How To Remove or Replace the WordPress Visual Editor

The WordPress visual editor is a user-friendly WYSIWYG editor, which allows content to be easily formatted. It works word processors such as Microsoft Word. For example, to make a word bold, all you need to do is highlight the word and then click on the bold icon.

The visual editor, is one of the reasons that WordPress can be used by beginners and experts alike. No coding experience is required to publish great looking articles as images, lists and quotes can easily be inserted into your content.

WordPress visual editor

Many site owners do not like the visual editor. There are many reasons for this. The visual editor was designed for non-technical users who do not know any HTML. Therefore, more experienced users may find the editor frustrating to use due to the way it works. For example, in order to paste HTML code into a post or page, you need to switch to the basic text editor. This allows raw HTML to be pasted. If you post HTML code using the visual editor, all the code will be messed up. The visual editor can also add a lot of unwanted code that you never asked for.

On the other hand, some site owners like the WordPress visual editor but feel that the editor lacks a number of important styling options that other editors have. Due to this, there are a number of popular editors available that enhance or replace the visual editor.

In this article, I will show you how you can disable the WordPress visual editor. I will also show alternative editors that you can install to replace the visual editor.

How to Disable the WordPress Visual Editor

By default, every new user account in WordPress defaults to using the visual editor. The visual editor will load when they go to write a new post or page. At the right hand side of the visual editor is an option to switch from the visual editor to the text editor. This allows you to switch back and forth between the two editors when you need to.

Switching from visual to text editor

In the text editor, the user-friendly graphic icons of the visual editor are replaced with text buttons. For example, the unordered list icon is replaced with the ul and li tags.

The visual editor offers a lot more formatting options than the text editor. For example, it allows you to align text left, center or right. This option is not available in the text editor. Likewise, the text editor has a button that allows code to be entered. This option is not available in the visual editor.

At the far right of the visual editor is an icon that allows you to show or hide the kitchen sink. Activating the kitchen sink will show more formatting options such as changing font colors, indents, and underline.

Expanding visual editor by clicking on the kitchen sink button

I’ll encourage new users to familiarise themselves with both types of editors to see which one they prefer. If you prefer the text editor and never use the visual editor, then I’d recommend disabling the visual editor. The option to do this is located at the top of your profile page. To access your profile page, administrators need to go to Users » User Profiles. Other users can simply click on the Profile in the admin menu.

Disable visual editor in your WordPress profile page

Please note that if you disable the visual editor, you will no longer see an option to switch between the visual and text editors on post edit screens. However, you can always enable visual editor from your profile page.

If you do not want any users to use the WordPress visual editor, then I recommend installing the plugin Disable Visual Editor. It disables the visual editor for all users on your website.

How to Replace the WordPress Visual Editor

Visual editors are great for non-technical users. Unfortunately, the default visual editor only offers a limited number of formatting options. Advanced visual editors offer many more features such as tables, font styling, search and replace, and much more. I have listed two very popular enhanced visual editors.

TinyMCE Advanced

With millions of downloads, TinyMCE Advanced is one of the most popular editor plugins available for WordPress. The plugin enhances the visual editor by adding dozens of new formatting options. You can customize your editor exactly how you want it by dragging and dropping your preferred formatting features into the editor bar.

TinyMCE Advanced


WP Edit is the successor of Ultimate TinyMCE plugin. It retains all the features of its predecessor and then adds some more. After installing the plugin, you will notice a new WP Edit menu item in your WordPress admin menu.

Clicking on WP Edit menu will show you a simple drag and drop panel to place additional buttons in the visual editor. However, you can only add buttons to the first row of the editor. The plugin will advise you to purchase the pro version to add buttons to the subsequent rows. Most users just want a few extra buttons like fonts and font size buttons so they should be fine with the free version.

WP Edit drag and drop buttons

Apart from its editing features, WP Edit comes loaded with other enhancements and features. For example, there is a php widget, which can be enabled and used to place executable php code in sidebars. You can execute shortcodes in excerpts, you can limit post revisions, etc.

I hope this article helped enhance your writing experience by disabling or replacing the visual editor in WordPress.

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Comments  Leave a Reply

  1. Ultimate TinyMCE had to be entirely rewritten for WordPress 3.9. It’s now called WP Edit.

  2. Yiannis Girod May 5, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Ultimate TinyMCE doesn’t work properly on WordPress versions 3.9…

    1. NoumaanYaqoob May 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Thanks, I have updated the post and replaced Ultimate TinyMCE with WP Edit.

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