What's new in WordPress 3.9

Hot on the heels of WordPress 3.8 is the last version before the big 4-0.
Lots of goodies this time, that make editing even more of a joy than before, and some cool updates to the media interface.

So what do these improvements mean for editors?

Improved visual editing

The content editor has had a complete makeover, although it looks largely the same to avoid confusion.
One of the best features is the removal of the ‘Word’ filter. This previously stripped out all the unwelcome code that Microsoft’s ubiquitous tool rather unkindly inserted. However, the removal of the filter doesn’t mean the editor doesn’t do the task anymore. What it means is the task is processed on-the-fly without us having to know anything about it.
For us, this is a huge deal. The Word filter was one of the hardest processes to teach in our classes. Not that it was a difficult concept to grasp, but because the user never sees the gobbledygook that Word carries, it was easy for WordPress users to not notice they hadn’t filtered some text.
That problem is now history. Thank you WordPress.

Edit images easily

WordPress image resizingThe WordPress team have listened to criticism of the image editor and made improvements. It is now much easier to edit images within the CMS, and pictures can be scaled right within the content editor. Again, this is a big deal for us and our customers. By simplifying the process of managing media, it makes managing content easier all round. Thanks again WP.

Drag and drop your images

Once upon a time, you could drag an image onto the content editor, and the picture would appear in the post. However, it only linked a local copy and when the pot was published the link to the image would break.
In 3.9, you can drag and drop an image onto the content editor, and it will upload to the database just as if you’d gone through the proper uploader. The only caveat to this, is that you have to be sure to place your cursor where you want the picture.

Gallery previews

WordPress Gallery PreviewsAnother welcome change is ‘gallery previews’. This means you can see pictures previewed in galleries, whereas before, galleries would only show a camera and a photo.

Audio and video playlists

Uploading audio and video now means you can bundle them into playlists. A great feature if you’re not using external media services such as YouTube and SoundCloud.

For admins

For those who are customising their own sites, there’s live widget and header previews, and what WordPress calls a ‘stunning’ theme browser. It aint bad!

For Developers

Technical improvements include:
Semantic Captions and Galleries – new options for images and galleries that use intelligent HTML5 markup.
Inline Code Documentation – Every action and filter hook in WordPress is now documented..
Updated Libraries – TinyMCE 4, jQuery 1.11, Backbone 1.1, Underscore 1.6, Plupload 2, MediaElement 2.14, Masonry 3.
Improved Database Layer – improved compatibility with PHP 5.5 and MySQL 5.6.