Welcome to the Gutenberg Editor

Of Mountains & Printing Presses

What you are reading now is a text block, the most basic block of all. The text block has its own controls to be moved freely around the post…

The goal of this new editor is to make adding rich content to WordPress simple and enjoyable. This whole post is composed of pieces of content—somewhat similar to LEGO bricks—that you can move around and interact with. Move your cursor around and you’ll notice the different blocks light up with outlines and arrows. Press the arrows to reposition blocks quickly, without fearing about losing things in the process of copying and pasting.

… like this one, which is right aligned.

Headings are separate blocks as well, which helps with the outline and organization of your content.

A Picture is worth a Thousand Words

Handling images and media with the utmost care is a primary focus of the new editor. Hopefully, you’ll find aspects of adding captions or going full-width with your pictures much easier and robust than before.

Beautiful landscape
Give it a try. Press the “wide” button on the image toolbar.

Try selecting and removing or editing the caption, now you don’t have to be careful about selecting the image or other text by mistake and ruining the presentation.

The Inserter Tool

Imagine everything that WordPress can do is available to you quickly and in the same place on the interface. No need to figure out HTML tags, classes, or remember complicated shortcode syntax. That’s the spirit behind the inserter—the (+) button you’ll see around the editor—which allows you to browse all available content blocks and add them into your post. Plugins and themes are able to register their own, opening up all sort of possibilities for rich editing and publishing.

Go give it a try, you may discover things WordPress can already add into your posts that you didn’t know about. Here’s a short list of what you can currently find there:

  • Text & Headings
  • Images & Videos
  • Galleries
  • Embeds, like YouTube, Tweets, or other WordPress posts.
  • Layout blocks, like Buttons, Hero Images, Separators, etc.
  • And Lists like this one of course 🙂

Visual Editing

A huge benefit of blocks is that you can edit them in place and manipulate your content directly. Instead of having fields for editing things like the source of a quote, or the text of a button, you can directly change the content. Try editing the following quote:

The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.

Matt Mullenweg, 2017

The information corresponding to the source of the quote is a separate text field, similar to captions under images, so the structure of the quote is protected even if you select, modify, or remove the source. It’s always easy to add it back.

Blocks can be anything you need. For instance, you may want to add a subdued quote as part of the composition of your text, or you may prefer to display a giant stylized one. All of these options are available in the inserter.

You can change the amount of columns in your galleries by dragging a slider in the block inspector in the sidebar.

Media Rich

If you combine the new wide and full-wide alignments with galleries, you can create a very media rich layout, very quickly:

Accessibility is important don't forget image alt attribute

Sure, the full-wide image can be pretty big. But sometimes the image is worth it.

The above is a gallery with just two images. It’s an easier way to create visually appealing layouts, without having to deal with floats. You can also easily convert the gallery back to individual images again, by using the block switcher.

Any block can opt into these alignments. The embed block has them also, and is responsive out of the box:

You can build any block you like, static or dynamic, decorative or plain. Here’s a pullquote block:

Code is Poetry

The WordPress community

If you want to learn more about how to build additional blocks, or if you are interested in helping with the project, head over to the GitHub repository.

Thanks for testing Gutenberg!


WP Rotator

A new WordPress plugin I’ve been working on with the help of Bill Erickson. Rotates through featured images of a custom query whose query args are configurable by the administrator. Animates by sliding or cross-fading. Adjustable animation speeds. Hoping to share it soon in the WordPress Plugin Directory.

UPDATE: Here it is in the Plugin Directory

WordPress plugin: Query Tester

@fienen came up with a good idea for a WordPress plugin today. He wants to be able to type in a sample parameter string for query_posts and see which posts will result, given that string. I decided that’s something I want too so I don’t have to hack up a template on the fly if I don’t want to.

Here’s a quick and dirty plugin which should do the trick. It installs itself into Dashboard > Settings > Query Tester

Meet my fine (but not 0.5mm fine) pencils

I’m tired of not having any posts, so here’s something completely retarded.

These are my mechanical pencils. I prefer 0.7mm because the lead is thicker and won’t break under the plowing scrawl.

From back to front

The Pentel in back is the oldest and has the most mileage. I wish I actually did know much distance it has logged. There’s only so much tic-tac-toe one can play. But anyway. It also features a convenient side-mounted lead feeder button.

Next is the Pentech. This one is like a Corvette. Unlike the Pentel, this pencil has a nice shape and feels slightly heavy. I’m routinely impressed by how frictionless and pen-like the extra weight makes it seem. However, this one has a low capacity for lead. Maybe 3 is the most it will hold at once. I’ve had to retire this pencil however because I once crammed 4 leads into it, and it jammed up the innerworks. Poor pencil. I would’ve kept you with me forever. I told you this was going to be retarded.

Finally, the Papermate is the newest addition. It doesn’t have the right weight. Its top seems to be crimped around the eraser. I wonder if they’re meant to be just thrown away. Very odd, if that’s the case. I purchased this one in a set of four. The rotary lead feeder gives an extra ergonomic flair.

Thanks for listening to me introduce the special pencils in my life.

UPDATE: My newest is a Pentech Sensor 0.7mm (not pictured). Side feed. Refillable. The eraser basket twists to feed out more eraser, which are also refillable! The only down side so far is that I often break the lead. That rarely happened with the others.