Archives for category: P2 User Guide

After a post is published in P2, you’ll notice that you can edit it inline from the front page – but there doesn’t seem to be an option to add or update an image anymore, like there is in the back end admin interface. Or is there?

Have a look at the “new post box” at the top of the screen. This still has the “Add Media” button, and if you click it you can choose or upload an image, just as if you were writing a new post. All this does is add the embed code for your new image (or media) into the post box. Just copy that and add it to your existing post.

This trick works even if you’re already editing a post.


The P2 Plugins Pages was a bit out of date, and not linked properly on the Table of Contents page here. This is now corrected (thanks, James)

I’ve also added a few more plugins to the list (thanks again, James).

Working with P2 has opened new possibilities for working collaboratively. It’s like a better version of Twitter and Facebook, while retaining all the benefits of WordPress as a killer blogging / content management tool.

As Matt put it, working with P2 has changed Automattic. And I can see why – it certainly has transformed my life. I use it for note taking, logging work I do on other people’s sites and collaborating with my colleagues. We’re rarely in the same space or the same time zone. P2 has made it possible to bring our projects to the next level.

I like using separate P2 instances for separate projects, a bit like using separate WordPress sites for separate projects.

P2 is a WordPress theme which lets you create posts from the front page. You can use the back end as usual but the more you work with P2 the less you’ll want to do this.

You can write as much or as little as you like – from a short “status update” in the style of Facebook and Twitter, to a longer article with a proper headline and thousands of words. You can add images and other media files right from the front page. You can also edit your posts on the front page without ever having to visit the back end, making discussions very quick and convenient.

If you haven’t already, watch this video which explains many of the features and shows you the “feel” of P2:

P2 is simple yet complex – there was no “manual” as such and I found it a bit cumbersome to get started. That’s why I started this site. There are so many hidden features in P2 that are not obvious – so let me show you how to set it up, the implication of User Roles and many other tips and tricks.

P2 also supports ordered lists which instead of a bullet point are prefaced by a number. To do this place a hash sign (#) in front of your line item. You don’t have to write out the number yourself, it is determined automatically:


Once you hit post, P2 will translate this into a numbered list:


Just like with ordered lists, P2 translates your hash tags into HTML code. This makes editing slightly more complex:


If you’d like to add an item or shuffle the existing ones, just make sure you stay within the OL tags and enclose your line items in LI tags just like with unordered lists.

Note to new Mac Users:

Can’t find the the hash tag (#) on your keyboard? Don’t fear – bring it up with ALT + 3 (also known as OPTION + 3, it’s the key between CTRL and CMD)

Preface each item with either a minus sign (-) or an asterisk (*) to create what’s known as an unordered list:


Once you hit post, P2 will turn this into a nicely formatted bullet point list:


Behind the scenes, P2 will physically replace the – and * with the HTML code needed for your browser to display these lists properly. This makes editing and updating those lists a little more complex, but should you ever change to a different theme your lists will still be intact.

Here’s what happens if edit this list:


If you know your way around HTML you know what’s going on – and if not let me explain.

An unordered list in HTML starts with an opening UL tag, followed by each list element enclosed in LI tags. At the end of your list there’s a closing UL tag. That’s all there is to it.

If you’d like to add an item to the list, just put it before the closing UL tag in the list like so:


A brand new feature in P2 is the ability to write To-Do lists which have a check box in the front. This can be ticked upon task completion and will show the user who ticked it. It’s a superb way to work collaboratively on a list and track its progress.

To write such a list, place a small letter o or a small letter x in front of your line items for “unticked” and “ticked” respectively:


Once you hit post, P2 will translate the list into funky tick boxes:


Notice that the x has already marked the first item as completed. I could now go in and edit the post and replace an o with an x for another item to be completed. Once I hit save the list will look like this:


An even cooler way would be to just tick the next box. This also works, but doesn’t immediately strike through the line item. However P2 will save your tick and will display who ticked the box when you refresh the page:


You can of course untick those boxes at any time too and mark an item as uncomplete again.

User Roles: Who can tick boxes?

Not everyone on your P2 site can edit posts, the same goes for ticking boxes. Here’s a list of who can do what:

  • Subscribers and Contributors – can write to-do lists, but can neither tick their own nor other people’s boxes.
  • Authors – can write to-do lists, can tick their own, but not other people’s boxes.
  • Editors and Admins – can write to-do lists and can tick other people’s boxes.

P2 supports several list formats that you can utilize for your front page posts. The following formats are supported:

  • unordered lists (i.e. bullet points, just like this very list here)
  • ordered lists (i.e. numbered)
  • to-do lists with check boxes

They all work slightly different, let me explain how to use them.