I want to second the comment above regarding the sudden change in the link editor interface. What is the point of this change? The old link editor gave us the ability to change the text that appeared when hovering over a linked text. Now it simply contains the linked text. This appears to a completely useless change. Please revert to the old link editor.
Thanks for your feedback. The alt attribute is not valid for links.
You can however still set the title tag by switching to the TEXT/HTML mode of the editor. For example, you’ll be able to add
title="your title here"in text mode:
<a href="http://example.com" title="Hover Text">This is a link</a>
Here is a screenshot:
With all due respect, why should we have to use the HTML page to use a function that was previously available on the visual editor? Why has WordPress apparently removed this function from the visual editor? This is a very useful function that makes posts much more attractive and accessible to blog readers. I can’t think of any reason to remove it.
This change was made to the core Open Source WordPress software which WordPress.com runs. It was made as the title attribute which was originally in place for accessibility reasons is now be discouraged by accessibility standards.
Here is a quote from Drew, one of the WordPress contributors:
…In recent years, we’ve begun to actively discourage the use of title attributes in links as they are largely useless outside of providing the “hover tooltip” many visual users enjoy, and more importantly, they don’t promote good accessibility….
You can read the full discussion on why this was removed from the WordPress software, and thus WordPress.com here:
The Internet is constantly involving and changing. As such, so is the WordPress software. For links that do require the title attribute I would recommend using the HTML work around that I provided in my last post.
@bdukes, thanks for responding. I suppose it’s somewhat encouraging to know that there is some rationale for removing this function. However, if you read the comments in the discussion you referred us to, you will see the countless negative comments (in fact almost unanimous) that it has received from WordPress users. Change is indeed the name of the game, but a group like WordPress should also be responsive to feedback by its users.
How can the title attributes be “largely useless” if “many visual users” enjoy them?
I find them extremely useful in reading blogs, to help me decide whether I need to click on a link or not – i.e. if the hover title tells me that the link is to an article or site I’ve already visited.
And as @intelligencenews points out, there are more negative than positive comments in the linked thread about the change, including whether “accessibility standards” actually require this change.
Sorry, but I don’t find these to be convincing reasons to remove this feature from the visual editor.
I’m truly baffled by why WordPress continues to make user-unfriendly changes without consulting its customers as to what they might want or need.
“the “hover tooltip” many visual users enjoy” is why you should have retained this feature. When you add new features to software, you don’t remove old ones. Accessibility is fine, but why do you have to punish the vast majority to help a few people, if removing features actually helps anyone.
The decision to remove the title was made by the larger WordPress community. If you would like to contribute to the discussion on this change I would encorage you comment on the trac ticket at this link:
If you have any other questions about WordPress.com let us know.
This is simply feedback The so-called “larger wordpress community” is the self hosted community, who primarily use the software to make their living. They populate the wordcamps and theor preferences determine what core software changes we wordpress.COM bloggers have to live with. Registering a wordpress.ORG account is easy but entering the fray along with staff wannbes and developers and big money maker types is a formidable undertaking for any wordpress.com bloggers. Ive been there done that years ago and will never do so again under this username as my comments on another controversial change are still in the Akismet spam filter on that thread and there is no Staff support at wordpress.ORG.
Edit: theor was meant to be their
So the “larger WordPress community” gets to determine what features stay and which are eliminated?
This is grossly offensive to all the WordPress users who apparently aren’t included in such consultations. And that includes paying customers such as myself.
Oh yeah those who are referred to as the “larger WordPress community” ie. the self hosted community, who primarily use the software to make their living determine what changes will be made to the core, and never ever doubt that for even a minute. But they will say that they would love to have you register a WordPress.ORG account and help with core development. There is no direct wordpress.COM user path into core development of the software. The only path is via wordpress.ORG.
P.S. I have two blogs with upgrades too and that changes nothing. The only path to make input into wordpress core software development is via wordpress.ORG.
I am disgusted. Again. I’m in my 8th year with WP and have more than 2,500 posts on my blog. Yet I’m still not part of the “larger WordPress community.”
… sigh …
Of course, you are are all part of the WordPress community. I think the earlier comment was just trying to point out where and how the decision that affected the links feature in this particular case was made, that’s all.
It’s hard to have a feature taken away or changed. In the end, the goal is to make things simpler overall. Too many options and settings and additions make software become too complex over time. So we need to work to keep things simple, even though sometimes it’s a hard process to make changes toward that goal.
This also might be a case where you can’t please everyone. In my experience, I have seen lots of people ask how to remove tooltips over the years. Here is one example I found in a quick search.
Going forward, the most helpful thing you can do in a case like this here at WordPress.com would be to talk about why you think the title attribute is important to you, what you were using it for, and why you think it’s needed. The link title attribute might not be added back to the links feature in the end, but noting your reasons for wanting it would be a better starting point for a discussion. There are good reasons for removing it. The discussion in #32095 already says that if you were using them for SEO or accessibility, those are not good reasons to use the title attribute on links.
@designsimply: Thank you for your elaboration. Simplicity is indeed important, but there is always the danger of underestimating the complexity of the user community that makes up WordPress.
The intelNews blog has an academic emphasis. Therefore, proper citation and referencing is key to our posts. We use the link-title attribute to provide a proper bibliographical listings of embedded links. This is extremely important for research, because often times the original page that we link to (hosted by some other news source, for instance), is removed. In that case, a user of our blog can note down the bibliographical listing of the dead link, and find it elsewhere by searching for the title, author, etc. In following the relevant discussion in these forums, I have come across at least three other users who say they do the same thing on their blogs. So this is not a unique use of this attribute.
The link-title feature is critical to the reputation of our blog, and is removal hurts our reputation, which we have painstakingly worked to build since 2008. I would strongly urge WordPress to bring the feature back. I agree with your argument about simplicity, but I think that in this case the search for simplicity subverts the cause of accuracy and precision, which is critical in establishing a site’s reputation. As I am sure you understand, reputation is everything in the online environment.
@intelligencenews, thanks for outlining a specific example. For citations, you might actually really like markdown footnotes instead.
If you want to try them, you have to turn on markdown first. This help page explains how:
After that, you use a notation like this to create a footnote:
I have more [^1] to say up here.
[^1]: To say down here.
You can also still use the title attribute on links by editing your HTML using the Text/HTML tab in the editor (it’s more of a pain, but still possible), but footnotes might actually work much better for your use case because footnotes are pretty common for citations in academic texts. Plus, they will be in a nicely formatted list at the bottom of the post, which would be easier for your readers to see and also to link back to if they’d like.
My link anchor text (what I highlight in my post) is usually just a couple of words rather than the complete title of the target article which might well be awkward and distracting. Previously, readers could hover over my link to see the title and decide whether they wanted to click on the link. It helps no one when that information is simply a circular reference back to the highlighted words in my post. And I particularly resent that if I try to insert the title of the target article in the link, the new functionality inserts that title in my post, usurping whatever text I highlighted and destroying my sentence. I fail to see how this helps anyone.
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