Why Your Visual Editor Width is Different in WordPress 3.0

One of the first things I noticed after upgrading to WordPress 3.0 was that my visual editor was a bit different. What I mean is that as I typed my posts, the text wasn’t filling the entire width of the visual editor like it always had before. At first I thought it was a plugin conflict or a bug, but after some quick research I discovered that it’s actually a new feature, and now that I understand what’s happening I couldn’t be more pleased.

My research led me to two people, Matt Thomas and Andrew Ozz. Seeing their names put me at ease immediately because I highly respect both of them and what they’ve contributed to the WordPress community, not to mention, my own livelihood…so I knew an explanation was right around the corner.

The short story…now the visual editor style can be specified within the theme. In other words, if your theme’s post content area is 640px wide, your visual editor is now aware of this and wraps text accordingly while you write your post. Think about that for just a moment, let it sink in…

How many times have you been writing a post, inserting an image and screwing with the alignment trying to get your text to look decent as it wraps. Now any theme developer can specify this within their theme’s functions.php file and style.css to tell the visual editor to display your text exactly as it will appear in the wild.

Here’s a pic of my visual editor while writing this post. See all that white space to the right?

What else can be said except…awesome. Thank you Andrew and Matt. I bow to the usability gods that you are…