No paragraph spacing in post-page editor

Guest Post by Richard

This is just a quick, short post about some recent issues people are reporting with the post and page editor at wordpress.COM, but it also applies to self-hosted blogs using the software from wordpress.ORG.

If you are having problems getting a blank line between paragraphs in the visual editor, it might be something as simple as the editor not properly coding the paragraphs. In other words, somehow the formatting got changed to something other than “paragraph.”

First, make certain you have the lower second row of icons showing in your editor. If you do not, then click the “kitchen sink” icon at the end of the top row of icons (square with several lines of dots).

Editor lower left cornerNow, look in the lower left corner border area of the editor content window. If all is right, you should see something similar to the image at left: “Path: p” (click for full-sized view).  If you see anything that doesn’t contain “p” (such as div), then the editor is not set for standard paragraph spacing and that is why you are not getting any blank lines between the paragraphs. How did this happen? That is a million dollar question with no real answer, but give the following solution a try when you lose the blank line between paragraphs.

With all the text in the post or page selected (highlighted) go to the style pulldown at the left end of the lower tool bar (image at left) and select “Paragraph” from the pulldown. Your blank lines between paragraphs should magically appear and from that point forward, you should be alright—until the next time it happens, and it probably will. Just remember this solution. It has always fixed the issue for me.

17 thoughts on “No paragraph spacing in post-page editor

  1. Richard,
    I really appreciate your help every time.
    Thanks a lot..

    1. I’m saying “you’re welcome” on Richard’s behalf.

  2. Dave, Ugh, I remember that version of Wordperfect. That was when I switched to Word as well. Word can be used, and it sounds as if you have a good handle on the pitfalls and traps, so I’m sure you will do fine.

  3. Thanks for your reply Richard.

    I use a Word macro to set up my rather specialised posts, so I was looking for a Word-based solution. I wanted something better than pasting via the toolbar button, which lost all text colours. Although I have to do a bit of tidying up – adding the “more” tag, setting tags etc. I have had very few problems. I did learn very quickly that 11pt Calibri gives the best results.

    I saw TT’s article a while back, and tried Windows Live Writer, but I’ve been using Word since 1992 (I switched when Wordperfect brought out a truly dreadful Windows version) so wanted to stay with it.

  4. I don’t wish to take this thread too far off-topic, but I have been using the option in Word 2010 to “Publish as a Blog Post” for some time (I can’t remember if it is available in Word 2007). It works well, although not well enough to hit the “Publish” button – I always use “Publish as Draft” so that I can tidy up, add tags etc. (it does, however, let you allocate categories). To me the main advantages are that it preserves font colours, which “Paste from Word” doesn’t, and automatically uploads pictures.

    1. Dave, it is in 2007 also, but can be problematic just like with 2010. You might want to check out Timethief’s round up of blog client editors. Windows Live Writer is a free download, and it a very solid blog editor with a boat load of very useful features. Very “Word” like. It saves a copy of your posts on your computer for additional safety, and does a great job of uploading them to your site, and uploads images and attachments in the posts as well, automatically. I wish they had a version for Mac.

  5. @Barry and Cynthia has support documentation for those who are copying and pasting from Microsoft Word and/or from other sources which is worth reading and acting upon. If you are copying and pasting from Microsoft Word then you ought to be using icon 6 in Row 2 of the visual editor to clean up the code prior to inserting it.
    Please see:

    1. Thanks! will check out. take care.

  6. I primarily do my writings in Word. When the time comes to post the story to my blog, I go to the post editor and do a “copy & paste” via Word. I did notice the extra tag between paragraphs. It’s noticeable because I’m familiar with visual editors and html.

    Is this related to what you’re talking about? The only solution I’ve seen is “delete each paragraph breaks.”. That is, get rid of the extra line caused by the extra p tag.

    1. @barryb64 – I do the same – copy from Word – my solution was this: paste from word and then immediately save draft – when you do that save, all the extra spaces go away automatically as the content reformats to the standard for the theme (well – it works for me in the TwentyTen theme, anyway…) Good luck!

  7. Hi Richard,
    I have a slightly different issue, but to do with the editor as well. Since i changed my theme to Coraline, I can edit, write perfectly in the editor, but when it comes to changing the font colors, sometimes I can see the changes and sometimes the changes dont show in the editor. On the other hand when I preview the same post the changes are showing eg. font size and colors change…which does not show in the editor.
    DO you have any solution for this? And yes, I’ve tried turning everything to paragraph and still the colors wont show :(

    HI TiTi…. :)

    1. @Zeenat, contact staff on this issue directly when they get back from their “brainstorming walk-about” in a few days. This sounds like a bug they need to investigate.

  8. Thanks Richard, I bookmarked for future reference in the forums

    1. Slik, you are welcome. It has virtually always fixed the issue for me unless there was some mutant code that somehow hatched in the post or page without my knowledge.

  9. @Ricahard
    Is this the same type of problem where a mile of space separates two paragraphs? In which case you can go to the HTML tab and remove the malicious code to get rid of the space between paragraphs? Thanks for the helpful post.

    1. @jacko, no that is a different issue. Typically this happens when the editor, for whatever reason, puts in a bunch of blank “div” tag pairs, or or something like that. I’ve had that happen to me as well. With that issue, just head to the HTML editor and delete the mutant HTML tag pairs causing the problems.

      Also, go to settings > writing in your dashboard, and select “WordPress should correct invalidly nested XHTML automatically” and click “save.” That isn’t guaranteed to keep it from happening, but it will help to keep you out of trouble.

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