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.
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.
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.