Each content in the WordPress Block Editor is a block. They are the building blocks of your post or page.
The WordPress Block Editor offers an array of blocks that can be used to create media-rich pages and posts. You can control the layout of the blocks with ease, to build visually appealing web pages.
You can add blocks for paragraphs, images, headings, lists, videos, galleries, and more. WordPress has blocks for all common content elements, and more can be added by WordPress plugins.
The anatomy of a block
Each block consists of a Block Toolbar, a Block Settings Sidebar, and the Block Content.
You can edit, customize or move each block independent of the other blocks on the post or page.
The editing options in the Block Toolbar will vary based on the block you are currently editing.
Each of the blocks comes with its own formatting settings in the Block Sidebar settings panel which gives greater control over the layout and the look and feel of the block.
How to add a block
There are different ways to add blocks to your post or page. You can add a block anywhere on the post or page using the + button (called the Block Inserter). You can also use the search feature to quickly find the block you want and add it to the post or page.
Details on how to add a block to your post or page can be found here.
How to configure a block
Each block has its own set of tools to customize the layout and appearance of the block.
Select a block to reveal the Block Toolbar at the top of the block.
The Block Toolbar includes the formatting options for the selected block. These options in the Block Toolbar will vary based on the block that is being inserted.
Some of the most common options in the Block Toolbar are as follows:
Transform: Usually, the first option in the Block Toolbar is Transform (marked 1 in the screenshot below). This allows you to change the selected block into a list of other supported block types.
For example, if you add a Paragraph block and want to change it to a Quote block, Heading block, List block, or Pullquote block, clicking this icon will give you the options from the drop-down menu.
The transform options will vary based on the selected block.
When a block is transformed, the existing block styles are preserved after the block transformation.
When a block is transformed, the additional classes added in the Additional CSS class(es) section under Advanced in the Block Settings sidebar are also preserved after the block transformation.
Drag: Click and hold the icon that looks like six dots (marked 2 in the screenshot above) to drag the block to another section of the page.
Move up/down: Click the up or down arrow(marked 3 in the screenshot above) to move the block up/down one position on the page. Read more about moving the blocks.
More Options: The three vertical dots(marked 4 in the screenshot above) open a menu with additional settings that help to further customize the block. Read more about the More options.
NOTE: When you click the three dots to the right of the Settings ‘cog’ icon in the upper right corner and enable the View > Top toolbar option, the block toolbar is pinned to the top of the WordPress block editor (right under the top toolbar) instead of appearing directly above the block.
When you select a block, you will find additional settings in the sidebar to the right of the WordPress block editor.
In the sidebar, you can switch between settings for the current post or page (marked 1 in the screenshot below) and settings for the selected block (marked 2 in the screenshot below).
To show or hide the sidebar settings, click the ‘cog’ icon at the top right of the editor (marked 3 in the screenshot below).
The Post/Page Settings is where you can add tags and categories, choose a featured image, and more — these are settings that apply to the entire post or page.
The Block Settings in the sidebar contain more advanced customization options for the specific block you’re working on. Each block has its own settings that you can explore here. The settings will vary based on the block you are working.
- At the top of the Block sidebar setting(marked 1 in the screenshot above), you will find a brief description of the block.
- Below this, you will find several advanced settings such as Color, Typography, Border, Dimension Controls for Margin, Padding, etc.
- Clicking on the three-dot menu icon(marked 2 in the screenshot above) will open a panel with further customization options for the settings.
- Some of the blocks such as Image, Gallery, Quote, Social icons, Tag cloud, Separator, Table, and Buttons have a Styles panel with buttons to show the various display options. Hovering over each of the buttons will show a preview of the style.
How to reset controls
- If you make customizations to the controls but want to revert back to the original settings, you can do so easily by selecting the three-dot menu icon (marked 2 in the screenshot above) and clicking Reset All. This resets the settings and removes all of your changes.
- The one section that is available in all Block Settings is the Advanced section (marked 3 in the screenshot above). Advanced opens up with these two options when you click on the down arrow (marked 4 in the screenshot above):
- HTML Anchor for linking directly to a section of your post or page.
- Additional CSS Classes for adding a CSS class to the block letting you write custom CSS to style that specific block. A CC class can be a single word, such as
specialor a term made up of multiple words with each word separated by hyphens, such as
special-class. You can add multiple classes to the same block by separating each class by a space. For example:
How to lock and unlock a block
You can lock the movement and/or removal of a block.
From the Block Toolbar, click the three-dot menu option and select ‘lock’. This will open a dialog box where you can check the options – ‘Prevent removal’ and/or ‘Disable movement’. Once you click ‘Apply’, the block is locked.
Based on the settings you choose when you locked the block, you will not be able to remove the block or move the block. You will see a lock icon in the Block Toolbar and also in the List View next to the block.
To unlock a locked block, click on the three-dot menu in the Block Toolbar and select ‘Unlock’. This will open a dialog box where you can uncheck the options – ‘Prevent removal’ and/or ‘Disable movement’.
Once you uncheck both the options and click ‘Apply’, the block is unlocked. You will not see the lock icon in the Block Toolbar and also in the List View next to the block.
When you uncheck one of the two options -‘Prevent removal’ and/or ‘Disable movement’ and click ‘Apply’, you will still see the lock icon in the Block Toolbar and also in the List View next to the block. Based on the option that is checked, you will not be able to remove the block or move the block.
How to remove a block
To remove a block, select the block and click the three dots in the Block Toolbar for the block. At the bottom of the menu, you find the option to remove that block.
How to find a block or block pattern
The WordPress Block editor offers an array of blocks for every possible element you want to add to your site. To browse the list of blocks, click the + Block Inserter in the upper left corner of the editor.
Here, you can find all the blocks divided into categories. When you hover over a block, it will show you a preview of the block with a brief description. Clicking on one of the block icons will add it to the post or page. If you know the name of the block, you can search for it in the search box at the top in the Block inserter.
You can also find the block patterns (predefined groups of blocks) available for your theme and the reusable blocks you have added to your site.
How to find the most used blocks
You can set the preferences to keep the most-used blocks at the top of the list of blocks when you click on the Block inserter. This makes it easier for you to choose from the most used blocks on your site.
Here are the steps to set the preference to keep the most-used blocks at the top of the list of blocks:
- Click the ellipses icon (the three dots) at the top right corner of the editor screen.
- Choose Preferences > Blocks.
- Toggle on ‘Show most used blocks’.
Tips when working with blocks
Selecting multiple blocks
You can now select multiple blocks by partially selecting the contents inside the blocks – by mouse (drag), shift + click, and also the keyboard (shift + arrow). This is helpful to move or transform multiple blocks at once, to change the Block settings on multiple blocks, group or stack multiple blocks etc.
Linking to existing post or page
You can quickly add links to existing an post or page in your content. Type two open brackets
[[ in your content to show a list of posts and pages and you can select the one to link to, from the list.
Creating reusable blocks
To avoid adding the same content to multiple posts or pages, you can save a block or group of blocks into a Reusable Block which can be reused on any other post or page. This will save you time and effort. Eg: contact information, business hours, social media accounts, call to action button etc.
Learn more about Reusable Blocks here.
You can group together multiple blocks into one group and treat them as a unit. This is helpful to edit, format (such as add a common background color, change the font color etc) or move a group of blocks. If you don’t want them to be in a group, you can Ungroup your blocks as well.
Learn more about the Grouping blocks here.
- Created 2022-05-15
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