Admin form controls height and alignment standardization in WordPress 5.3.1

WordPress 5.3 introduced some notable Admin CSS changes to improve administration accessibility and consistency with the block editor.

These changes made more obvious that form controls heights and alignments were not consistent across WP Admin.

Before WordPress 5.3, there were already some inconsistencies between form controls. For reference, WordPress 5.2 form controls various alignments and heights are grouped in the screenshot below:

Form controls alignment and height inconsistencies in WordPress 5.2

WordPress 5.3 Admin CSS changes brought more attention to those general inconsistencies on form controls. And several users and contributors reported these inconsistencies as regressions from 5.3.

Example of form controls inconsistencies in WordPress 5.3

Although these inconsistencies cannot be considered as regressions from 5.3 since they existed before 5.3 Admin CSS changes, WordPress 5.3.1 introduces some fixes on heights and alignments.

5.3
5.3.1
5.3
5.3.1
5.3
5.3.1

WordPress 5.3.1 changes include:

  • Standardized height basis of 30px for all form controls
  • Consistent line height basis of 30px across the interface
  • 14px font size basis for select controls option text
  • Remove various top/bottom margin and padding

These changes are part of a continuous effort to improve styling and consistency of all form controls in the WordPress admin pages. In general, plugin authors and WordPress developers are encouraged to:

  • remove any fixed height: flexible heights are now the WordPress recommended standard to allow form controls to better scale with text zoom
  • remove any custom top and bottom padding values
  • remove any custom line-height value
  • remove any custom min-height value
  • update custom focus/hover styles on custom UI components to match the new WordPress focus/hover styles

For full details about these changes, see the related changeset on WordPress Trac. WordPress developers and plugin authors may also want to visit the related Trac ticket: #48420

#5-3-1, #core-css, #dev-notes