What Happened to the Justify Button in WordPress?

Last year, many WordPress users comfortable with the underline and justify buttons in the text editor suddenly noticed those buttons were missing. It turns out that the problem was no accident. The buttons were purposely removed by developers when WordPress released version 4.7. They were removed to much consternation among those who had grown accustomed to having them available.

There are workarounds, but first things first. You might be wondering why the WordPress developers dispatched two of the most popular buttons in the editor toolbar. They say that the underline button was done away with because of the tendency among readers to confuse underlined words with hyperlinks. It doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but it is what it is.

The reason for eliminating the justify button is a bit more concrete, albeit still questionable. Apparently, justifying text causes problems in some browsers that don’t play well with the tag. This can lead to readability problems for some users. Mobile browsers are especially vulnerable, which is why the WordPress team decided to get rid of justified text.

Justify WordPress

The Workarounds

If you were fond of the underline and justify buttons, fear not. There are workarounds you can employ. The first is to continue using standard keyboard shortcuts. The WordPress team says the shortcuts are still usable and will be for the foreseeable future. Should keyboard shortcuts ever stop functioning, there are two other options: inserting the tags manually or using a WordPress plugin.

Inserting Tags Manually

We know, one of the primary benefits of using WordPress is the ability to design and maintain a professional looking website without having to know any HTML code. But relax. The code for the justify tag is easy to learn and use. You do not even have to memorize it. Just copy what you see below and insert it at the start of your text.

The justify tag is very simple. It looks like this:

<p style="text-align: justify;">

To manually add the tag to your post, go into the editor and click on the ‘Text’ tab at the upper right of the toolbar. Then simply insert the tag at the start of the paragraph you want justified. If you want all the text on a given page or post justified, you have to insert the tag at the start of each paragraph. That’s all there is to it. By the way, the underline tag is equally easy to use. You can look it up yourself if you are interested.

Using a Plugin

As we like to say in the WordPress world, there is a plugin for that. It didn’t take long for plugin developers to come out with some very nifty plugins as soon as it was realized that the justify and underline buttons were gone. Just choose one of the plugins, install it, and check your editor to make sure the buttons are there. You’ll be back to formatting your text just as you did before.

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