WordPress comes with a text widget that lets you add arbitrary text, HTML and other code to your blog’s sidebar. This widget is arguably one of the most popular ones. You can use it to add HTML tags, and format the text to your heart’s content. The only catch is that you should be well versed in HTML.
Thus, if you know the language, you can tweak the widget to display and decorate your sidebar to your heart’s content. Sadly, you’ll have to compromise if your coding skills haven’t yet achieved suzerainty. Well, not anymore! Allow me to introduce you to WYSIWYG Widget, a plugin created by Danny van Kooten, that incorporates the WordPress Rich Text Editor into the text addition widget itself.
So that means when installed, this plugin adds a widget which looks and behaves in a manner similar to that of the arbitrary text widget. The only difference is that once you click on it to add text, it displays the Rich Text Editor, allowing you to format your text the way you like – bold, italics, underlined, strike through, links, font color, indentation, bullets and lists – what you see is what you get! And needless to mention, you do not need to employ HTML or any other form of coding expertise to accomplish the task!
Sounds good, right? Well, there is more to come and the good riches do not stop there. You can also use the Media Uploader to add pictures, audio, videos and other media files to your sidebar widgets, directly from the Text Editor itself (just as you would do if it were a Post).
The plugin does not come with an Options or Settings page, simple because it is not needed. Just install the plugin, activate it, and then hop on to Widgets Page under Appearance. In the Available Widgets section, you will see a new addition – WYSIWYG Widget. Drag it to the sidebar(s) and/or footer(s) of your blog, and click on the text section. You will be greeted with the Rich Text Editor. Type and customize the text as much as you feel like; since it is WP’s own Text Editor, you have the privileges of all the functionality that comes with it, including addition of special characters and redo or undo options. Once done, hit ‘Send to Widget’, and you’ll find your widget text area loaded with the HTML code for the text entered by you. Select ‘Save’, and enjoy! Neat, isn’t it?
Since it is still the first version of the plugin, there might be few bugs (as disclaimed by the author). I haven’t noticed any as yet though.
Use the following links to know more about the plugin or to give it a try: