With each new version of WordPress comes an updated version of my easy to follow WordPress manual. With the release of WordPress 3.4, I’ve updated the manual to reflect all the new changes.

Although there weren't a huge number of (front end) changes for this new version of WordPress, I've still updated several sections of the guide. The majority of changes were under the hood, removing bugs and providing optimisations to make WordPress even faster and more stable.

On the Dashboard side of things, the big change this time around was the new live theme previews and customising. There were also some changes made to the custom headers functionality, although this requires theme support so, depending on the theme you're using, you may not see this feature in your dashboard.

Another significant change is the ability to include basic HTML in your image captions. This also means that caption field has now been increased in size from a single line to a multiline text field. It's now also possible to embed Tweets into your pages in much the same way you can embed YouTube videos. WordPress will even format it so it's nice and pretty for you! Smaller changes included the renaming of the ‘Admin Bar’ to ‘Toolbar’ on several screens and a small enhancement to the image editing functionality in the Media Library. Numerous screen images have also been updated, where appropriate.

I have also changed the font used within the PDF version of the guide which removes the issues of the slighty ‘jaggy’ text that occurred on past PDF's. So, download the latest copy and you should find it much easier on the eyes.

For all you developers out there, the changes made under the hood for WordPress 3.4 include Post query optimisations to avoid table scans and the number of strings loaded on the front end was greatly reduced, resulting in faster front page load times for localised installations. Also, better support for East Asian languages, right-to-left languages, theme translations, and more. Optimisations were also made to the Themes & Custom Header and Background API's along with a new XML-RPC WordPress API that supports custom content types and taxonomies, as well as dozens of other bug fixes and improvements. jQuery, jQuery UI, TinyMCE, Plupload, PHPMailer, SimplePie, and other libraries were updated and jQuery UI Touch Punch was introduced.

I hope you find this updated manual useful and as usual, you can download the PDF or (brandable) Word document versions or read it online. The ePub & Mobipocket versions in the Apple iBookstore, B&N Nook Books Store and the Amazon Kindle store have also been updated, but it may take a few days for those to appear.

For those people that aren’t planning to update to WP 3.4 just yet, you can still download the previous versions of the Easy WP Guide WordPress Manual or read them online using the links in the right-hand column.