The Missing Buttons Problem

computer cartoon

In the last couple of weeks I have noticed buttons disappearing off my Dashboard toolbar. I’ve been grrrr’ing about the WP gremlins as by Thursday last week there were not one, but  two buttons missing. Ones that I use frequently – Justify and Underline.

This last week has been a series of Oh, I didn’t know THAT moments in blogging for me. I really want to share them with you. I think they are good things to know.

Back to the buttons. First I thought I’d do the right thing and see if I can solve the problem all by myself, being grown up and all. Nope! Not grown up enough it seems. So I e-penned off a request to the Great Gurus of WP – the Happiness Engineers (HE).

I have to hand it to them, they were very prompt in responding. It was suggested I clear the browser and cookies. Huh? Are they chocolate chip? I’d heard the terms before so I knew it was nothing edible unfortunately. At least that was a start. I even had a vague recollection of The Retired Husband (TRH) showing me how to do it a looooong time ago. So off I trotted and asked him to show me again.

He looked confused at first. Vague even. Then the lightbulb switched on. Oh, he said, you mean HISTORY.  (He does it every week, he says. Can you believe that ?!) Now it was my turn to look confused. The HE didn’t call it HISTORY. But we did agree we were talking about the very same thing, which was comforting. The flock of butterflies in my stomach were on high alert by this time. Getting quite agitated in fact. It’s considered good computer housework to clear the browser and cookies (yuk!) and not just for bloggers. Which probably explains why I had let it be conveniently forgotten. You see I have this terrible allergy to cleaning so I avoid it whenever I can.

For those of you who may be wondering where this magical cleaning thingy resides I can now tell you. It’s a proud moment for me. On my screen it’s hidden at the top right hand corner. Find the three little dots on top of each other. Click on that and you will get a drop down box. Go down to More Tools – and voilà – there it is: Clear Browsing data. TRH says his is in HISTORY. Hence the confusion. Glad we cleared that up.

crying emoticon

However, let me warn you. There were consequences. I nearly went into meltdown. My emails and internet disappeared. Big gulping breaths later, and with a resolve  I will fix this myself  firmly on my lips, I delved in. It seems  this particular piece of computer housework meant I had to sign in to everything again. And up it all popped. Whew! That was a close call. However, it did not solve the Missing Buttons on the Toolbar Problem. The HE had asked me to let them know how I got on. So I did. I hadn’t – got on that is.

Once again they came to my rescue. Not to restore the said missing buttons. But to explain why they are missing. Ready?

‘There are a few noteworthy changes to the editor in WordPress 4.7.

Some of the toolbar buttons have been rearranged to make them easier to access and to encourage proper use of the HTML elements they insert.  The headings drop down is now moved to the top row, and the strike-through and horizontal rule button are moved down. This also reflects their usage.

I’m butting in here to get your undivided attention  as this next bit in red is about The Missing Buttons –

The underline and justify buttons have been removed from the bottom row. Underlining is a bad practice as readers can confuse it with links (bad accessibility), and it does not insert a semantic element. Justifying has uneven browser implementation, and in many cases is bad for readability. Keyboard shortcuts for both will keep working.

Oh. As a neatnik I have been justifying my posts to make it look – well, neat. Even lines of text and all that. Humble apologies to readers of my blog if you have experienced bad readability of my posts. Or have you ? I really would like to know. If you have,  I will change my bad practice. Did you notice this post is not justified?  I’m feeling a tad uncomfortable about that. It doesn’t look – neat.

And as for underlining all those links I throw in… Well. I will find creative ways around it to make it clear which bits are links. Like the italicised blue words in this post. They are links  😉   Did you realise that? (pssst – if you really want to know what the keyboard shortcuts are, I can tell you. I know ….)

computer emoticon with @

This next one is really important too. Thanks to Hugh’s News and Views for ‘what-I-didn’t-know-and-should’ have about pingbacks.

If you create a pingback (= link) to another blog’s home page the owner of the site does not get notified. If you want them to know about the pingback (and who wouldn’t?) it is best to create it to either the About Me page or to a particular post. Like this one here  – Pingbacks.

 I’m hoping this has been helpful information to at least some of you. If you already knew this,  now you know again. It has been useful for me to consolidate the new learning. Blogging seems to be a never-ending learning curve.

©  Raili Tanska

Steps for Peace 

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other  — Mother Theresa (1910-1997)

37 thoughts on “The Missing Buttons Problem

  1. This is a rude way for WP to not let us do unacceptable styling of our pages. o_O o_O O_o In order to stop us from using these bad practices, they take them away instead of giving the proverbial tap on the knuckles.
    I feel I’ve been bad and had my dessert taken away. 😦

  2. Thanks for the pingback, Raili. And the post looks very neat to me. I don’t know why anybody would not read it because it was so untidy to look at. You’ve done a great job without those missing buttons.

  3. I love the way WordPress just changes suff without telling anyone about it straight away! I think that your posts do look pretty neat, and it and I am impresed that you use justify to give thwm that professional edge (I am far too lazy to do that)! 🙂

  4. I’m actually someone who doesn’t like justify as it creates strange spaces between words. BUT I do think people should have editing choices. Your post looks neat to me 🙂

  5. your blog is neat and easy to read-I know less than you about this blogging thing. Shame on wordpress for constantly changing – I could barely write because it looked different! Oh well-I still love them!

  6. I actually noticed this because I use the justify a lot and was so perplexed when I found that it was missing. Thankfully, I know how to use shortcuts so I’ve been using that.
    It’s time to fetch those cookies.

  7. Thanks, Raili, for the info. Some of the things I’ve noticed lately, too. I’m like you and I’m also one of those that likes to justify and noticed the button was gone. So, just been using the shortcut (Alt +Shift j).WordPress changes have been driving me crazy lately.

    1. So you know the secret HTML code 🙂 I have no idea about HTML at all. You’re right about the changes though – why do they have to play around with stuff that works perfectly well!

      1. Hi Raili. I don’t know if that’s the HTML code or not to justify (Alt +Shift j). I just thought it was a shortcut key. I don’t know much about the HTML codes but I know what you mean about playing around with stuff. Got some things I’m still trying to figure out and fix. Ugh!

      2. Didn’t know that, Raili, they were the same but good to know. I only know enough to get me in trouble, unfortunately. Like you said, whatever works is what counts. 🙂

  8. Thanks for this informative and entertaining post Raili. I’m glad I’m self hosted as WP doesn’t retain the rights to mess around with my buttons. Oh sure they can send me to spam as well as my readers, and mess up my notifications, but they can’t change my dashboard. Yay! And about clearing your history, make sure you tick off only the things you want to clear when you’re in the clearing list. 🙂

  9. I just saw this post, but I so wish that I had found it a few weeks ago. I hadnt written anything for years, and I have been going bananas trying to figure out what happened to some of the text effects options. I was so relieved to see your thoughts and feedback!

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