First Release: Visualize Advanced Features

28 Feb 2007
February 28, 2007

This very simple little WordPress plugin shows the Advanced Toolbar button in your WordPress 2.1x WYSIWYG Post Editor. No more fumbling around for the correct hotkey to show these “hidden” buttons. Just click the button (see red circled image below).

Visualize Toolbar

If you use the wysiwyg editor, you’ll want to give this a try. I think you’ll be pleased.

Update: September 23, 2007 — it appears that this functionality is now native in the upcoming WordPress 2.3.  As such, upgraders to that version won’t want this.

Big shout to Mark Steel for the code.


  • GPL License. Use it, build from it — ideally, credit me as the idea guy with a link back to here. Say nice things about Mark too.


  • Download it from my downloads page WordPress plugins page
  • Unzip it
  • FTP/scp/carrier pigeon it to your server, put it in the plugins directory
  • Login to WordPress, activate it.


  • Open to ideas… perhaps research TinyMCE and see if there are other interesting buttons to show?


[Released with Mark’s permission]

Tags: , , ,
73 replies
  1. Rich G. says:

    Nicely done, downloaded, installed, and running.

  2. Joe says:

    Full plugin now? C0ol, I’ll have download it. :)

  3. Jim says:

    You said “Open to ideas… perhaps research TinyMCE and see if there are other interesting buttons to show

    There’s a ton of features in TinyMCE that can be implimented in the WP editor. From tables (10 button features) to CSS layout and layers to text formatting. Font format, family, size, color, background color, sub/super script, etc. Almost all are in the form of TinyMCE plugins.

    Moxiecode has an example here of the complete function set with links to other more reasonable-sized sets. The command reference is a listed here.

    Even a code moron (me!) can manage to manually alter the TinyMCE initialization file to get added functions. What would be nice —and far beyond my skill— is a visual plugin or function page to easily add or subtract the plugins.

  4. Chris says:

    @Jim – good stuff, and some ideas to ponder. Thanks!

    Looks like I have some reading to do. I’m intrigued by the idea of a plugin to add/remove TinyMCE features. Now to find the time…

  5. PG says:

    Strange… it put the button on the hidden extended row, not the top row… so I have to do the keycombo to see the button that’s supposed to eliminate the keycombo. heheheh.

  6. Chris says:

    @PG – well that’s a first!

    Are you running any other plugins that might be tweaking TinyMCE (the wysiwyg editor)?

    After activating it, you may need to clear your local browser cache.

  7. Luis says:

    After 2.1.3 upgrade the plug-in is not working, any workaround.

  8. Chris says:

    Hi Luis – I’m at 2.1.3 here and it still works. Off the top of my head, not sure what to suggest. Did you install any other/new plugins recently that might conflict?

  9. Luis says:

    Hello Chris,

    The only thing I know I did wrong was to update wordpress without de-activating the plug-ins. After the update I went back and check them one by one and this one is the only one that seem to have stop working. I tried re-installing it but still don’t work. I checked 3 different browsers, with the same result. Do you know how can I troubleshoot this.

    Thanks a lot,


  10. Michael says:

    This is such a neat enhancement. Thank you for your work!
    It worked perfectly once I removed another wysiwyg plugin called Advanced Wysiwyg. They were coming to blows under the hood, and had to be separated!

    Visualize Advanced Features was the winner!

    Cheers, Chris!

  11. Luis says:


    I empty the cache on my browser, deleted history, and thats it. I can now see the wysiwyg extra features. Strange, I never thought that would be a problem. Damn cookies, jaja.

    Thanks a lot man!


  12. Chris says:

    @Michael – Thanks for the kind words.

    @Luis – so glad to hear you got it working. :-)

  13. Sarah Lewis says:

    Just a quick note to say that I also had to delete my cache to see the results of this plugin on WP 2.1.3. Not a big deal once you know what to do. :)

  14. Adam Kayce : Monk At Work says:

    Ha — this is great. Thanks so much!

    I love that you can choose h1, h2, etc. from the visual toolbar, without having to go into code view and manually adding all that stuff.

    Thanks, big time!

  15. ginny says:

    Working! Thank you so much. It’s nice to have the toggle button in the standard toolbar where it obviously needed to be. Is there a way of making the advance toolbar stay visible after a visit to the CODE tag? If not, the button is there.

    What happened to the old HTML button? Is it really the same as the CODE tag, or is there a difference? There was some discussion on the support boards a while ago on how to edit the tinyMCE to get it back, and whether or not it was different from the CODE tag.

    Also, my codemonkey/husband will try to alter the config to stop it from stripping DIV tags and changing them to P tags; that is necessary because I use DIVs for some image styling site-wide.

    If there’s later, better information, I’m sure I’ll be back looking for answers…thanks again for making this plugin, though!

  16. Does this plugin work with K2? says:

    I can’t seem to get this plugin to work, I am using K2 with wordpress 2.1.2

    I need a way to resize my text urgently!
    Any help please

    Scooter Schalk

  17. Chris says:

    I can’t imagine a theme impacting the wysiwyg editor… It sure shouldn’t be a theme issue.

    Then again, I’ve never quite figured out K2 — it’s a bit more than just a theme.

    This plugin only “touches” the TinyMCE editor. I guess you’d have to ask the K2 guys if they’re messing with the editor as well.

  18. mll says:

    Simple yet cool plugin, thanks!

    What’d be nice is an option to have the 2nd toolbar activated by default – some of my users find it hard to find and/or reach that button. :D

  19. Chris says:

    mll – thank you. And I agree, that would be convenient. Something to look into. :)

  20. Karl says:

    Hi there!

    Had this handy plugin installed and liked it. Today I installed the “Advanced TinyMCE Editor” ( and was wondering if there’s a way to make the two plugins work together? I don’t know quite how this plugin works behind the scenes, but perhaps a switch or two could be altered so it picks up (and separates, as before) the new tags too?

    Thanks, Karl

  21. Chris says:

    I’d not really looked at the “Advanced TinyMCE Editor” plugin before. But holy cow! It has a lot of buttons!

    Seems odd he only missed just this one. If I get a second this weekend, I’ll see if merge would be simple.

  22. David Esrati says:

    I hope I’m wrong- but 2.2.1 and this plug-in seem to break tinymce- so you won’t have a visual text editor. If anyone has successfully updated- please post a comment to this thread.

  23. Chris says:

    I hope I’m wrong […]

    Good news! :-)
    Works just fine with my 2.2.1 installation.

  24. David Esrati says:

    After a few go arounds- it works with 2.2.1
    Had to DELETE and reinstall the wp-includes/js folder, after shutting off all plugins.
    Nice job on a great pludin.

  25. Chris says:

    Glad to hear you got it sorted out, David.

  26. hebrink says:

    Great plugin… wish I have a WordPress Blog.

  27. Michelin says:

    Appreciate the plug-in, simple (to install) and works. Noticed this on my site, and wondered how to find it… now I have. Well done, and Thx
    PS: using WP 2.2.1 seems to be OK.

  28. Jack says:

    Great work! Thanks for the helpful information.

  29. Dan says:

    Thanks for your work on this plug-in. Really helpful. Keep up the good work.

  30. mike says:

    Thanks for this!! As a request I would ask for a button to change the font size. I see the ‘formating’ drop down but I was hoping for a button to select font size using the ‘percentage’ standard. You highlight the text, hit the button, then enter the percentage you want the text.

    Just an idea.

    Thanks for the plugin!!

  31. Chris says:

    @Dan – thanks!

    @mike – I have this vague and unrealized goal of adding a lot more of the TinyMCE buttons… I’ve just not found the time to wade in.

    There are some more full featured WP editor replacement plugins that you might search for in the mean-time. :-)

  32. mark says:

    it is update WordPress 2.3. .I download and installed, it is very good.

  33. Chris says:

    Interesting. My testing showed the “toolbar” a bit messed up in 2.3 with this enabled.

    Moot point, it’s included in 2.3 now anyways!


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