A paragraph in HTML is a container holding contextual content, the written word. The HTML of a paragraph opens and closes with the paragraph tag.
<p>This is a sample paragraph.</p>
If we were writing exclusively in HTML, every paragraph would have to have that tag wrapped around it.
In the WordPress Theme, specifically the stylesheet, the paragraph is styled to feature whitespace between the words and the paragraph above and below as well as within the paragraph itself, adding spacing between the paragraph and what is in it such as images.
One of the HTML tags you should be familiar with but not use is the paragraph tag. WordPress does the work for you.
In the Visual Editor, use one ENTER/RETURN between paragraphs.
In the Text Editor, use two ENTER/RETURNs between paragraphs.
WordPress automatically detects these spacings and wraps the paragraph HTML tag around the content.
A line break is a single space between lines, not a paragraph space.
Line breaks are used for addresses and writing and publishing poetry, and sometimes recipes.
To be or not to be
That is the question
Wonder what the answer is?
To make a line break in WordPress:
- In the Visual Editor, press SHIFT+ENTER
- In the Text Editor, press ENTER once
WordPress will automatically add the correct tags and spacing.
When you paste from a word processor, another web page, or text editor, the line spacing may be messed up. Most of the time, using the paste from Word or as text feature, the paragraph spacing is preserved, but not always. Such pasted content needs editing tor restore the proper paragraph or line break spacing.
Pasting into the text editor usually makes this process easier than the visual editor. If you can’t tell, always Save as Draft and preview the post before publishing.
If you choose to compose your post and Page content in a word processor or text editor, the program maybe set up to make the transition easier.
Text Editor: There are some sophisticated and affordable text editors available with spell check and basic writing tools, and I highly recommend composing and pre-production editing in one to make the process of copying and pasting the content into a post or Page easier.
Simply put two ENTERs between each paragraph, copy and paste into the Text Editor, or the Visual if you feel brave and there is no HTML tags in the content.
Word Processor: Most word processors like Word or WordPerfect are designed to automatically style a paragraph for spacing, making it appear like you have hit the ENTER key twice. Change your document template settings for writing your web content to allow for no spacing after a paragraph to remind yourself to hit ENTER twice.
You may copy and paste into the Visual Editor using the Paste as Text/Word feature or paste directly into the Text Editor. If there are HTML tags in the content, you must use the Text Editor.
For more information on paragraphs and line breaks in WordPress:
- Become a Better Web Writer: Quick and Essential Tips | ClarkWP WordPress Magazine
- Poetry Publishing on WordPress | ClarkWP WordPress Magazine
- How to Construct the “Perfect” Post – ClarkWP Magazine
- Make a line break instead of a paragraph » WordPress Knowledgebase
- 14 Tips for Mastering The WordPress Visual Editor
- How to Add Single / Double Line Spacing in WordPress
- The WordPress keyboard shortcut that saved my sanity – CNET
Your assignment today is fairly simple. Experiment with paragraphs, line breaks, and switching between the Text and Visual Editors.
If you wish, publish a poem or recipe. Write something simple and experiment with the line breaks.
Write something in a word processing program and experiment with pasting it into the visual and text editors.
Report on your results and experiences.
This is a tutorial from Lorelle’s WordPress School. For more information, and to join this free, year-long, online WordPress School, see:
- Lorelle’s WordPress School Introduction
- Lorelle’s WordPress School Description
- WordPress School Tutorials List
- WordPress School Google+ Community
- WordPress Publishing Checklist
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