How to Add a Paragraph Break in WordPress

old typewriter
Remember carriage return? Its back!

Any good writer knows that separating paragraphs tells the reader when a new topic is coming up.  But in WordPress, the free blogging software, the ENTER key is ignored.  You can manually add a break, with a “br” command but WordPress will filter it out later.  Frustrating!


I found the solution at Enabling Line Break in WordPress | Rubayat Hasan, where you can see a number of joyously thankful comments.

The trick to getting the paragraph break back into WordPress is a Plugin called TinyMCE Advanced.  To get it, go to your Plugins menu, click Add New, search on TinyMCE Advanced, read the details (always read the details!), and click Install Now.

Once TinyMCE Advanced is installed, you can set up your WordPress “word processing screen” with new options by going to Dashboard -> Settings -> TinyMCE Advanced.  Drag up to the top bars any layout tools you want to appear in your word processing screen while writing posts and pages. 

But here’s what gets you the paragraph break.  At the bottom of Advanced Options click the box that says “Stop removing the <p> and <br /> tags when saving and show them in the HTML editor.”

Just a note, mentioned in the plugin details, the plugin will change your overall screen appearance because it needs room.  But that hasn’t been an issue.

Now, I just hit enter to get a “carriage return.”

Ah, for the good old days.old typewriter





Background: TinyMCE, also known as the Tiny Moxiecode Content Editor, is an open source “What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get” or WYSIWYG Javascript editor control.

TinyMCE can convert HTML text area fields or other HTML elements to editing functions.  In short, TinyMCE lets regular humans convert familiar editor functions — italics, paragraph breaks, etc. — into HTML code!

TinyMCE was designed to easily work with web content systems, including Drupal, Joomla!, and WordPress.

Invest a few dollars in your WordPress knowledge.  It pays off in the time you save searching the web for answers, and lets you take your site or blog to the next level.


WordPress Tips #5 – 7

Continuing the ridiculously simple WordPress advice

WordPress Tip #5

When you are writing Posts (or Pages) pay attention to the two tabs in the upper right corner of the workspace, namely, “Visual” and “HTML.”  What you can do to your text is quite different depending on which one is clicked.  Don’t be afraid to examine code.  It’s not rocket science, although it takes some getting used to.  For the Page version of this article, I started breaking up the Tips using a little piece of code: <!–nextpage–>  You just paste it in while the HTML tab is on, and it makes a new page.

WordPress Tip #6

As powerful as WordPress is, not all instructions and explanation are as clear as others.  Some “help” files seem to start out easy enough, and the tone is always friendly, but I get confused, especially by articles that embed references to very elementary articles while explaining something rather complicated.  An article I found quite helpful is Administration Panels. When you find instructions that are making sense, save them and re-read them. I got enough guidance from my web hosting company to get my WordPress site up and running.  BlueHost supports one-click installation of WordPress.  I have been so impressed with their kind and patient customer support (by people based in Utah) that I decided to become an affiliate. If you have gained some confidence that even an amateur can eventually figure out WordPress, I hope you will click through here if you decide to host a site.  It’s a pretty cheap hobby and some people say you can eventually make some money.

WordPress Tip #7 Find inspiration.

When I decided to start a blog, I found a couple of tremendously helpful sites, offering solid guidance on how to “monetize” you site.  One of these is Problogger, who offers solid information and does not blow sunshine up your skirt about getting rich quick on the Internet.

Shows, rather than tells, how quality content can make a difference.  Very inspirational.

WordPress Tip #3 Only One Blog in WordPress

WordPress Tip #3: Only One Blog in WordPress

WordPress is set up to make only one Blog, that is, one collection of Posts. The main blog is set up to accept your most recent Post, and display it at the top of the Blog. You can’t make more than one Blog.

As Many Pages as You Like

But in WordPress you can make as many Pages as you like.  Pages are intended to be static, that is, unchanging.  A Page, well polished and with specific guidance to the reader, is often used as a “landing page.”  WordPress users commonly create an “About” page to orient the reader about the site’s author(s), its mission and topic, and links to sections of the blog.  Pages may be added to Menus, which you select and treat like a Widget, posting a Menu of Pages on a topic that might interest your readers, or any collection criterion you decide.  But Menus do not update automatically the way the Blog does.


If you want to make a Page look different you can change its Theme, that is, the set of computer instructions that determine the page layout, and available free from WordPress or from a vendor.  You will find a lot of talk about Themes, and there are many you can download.  But no one mentions how to set a different Theme for a page.  I found it hidden under “advanced” in a plugin called HeadSpace2. It may be elsewhere but I found it there. What is a “plugin” you ask?  See the answer in WordPress Tip #4.