How many of you writers differentiate properly between the usage of the hyphen, the en dash and the em dash? Not yours truly! Until today, that is. I hereby vow—well, not exactly, of course—to explain to you how to use these three little beauties properly in your writing and to then use them properly myself.
The en dash (which is the width of the letter N) is used like so:
August 17–September 2
And the em dash (which is the width of the letter M) is used like this:
I went to the store—the one on Keren Hayesod—and I bought the damn apple.
The apple turned out to be rotten—or so I believe.
Now how do you create en and em dashes in WordPress?
Aha! This is the second most exciting part of this post. Turns out WordPress is all ready to go with en and em dashes. I learned from this post that if you simply write two hyphens next to each other, without spaces, you’ll get an en dash and if you do the same with three hyphens, you’ll get the em dash.
- this is a hyphen
– this is an en dash
— this is an em dash
All this being said, is this whole topic passe or do you think it really is good for writers to make sure to use these punctuation marks properly?
According to this piece, the official way to create en and em dashes is like this:
In any software program that handles text, the em dash can be typed on an enhanced keyboard as Alt + 0151—that is, hold down the “alternate” key and type, using the numerical pad on the right side of the keyboard, the numbers 0151. The en dash can be typed as Alt + 0150.
Sometimes when you click on a link it opens in the tab you’re in and other times it opens in a new tab. Here I’ll explain when to choose each option and how to make a link open in a new tab in WordPress’s editor and menu. These instructions work for both WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
Which links should open in the same tab?
All regular links within the same website should open in the same tab. That means that if on the deena.co About page there is a link to My Writing, it should open right here, where you are.
And now the above paragraph has two examples of links opening in the same tab because this piece is in deena.co and so are those links.
Which links should open in a new tab?
All external links should open in a new tab. So, for example, if I now mention that I have a new post on habitza.com, the link should open in a new tab. Here is a link to Dear Introverted Man,.
Also, links to media should open in a new tab. For example, if my friend’s catalogue page includes a link to the catalogue in PDF format, when you click on the link to the PDF, it should open in a new tab.
These rules apply for menus as well.
How to make a link open in a new tab in WordPress
In a regular editor
1. Click on the link you want to edit.
2. Click on the Insert/edit link button in the WYSIWYG:
3. In the popup check the box “Open link in a new window/tab”:
4. Save and check your changes.
In a menu
1. Click on Appearance > Menus
2. At the veeery top of the page, click Screen Options:
3. Make sure Link Target is checked:
4. Minimize Screen Options.
5. Go to the menu item that should open in a new tab. Click to expand this item. Click on Open link in a new window/tab:
Lingo shmingo and yet one cannot deny that if we all take a moment to speak the same language things will go that much more smoothly. WordPress clients often call items in the menu “categories,” which is understandable. The problem is that the word category has a very specific use in the WordPress Universe.
The main menu/main navigation and menus in general
You know those items at the top of the site with lots (or just a few) links to other places around the site? That is called a Menu. The main one that shows in the header on every single page of the website is called the Main Navigation. But it is made of a WordPress Menu. (Tip: WordPress Menus are created and edited in the Dashboard at Appearance > Menus.)
WordPress has the most easy-to-use menu system. You can create countless menus and stick them in different places around the site. You can also create one menu and use it in multiple places.
Here are the main places where you would use WordPress menus:
One main menu in the header
Possibly a second minor menu in the header
A list of useful links in the sidebars
A list of links in the footer
Tip: Menus are entered in the sidebars and footer using Widgets (stay with me! you can do it!).
Got it? So the main menu in the header is called a Main Menu or a Main Navigation.
Pages are static items on the site like the About or Contact page.
Pages can be related to each other as parents and siblings.
For example, under the About page can be Our Staff and a Mission Statement. About is the Mama Page and Our Staff and Mission Statement are the beautiful children. What a lovely little family!
In order to give the WordPress website owner ultimate control (evil laugh) relating one page to another within the page editor (see screenshot just above) does not automatically make it show up that way in the main navigation. It makes sense that you very possibly will choose to have Mission Statement show under About in the drop down under About but it’s totally up to you. (Tip: Again, this is edited under Appearance > Menus.)
Categories. OK, you ready?
Every WordPress site comes with blog functionality built in. This can be used as a standard blog or as a news section or, with a creative web developer, it might be used for other things as well.
Posts are individual pieces in a blog. They are time marked and they can be organized by category.
For example, this post which I’m writing right now is about WordPress and so I am going to put it in two categories: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Check it out:
These are categories I created on my site because I know I write enough about WordPress that it warrants a category (in my case, two). You will create whichever categories you need.
Categories are general areas of interest covered on your site. You create them as needed and categorize your posts before publishing them.
How do categories connect with menus?
It’s totally possible there will be a category that is of particular importance to you and in that case you may choose to put it in your main navigation. On my site, for example, Photography is a category in my main navigation and if you click on it, you get to a mini blog, a list of all the posts I published categorized as “Photography.”
An item in a WordPress menu is not necessarily a category
All this is to say, dear WordPress client, that items in the menu are not (necessarily) categories and are not called categories. There might be categories in the menu but a WordPress menu can be made up of anything: page, posts, custom post types, external links, categories or tags.
Bottom line: Categories can be in the main menu of your site but it isn’t necessary. The main items in a menu are usually pages though they can be anything.
So what do you call the different levels of a main navigation?
Because a WordPress menu can have any kind of item in them, each item is called a link. Here, let’s practice:
OK. And as far as the levels, there is the top level and then there are either the second and third levels or the first dropdown and the second dropdown. Etc. etc.
That’s it. Thank you for your courtesy towards WordPress nerds.