the future :)

  29. converting2wp
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Thanks! I hadn't noticed the Google docs keyboard shortcuts (aka command calls?)

    But Google docs still does have a full complement of editing buttons for those who prefer the GUI interface.

    Everything old is new again (says she at age 62 when it's a bit harder to cram more keyboard shortcuts into the brain than it was 20 years ago :-)

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