Edit Your WordPress Blog With Real Time Previews Using New Active Preview Plugin

Edit Your WordPress Blog With Real Time Previews Using New Active Preview Plugin

I’d like to introduce you to a new little plugin that you may not have heard of yet – Active Preview was just dropped into the WordPress repository yesterday. This plugin provides a new feature that the very active blogger is bound to appreciate.

Active Preview adds a second preview button in the post / page edit screen that will launch a live preview window to instantly show your changes as you compose, without having to click anything additionally. It’s different from the WordPress Live Preview plugin in that the preview does not load using iframes.

This plugin is extremely helpful if you’re dealing with a lot of images and formatting within your posts. It saves you the hassle of saving the draft, switching tabs, and clicking refresh. Sometimes the visual editor doesn’t provide a perfectly accurate representation of what the post will look like on the page within the other page elements. This plugin provides a decent solution to that problem for you, your blogger, or your client.

Download Active Preview, upload to your plugins folder, and activate it. If you’re using it with WPMU, make sure to activate it site-wide. There’s nothing to configure.

There are a couple things I would change. First, the text of the second ‘Preview’ button. I’d make that ‘Live View’ or something to differentiate it from the other one. Also, I would change the way the window launches full-screen and make it half or 1/4 screen so that the user can quickly put the windows side by side. Otherwise the plugin is fantastic. I tested it in WP 2.9.2 and WPMU 2.9.2 as well as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It does not work with IE. If a user clicks on the button in IE, he will be greeted with a message inviting him to change his browser. For everyone else, composing directly within WordPress just got a little better!