How do you edit a comment in WordPress 2.5?

Are you having trouble figuring out how to edit comments from with in the WordPress 2.5 admin (or on WordPress.com since the admin upgrade) ? Here’s the secret: you have to click the name of the commenter or the name of the site that sent the TrackBack/Pingback.

This sort of mirrors how post edit links work. To edit a post (or a page), you just click the name of the post. That is quite intuitive. I learned that behavior in about a day, and now the old way of clicking the “Edit” link seems strange. I’ve not had the same experience with comments. I think the problem is that comments don’t have a title, like posts do. The title is an obvious click target. It is (generally) unique, and it is a natural answer to the question “which post do I want to edit?” (oh yeah, this one!) Clicking the comment author is not intuitive. You don’t want to edit the comment author, you want to edit the comment. The comment author is often not unique, and doesn’t really work as a “handle” for an individual comment.

I’m not the only one having trouble with this.

I’ve started an Idea in the WordPress Idea forum that suggests we revert to having an “Edit” action link for comments. Go add your two cents there (and then come back here for more discussion).

54 thoughts on “How do you edit a comment in WordPress 2.5?

  1. snapgrid says:

    I haven’t had a problem with editing comments, but my theme displays edit links for logged in admins.

    So far my least favorite thing in WP 2.5 is image uploading. The old one was not great, but the new one just doesn’t fit my brain or something. What’s the best forum for complaining about that? Better yet, where can I volunteer my design services to fix it?

    The best feature of 2.5, besides the overall clean design, is the full screen post editing. FINALLY some breathing room to write.

  2. bobo says:

    Wow, thank god for this post! I completely gave up editing a post comment recently (My own in fact) and just deleted the whole thing and wrote it again… mainly because I couldn’t find the edit ‘link’.

    One thing I really don’t get also is… why does WordPress WYSIWYG insist on using Span style for everything? When just a simple will do, it insists on using span style: underline.

  3. I think that instead of an edit button (which would work, but not as intuitively) there should be a short blurb of the comment (like a title) so that you can locate and edit the comment more easily. The problem I have is by the time I’ve gone back to the WP admin area, I’ve either forgotten the name of the commenter, or the date, or whatever unique bit of data for me to pick out, which is made harder if this person has made multiple comments. So I’d like to see a short bit of the comment there and THAT be clickable for editing. Or, have the blurb PLUS the edit button.

  4. It took me a few moments to figure it out too! It’s key to retaining editorial control of one’s publications, correcting typos, fixing broken links etc

    db

  5. +1

    I think the precise nature of my problem with this is that if I click on the comment author’s name on my blog, I get sent to the comment author’s site. I’m so used to this behaviour on practically every theme out there that I always expect the comment author’s name to link to their site rather than anywhere else. I know that when it comes to tagegory links wordpress.com are quite happy to have the same text linking to entirely different places on the same page, but that’s nuts too ;)

    The word ‘Edit’ doesn’t take up that much screen real estate, but if it did they could always substitute a cute little icon of a pencil. If they wanted to discourage comment editing for drama-prevention purposes, it would be better to do it by publically timestamping revisions rather than hiding the functionality.

  6. If they wanted to discourage comment editing for drama-prevention purposes, it would be better to do it by publically timestamping revisions rather than hiding the functionality.

    Nah, I think it was just a fruitless quest for consistency. Don’t really know how it got through usability testing — maybe it wasn’t covered. It came up on the mailing lists before release, but it didn’t get any traction. I thought that I’d get used to it, but I haven’t, which is why I’m bringing it up now. Gave it a shot — still hate it.

  7. I stumbled upon that on the first day I started playing around w/2.5. It’s different. Certainly not intuitive.

    One thing that I miss in the comments management screen is having the IP addresses link to a ARIN search instead of displaying all of the comments matching the same IP address like it does now. It probably wouldn’t be too terribly difficult to hack, but I’d love to see the ARIN links come back in a future release.

  8. bobo says:

    @bigredpimp: Thanks for the info. I agree that CSS exists for a reason, and that it is the old way of doing things (especially with the newer v2.0 xHTML markup) but I do get annoyed at the forced change. It’s easy to say “Don’t use the WYSIWYG editor then.” but realistically it makes posting easier. I’m sure the previous version was less strict.

    On another note, there is just something about the use of the span tag for underlining that seems excessive to me, especially when you consider ‘b’ is replaced by a simple ‘strong’; ‘i’ replaced by ‘em’.

    And back to the actual article: happy to see that the idea is getting a high rating! I must try and find my password to login and vote as well.

  9. I thought the presence or absence of an “Edit” link with your comments was determined by your template — which means that it is up to each blog admin. Shows me how much I know (or don’t know).

    Oh, I’m forgetting about the WordPress.com users again.

  10. Carson, we’re talking about link to edit comments from within the admin — not on your blog itself. That hasn’t changed (and yes, is completely up to your templates).

    On another note, there is just something about the use of the span tag for underlining that seems excessive to me

    The <u> element is deprecated, which is why TinyMCE (WordPress’s Visual Editor) converts it to CSS using spans. Search google for “underline tag deprecated” for more information.

  11. I also suggested that the edit link was really missing and everybody was apparently thinking the same. I don’t get why it was not included back.

    So now, well, I’m using my own “Absolute Comments” plugin which, amongst other things, brings that link back.

  12. I will add a third endorsement to the Absolute Comments plugin. This will solve the issue anyone is having where it isn’t intuitive to click the name of the comment, and it also solves ever having to go to the actual post to respond to a comment. There is now an easy “reply” button that immediately brings up a window with an @ symbol to the last reply for your convenience. Already saved me a ton of time.

  13. I too had problems finding this… took me ages to figure it out. I thought that clicking the commenter’s name would take me to their site, for some reason.
    :-)

  14. Yeah, I agree exactly. The new post editing method makes tons of sense and doesn’t take much to get used to, but I still forget sometimes on how to edit comments.

  15. Actually, what I’d prefer is if we made the comment itself clickable, rather than add an edit link. In Flickr, for example, if you want to edit the text under a photo, you click the paragraph and it turns into a text box containing the previous text. Then you simply edit it, and click out of the box to save your changes. Couldn’t we do something like this relatively easily? We could even have a Save button show up under the text field if you like that better than clicking outside the box.

    (Echoed from WP Ideas forum)

  16. @Jonathan
    Editing the comments in this way could lead to some problems. Clicking where you didn’t mean to, editing and such, all without knowing. I agree, this makes flickr very easy, but there is something about not having to click anything that makes me a little weary.

    Also, how often is everybody editing comments? I never do it myself, they either get deleted as spam or they get posted. If it is something that is defamatory, it isn’t edited, simply deleted. I don’t like changing what others have said. What are others using this for?

  17. What are others using this for?

    One use case is when someone leaves a good comment, but for their URL fills in something spammy or bacn-y. You don’t want to throw the ham out with the bacn, so you just blank out their URL.

  18. A hat tip to you Sir! I wasted lots of time trying to find the edit comment link, and only now found it after a google search. Gracias.

  19. “You are not allowed to delete this post.” That’s what I get. Of course, the blog has over 25,000 !!!! comments, all spam of course. How do I delete them all in one fell swoop?

  20. Elkerton says:

    Bless you! I’d been through my site and the Codex for hours. Wish I’d found this blog at the beginning!

  21. I want to work with Visual, not HTML, to add photos, bullets, centering, etc., to the COMMENTs that come in. All I’ve got to work with for my edits is the HTML codes. How do I switch back to Visual?

    When you are writing the posting, you have a choice of Visual or HTML, but not in the COMMENT section.

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  23. I just start using WordPress.com blogging service and find out that there is no way to edit comment once someone writes one. Am I missing the editing feature or is it just the way it is?

  24. I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy I came across this during my search for something relating to this.

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