Getting to Know Your WordPress Posts List and Editor Screens

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The last time we discussed screen options, we focused on the WordPress Dashboard screen. Today, we are focusing on the posts list screen and post editor. These areas are most likely used for your website’s blog.

When I refer to the posts list screen, I refer to the screen seen at the “All Posts” link in your admin menu. It is where you see all your available draft, pending, or published posts. When I refer to the post editor, it is where you are editing an individual post. Both screens offer a variety of options to customize what you see within the UI.

Posts Lists

default-posts-listing-screen-options

Out of the box, there are five checkbox options and a numeral input available. The five checkboxes are:

  • Author
  • Categories
  • Tags
  • Comments
  • Date

available-default-posts-listing-screen-options

Each checkbox corresponds to a column seen in the post list table below. When you check any of them “off,” the column is removed. Plugins are capable of adding their own columns and checkboxes. This means there may be more than just these five in your own website. Just like the defaults, though, un-checking them will remove the column.

customised-posts-listing-screen-options

The other option available on the lists screen is the numeral input. It allows you to alter the total amount of posts shown on the screen at a given time, and defaults to twenty. If you have a total of 100 posts, you will have five pages worth of posts that you can navigate through. If you change the total to fifty, you will only have two pages available to navigate through, and so on.

Post Editor Screen

With the post editor, we are getting more complex with what is available and shown on screen. There is a lot more going on, even out of the box.

For my post today, I am using the TwentyFifteen theme that comes bundled with WordPress. When I click to edit the “Hello World!” post that is in all initial installations, I am presented with many checkbox options. The available options include the following.

  • Format
  • Categories
  • Tags
  • Featured Image
  • Excerpt
  • Send Trackbacks
  • Custom Fields
  • Discussion
  • Comments
  • Slug
  • Author

default-post-editor-screen-options

By default, only the first four options will be set. Each checkbox will correspond to what is called a “meta box” on screen. Plugins are also able to create their own custom meta boxes, so you may see more than just those listed above. Because of this, though, the screen can become messy and unwieldy. If the screen feels cluttered and there are meta boxes that you never use, consider hiding them.

minimal-default-post-editor-screen

The next option is a radio button to specify column count. If you choose to have only one, then the meta boxes fall below the main content area. All parts of the screen will also adjust to full width to use available space.

Last, there is one checkbox that relates to the full-height editor and distraction-free functionality. The full-height editor refers to the editing toolbar remaining visible when you scroll. The distraction-free functionality refers to hiding the surrounding UI only while you are writing. This is not the same as hiding the meta boxes mentioned above. You toggle distraction-free via a button shown on the visual editor UI.

WordPress offers a nice customizable interface out of the box. You are able to tailor what you see to fit your needs and preferences. Plugins and themes can also add their own to enhance their own user experiences as well.

If you have any questions or need clarification, feel free to drop a comment below so we can help you out!

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