If you yourself can get into a Zen-like state of mind before writing, fantastic!–it’s a useful skill. WordPress can go into Zen mode at a press of a button!
There are two ways to enter text into WordPress, and each of these has two modes, Zen and un-Zen.
Visual vs. HTML
You will notice that the text entry box you type your page or post into has two tabs at the upper left. “Visual” is a WYSIWYG editor, that allows you to see most text formatting, inserted images, links, bullets and other features, almost as they will appear in your published page or post. The editing buttons at the top of the text box should be familiar from other word processing programs.
HTML mode allows you to enter code into WordPress. You need to use it in some cases where the WYSIWYG editor doesn’t correctly interpret code. One example of this is the <!–nextpage–> comment discussed in the formatting section of this site. Another is when you need to use an older embedding method on sites where WordPress doesn’t know to auto-embed media.
Getting to Zen
The folks at Automattic, the company that makes WordPress, like jokes. You may stumble across some hidden tricks and behaviors while you work on your pages.
One inside joke that’s pretty useful is Zen Mode. More boring companies call this “fullscreen editing mode.”
in the WYSIWYG editor, use this button:
In HTML, there is a button that says “fullscreen.”
That’s Zen. It’s more Zen to write on a spacious white page than in an narrow horizontal window. Note however, the narrow horizontal window in un-Zen mode has a drag handle on the lower right that allows you to stretch the window by dragging your mouse down. Do that if you want to see more of your writing without scrolling.
To get out of the Zen mode in WordPress, mouse over the top part of the screen. An exit button will appear.