Block Editor – My Way

Through several comments I’ve learned that I’m not the only one in the Friday Fictioneers group who has problems with the block editor. Since that one is the future and Classic won’t likely be functional by next year, I’ve collected a few tips and tricks how I made my peace with the block editor.

This will be image-heavy. Don’t open the full post it if you have a slow connection.

Since I’ve learned that this is too long for many people to read, here’s a

List of Contents

  1. A helpful introduction with a video
  2. The Classic Block
  3. Copying a Post
  4. Editor Environment
  5. Editing the Copied Post
  6. Chosing a Block
  7. Text Alignment
  8. Editing Images
  9. Writing and Copying Text
  10. Save, Preview and Publish
  11. Questions answered

The Video Tutorial

For starters, here’s a link to a video on Youtube that helped me get an idea about the whole thing. I don’t have the time to read pages and pages of forums and tutorials, but this video really helped me.

Here comes a rather longish description on how I do my posts. You need to play around to find your preferred method but maybe some of my methods work for you, too.

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Copying a Post

Since I mostly post the same type of posts, I don’t usually start from scratch but copy the post by going to MySites and chosing the post I want to copy. Nothing much has changed there.

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Editor Environment

Now I’m going to set up my block editor environment. If you click on the three dots on the upper right hand side, this menu appears. Maybe you’ve noticed that each time you open a new block, the block menu appears above the block. I find this very confusing. But we have the option to move this to the top by selecting Top toolbar. I also have trouble with determining which block exactly I’m editing, that’s where the spotlight mode comes in. When I activate that, the active block is highlighted, the others are greyed-out. In this menu you can also change some other settings. It disappears again as soon as you click on a block. In this menu here I can also chose HTML editing.

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Editing the Copied Post

Here’s the top toolbar, which gives me the options to format some parts of the block

.

Here I have an activated block in the spotlight view. I can now edit – which I did. I see that I’m in the active block, because it isn’t greyed-out.

Now I edit my Introduction. That one is made with a layout grid block with a paragraph (text) block and an image block within that grid. Editing the link to Rochelle’s most recent challenge is the first thing I do. That hasn’t changed much. You select and edit.

Now I want to edit the link of the froggy. I click on the image and use the link icon in the top toolbar. I exchange the old link with the new one, done. When I click on the image, I get more options in the right hand toolbar. I can change the size there and some other settings. I can also change the size by grabbing the bar that appears either on the bottom or right hand side of the image, indicated by big blue dots.

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Choosing a Block

I mentioned earlier that I put the text beside the image with a Layout grid block (which I find a neat feature). You find all the blocks when you click on the big plus and then select ‘browse all’. It’s confusing, but several interesting things can be found there. One of the nice things in this grid is that you can align grid, image and text separately. Here I could change the alignment of the grid.

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Text Alignment

When I activate the text part in the grid, I can change the alignment by clicking on the three lines in the top menu.

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Editing Images

Clicking on the image gives me a new option in the top bar, here I can align the image within the grid.

Now I want to change the rest of my story. I click on the image and chose replace in the top bar, then select or upload my image.

Once that’s done, I can change the size by grabbing the bars (see the blue dots) or by changing the dimensions on the right side. I adapt the caption and it’s done.

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Writing and Copying Text

An easy method to deal with text the way we’re used to is the Classic Block.

If you want to use the block features, you can do this: I select the blocks and paste my text out of word or another text editor in their place. The paragraph blocks are created automatically. If I want a large first letter, I can chose ‘drop cap’ in the right menu bar.

After I paste my new text, it’s not always perfect. As you can see the W wandered somewhere it shouldn’t go. I can of course edit it, but I can also use the undo button if something more confusing has happened. It’s in the upper menu bar.

Now I want to replace the larger text block with my new text. I copy the text out of my word processor file and select the old text in WordPress. This is tricky with the mouse but easy when you click on the blocks and press the shift key while you click. I then say ctrl-v and my new text is there.

That’s what it looks like now. The ‘Read More’ above is also a block you can find and insert when you browse all the blocks. It hides parts of long posts (like this one) from the main page.

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Save, Preview and Publish

I frequently save my draft. Now I want to publish but first I want to preview the post. I recommend this especially when you have images because the block view looks nothing like the finished post, which is one of the things about this editor I don’t like. What ever became of Wysiwyg? I also would love to have a shortkey for the preview, but haven’t found one.

Before I publish, I click on ‘Post’, not ‘Block’ like before (right hand side). Now I can add tags, categories, make the post sticky etc. I keep away from the AMP, not sure what it’s doing. I tried it and it messed everything up. I usually turn that off.

Now I want to publish. That’s in the bar on the upper right where also the three dots, the preview, etc. are. Click on publish and the right hand side menu changes again.

Are you ready to publish? Here you can add your shares, in my case that would be twitter, and other things. Then, when you’re certain, you either publish or schedule by chosing a date when you select the ‘Publish immediately’ submenu. This is more or less self-explanatory.

That’s mostly it. What is very useful is also the ‘remove block’ choice under the three buttons in the top menu. When everything gets too confusing, I either use the undo button or remove the block.

If you have specific questions, either about the tutorial or other things with the blocks, I will try to clarify or answer (no guarantees). I hope this helps a bit.

If you have your own tips or tricks to add, please do so.

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Questions from the comments:

  1. Dale asks where the word count is. It is right here, in the top menu under the little i.

2. And for people like Dawn who want tp present their beautiful images, there is the gallery option. That one was there before and still works pretty much the same in the basic version, as I understand it.

3. An addition to the top bar: These options are always on top:

Only the format option that appear above the block go to the top as described in topic 1 above. These:

I personally find them quite annoying so to me, the top is it.

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The Classic Block

4. Dee just told us that there is a classic block. If that isn’t taken away, it may be a good option for those who don’t want to play with all the different blocks. I’ll do my next post with that one, I think and see how it reacts to edition. It’s somewhere in the block list, but can be accessed easily by typing /classic. I think it has some great options for formatting text without having to see every paragraph as block. What it doesn’t do (for me at least) is let me copy/paste an image with the text. The paragraph block lets me do that.

28 thoughts on “Block Editor – My Way

    1. Thank you Dawn. I forgot to mention the galleries which would be most interesting for your photographs, I suppose. There are some interesting options with these as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. How lovely of you to give your step by step. Looking at all these steps, it confirms to me why writers who only wish to write and maybe insert one image or two will never love the block and will leave once the classic editor is removed. Sad, frankly. I don’t understand WP’s obtuseness with not leaving the two options. If I show this post to my friend, he will lose his marbles! (He is one who I convinced to stay when I showed him how to keep the classic.)

    It’s funny, I always start my posts from scratch and never even considered to copy!

    Have you found the word count option? I heart tell it was gone…

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  2. So you’re saying the walk-through is too confusing? 🙂 Yeah, I can see that. For people who have absolutely no idea what the blocks are about, this isn’t the right post. I think looking at beginners youtube videos would be better for your friend, or maybe the vid I posted above.
    Just writing and inserting an image isn’t really all that complicated with the blocks. You write away and can even add pictures with copy/paste, no need to go to the media library (which of course offers many features for gettin information with your picture, titles for accessibility and such). But of course you need to get used to the ‘feel’ – it just isn’t comparable to a word processor any longer. I’d be sad to see people leave because of that.
    But if your friend reads this and has questions: let them come. The ones I can answer, I will.
    Funny, that you never copy posts. I guess that’s true for many who often post spontaneously. I rarely do that (this post was just: write, image, write, image, nothing complicated). I want to have a consistent appearance for the posts. I twist and tweak until one post is how I want it to look and then I just copy and edit. Saves time. But I know mostly ‘what’ I’m doing even if I don’t exactly know the ‘how’ yet and have a basic grasp of html and css, so I can ‘tweak’ a lot of things that way.
    What may help your friend is the way to look at the menu-tweaking of the block thingy at the beginning of my post. I tried to explain what you can do to make it less confusing. I think I’m going to add a thing or two if there are more questions. And to answer your own question: yes, the word count and other information is there. It is up in the top menu bar under the little i (we moved the bar to the top right at the beginning. I can’t seem to add an image here (can insert vids in comments but not images, huh?), so I’ll add it to the end of the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never thought of creating directly onto WordPress, apart from brief photo captions. I always create on MS Word and copy and paste across. Funny how we have our different methods. Intrinsically I’m not sure that much has changed within the Block Editor – it still does pretty much what Classic does, it’s mostly that the tool bars, locations of tool bars and terminology have changed. And why they call everything ‘blocks’ I don’t know. But trust WP to find a way of making something more complicated. Thanks for this post – I shall keep it to hand.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll qualify that last remark. Block Editor probably does a lot more than Classic did, but if you were happy with what you had in Classic, it’s still all there, just in different places with different terminology. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Exactly. I think you nailed it. You can still do everything you did before but also a lot more. The way to do it has changed though and that’s what’s confusing, I think. If they had called them elements instead of blocks it may have been less confusing. I tend to think of text blocks as a whole, but in WP every paragraph, every picture, gallery, separator line, you name it, is its own block. The benefit is that you can move every paragraph up and down quickly with the little arrows in the tool bar instead of having to cut and paste if you want to move something.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Gabi,

    I’ve had this window open for a while. I did watch the video…twice. I appreciate your taking the time to share your process. I’m bookmarking this post. Thank you so much. I’ve now posted (and scheduled) 2 posts with Block Editor. I shall not be defeated!

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

        1. That classic block Dee mentioned looks interesting. I added that to the comment section at the bottom and will probably highlight it a bit more as soon as I have used it a few times. It is within the block environment, but leaves the text block as one text block with everything we’re used to like indent, lists, links, you name it.

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  4. If you really like the classic editor like I do then just use the classic block. I don’t like using blocks so the classic block makes it so much easier for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would, but it didn’t work for me the way I wanted it any more. And rumour has it that WordPress is cancelling the classic editor next year. That made me look at the block option. I can get along with it by now. Love it… is another matter. 🙂

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            1. Googled and found it. That’s an interesting option, will have to try that out. That would certainly great for many.

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        1. I think that would be the classic editor. That’s different and will likely go away. What Dee recommended above is a block, for that you need to get a bit familiar with the block editor. But instead of having to worry about finding all the formatting options, you can use a classic block that gives many of the old options the way we are used to. The other blocks, like images ane whatnot, will still be there, and the ‘having -o-get-used-to’block editor appearance.
          I’m still wrecking my brain how I can structure that a bit easier in my post. Will come.

          Like

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