#WordPress 3.9 Release

WordPress 3.9 Preview

WordPress 3.9 Preview

Big changes have been announced upcoming for WordPress 3.9, due out April 15.

Changes to the WYISIWIG editor – TinyMCE

When you want to format your text, you know that you WordPress Post Editor has buttons to help you. That editor is known as TinyMCE.  At times, the editor can be a bit picky.

old tinymce

A long-standing issue has been if people compose their post in Microsoft Word and copy/paste text into WordPress.  Until recently, they needed to pass that pasted text through the “Paste from Word” button to strip out unnecessary hidden code that Word left.


The upgrade to the text editor for now is mostly improving other code related issues that are less visible while things are working better.  However, I’m keeping my eyes on the TinyMCE table tool.  I hope that this will be implemented in a responsive manner.  Until then, avoid using tables.

Widget Management to Live Previews:

When an editor wants to see, change, and arrange widgets, it hasn’t been easy to find them relative to the pages the widgets are on.  Now you can preview these widgets within the theme customizer. This feature was first developed as a plugin.

Preview Widgets in WordPress 3.9


You now have the ability to upload, crop, and manage header images, without needing to leave the preview.  Previously, you needed to upload the images in the media area before changing them in the theme customizer.

header changes to WordPress 3.9


When selecting a new theme, you can now Browse in full size mode and view theme details.

WordPress 3.9 theme details


Galleries can be a great way to show several images at once.  However, once you insert those images into the editor, you can’t see them again really until you preview or publish your post.  That seems terribly inefficient.  Now, you can preview galleries in the editor.

Old image galleries in WordPress


preview galleries in WordPres 3.9

Drag & Drop Images

While we’ve been able to drag & drop images into the media uploader for some time, we haven’t been able to drag them right into the post editor.  Finally we can do this, which should save lots of mouse-clicks to get into the editor.

upload images to WordPress using drag and drop

Select thumbnail crop

While editing photos, you now can select what you want to be the thumbnail crop.  This is great when you have a wide image that selected an odd size for your thumbnails (especially when becoming a preview on your /blog page).

select WordPress thumbnail crop

Replace images

Also in the editing of photos, you can now swap out an image and replace it with a different one within the post editor.  This does not yet seem to let you replace the image inside the media library with a new one.

Playlists: Audio & Video

I hesitate to mention the audio and video playlists. For a long time, it’s been drilled into my head that you should never host your audio or video content on the same server as your website.  If someone goes back through time and does a download of lots of content, that can suddenly slow your server down considerably.

Likewise, many hosts have an imposed media upload file size that audio should be okay with, but video files can be larger than the threshold easily.

To create a playlist, add media, upload, and select create playlist:

create audio playlist in WordPress

Once you’ve added it and published your post, it will look list this:

test audio playlist in WordPress

WordPress 3.9 is due out in April.


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Courtney Engle Robertson

From high school business education to the WordPress Training team, Courtney helps people of all skill levels get their message out. She lives in south-central Pennsylvania, loves coffee, plays the mandolin, and has a very large vegetable garden.

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