Hot off the presses, WordPress 3.9 has some nice new visual editor features that will make adding images, video and audio easier and more intuitive.

This video from WPMU shows some of the highlights:

 

To try it out, I added this image. It was much simpler — just dragged it from my desktop onto the editor screen and selected “insert.” Then, I was able to use the Visual Edtor tab to drag out the size to where I wanted it, and I could even edit it (to the degree WordPress lets you edit images) right in place. Very nice.

montserrat-from-below

 

Setting up playlists is, finally, easy. Once you’ve uploaded your media files, the “create xxxxx playlist” option appears. You can drag-and-drop your clips into whatever order suits you, and a player like this appears:

There are a few quirks they need to work out. The “pause” and “mute” buttons are invisible. If you hover your cursor just to the left of the time track, you’ll see the pointer change into the pointing finger; that pauses it. Put it just to the right of the volume bar (on the far right) and you can mute it. Also, the timings don’t seem to be quite right. But, it works, and it’s something you weren’t able to easily do at all before.

Here are a  few items from my own library: the introduction to Messiaen’s <em>St. Francis of Assisi,</em> a movement of Brahms’ Second Symphony, and the epic Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor of Bach.

A feature I’m excited about is the ability to cleanly copy-and-paste text in the Visual tab from Office applications. Previously, it would bring in all the styling from your document — which would clash with the styling of the rest of your blog — making it look like an amateurish mish-mash.

Let’s try a block from a Word document I made the other week. If it works, this should be formatted exactly like the rest of this post!

Ready?


Course Schedule

  1. Go to Events::Add New
  2. Enter the event name (i.e., “Welcome to the Honors Program; The Symposium”
  3. Add or update the correct event date, and check “This event lasts all day.” Use the same date for the end date as the start date.
  4. Select the appropriate category or categories, depending on the class.
  5. Pick the correct location from the dropdown. Each class has a different one, refer to the heading on the old site to determine which.
  6. Insert the detail copy from the old site. This is only the green assignment text, not the full explanation.
  7. Optional: Set an Event image. You should grab these from the existing event description on the old site. Right-click and save, then upload it to the new event by clicking the “Set a featured image button.” Then, be sure to put the caption in the Attributes section as “Image_Caption.”
  8. Save your work

To edit a class, go into Events::Edit, and change the scope to “All Events,” then click “Apply.”

If you’ve selected the right categories, the course you’ve created will show up on all the right index pages.


Success! The formatting is clean and semantic, with the proper header and list tags without any of the additional styles and classes Office apps put in. But how about Excel? That’s always been the worst, with cryptic and hard-to-remove tentacles of “ms_” classes and table-cell widths. The only solution was to re-create a proper HTML table out of your raw data, which could be pretty tedious. Let’s try…


 

ASSIGNMENTS
Orfeo Beethoven 6 Strauss Radetsky
Flute 1 David Renee David
Flute 2 Linda David Renee
Piccolo NA Linda Linda
Oboe 1 NA Amy Lee
Oboe 2 NA Lee Amy
Clarinet 1 NA Steve Dave
Clarinet 2 NA Dave Steve
Bassoon 1 NA Christine Mary
Bassoon 2 NA Mary Christine
Horn 1 Rosemary Rosemary Megan
Horrn 2 Megan Bastos Rosemary Walzer

Just about perfect. The only thing it added that wasn’t great was the widths. But they’re only in the first row — it used to add them in every row — making them easier to clean out if you want to.

That alone is enough to make this blogger very happy!