How To Manage WordPress Users – WordPress User Management Guide

Learn about WordPress user roles and capabilities and how to manage users on your WordPress site or blog …

How To Manage WordPress UsersWordPress allows different users to work collaboratively on your site and contribute to the growth of your online business presence in various ways.

Depending on how you want to run your business, for example, you may want to give users restricted access to your site while allowing them to perform functions such as:

  • Access private content,
  • Write and submit posts,
  • Create and manage posts and pages,
  • Moderate comments,
  • Manage plugins and themes and perform upgrades and other administrative tasks, including managing other users.

All of these functions require managing users and having the ability to specify what they can and cannot do on your site.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to manage WordPress users and how to use the WordPress user management section and tools.

How To Manage WordPress Users

WordPress lets you assign different roles to other users. Roles allow you to control capabilities, which define what users can and cannot do on your site.

The user management section can be found inside your WordPress Dashboard and accessed via the dashboard menu under ‘Users’ …

WordPress Users Menu

(WordPress Users Menu)

WordPress Roles And Capabilities

WordPress comes with six predefined roles:

  • Super Admin
  • Administrator
  • Editor
  • Author
  • Contributor
  • Subscriber

Each of these roles can perform a set of pre-assigned tasks (called capabilities). The Super Admin role is normally assigned to WordPress multisite installations and gives the user the ability to perform all possible capabilities.

From there, each of the other roles has a subordinate or decreasing number of allowed capabilities. For instance, someone assigned the role of Subscriber can only read content on your site – they cannot modify it in any way. An Author can create a new post on your site, but they cannot edit it (the Editor, however, can edit and delete the post that the author has written.)

Roles other than administrators have limited capabilities

(Roles other than administrators have limited capabilities)

Roles, therefore, define the responsibilities and capabilities of users within your site.

To learn more about the specific capabilities of default WordPress roles, see this section of the official WordPress documentation site.

Here are some important things to keep in mind about WordPress roles and capabilities:

  • Installing certain plugins can add new roles and capabilities to your site. For example, Advertiser, Organizer, etc.
  • Membership plugins and directory plugins use the WordPress roles and capabilities feature to automate the creation and registration of new users.
  • Some WordPress plugins (see further below) allow you to add new custom roles and customize the capabilities of existing roles.

Summary of Roles

  • Super Admin: This role gives the user access to network administration features controlling your entire network of WordPress sites (see WordPress Multisite).
  • Administrator: This role gives the user access to all administration features and privileges on your site.
  • Editor: This role gives the user the ability to publish and manage posts and pages as well as manage other users’ posts, etc.
  • Author: This role gives the user the ability to publish and manage their own posts.
  • Contributor: This role gives the user the ability to write and manage their own posts but not publish them.
  • Subscriber: Users assigned this role can only manage their profile. For example, if you run a membership or directory site, you may want to allow members to edit their own member profiles but not modify any other part of your site.

Typically, WordPress assigns the role of Administrator to the creator or owner of the site …

Site owners are typically assigned the role of the administrator

(Site owners are typically assigned the role of the administrator)

This is essential, as the owner has to be able to access all features and perform all functions on the site.


Never give out your Administrator login or password details as this can compromise the security of your site. If you need to provide access to your site to other people (e.g. for technical support), create a temporary “Admin” account that you can delete afterward.

How To View All Users On Your Site

To view all registered users on your site, go to your navigation menu and select Users > All Users

Users > All Users menu

(Users > All Users menu)

This brings up the ‘Users’ screen …

WordPress Table Of Users

(WordPress Table Of Users)

The Users screen lists all registered users on your site and displays information about users, such as:

  • Username
  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Their assigned Role
  • How many Posts they have authored (to learn how to assign posts to different users, see this tutorial)

Practical Tip

If you can’t see information displayed on the Users screen (e.g. their email addresses), click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab and review your settings. You can display or hide information by ticking or unticking check boxes, and change the number of entries displayed on your screen (remember to click the ‘Apply’ button to update new settings) …

WordPress Users Section - Screen Options Tab

(WordPress Users Section – Screen Options Tab)

You can also perform a number of administrative user management tasks, such as

  • Add new users.
  • Edit user profiles.
  • Delete users (individually or in bulk).
  • Reassign user roles (individually or in bulk).
  • Search for users (this is useful if you run a membership site and have many registered users).

Let’s go through each of these user management functions.

How To Add New WordPress Users

To add new users and give them login access to your site, go to Users > Add New

Users > Add New menu

(Users > Add New menu)

You can also add new users from your ‘Users’ screen by clicking on Add New

Add New Users Button

(Add New Users Button)

This brings up the ‘Add New User’ screen …

Add New User screen

(Add New User screen)

Enter the following information for your new users in this screen:

  • Username: This field is required. Enter a username here. Choose carefully as you cannot easily change the username (if you need to change the username, however, see this tutorial).
  • Email: This field is also required. Enter your user’s contact email address. Various functions of WordPress will use this email address to send users notifications (e.g. lost passwords).
  • First Name: Enter your user’s first name.
  • Last Name: Enter your user’s last name.
  • Website: This is an optional field. Complete this field if you want to or leave it empty.
  • Password: Make sure you create a strong password for users. You can enter your own or use the WordPress built-in password generator.
  • Send User Notification: Check this box if you want your new user to receive a notification email about their account. Deselect it if you don’t want your new user to have access to their login password.
  • Role: Select the role you want to assign to your new user from the drop-down menu …

Select a role for your new user

(Select a role for your new user)

After completing all of the new user’s details, remember to click on Add New User to save your changes …

Save your changes to add a new user

(Save your changes to add a new user)

The new user details will be added to your site and display in the WordPress Table of Users …

New User added

(New User added)

The site administrator will receive a notification email that a new user has registered on the site …

New User Registration email notification sent to administrator

(New User Registration email notification sent to administrator)

The new user will also receive a registration email containing his or her login details …

Email notification sent to new user after registration

(Email notification sent to new user after registration)

Edit User Profiles

Site administrators can edit details of any registered site users, including their own. Other roles normally do not have access to the profiles of other users but can edit their own.

To edit your own profile, log into your WordPress administration area and select Users > Your Profile from the main dashboard menu …

Users > Your Profile menu

(Users > Your Profile menu)

You can also get there without leaving the Table of Users by hovering your cursor over their username and clicking on the ‘Edit’ link …

Edit User Profile

(Edit User Profile)

This brings up the User Profile screen …

User Profile screen

(User Profile screen)

We’ve created a separate tutorial on how to edit details in the User Profile screen, here:

Delete Users

The WordPress Users screen lets you delete users individually or perform bulk user deletions.

Delete Users Individually

To delete an individual user, hovering your cursor over the username of the entry you want to delete and click on the ‘Delete’ link …

Delete User

(Delete User)

You will be asked to confirm the deletion. Click on ‘Confirm Deletion’ to proceed …

Confirm Deletion

(Confirm Deletion)

The user will be deleted and their details will be removed from your database …

User Deleted

(User Deleted)

Bulk Delete Users

Bulk deleting users is useful if you want to delete many users at once (e.g. delete spam registrations).

To bulk delete users, select all the check boxes of the users you want to remove from your site …

Select users to delete

(Select users to delete)

Select ‘Delete’ from the ‘Bulk Actions’ drop-down menu …

Bulk Actions > Delete

(Bulk Actions > Delete)

With ‘Delete’ selected, click the ‘Apply’ button …

Bulk Actions > Delete > Apply

(Bulk Actions > Delete > Apply)

Click on the ‘Confirm Deletion’ button to proceed …

Confirm Deletion

(Confirm Deletion)

The selected users will be deleted and their details will be removed from your database …

Users deleted

(Users deleted)

Change User Roles

Users can be assigned or reassigned to different roles either individually or in bulk.

Change Individual User Role

To assign or reassign an individual user’s role, hover your cursor over their username and click on the ‘Edit’ link …

Edit User

(Edit User)

This brings up their ‘Edit User’ screen …

Edit User screen

(Edit User screen)

Scroll down to the ‘Role’ section and select a new user role from the drop-down menu  …

Role drop-down menu

(Role drop-down menu)

Click ‘Update User’ to save your settings …

User Profile screen

(Update User)

The user’s role will be updated. You can return to the Users screen or keep working on your site …

User role updated

(User role updated)

Bulk User Role Changes

To perform a bulk reassignment of user roles, select multiple users by checking the box next to their username …

Select users

(Select users)

Choose the role you want to assign to all selected users from the ‘Change role to …’ drop-down menu …

Change role to ...

(Change role to …)

With the role in the ‘Change role to …’ field selected, click on the ‘Change’ button …

Bulk change user roles

(Bulk change user roles)

The roles of all selected users will be reassigned to the new role you have specified …

User roles changed

(User roles changed)

Search & Filter Users

If you have many registered users on your site, you can use search and filter features to find users quickly.

Search Users

Use the ‘Search Users’ feature to search for users based on their details.

Enter your search term into the field and click the ‘Search Users’ button …

Search Users

(Search Users)

A list of all results containing the search term will be returned …

Search User results

(Search User results)

Filter Users

You can also filter users by role.

To view a list of all users assigned to a specific role, just click on the link for that particular role above the able of Users …

Filter users by role

(Filter users by role)

The Table of Users will display only users assigned to the selected role …

Users filtered by role

(Users filtered by role)

WordPress User Management Plugins

This section describes some useful WordPress plugins to help improve how you manage users on your site.

Customizing User Roles And Capabilities

Depending on what you plan to do with your site, you may need to go beyond the default capabilities of WordPress and create custom roles for specific users or enhance the default capabilities of your site’s existing roles. If this is a function you need for your site, then take a look at the plugin below.

If this is a function you need for your site, then take a look at the plugin below.

User Role Editor

User Role Editor - WordPress Plugin

(User Role Editor – WordPress Plugin)

User Role Editor provides advanced user role management tools for WordPress. The free version of the plugin can be downloaded and installed from the WordPress plugin repository or from your WordPress dashboard …

Install User Role Editor From Your WordPress Dashboard

(Install User Role Editor From Your WordPress Dashboard)

Once installed and activated, the plugin allows you to easily create and edit new roles and manage permissions for all users with just a few clicks and set specific capabilities for each role separately at an advanced and detailed level just by turning check boxes on or off …

Change role capabilities by turning check boxes on or off

(Change role capabilities by turning check boxes on or off)

The plugin also makes it easier for non-technical users to display capabilities in plain and simple language …

Show capabilities in human readable form

(Show capabilities in human readable form)

There are many useful things you can do with the User Role Editor plugin. For example, you can allow or disallow a registered user to upload files to your site, or disallow certain types of users to delete posts they have already published. You can also do things like remove the ability of authors to publish posts on your site, forcing posts to be submitted for review by an administrator before being approved for publishing.

The User Role Editor plugin also has a premium edition available with even more advanced capabilities.

To learn more about this plugin, go here: User Role Editor

How To Change The Default User Registration Email In WordPress

As discussed in the previous section, when a new user registers on your WordPress site, they are sent a registration email containing their username and login details …

Email notification sent to new user after registration

(Email notification sent to new user after registration)

Normally, the default registration email is fine to send. It’s not an attractive email, but it “does the job”. If your business requires a more “welcoming” registration email, then use the plugin below:

Better Notifications for WordPress

Better Notifications For WordPress

(Better Notifications For WordPress)

Better Notifications For WordPress lets you customize the email notifications that WordPress sends using the WordPress WYSIWYG editor and shortcodes.

You can customize all default WordPress email notifications and many new ones. This lets new registered users receive a more welcoming email when they register on your site. You can also send notifications to individual users, multiple users, all users in a user role, multiple roles, and more …

Notifications Screen

(Notifications Screen)

This plugin is useful if you are running a community site or membership site, directory, allowing guest authoring or collaboration, etc. and want to customize your messages and notifications to users.

To learn more about this plugin, go here: Better Notifications For WordPress

Congratulations! Now you know how to manage users on your WordPress site. We hope that you have found the above information useful.

Here are some additional WordPress tutorials you may find useful to help you manage users on your site:

How To Manage WordPress Users


"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

WordPress Theme Editor

Learn more about using the WordPress Theme Editor in this tutorial.

This tutorial is coming soon!

Please subscribe using the form below to be notified as soon as this tutorial is added to

In the meantime, check out some of our other WordPress tutorials:

WordPress Gutenberg - The Ultimate Guide For Non-Techies

WordPress Gutenberg Tutorials For Non-Techie WordPress Users

This comprehensive guide for non-technical users explains everything you need to know about WordPress Gutenberg and the new WordPress content editor ...
Read More
{{WordPress|WP} {Tutorial|For Beginners}|{Learn|Learn To Use|Learn How To Use} {WordPress|WP}}

Does Your Website Run On WordPress? How To Tell

Does your website run on WordPress? Here are some tell-tale signs that a website was built with WordPress ...
Read More
Free Digital Skills Training: WordPress For Business

Free Digital Skills Training: WordPress For Business

Want FREE digital skills training on WordPress for your business? Access hundreds of detailed WordPress step-by-step tutorials to help you grow your business online ... 100% FREE! ...
Read More
{What You Need To Know About Managing {Your Own Website|A Website On Your Own|A Website By Yourself|A Website Yourself}|Managing {Your Own Website|A Website On Your Own|A Website By Yourself|A Website Yourself} - What You Need To Know}

Want A Website You Can Manage Yourself? Read This First!

If you want a website that you can manage by yourself, here is what you need to know before getting your website built ...
Read More
Benefits Of Using WordPress As A CMS

Benefits Of Using WordPress As A Content Management System

In this article, we explore some of the many benefits of using WordPress as a Content Management System ...
Read More
WordPress Gutenberg - Making WordPress Easier For Non-Techies

Non-Techies Are The Future Of WordPress: WordPress Gutenberg & The WordPress Paradox

New developments like WordPress Gutenberg will continue to make WordPress easier and simpler for non-techies to use ...
Read More
Blogging Glossary For WordPress Users

Blogging Glossary

New to blogging? This glossary of blogging definitions will help you understand commonly used blogging terminology ...
Read More
Why Is WordPress Free?

Why Is WordPress Free? WordPress Costs Explained

This tutorial explains why WordPress is free and looks at the basic costs involved in setting up and running a WordPress-powered website or blog ...
Read More
Do You Sell WordPress Services?

The Challenges Of Educating, Teaching & Training New WordPress Users

Empowering new WordPress users to get results from their WordPress websites is challenging and requires an effective WordPress training and education system! ...
Read More
How To Effectively Train And Empower New WordPress Users

How To Effectively Train And Empower New WordPress Users

Learn how to train new WordPress users to get more effective results using our WordPress training system and 1-on-1 training script! ...
Read More
{Build|How To Build|Learn How To Build|Create|How To Create|Learn How To Create} {A|A Professional} {Website For Your Business|Website} {{In One Day|From Scratch} With|With} {WordPress - No|No} {Coding|Coding Skills} {Required|Necessary}!

Build A Website In One Day With WordPress – No Coding Required

Learn how to build a professional website for your business, church, school, community group, or organization in one day with WordPress ... no coding required! ...
Read More
How To Make Money With WordPress - A Complete Guide

Make Money With WordPress – The Complete WordPress Money-Making Guide

Are you looking for ways to make money with WordPress? Here are dozens of ways to make money with WordPress ... ...
Read More
WordPress Traffic Automation Guide

WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint – Part 1 (Overview)

This is part 1 of a 5-part series of tutorials that show you how to automatically increase web traffic using WordPress and proven web marketing methods ...
Read More

WordPress – Useful Facts And Statistics

This article provides statistical information and data on WordPress usage worldwide ...
Read More
Keep Calm And Use WordPress - 17 WordPress Features That Put You In Control Of Your Website

Keep Calm And Use WordPress – 17 WordPress Features That Put You In Control Of Your Website

Do you want a website that puts you in complete control of your web presence? Discover some of the many features that make WordPress the ideal platform for building a successful digital business presence ...
Read More
50 Great Reasons To Choose WordPress

50 Great Reasons To Choose WordPress

Here are over 50 reasons to consider using WordPress for your business website or blog ...
Read More
How To Promote A Non-WordPress Website With WordPress

How To Promote A Non-WordPress Website With WordPress

If you are running a non-WordPress site and looking for ways to drive more traffic and improve your results, this tutorial will show you a simple 5-step plan to promote your site using a WordPress blog ...
Read More
{{How|Learn How} To Grow Your {Small Business|Business} {Using|With} {WordPress|A WordPress {Site|Blog}}|Using {WordPress|A WordPress {Site|Blog}} To Grow {Your|A Successful} {Business|Small Business|Business Online|Small Business Online}|Everything You Need To Know {To Grow|About Growing} {Your|A Successful} {Business|Small Business|Business Online|Small Business Online} {Using|With} {WordPress|A WordPress {Site|Blog}}|{{The|A} Complete|{A|The} Beginner's|An Online} Guide To {Growing {Your|A}|Building {Your|A} Successful|Growing {Your|A} Successful} {Business|Small Business} {Using|With} {WordPress|A WordPress {Site|Blog}}|The {Small Business|Business} Owner's Guide {To|To Understanding|To Using} WordPress|{WordPress|Using WordPress|Understanding WordPress|Learning WordPress|Mastering WordPress} - {The|A} {Small Business|Business} Owner's Guide|WordPress {{And|For} Small Business|For {Business|Small Business} Owners|{For|In} Business|{For|And|In} Small Business} - {{The|A} Complete|{A|The} Beginner's|An Online} Guide To {Growing {Your|A}|Building {Your|A} Successful|Growing {Your|A} Successful} {Business|Small Business} {Using|With} {WordPress|A WordPress {Site|Blog}}}

Grow Your Business Faster With WordPress

Did you know that WordPress can help your business grow faster online? This article explains how and provides a brief overview of the process ...
Read More
The Definitive Guide To Keeping Your Website Manageable & Organized

The Definitive Guide To Keeping Your Website Manageable & Organized

Learn how to keep your website and web content manageable and organized to stay on top of your digital business presence ...
Read More
Why Is WordPress Free?

Why Is WordPress Free? Uncovering Hidden Catches

This article examines some of the key licensing issues governing the free use of WordPress and whether or not there are any hidden catches with using WordPress ...
Read More

Why Use WordPress?

This article explains some of the many benefits of using WordPress and why WordPress is an ideal platform for building and growing a business online! ...
Read More
WordPress {Multisite|Multisite - A Guide For Beginners|Multisite - A Beginner's Guide}

What Is WordPress Multisite? A Guide For WordPress Beginners

Learn about the differences between single WordPress installations and WordPress Multisite and when to use or not use the WordPress Multisite feature ...
Read More
Small Business Blogging Ideas - Using WordPress To Better Engage Visitors

Small Business Blogging Ideas – Using WordPress To Better Engage Visitors

Here are some great ideas on using a WordPress blog to help you better communicate and fully engage with your visitors, prospects, and customers ...
Read More


How To Use The WordPress Visual Content Editor

This tutorial shows you how to use the WordPress Visual Content Editor – what the menu items do, how to format text, plus useful tips and information on how to get the most out of the WordPress content editor.

A Simple Guide To Formatting Content In WordPress For Beginners - The WP Editor*** Important ***

WordPress introduced a new content editor in version 5.0 called Gutenberg.

For tutorials on how to use the new Gutenberg content editor, go here:


WordPress makes it easy to publish and format content online by providing users with a fully-featured content editor that requires no knowledge or coding experience to create professional-looking web pages with formatted text and embedded media quickly.

In this comprehensive tutorial, you are going to learn how to use the WordPress Content Editor.

A Simple Guide To Content Formatting In WordPress

WordPress provides a WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) editor for creating and editing posts and pages …

WordPress content editor

(WordPress content editor)

WordPress Visual Editor Menu Toolbar Explained

If you have used content editing software like Microsoft Word, then the WordPress visual editor interface will probably feel familiar to you …

WordPress Visual Editor Buttons

(WordPress Visual Editor Menu Toolbar)

Below is a brief description of each of the visual editor menu toolbar items shown in the screenshot above:

1. Post Title Field – Here’s where you enter the title of your post or page.

2. Permalink – Click on the Edit button to change the permalink text of your post or page. This is useful if you would like to optimize your post/page URL.

3. Add Media – Click this button to upload, manage and insert pictures, videos, audio, etc. into your post from your computer, an external storage location, or from your website’s media library.

4. Visual Content Editor Tab – Click to access the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) content editor.

5. Text (HTML) Editor Tab – Switching between the two editor tabs allows you to add content in the WYSIWYG mode and then make changes to its underlying code. When adding content to the text tab, line breaks are automatically converted to paragraphs …

WordPress Text Editor

(WordPress Text Editor)

6. Bold – Highlight words in your text and click this button to add bold formatting.

7. Italics – Select text and click this menu button to add italicized formatting to your words.

8. Strikethrough – Formats your selected text with strikethrough.

9. Unordered list – This button turns your selected text into an unordered list like the example below:

  • List item 1
  • List item 2
  • List item 3
  • etc …

10. Ordered list – Turns your text into an ordered list like the example below:

  1. List item 1
  2. List item 2
  3. List item 3
  4. etc …

11. Blockquote. Choose this functionality to insert a blockquote into your content. Select the content section you would like highlighted as a block quote and click this menu button.

To exit the quote press the “Enter” key to create a line of space and then click the block quote button again and this will return your text to normal.

12. Divider Line. Choose this function to insert a divider into your content …

Add a dividing line to your content

(Insert dividing lines into your content)

13, 14 & 15. Alignment buttons – Use these buttons to left, center and right align your text and page elements …

13. Align Left

14. Align Center

15. Align Right

Press the “Enter” key and leave a line of space to end the alignment command.

16. Insert/Edit Link. Click this button to paste hyperlinks into your content (See “How To Easily Add HTML Links In Your WordPress Posts & Pages” tutorial for useful tips on creating internal links).

17. Unlink. Click this button to delete hyperlinks.

18. ’Read More’ Tag. Clicking this menu button will insert a “read more” link into your content wherever you have placed your cursor. Text added to a post prior to inserting this tag will display when published, but anything added to the post after this tag only appears to site visitors once they click the “read more” link …

'Read More' Tag

(’Read More’ Tag)

Important Info

The ‘Read More’ tag won’t work on WordPress Pages. It only works on the page showing your latest blog post entries (i.e. the Blog Page).

19. Display/Hide Kitchen Sink. Click this button to toggle the WordPress visual editor between minimal mode (one row of buttons) and enhanced mode (two rows of buttons).

Display/Hide Kitchen Sink

(Show/Hide Kitchen Sink)

20. Distraction-Free Writing. Clicking this button will toggle between distraction-free writing screen & normal writing mode. This is a handy feature for checking the placement of items on the page and for working on your content free of other page element distractions …

Distraction-Free Writing Mode Toggle

(Distraction-Free Writing Mode Toggle Button)

With distraction-free writing functionality turned on, the surrounding page elements return when the cursor is moved outside of the content editor box.

See the “Tips” section in this tutorial for useful information about using this functionality.

21. Format Style. Use this feature to change the formatting of text.


  • The style menu may include various heading styles and other pre-defined styles built into your WordPress theme.
  • When you create a new post or page and start entering text into the content area, the text will typically be formatted using the default “Paragraph” style.
  • Modifying heading formatting styles typically require having knowledge of how to edit CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

To create a heading, highlight your text and select a style option from the pull menu (e.g. Heading 5) …

Style Options

(Format Styles)

22. Underline. Highlight words and click this button to add underline formatting.

23. Justify. Click this button to justify your content. Justification can only be applied to text.

24. Select Text Color. Highlight text and choose a color from the dropdown palette to edit your text color …

Color Palette

(Color Palette)

Useful Info

You can expand the selection of colors available in the palette by clicking on the Custom area …

Custom Text Color Palette

(Custom Text Color Palette)

This gives you access to wide palette of colors. If you are familiar with the Hexadecimal (HEX) color system, you can just type in the code for the specific color you want into the # field. Otherwise, click in the color box, enter RGB values or use the color slider to select a new custom color.

The table below shows HEX color codes for some of the most commonly used “web safe” colors (i.e. colors that display accurately across most web browsers) …

HEX Colors

(HEX Color Codes)

25. Paste as Plain Text. Click this button to paste the content of your clipboard into your content editor area as plain text …

Plain Text On/Off Mode

(Plain Text On/Off)

See the “Tips” section further below for useful information about using this function.

26. Remove formatting. If you spot unnecessary formatting codes in your text (or if your content isn’t displaying as you intended after publishing), then select all text and click this button to clear all page formatting.

27. Custom character. Click this button to add characters like © ® ™ and other symbols and characters to your content.

Add special characters to your content

(Insert special characters into your content)

We have written a more detailed tutorial on adding symbols to WordPress here:

28. Outdent – Clicking this button decreases text indentation.

29. Indent – Click this menu item to indent your paragraphs.

Here’s a sample of indented text.

This line has been indented further by pressing the Indent button one more time.

30. Undo. Clicking this button undoes your previous actions. This is useful if you have accidentally deleted a section of text or formatted content incorrectly and need to backtrack.

31. Redo. Clicking this button reinstates any changes or deletions that you have undone.

32. Keyboard Shortcuts. Click this button to see the Keyboard Shortcuts feature. This is covered in more detail in the Tips section below.


Plugins can add extra features to your WordPress menu toolbar …

Plugins can add new options to your content editor

(Plugins can add new options to your content editor)


Underline And Justify Buttons Removed From The Editor In WordPress 4.7

The WordPress development team has removed the Underline and Justify buttons from the visual editor in version 4.7, as it was felt that underlining text can confuse readers who may interpret it as a hyperlink and the justify button was removed because most web browsers that render CSS and HTML lack sophisticated page layout functions to adjust the gaps left in words by justification and can make text less readable.

Underline And Justify Buttons Removed From The Editor In WordPress 4.7

(Underline And Justify Buttons Removed From The Editor In WordPress 4.7)

Although the buttons have been removed from the toolbar, you can still use the keyboard shortcuts for both buttons (see below).

WordPress Content Editor Tips And Additional Info

Tip #1 - Use Power User Shortcuts

In addition to using the buttons on the menu, you can use the power key combinations below as you type. This will help you work faster …

WordPress Content Editor Power User Shortcuts

(Content Editor Power User Keyboard Shortcuts)

Additional Formatting Shortcuts

Prior to the release of version 4.5, WordPress introduced formatting shortcuts for lists and headings. In WordPress 4.5 you can now also use formatting shortcuts for horizontal lines and code …

Formatting Shortcuts

(Formatting Shortcuts)

Add three horizontal dashes to create a horizontal line and enclose your text in backticks to turn it into <code> …

WordPress 4.5 : Formatting Shortcuts - Backticks

(WordPress 4.5 : Formatting Shortcuts – Backticks)

The formatting shortcuts for horizontal lines and code are shown below …

WP 4.5 - Formatting Shortcuts

(WordPress version 4.5 – Formatting Shortcuts)

To learn how to enhance the WordPress visual editor with additional formatting features, see the tutorial below:

Tip #2 – Pasting Content From Microsoft Word

MS Word and some other content editors store formatting code that is not directly visible when copying text from a document into the clipboard.

If you’re using an earlier version of WordPress than version 3.9, pasting content directly from Microsoft Word into the content editor will introduce unnecessary code into your content creating formatting errors …

Pasting content from word processors into pre-WordPress 3.9 versions can add unwanted formatting to your content.

(Pasting content from word processors into pre-WordPress 3.9 versions can add unwanted formatting to your content.)

As WordPress continually improves its software, more of the technical wizardry of making different platforms work together will happen “magically” behind the scenes, freeing greater numbers of non-tech-savvy users to enjoy the benefits of their WordPress sites.

Versions newer than WordPress v. 3.9 now come with built-in support for pasting content directly from Microsoft Word and other word processors. If the source content has heavy formatting and is not pasting cleanly, however, then try pasting it in using the plain text mode button and format it afterwards.

Select the Paste as text menu toolbar button …

Paste as text menu toolbar button

(Paste as text button)

When you turn on the Paste as text feature, the following message appears, letting you know that the feature will remain switched on until you toggle this option off, and reminds you to turn it off if pasting content from Microsoft Word …

Paste as Text message window

(Paste as Text feature notification)

Tip #3 – Removing Formatting From Text

You can easily paste formatted content and then remove the formatting using the WordPress Visual editor.

Before …

Before formatting removal

After …

After removing formatting

This feature is useful if, for example, you have pasted content from another website that includes CSS styling formatting.

Sometimes, you cannot tell if the content you’ve pasted from another website or blog contains formatting specific to that website …

Content pasted from external websites ...

(Content pasted directly from an external website …)

… until you click on the Text tab and view the HTML …

Content pasted from external websites can contain unwanted CSS styling

(… can include hidden CSS styling!)

If you’ve copied the content from your own website, everything may look fine until you make a change to the styling (e.g. change the color scheme) and discover that some of your previous blog posts are formatted incorrectly.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to clear the formatting from pasted content, especially from content sourced from other sites.

To remove formatting from your content, paste your pre-formatted content into the Visual editor …

You can paste content with formatting into the visual editor

(You can paste content with formatting into the visual editor)

Next, select all the content and select the Clear formatting button …

Clear formatting menu button

(WordPress Editor – Clear formatting button)

All your formatting (such as bold, italics, colors, etc.) is now removed …

Remove formatted text from your content

(Remove formatted text from content)

Note that some content elements will not be removed from your text after applying this function. This includes hyperlinks, heading styles, blockquotes, etc.


Here is a quick and useful way to test for errors suspected of being caused by poor formatting without losing your original content.

Before using the Clear formatting function, switch to the Text editor tab, then select and copy everything to the clipboard …

Copying formatted text in WordPress

(Copying formatted text)

Paste the content from your clipboard into a new text file and save, then go back to your editor and go through the “remove formatting” process. Now, if something goes wrong, at least you have a backup copy with all the original content formatting preserved.

Tip #4 – Adding Line Break Returns To Content

Paragraph spaces are created by clicking the “Enter” key after typing text …

Line spaces

(Default line spacing)

When you hit the “Enter” key to add spacing between lines of text, WordPress adds a regular paragraph ending tag (</p>) behind the scenes. To add a line break tag (<br />) and create single line returns, use both the “shift” and “enter” keys …

Single line spacing

(Line spacing – break returns)

Breaks enable the formatting of your block of text to continue. This is useful if you want to add line breaks to a bulleted section (without creating a new bullet point) or keep the same style going in another text block.

Tip #5 – Resizing The WordPress Visual Editor

By default, the Full Height Editor feature is enabled, providing users with a responsive and auto-adjustable editor …

WordPress includes a built-in responsive content editor

(WordPress has a built-in responsive editor)

The quickest way to confirm if the Full Height Editor function is enabled or not, is to look at one or more of the  following tell-tale signs:

  • If you can see the Distraction-Free Writing icon, then the Full Height Editor function is active,
  • If the content scrollbar is not visible when your text exceeds the text editor area, then the Full Height Editor function is enabled …

Tell-tale signs that the Full Height Editor feature is enabled

(Tell-tale signs that the Full Height Editor feature is turned on)

With the full height editor feature enabled, the WordPress content editor resizes automatically as you type to fit more content …

Your content editor area automatically expands as you type

(Your WordPress content editor box should automatically expand as you type)

If the Full Height Editor function is inactive, you will see the editor scrollbar appear once your content exceeds the visible space inside the editor …

Full Height Editor function disabled

(Full Height Editor feature disabled)

Additionally, you will not see the Distraction-Free Writing Mode menu item displayed …

Full Height Editor feature disabled - Distraction-Free Writing Mode menu icon not visible

(Full Height Editor feature disabled – Distraction-Free Writing Mode feature not visible)

If your Full Height Editor function is disabled, you can increase the size your text box using the text box resizing feature …

Text Box Resizing Feature

(Text Box Resizing Feature)

Just click and drag the box to resize the content editor …

Resize your text box using drag and drop

(Resize the text box using drag and drop)

The text box will be resized …

Resized content editor

(Resized content editor)

Tip #6 – Using The Distraction-Free Writing Mode

Distraction-Free Writing mode requires the full-height editor to is enabled in the Screen Options area (see further below).

You can use Distraction Free Writing with both the Visual and Text editor and switch between the two tabs while working …

Distraction-Free Writing Mode - Text Editor

(Distraction-Free Writing Mode – WordPress Text Editor)

Practical Tip

You can eliminate all writing distractions by combining the Distraction-Free writing tool and the Full-Screen feature of web browsers like Google Chrome & Firefox …

Distraction-Free Writing - WordPress Only vs WordPress & Full-Screen Browser

(Distraction-Free Writing Mode – WordPress Only vs WordPress & Full Screen Browser)

With Distraction-Free Writing mode activated and the Full-Screen function of your web browser enabled, your current page completely fills the screen, leaving you free to focus only on your writing.

To activate Full Screen in the Firefox or Chrome web browser, go to your browser settings and click on the icons shown below …

Google Chrome & Firefox - Full Screen Function

(Full-Screen Option – Google Chrome & Firefox)


To enable both the Full Height Editor and Distraction-Free Writing Mode functionalities, click on the Screen Options tab (found in the top right-hand corner of your WP administration screen) …

Screen Options Tab

(Screen Options Tab)

In the Additional settings section, tick Enable the full-height editor and distraction free functionality

Enable full-height editor and distraction-free functionality in your Screen Options

(Enable full-height editor and distraction-free functionality in your Screen Options section)

Tip #7 – Converting Emoticons

One more tip worth mentioning is that you can convert emoticons (e.g. 🙂 ) to graphics by enabling the formatting option inside your Writing Settings (Settings > Writing) area …

Convert Emoticons - Writing Settings

(Formatting – WP Writing Settings)


Congratulations! Now you know how to use the WordPress content editor.

A Basic Guide To WordPress Text Formatting - How To Use The WP Editor


"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum