WordPress 3.9 Feature Updates

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WordPress 3.9 will be out in a few weeks, and it’s really exciting to see all the new features that will make adding galleries and content easier than ever before. So here’s a sneak peak at my favorite features.

WordPress Native Gallery Preview Features

WordPress Native Gallery in the Content Editor
Images from unsplash.com

While there are some great gallery plugins, and some not-so-great, the WordPress native gallery has the advantage of always working, no matter the upgrade. And it happens to be one of my favorite WordPress features. With the upcoming release, you will be able to view your gallery right in your editor screen. There is no more big empty gray placeholder box! This means that you can easily see which images you have in your gallery and the order, so you can update quickly.

The screen shot above of the new gallery right in the visual editor is pretty nice, isn’t it?

You will also be able to drag and drop images directly into the visual editor without clicking the Add Media button. In addition you will also be able to edit and crop images directly in the visual editor.

 More Visual Editor Updates

If you compare the current and upcoming visual editors, you’ll notice that the “Paste from Word”  button (W icon) is missing. This is the button that you used (or were supposed to use!) to paste content from Microsoft Word to remove all the “extra”. With the update, you can paste from Microsoft Word directly into the editor, and still have nicely formatted content. You’ll also note that there is now a horizontal line divider; a feature that is requested often.

WordPress 3.9 Visual Editor Update

 Live Widget Updates in Theme Customizer

Currently when you use the WordPress Theme Customizer ( Appearance > Customize), you can make changes to the site title and tagline, edit colors, add colors and background images, change the menu locations, and change your front page from your blog posts to a static front page. Soon you’ll be able to edit your widgets in real time, as well. You can see below that all the theme sidebars (or widget areas) are listed in the Customizer. Each sidebar opens to show all the widgets you’ve added from the Appearance > Widgets editor page. But now, you can change any of the widget options and immediately see how it changes the look of the widget in the preview screen. This is especially helpful if you’re using a widget with a lot of options, like using the Genesis Featured Posts Widget to add recent posts with images.

Theme Customizer with Widgets

And There’s Even More

Sometimes everything that’s planned doesn’t make it into the actual release, so there could be changes to the features listed. Just the features above make the 3.9 release pretty amazing, but there’s even more planned.

  • Improved audio and video uploader will allow you to choose options like the poster image or add subtitles, and also show the player, instead of a placeholder.
  • Add audio and video playlists to your posts. This one will really help those who create a lot of audio or video content.
  • Add New Theme screen will show preview screenshot images of the themes. You will still be able to search themes by features, but the theme images you see will change in real time.

So there are lots of fantastic features for everyone in WordPress 3.9 update. Which are you looking forward to?

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photo of Marcy Diaz who owns Amethyst Website Design


3 responses to “WordPress 3.9 Feature Updates”

  1. Deborah Avatar

    Thank you, Marcy for your post detailing the feature changes in the Visual Editor. I think a lot of people will be very happy with the changes, but I know many of my clients will still be looking for that “W” for Microsoft Word paste. I’m glad the Kitchen Sink button was renamed.

    1. Marcy Diaz Avatar

      You’re welcome, Deborah. I was happy about the kitchen sink button being renamed, as well. And while I know some clients will miss the W button, it will help so many more who forget it. I’m thinking of emailing clients about the changes this time around; I haven’t done that in the past.

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