Troubleshooting TinyMCE in WordPress 2.7

One of the many improvements in WordPress 2.7 is the updated configuration of the visual editor, TinyMCE. It was optimized to support caching better and to load faster.

The compression whitin WordPress is gone and all editor components are included as standard Javascript, CSS and HTML files. However a lot of servers compress these files automatically. If your server doesn’t do that, the first loading of the write/edit page will be slower, but after that the editor loads a lot faster than before, as all files are in the browser’s cache on the hard disk. And if the “Turbo” is turned on in WordPress and Gears enabled, the speed increase is even bigger as the browser does not have to check if any file has been updated.

In my (non-scientific) tests the loading time of the Add New Post screen went from about 5 – 8 sec. to about 1 – 2 sec. depending on the Internet connection and the computer speed.

The removal of the compression whitin WordPress also improves compatibility with some unusual server configurations and fixes some hard to catch errors, for example when there are php errors or output starts in the current theme’s functions.php file.

Currently the editor’s settings together with all Javascript files are included directly in the HTML head section of the page, making it a lot easier to troubleshoot.

There are a few steps that would help with the troubleshooting if the editor doesn’t start or work properly:

  1. Make sure the “Disable the visual editor when writing” checkbox in your profile is not selected.
  2. Whitelist or set your blog as “trusted” in your firewall and antivirus program.
  3. Disable Gears, clear your browser’s cache, quit it, start it again, go back to the write page and force-reload it several times, while holding down Shift (Firefox) or Ctrl (IE). In Safari select Clear Cache (from the Safari menu on Mac).
  4. Try another browser and/or another computer.
  5. Disable all plugins, clear the cache, restart the browser and try again.
  6. Delete both wp-admin and wp-includes directories and upload fresh copies from the WordPress installation package.
  7. And finally install Firefox or Opera, note any Javascript errors, especially the first one and try searching on the support forum for a solution. If no solution exists, open a new thread including the error.

54 thoughts on “Troubleshooting TinyMCE in WordPress 2.7

  1. Pingback: missing out on the latest wordpress update |

    • @Edgar: you can download it to your computer and install it the “old fashioned” way using FTP, the pclzip error seems to be plugin related, perhaps check your plugins.

  2. Hmmm … interesting bits of information. Thanks for posting it. Hopefully it will help sort out why I am having issues with Vista Voice Recognition giving some truly bizarre outputs when I tried to do some testing earlier.

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  5. The add image and add media button no longer work correctly. They do not open interstitial, as all the other functions do, they simply open that part of the editor only, and once the picture is uploaded, it cannot be added to the post, as the image editor never returns to the post you were editing, it just goes blank.

  6. Pingback: Is your Post Editor broken? |

  7. I would say to yuo that is article is very good. As a means of instruction I received the editor’s work, before a bad mistake in it. Sorry, bad English. Thank you for this helpful article.

  8. Pingback: WordPress 2.7: Mitä tehdä, jos graafinen editori ei toimi oikein? - HPWEB

  9. Pingback: Words are worth a thousand pictures?

  10. In the earlier version of tinymce I was able to modify the menubars by editing the config file. This config file is no longer used. So I was wondering what files to edit to add some custom buttons the the ‘second’ toolbar in the editor. The WWW is not giving me any (understandable) clues on this…..

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  12. Hallelujah!

    I updated to 2.7 a few days ago and found a few glitchy things afterwards (<a href=””discussed here).

    I kept reading about features and functions I wasn’t seeing in my admin panel and it finally dawned, maybe my auto update didn’t actually update everything. For instance, I didn’t even HAVE a “Disable the Visual Editor” option.

    Following Andrew’s advice to manually reinstall the wp-admin and wp-includes folders, I now have everything working again.


  13. Thanks a lot for these tips! Solved it only for using step no 6. I think you should give it more emphasis.

    Thanks one more time!

  14. I wasn’t having a problem with WP 2.7 until yesterday while writing and editing a new post. Then for some unknown reason, the page started to refresh without reloading. Leaving me with a blank white screen. Hitting the refresh button the my browser didn’t help to force it to load.

    The only two ways I could get the page to load again was to click on the browser address bar and hit enter or to login to WordPress again. But, after it loaded and I would start working on my post again, the page would go through the automatic reload cycle again.

    I disabled my newest plugins, without resolution of the problem.

    Today is the same problem. I click of new post or edit post and the page loads, then around 20 seconds after loading, it does the automatic refresh and doesn’t load again.

    Firebug give me 14 errors

    tinymce is not defined-
    [Break on this error] tinymce.create(‘tinymce.plugins.Kaltura’, {
    kaltura_…=20081129 (line 12)

    tinymce is not defined-
    [Break on this error]
    post.php…post=2734 (line 1)

    jQuery is not defined-
    [Break on this error] undefined
    edToolbar is not defined
    [Break on this error] undefined

    tinymce is not defined-
    [Break on this error] (function(){var DOM=tinymce.DOM,Event=ti…ced’,tinymce.themes.AdvancedTheme);}());
    editor_t…=20081129 (line 1)

    tinymce is not defined-
    [Break on this error] (function(){var DOM=tinymce.DOM,Element=…ups’,tinymce.plugins.InlinePopups);})();
    editor_p…=20081129 (line 1)

    tinymce is not defined-
    [Break on this error] (function(){tinymce.create(‘tinymce.plug…e’,tinymce.plugins.AutoSavePlugin);})();
    editor_p…=20081129 (line 1)

    tinymce is not defined-
    [Break on this error] var JSONRequest = tinymce.util.JSONRequ… each = tinymce.each, DOM = tinymce.DOM;
    editor_p…=20081129 (line 9)

    tinymce is not defined-
    [Break on this error] (function(){var Event=tinymce.dom.Event;…aste’,tinymce.plugins.PastePlugin);})();
    editor_p…=20081129 (line 1)

    tinymce is not defined-
    [Break on this error] var DOM = tinymce.DOM;
    editor_p…=20081129 (line 6)

    tinymce is not defined-
    [Break on this error] (function(){var each=tinymce.each;tinymc…edia’,tinymce.plugins.MediaPlugin);})();
    editor_p…=20081129 (line 1)

    tinymce is not defined-
    [Break on this error] (function(){var DOM=tinymce.DOM;tinymce….,tinymce.plugins.FullScreenPlugin);})();
    editor_p…=20081129 (line 1)

    tinymce is not defined-
    [Break on this error] tinymce.create(‘tinymce.plugins.wpEditImage’, {
    editor_p…=20081129 (line 3)

    tinymce is not defined-
    [Break on this error] tinymce.create(‘tinymce.plugins.wpGallery’, {

    Disabling the Kaltura video plugin didn’t resolve the issue.

    I also started getting script errors for Firebug. I couldn’t do anything because the Firebug error alert was freezing everything up. So I forced by computer to shut down.

    When I restarted my computer and went back to my edit post page, it loaded normal and as I am typing this, it has not tried to refresh or reload.

    I am now able to write new posts without any problems. I’m not sure I understand why I had this issue yesterday and today. I never had it before this.

  15. I am assisting a client with switching his site from Joomla 1.0.12 to WordPress 2.7. I have imported his content and everything is working perfectly, except that when he uses the “Paste From Word” button in the visual editor, extra paragraph breaks are added.

    I know many will say “never paste from Word”, but his site is very text-focussed, and they are not geeks. They write in Word and that’s the way it is – they are not going to start pasting from a text file and manually italicising and bolding where necessary. The thing is, in Joomla 1.0.12, the paste from Word button does NOT add extra paragraph breaks. It works quite well. Why is it different in WordPress? Different version of TinyMCE? Any thoughts on how I might solve this? They may not accept WordPress if publishing from Word gets too complicated.


  16. @Lea sounds like the browser had some kind of problem. Could be even hardware related and probably a good idea to scan your HD for errors.

    @Hedley there are some options for the Paste TinyMCE plugin: including the possibility for a custom callback (in JavaScript). It shouldn’t be hard to set any of these using the “tiny_mce_before_init” filter in WordPress.

  17. Lea,

    I had the exact same thing happen to me just now in 2.7 with the new post going wild and forcing a refresh that left me with a blank page. I tried clearing my cache and restarting the browser but the problem keeps coming back.

    I don’t have a solution but I just wanted to say this is not an isolated event…

    In hopes of resolution!

  18. Pingback: The Back-up Brain Weblog » Blog Archive » Finalmente um TinyMCE ligeiro no meu Wordpress 2.7

  19. How about an update to fix this instead of numerous “possible” solutions of which I have tried to no avail? I completed reinstalled a new download of WP 2.7 and excluding wp-config and nothing has changed. Disabled plugins, etc…The editor does not work in IE7 or in FF 3.0.5.

    Perhaps I should just go back to 2.6 until there is a fix.

  20. I’m having problems with Tinymce running on 2.7. I’ve set up a site for a friend which runs fine in Explorer, Firefox and Chrome on my Vista machines but when I access the post and page edit windows on his XP based system the editing buttons don’t appear at the top: I just get windows saying ‘visual’ and ‘html’ and that’s it – no way of formatting text with the WYSIWG editor.

    I tried all of Andrew’s seven steps, I’ve checked that Java is up to date, have cleared caches and much else and it still won’t run. What’s odd is that if I access one of my hosted blogs using my friend’s machine Tinymce works perfectly: it’s only the self hosted version that gives problems. I’ve removed and reinstalled 2.7 and the editing menu still doesn’t appear.

    I’d be very grateful for any help with this!

    I really want to fix this.

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  23. No Visual editor after upgrade to WP 2.7 (3 posts)

    Since upgrading from WP 2.6.1 to 2.7 I can no longer use the visual editor. When in the editing panels, I can see the Visual editor tab, and that is the tab that appears to be activated, but I’m actually in the html editor. Meanwhile the html editor tab is grayed out.

    I’ve tried the suggestions above to no avail. Any other ideas? Meanwhile I’ll need to rever to 2.6.1 if I can.


  24. Thanks for the info, I was having trouble with the TinyMCE editor using Google Chrome. I have several WP blogs and on only one of them the visual editor wouldn’t work. Clearing the browser cache was the solution, thanks again!

  25. Yes the removal of the wp-includes and wp-admin folders and putting back did the trick.

    My visual editor never worked from the beginning of the install – NOW I understand why – Filezilla was showing about 24 failed transfers (which I may not have noticed before) which was all related to the JS directory in wp-includes. This included the tinymce files – and it took quite a lot of failures and retry before they all went across.

    I can only imagine that I didn’t notice when I did the original install… Must be more carefuly

    The Wyvex Bunny
    We never stop!

  26. Reloaded fresh copies of wp-admin and wp-includes and this fixed our issue with tinymce. Issue we were having was that the buttons on the editor bar (bold, italic, underline, link etc) would not show up. deleted the old directories, uploaded fresh copies from and the editor is working as it should. Good luck folks! And thank you Andrew!

  27. This is going into my arsenal for WordPress fixes. I moved a site from a Windows host to a Linux server, and after fixing many permissions on files and folders, I still had two issues — the visual editor was broken, and rss feeds in the admin dashboard were showing Loading… and nothing else. Copying a fresh wp-admin and wp-includes to the site fixed them both. Thanks Andrew!

    Duncan Russell
    Cross Business Tools

  28. Thanks Andrew!

    Deleteing both wp-admin and wp-includes directories and upload fresh copies did the trick. Works better than it has ever worked for me.

  29. I’m seeing some strange behaviour in TinyMCE on a quite recently installed instance of WP 2.7.1 – this behaviour exists with or without TinyMCE Advanced.

    If I select a word or phrase to create a link, and then hit the link button in the toolbar the dialog box opens as expected, however there is a ‘tab’ at the top which is titled {#advanced_dlg.link_title}.

    Much the same happens with the Image and Media buttons, although the titles of the tabs are obviously different..

    I suspect this behaviour may be a spurious remnant artefact of another plugin I had previously [briefly] tested – Link Manager, which is supposed to make it easier to link to other pages or posts..

    I’ve crawled the WP options DB table to see if I can find examples of these tab title strings but can’t see anything obvious there, and I’ve also tried [unsuccessfully] to grep the entire WP tree to find examples [I suspect my grep search string was wrongly formatted]..

    Have also followed most of your suggestions, including disabling/uninstalling Gears, replacing wp-admin and wp-includes directories with clean files, and clearing down browser caches, and also enabling/disabling visual editor for user with a logout/login in between. The behaviour is consistent across different local platforms – vista64, xp pro 32, kubuntu.
    Firebug doesn’t help me track this issue. Have also proceeded to deactivate most [but not all] plugins without any change.

    Any suggestions for what to look for? Or better yet, how to cure this?

  30. Can someone make “Top Comments” plugin with negative votes like shown in this photoshopped picture?

  31. And while we’re on the topic of the “Top Comments” plugin, how can I clear the number of votes and reset the count?

  32. Thank you so much, Andrew. I was going out of my mind with this problem. And reinstalling wp-admin and wp-includes solved it. Have I said “thank you”? 🙂

  33. Just rewriting the wp-admin and wp-content didn’t work. I had to delete the older ones before sending the newer. Now it’s working perfectly! Thanks!

  34. Almost all of these problems are caused by the browser’s cache, or network cache. Clear your browser’s cache, quit the browser, then start it and try again. If the problem persists, try reloading the page while holding down Ctrl (in IE) or Shift (in Firefox) to make the browser reload the page from the server. This can also be caused by a network cache somewhere between you and your web host. Just wait for a few hours for it to expire.

  35. Excellent post , You absolutely hit the
    nail on the head, I just don’t understand why people quite get it.
    I don’t know how many people I’ve talked to concerning this very
    thing in the past few days, and they just don’t grasp it.

    , Excellent post!

  36. Pingback: Wordpress Upgrade 2.7 and 2.7.1 | JERVIS DOT WS

  37. Nice blog, i like it, its informative,
    i will visit his blog more often.
    i like your article specially about
    Troubleshooting TinyMCE in WordPress 2.7


  38. Thank you for this. I had to revert to uploading wp-admin and includes but at least I have full posting capability restored. Thank you very much.

  39. Thanks for your work in Tiny MCE. You seem to be one of the guys who know a lot about wpeditimage and wpgallery implementation.

    For a WP plugin I want to use basically the samme functions (maybe with some extended fields) to integrate gallery3. Do you think it is possible to extend the plugins to use them with my WPG3-Media Tab. Looking at the code e.g. I would starte rewriting. But mayby I miss something. In theory Object orientated programming sould enable me to do this, but I can’t see how.

    If you have a hint or maybe know where to is a better place for this question. WP-Forums arn’t very vivid in this issue.

  40. Yay ,I have spent the last 3 hours trying to find a solution ,even tried to put extra line of code in wp-admin file in cpanel .I had been in my profile last night and had by accident unchecked the visual editor box in there hence my visual editor want showing up ,thanks so much for this post you have made me very happy!

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