I love using the WordPress tinymce editor. I normally use it in the visual mode and, most of the time, I don’t worry about the XHTML code at all. The editor allows me to type in both regular text and also the code samples I often use.
With respect to the code, such as (X)HTML examples or tags, I can write these using the keyboard characters and not worry about entity-names. The editor converts text that might confuse a browser to “safe” text. For example, it converts “<” and “>” to “<” and “>” entity names. However, I bracket code samples, that can be copied and pasted into a text editor and reused elsewhere, with <code></code> tags. To do this, I enter the HTML mode and use the code button in the toolbar.
Using the code tags can be important. The editor’s default action for making quote marks extra special is to replace the standard keyboard quote mark with stylized quote marks. This enhancement can actually cause validation problems for the code. Bracketing sample code with <code> and </code> will prevent this substitution.
Without bracketing code tags:
With the code tags:
Do you see the difference?
When I copied and pasted the line of code with the stylized quote marks into a skeletal XHTML web page and validated the code at W3C, the validation failed with 7 errors, all caused by using the special quote characters. Using the code-bracketed line of code in the same skeletal XHTML document, the code passed the validation check “in the green.”
You can also specify where the “break” is for home-page post excerpts. You can do this with either the “more” icon in the visual editor or by using the “more” button on the HTML toolbar. Either method will place a <!–more–> tag where you want the “teaser” for the post to end on the home page.
I really appreciate the spellchecker accessed from the tinymce visual editor. Recently, I also discovered the lookup button on the HTML toolbar. If I am not sure about a word, I can highlight it and then click on the lookup button to learn all I ever need to know about the word, including the correct spelling.
For a more comprehensive description of how the tinymce editor processes posts and also suggestions for writing posts, here are two good articles:
The first article is particularly useful because it describes how the text you enter in the Post box gets “enhanced” during the process of writing and publishing a post.