Yes, an old Cogdog can learn a new WordPress Trick.

I’ve long gotten over the move to the Block Editor. I almost chuckle like seeing an 8-track player in a thrift store when I see Ye Olde Classic Editor (e.g. in Pressbooks). But there are things I continually fumble over.

It seems very frequent when editing in a paragraph block when I attempt to add a hyperlink (which I tend to do voraciously), I faithfully select a chunk of text, click the linky button, type or enter a URL, and when I press RETURN or click the arrow button, the link gets applied to adjacent text, not what I selected.

I have seen this happen 2, maybe 3 times in a row. I have no clue, but it seems Uncle Gutenberg is losing track of my selection location in the movement to click the link button.

What can one do?

Vent on Twitter!

Yes!

As I am stewing, or maybe I am doing my self glorification dance after tossing out such a witticism (okay I made up that dance part), I realize that if it’s the movement away from the selected text to snag the button click, there is a simpler way ti invoke the hypertext dialog box. It works in nearly every editor interface — select the text, and press command-K.

Keyboard shortcuts are the bomb.

So I made a demo, grabbed 4 screenshots, folded them into Photoshop to make a GIF, and again, look at my victory!

Ah, I have achieved something early in the day. Laurels rested upon.

And then, as the twitters work when it’s not a bunch of whingeing (look, I used that word two posts in a row!) about course heroes and wordle sales, someone kindly comes in with a more elegant solution that has escaped me for my 19 some years of using WordPress.

Thank you David Wiley! Brilliant!

That is just much more elegant. Have your URL copied, select the text, and simply paste. It’s like pouring the URL over the text, no movement away, and it’s fast. Efficient. The time you save may allow you to write another blog post!

And I think I have seen it happen when I do my inefficient select text, click the button, paste, and sometimes I went so fast that I just pasted. I have seen myself do it, and usually I think I made a mistake, and redo the link! I completely missed what was happening that David taught me in a single tweet.

On writing this post I wanted to document the behavior I had observed/ whinged about. I tried about 15 different attempts on my test page, getting screenshots to show the steps. And BAM! I could not even reproduce what I had been seeing. Am I now suffering from Block Editor Delusions?

It is a possibility.

So again, there is room, reason to always be learning. And I have to imagine there are a pile of other nifty tricks like that just outside of my experience zone. And far. I will never reach anything like so- called “expert” status in anything. I never want to be an expert.

Thank you David, thank you twitter, for not only giving me a little tech trick, but a larger lesson in what we think we know and how confounding it is be confronted with a better way to do something I have done countless times.

Pouring URLs over words, it’s just elegant.


Featured Image: Barista Pour Over a Negative Space image shared into the public domain using Creative Commons CC0.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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