Gutenberg 8.3 Updates Block Categories, Includes Parent Block Selector, and Adds New Design Controls
Yesterday, the Gutenberg team released version 8.3 of the ongoing plugin behind the block editor. While much of the focus for the team is on the upcoming full-site editing, this update includes several user-facing features, such as a reorganized set of block categories, a parent block selector, a spacing control, and link color options. One smaller enhancement includes the ability to filter the Latest Posts block by author. The level control for the Heading block has also changed. Instead of selecting the level in the block options sidebar, the level selector is now located in the editor toolbar. In Gutenberg 8.2, hitting the Enter key within the caption field for an image block created a new paragraph. In 8.3, that feature has been extended to all blocks with captions. The team corrected over 20 bug fixes in the latest release. On the whole, the new plugin update appears to be solid after a day of use. However, some of the experimental additions, such as the new padding control, may be worth some concern. Theme authors need to start testing this, providing feedback, and making sure development is heading in the right direction. New Block Categories New “Design” category in the block inserter. The Gutenberg team has renamed and reorganized the block categories. The new list seems to make more sense and is better consolidated into proper groups: Text Media Design Widgets Embeds While I am a fan of the new category names, I find the categories useless for any practical purpose at this point. Ever since Gutenberg dropped the tabbed interface in the block inserter, it has felt like a large wall of blocks. My eyes naturally skip by the category names as I scroll and scroll and scroll through the list of available blocks to find that particular block I need. I almost always use keyboard slash commands for inserting blocks. In those cases where I don’t, it is not an ideal user experience, and the new categories do not help much. Select Parent Block Hovering over toolbar to find parent block selector. One of the more frustrating experiences in Gutenberg is attempting to select a parent block in a nested-block scenario. Far too often, users feel like they are clicking around at random in the hopes they hit that sweet spot where they can actually navigate to the block they need to edit. It is an exercise in frustration in the best moments. The Gutenberg team took a step — a small step — toward alleviating this pain. When hovering over the “change block type or style” button in the editor toolbar, a new button appears to select the parent block. I am unsure if this is the right way of handling the problem. I would like to see some experiments with some sort of arrow button that appears without hovering. For now, I am satisfied that the team is attempting to solve the issue and hope that future iterations improve navigation within nested blocks. This feature does not seem to work when the top toolbar mode is enabled. For those who use this mode, the best way to select a parent block is via the breadcrumb navigation at the bottom of the editor. Experimental Spacing/Padding Control Adding custom padding to a Cover block. » Read More
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