Gutenberg is the new WordPress editor and it’s a big change from the classic. I started working with it a few months before the official launch. Based on my experience I have a few Gutenberg Tips for bloggers to share.
Checking your word count
In the classic editor, the word count was below the text area. Now to check your word count in Gutenberg, click on the “i” icon on the top left of window above title of your post. This button displays the content structure of your post.
How to display the menu bar above the block
The simplest way to have the menu bar to display above a block (paragraph) is to click into the paragraph to activate it.
Moving your mouse over the active block will also active the menu.
The menu is hiding while you type so it won’t distract you. And you can continue writing without trying to remember what is behind the menu.
Add empty blocks using your keyboard
One of the biggest things I’m noticing when people say they are having trouble with Gutenberg is that they think they need to click an add button to add a new block (potentially at the end of the post) and then move it into the place they want.
Tip: Type in Gutenberg like you would in any other text editor such as Microsoft Word. The more you type on autopilot and think about it less, the easier it feels. The terminology of blocks seems like it’s making you think more. Think of blocks as (mostly) paragraphs that show mini menu bars right about them when activated.
In Gutenberg you can type the way you normally would in a text editor to add blocks between paragraphs. Just hit the enter (return) key on your keyboard. This post as with my others are generally written directly in WordPress. While your typing it feels like typing in Microsoft Word. You can use your arrow keys to navigate up and down through all of your text.
Keyboard Shortcuts are available for formatting
Keyboard shortcuts were available in the classic editor as well, but likely used more by power users. If you used shortcuts in MS Word or other text editors, some are available here if you don’t want to activate the menu.
Highlight your text and use control+B or control+I to format with bold or italics. (Command+ if you’re on a Mac).
Add Images with Drag and Drop
Writing a new post and want to add images? You can drag and drop new images directly into the text area to add them. As your dragging the image into your text space, you’ll see a blue bar showing you where the image will be placed.
How to edit the post permalink
Ok this one was hard to figure out at first and I’ll admit that I needed to google this one. For bloggers, changing the slug is important for SEO.
To edit the post slug before publishing, make “save draft” as this sets the initial permalink.
Click on the post title and the permalink now shows above the post title with an edit button. Click the edit button to make any changes.
Tip: Hold off doing this until you make any final changes to the post title prior to publishing. I’ve noticed some odd behavior from time to time if you edit the post tile, then change the slug, and then try editing the post title again. Once you publish the post, the slug and permalink is set so changing the title won’t impact the slug.
Over to you. What other Gutenberg questions do you have?
Gutenberg is a big change. And as part of it’s earlier releases there are some bugs. Not all plugins or themes may work 100%.
What can’t you find in Gutenberg? Or what is challenging or feels harder to do? There may be simpler ways to do thing, but unfortunately it’s not as obvious as it was in the method that you used in the past.