Show/Hide Kitchen Sink: The Tiny but Vital WordPress Button You May Have Missed

By Ali Luke

You might only be using half the power of WordPress’s visual editor … without even realising it.

I came across the handy (though cumbersomely named) “Show/Hide Kitchen Sink” button in my very early days of blogging.

In the six years since then, I’ve realised that this is always off by default on new blogs … and many bloggers don’t even know it exists.

No idea what that button is or what it does? Here’s what you need to do:

1. Login to your blog’s dashboard.

2. Open up a post or page to edit (or create a new draft).

3. Look at the top of the main posting box. You’ll see a row of icons like this:

show-hide-kitchen-sink-one-row

4. Click on the button that I’ve indicated with the red square.

Tada! You now have a second row of editing icons, including some I’d be lost without:

  • The “Paragraph” drop down, that lets you select Heading formats (“paragraph” is default, normal text).
  • The “text colour” button – this is the A with a line underneath.
  • The Character map for special characters – this is the Omega.
  • The “undo” and “redo” buttons – the curved arrows.

show-hide-kitchen-sink-two-rows

To see what a button does, just hold your cursor over it and a short explanation will pop up. (This will also tell you the button’s keyboard shortcut.)

 

So … did you know about Show/Hide Kitchen Sink, or is this the first time you’ve seen that second of buttons? Which of these extra buttons will be your new favourite? Drop a comment below and tell us!

 




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15 Responses to “Show/Hide Kitchen Sink: The Tiny but Vital WordPress Button You May Have Missed”

  • Uju

    First time I must say. Though I’m a new wp blogger and I kept believing one day I will see them.. Didn’t know they were in the kitchen sink!

  • Ryan Biddulph

    LOL Ali!

    Have you ever had an AHA moment in the WP blogging world? This is mine. I stared at this for years. I never clicked on it. I did the manual header thing, using html. For years.

    That will change now thanks to you 😉

    Appreciate it Ali!

    Ryan

  • Ali Luke

    Ryan, I have had SO MANY aha moments (like when I realised I could align images using the visual editor rather than writing my own CSS code)! Glad I could help you out.

  • DigitalShare

    That feature was hidden from my sight view as well when I first started to use WP, until I realize it could be expanded 🙂

  • Cindy Buccieri

    You are right, most people don’t know about the “show/hide kitchen sink” (love that name by the way). I love those features too. It totally spoils me from having to actually type html. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pakde Cholik

    I did it
    Thank you

  • Ali Luke

    Glad to help, Padke! Cindy, the name always makes me smile, but I do wonder if it could be a bit more user-friendly… I’m sure lots of people see it and have no idea what it does.

  • Herman Yudiono

    Hi Ali,

    I known Show/Hide Kitchen Sink four years ago. I love and regularly use it when editing and formatting my posts. The buttons I frequently use are paragraph, text color, and undo.

  • Raspal Seni

    Hi Ali,

    Just like you, I came to know about what this strangely named button in WordPress does. I’m a try-all type of guy who loves to try out and configure programs and apps. That was how I came to know about the kitchen sink button.

    I also use Windows Live Writer and I use it more than I use WordPress’s inbuilt editor. It has a lot of features that WordPress’s editor lacks or isn’t good at. Did you ever try or use WLW or a similar offline WP post editor?

    I’m waiting for your upcoming post on how to monetize our blog, btw, because after today’s post, I’m done with writing 31 blog posts this month (the blog challenge) and would like to start monetizing my blog. I’m sure others are looking forward to it too.

    Regards,
    Raspal

  • Victoria Virgo

    I can’t remember how I discovered the hidden buttons. I think I must have been testing each icon to see what each thing did and then, TaDa! The extra row of helpful tools appeared.

    It seems so obvious now but it didn’t at the time 🙂

  • Marija

    Wow, I’ve been blogging in WordPress for six and a half years and this is the first time I see this! 😛

  • Rosemary K

    I even clicked on it but didn’t know what it was for! Thank you. I’m going to start using it immediately.

  • Shawn Gossman

    I still tend to do as I did 15 years ago back in the pre-blog days… use HTML :p However, I have been starting to try to use editors more just to speed things up a bit. Good post, Ali.

  • Ali Luke

    @Herman – I don’t use text colour much, but I’m definitely a fan of the paragraph dropdown and the undo button!

    @Raspal – I think the “ooh, what does this button do?” approach is a good one for learning about WordPress! I’ve never tried Windows Live Writer, will have to give it a go. 🙂

    I normally draft my posts in Word then copy them into WordPress with the “paste from Word” button (another handy one that’s revealed by show/hide kitchen sink).

    @Shawn – I used HTML for a long time when I got started, but I do find it’s a lot faster to use the visual editor!

  • NewYorkerApts

    I wonder why this feature isn’t more prominently featured by WordPress. Thank you for calling attention to this.

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