For the past six months or so I’ve been bedeviled by an intermittent problem in WordPress that has made me insane. Until today I was unable to figure out what was causing it or how to stop it, but I believe I have the fix if you’re bedeviled too.
The problem only happened on longer posts, but not consistently so. I would be typing and editing as usual, then suddenly the cursor would jump one line higher than the editing window, meaning I could no longer see what I was typing. I could confirm that the cursor was in that location by scrolling up a line, but if I edited any text it would jump up again, making it impossible to see the line I was working on. (This happened using the text editor in both normal and distraction-free modes, and the visual editor.)
My memory is that the problem began when WP changed its default settings to accommodate mobile screens and tablets. One key feature of that change was dumbing down the interface and slaving the scroll bar and mouse wheel to the post as a whole, instead of assigning functions depending on the location of the cursor, as had been the case.
If you are having this problem, click on SCREEN OPTIONS at the top of the WP screen while editing a post. A settings menu will drop down, at the bottom of which you will find a checkbox, checked, and beside it the following ironic text: Enable full-height editor and distraction-free functionality.
For real distraction-free functionality, uncheck that checkbox.
Not only should that solve the jumping problem, but if you work on a desktop it will give you back scroll-wheel control of the editing window when the cursor is in that space, instead of defaulting to scroll the whole page. (The scroll wheel will still move the whole page when you move the cursor outside the editing window.)
— Mark Barrett
Thank you! Those words barely touch the relief and gratefulness I feel after reading this post and taking action. This bug/feature has been driving me nuts for months. What a relief… and such a simple thing to do.
Been driving me crazy as well! Thank you!!!
Having this same issue in the Custom CSS editor window (Appearance > Custom CSS) but there are no screen options. Any thoughts on a fix?
I see what you mean about there being no screen options when editing custom CSS. My only thoughts….
* Go into any post and make sure the ‘distraction-free’ checkbox is unchecked for your site.
* If you’re using a plugin for editing custom CSS, disable it.
* Log out, then log back in and see if the problem persists. If it does, double-check that the ‘distraction-free’ box is still unchecked.
If the CSS window shows the same spastic behavior, I would think that would originate from the same bug/call that causes that behavior in the post-editing window. The goal would be the same — telling your site not to ‘do’ that — but other than the above I’m stumped.
(You may already have done this, but if the problem persists you might also try disabling all plugins to rule out conflicts with those add-ons.)
Greg Heilers says
Thank you so very much!!!!!!!!!!!! I echo Sue’s comment!
“Those words barely touch the relief and gratefulness I feel after reading this post and taking action. This bug/feature has been driving me nuts for months. What a relief… and such a simple thing to do.”
Thank you very much!!!
MY HERO!!!!!! Such a simple fix could have saved countless strands of my hair!
You save my brain, thank you!! 🙂
Thank you so much. I was about to make me pull my grey hair out. It was driving me nuts. I had looked everywhere and tried so many things to fix it. It took me less than 1 minute to read and find a solution that caused me more aggravation than you will ever know. Thank you.
You said: “For real distraction-free functionality, uncheck that checkbox.”… you are so right! Thank you.
Dave Roberts says
Thankfully your suggestion came up when i searched for WordPress post editor bouncing – as that’s about the only description close to what was happening in the editor…. Constant bouncing….. but almost imperceptible until you noticed it!
So thanks for the tip!
Tim Patty says
Hi. I’m editing an image in WPTouch Pro and when I click on it to edit it it jumps to the bottom of the page. I tried unchecking the enable full height box in screen settings and nothing changed. Any other ideas?
I haven’t used WPTouch Pro, but my first thought would be to try editing the same image in a desktop configuration to see if the behavior is consistent. (Alternatively, you could try disabling the plugin and editing the image, if that’s possible.)
Relatedly, when I was looking at the whole ‘mobile-responsive’ thang, I wrestled with whether to use a plugin or a fully mobile-responsive theme. I went with the latter for a variety of reasons, including the fact that I simply wanted to eliminate as many potential conflicts as possible. There are a lot of great plugins out there, but they also add another layer of complexity, and of potential conflict between applications.
Looking ahead, there’s also the pending move to ‘Gutenberg’, which has a lot of people concerned. I don’t know what will break as a result, but it’s a big change, and it’s worth keeping in mind if you see buggy behavior down the road. More here: https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/
Thanks so much! this one has been driving me mad!!
Adam Calihman says
Life saver! Finding this post was even hard… keywords “wordpress wobbly editor” did it. LOL! Thanks a million… amazing that after all these years this issue persists.
Henry AT fotoeins says
This has been bugging me for months as well. A Google search for “wordpress editor mouse jump” put your informative post at the top of the search listings. I’ve unchecked (turned off) “Enable full-height editor and distraction-free functionality.” under Screen Options at the top of the (classic) editor screen. Thanks !
Holy crap! Thank you for posting this! Years later and it’s still paying dividends. This was driving be crazy!
Let me add another thank you from the future. I can’t believe it’s been going on this long and WP hasn’t fixed this insanity.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to post this fix. I felt like I was going to be sick every single time I edited a post, to the point where I’d write it in another program, then copy and paste just to avoid looking at the screen.
I’m not really sure how I never saw that before; I guess I just assumed it was a helpful feature.
ive tried that and it fix the jumping, but i cant click or edit the specific plugins.
Thank you very much! I also had this issue on my website but ignored it for a while. This article helped fixing it in a very short time.
Just started having this problem today. But I don’t see anything under screen options. Maybe they moved it or did something else to make it impossible to fixt the problem.
That same problem has flummoxed me more than once….
The issue here is that the ‘Screen Options’ settings in WordPress are context sensitive, meaning what you see in the pull-down menu changes depending on the page you’re on. (A bad design choice, in my opinion.)
If you’re at the dashboard and look at ‘screen options’, you get a single line of check boxes. If you’re in the admin settings you get additional options.
To see the checkbox you’re looking for, open a new blank post, then click Screen Options at the top right. You should see this at the bottom of the drop-down menu that appears:
>> Additional settings
>> Enable full-height editor and distraction-free functionality.
Thank you very much!!!!
Reg Scheepers says
1000 times thank you!
Only wish I found this sooner! Thanks for the tip. It’s been driving me nuts.
You are a SANITY SAVER! I thought it was haunted, I disabled all the plugins and still couldn’t figure it out. Really glad I found your post! I can’t imagine what that function was intended to do. It only happened on one web site and I have no idea how it got enabled.
You just saved my life. I was going crazy.
You’re a legend! Thank you!!!
You cannot imagine the amount this has helped. I was pulling my hair out! In addition to the frustrating jumping, the WYSIWYG functions stopped working because of the flicker. Bless you for this!
Thank you so much! This problem has been driving me crazy for a long time now. Easy fix. 🙂
advait chaudhary says
6 years after publishing this article, you’re still saving people’s nerves (and computer lives). THANKS!!!
Peter Weis says
Dude I can not thank you enough for this. This got so frustrating I stopped even trying to post content to my site. What stupid bug/ feature or whatever that was supposed to be.
I’m glad you found this page.
Because the problem is essentially indescribable — apart from the insanity and rage it consistently produces — it is a hard subject to describe in a way that allows people to find the fix.
I keep thinking this bug/glitch will be addressed in some major or minor update — perhaps by accident or deprecation — yet it persists….
Thanks for the details. This one has been troubling me for some time. Glad to come across your fix. This one saved my day. Much appreciated.
Kevin Mahoney says
Thank you so much!!! Literally saved my insanity!!! 🙂
Jer Clarke says
For anyone who wants to better understand this bug and learn how to deal with it, I just uploaded a short video explaining it to my organization’s YouTube channel. Hope it’s helpful to someone 🙂
Only wish I found this sooner! Thanks for the tip. It’s been driving me nuts.