Gutenberg Changes (the easy ones).

I tackled WordPress’s change to block editing and thought I was coping okay. . . and then Gutenberg changed again while I wasn’t looking.

I’m sure the ‘upgrade’ has been heralded in one of those emails I don’t read, but it threw me when I couldn’t find the little arrow that moves blocks up and down. So when one of those emails mentioned Gutenberg changes, I decided to look into it.

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The Formatting Toolbar

Two new features looked interesting. One was the ability to change text colour for individual words or sentences in a block. This was my main reason for falling back on the ‘Classic’ block at times, where text colour changes are a simple matter (and still simpler than they are with this improvement).

To change a word’s colour mid-block, click the v-arrow to the right of the icons on the formatting toolbar (which appears when you click on the block you want to change – see screen shot at the bottom of this section).

Text Colour is one of the options that appears in the drop-down list, where Underline and Strikethrough have also been relegated.

For some reason, my colour changes don’t show up in my draft screen, but they do appear in Preview. This also happens when I change Heading colour using the formatting bar, so for Headings, I’m sticking with the Colour setting option in the Settings panel to the right of the draft screen.

The Inline Image option in this drop-down list looks interesting, but since the image inserted sits proud of its line of text, I’m not sure how I’d use it. There is also an option for Inline Code, but that’s out of my league.

By now, I had already discovered how to rearrange blocks. The arrows for doing this will appear only when you click on the leftmost square of the block’s formatting toolbar.

Block layouts

Pre-set Block Patterns sounded an interesting development, since I’d gone for the simplest theme when setting up the blog.

After I wasted half a day trying to fit this post into one of the block patterns on offer, I realised that my simple theme had been a good decision.

These block patterns are not intuitive to use and don’t seem very configurable. I didn’t like the result, but when I tried to change it, I couldn’t delete the pattern I’d abandoned. Its template remained lurking underneath the new one.  I ended up re-entering the post from scratch without any block pattern. WordPress admits this is still very much under development, but I think I may give it a miss.  


As well as the draft screen’s inability to show text colours applied from the formatting toolbar, weirdness is happening with alignment. When I align an image to the centre, it shows in draft as aligned to the left. If I then change it back to left alignment, it shows as centred. However, in Preview, the image is aligned as I asked for it, not as the draft screen shows it. (By the way, this didn’t happen while I was experimenting with the Block Pattern when the draft screen agreed with the alignment control.)

Even weirder stuff happens when I align a picture to the right. Nearby text in the draft screen reassembles itself alongside the image, as it did pre-update (with sometimes unpredictable results). This doesn’t, however, translate to the Preview screen, where the text remains below the image.

This seems to me a step backwards from pre-upgrade where I could, to a limited extent, align blocks of text alongside pictures.

Perhaps this misalignment is a weirdness of my own laptop setup and not WordPress at all… I’d be interested in your thoughts on the matter.

How are you finding the new editing features?

PS. Nearly forgot

That back arrow that used to be top left to take you out of the screen? The WordPress logo is now the symbol for a backwards move.

21 thoughts on “Gutenberg Changes (the easy ones).

  1. I have been finding WordPress a real pain for 2 years or so now Cathy, Bugs, redesigns nobody wants, new block formatting and increased instability. Media that don’t upload or disappear. A real pain! Gutenberg? Don’t know or use it. I use Scrivener for all of my book writing or blog drafting and scheduling. Seriously thinking of leaving all behind and switching all to Blogger!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WordPress have been calling their editor Gutenberg since it was first changed (something of a misnomer methinks). Since then, the Preview has never worked first time of trying. Blocks freeze when I’m halfway through editing, so I can’t change any text in them and the whole block disappears if I try to delete any text. I have to exit and come into the post again to carry on. . .
      And I’d rather it didn’t insist on telling me how many times I’ve re-edited a post. It isn’t as if they’re charging for re-edits, is it? (although maybe they’re thinking about it. . .)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh dear, I thought Gutenberg was a separate writer/editor😂. Since they started using that blocks thing I enter my articles differently. First I use Scrivener app on my iPad arranged into folders for the categories I use on WordPress. So, wine, heritage, books etc. Then I go to WordPress online without using the app which seems to be more stable this way and using my laptop instead of my iPad. There’s still some instability but this is tolerable as long as you press “update” after each small change or addition. So if I have six images to enter, I add them singly and press update after each addition.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Can’t say I’ve ever used the app for posting. I did download it on my last laptop (the one I spilled a glass of wine over 😦 ) but I didn’t see the point of it. It didn’t do anything I couldn’t do quicker in a browser.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I bow down to you! I am a simple typist when it comes to WordPress. The new format frustrated me so. I have what I call ‘Computer Anxiety Disorder.’ Give me a complicated person, a patient, I’m up for it…anything else, nope! But I’m saving this post. You’ve explained much in a way that decreases my anxiety and makes me curious to try out some of the options the new set up offers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for making me feel better about not getting it!
      To be honest, most of the ‘improvements’ listed in WordPress’s email went over my head. These are just the ones I recognised. Even in this time of isolation (even in life) I don’t have that many mornings to spare trying out new layouts or clicking on new buttons to see if they do what I want them to, so I think I’ll keep it simple.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My page for ‘My Writing’ is put together in the Classic editor and very time I update it I get that big message box asking why don’t I try blocks. It makes me think they’d like to discontinue it if so many people weren’t still using it. If I could do stuff with blocks that I couldn’t do with the Classic editor, I’d see the point of it, but the blocks haven’t caught up yet.
      Perhaps it’s doing all kinds of developmental stuff us un non-html-types don’t dabble with.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t realize how difficult things had become until I tried to set up my second blog. I had to take a break from doing it since I was losing my mind. I am glad that I am not the only person who kept having large blocks simply disappear.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad you posted this. I was wondering how you had found the settings to color text in a block. I kept looking and it wasn’t there! Then on a whim, I checked my version, it was not updated. I had it set to auto update, but apparently one of the last updates messed that up. I can now see that option for the text.

    I get so tired of them changing something all the time. Just leave it be, let people use it. They are on a kick to attract businesses that use websites. So that is where the Gutenberg “block style” editor came to life in WordPress. If I wanted a website instead of a blog, I would design it myself. It’s lunacy.

    Of course, now that I have upgraded the main blog, I shudder to think of the problems I may face with formatting of older posts if I have to update them at some point. Thanks for brining this to my attention though, great information.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you found it useful. Thanks for the feedback. So far, my older posts and ‘My Writing’ page are still in the Classic form, but I’m getting fed up with that ‘friendly’ box that pops up every time I open them to edit, asking why don’t I try Blocks.

      Liked by 1 person

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