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Block API Edit

Blocks are the fundamental element of the Gutenberg editor. They are the primary way in which plugins and themes can register their own functionality and extend the capabilities of the editor. This document covers the main properties of block registration.

Register Block Type Register Block Type

  • Type: Function

Every block starts by registering a new block type definition. The function registerBlockType takes two arguments, a block name and a block configuration object.

Block Name Block Name

  • Type: String

The name for a block is a unique string that identifies a block. Names have to be structured as namespace/block-name, where namespace is the name of your plugin or theme.

// Registering my block with a unique name
registerBlockType( 'my-plugin/book', {} );

Note: A block name can only contain lowercase alphanumeric characters and dashes, and must begin with a letter.

Note: This name is used on the comment delimiters as <!-- wp:my-plugin/book -->. Those blocks provided by core don’t include a namespace when serialized.

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Block Configuration Block Configuration

  • Type: { key: value }

A block requires a few properties to be specified before it can be registered successfully. These are defined through a configuration object, which includes the following:

Title Title

  • Type: String

This is the display title for your block, which can be translated with our translation functions. The block inserter will show this name.

// Our data object
title: 'Book'

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Description (optional) Description (optional)

  • Type: String

This is a short description for your block, which can be translated with our translation functions. This will be shown in the block inspector.

description: 'Block showing a Book card.'

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Category Category

  • Type: String [ common | formatting | layout | widgets | embed ]

Blocks are grouped into categories to help users browse and discover them. The core provided categories are common, formatting, layout, widgets, and embed.

// Assigning to the 'widgets' category
category: 'widgets',

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Icon (optional) Icon (optional)

An icon property should be specified to make it easier to identify a block. These can be any of WordPress’ Dashicons, or a custom svg element.

// Specifying a dashicon for the block
icon: 'book-alt',

An object can also be passed as icon, in this case, icon, as specified above, should be included in the src property.
Besides src the object can contain background and foreground colors, this colors will appear with the icon
when they are applicable e.g.: in the inserter.


icon: { // Specifying a background color to appear with the icon e.g.: in the inserter. background: '#7e70af', // Specifying a color for the icon (optional: if not set, a readable color will be automatically defined) foreground: '#fff', // Specifying a dashicon for the block src: 'book-alt', } ,

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Keywords (optional) Keywords (optional)

Sometimes a block could have aliases that help users discover it while searching. For example, an image block could also want to be discovered by photo. You can do so by providing an array of terms (which can be translated). It is only allowed to add as much as three terms per block.

// Make it easier to discover a block with keyword aliases
keywords: [ __( 'read' ) ],

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Attributes (optional) Attributes (optional)

  • Type: { attr: {} }

Attributes provide the structured data needs of a block. They can exist in different forms when they are serialized, but they are declared together under a common interface.

// Specifying my block attributes
attributes: {
    cover: {
        type: 'string',
        source: 'attribute',
        selector: 'img',
        attribute: 'src',
    },
    author: {
        type: 'string',
        source: 'children',
        selector: '.book-author',
    },
    pages: {
        type: 'number',
    },
},

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Transforms (optional) Transforms (optional)

  • Type: Array

Transforms provide rules for what a block can be transformed from and what it can be transformed to. A block can be transformed from another block, a shortcode, a regular expression or a raw DOM node.

For example, a paragraph block can be transformed into a heading block.

transforms: {
    from: [
        {
            type: 'block',
            blocks: [ 'core/paragraph' ],
            transform: function ( content ) {
                return createBlock( 'core/heading', {
                    content,
                } );
            },
        },
    ]
},
transforms: {
    from: [
        {
            type: 'block',
            blocks: [ 'core/paragraph' ],
            transform: ( { content } ) => {
                return createBlock( 'core/heading', {
                    content,
                } );
            },
        },
    ]
},

An existing shortcode can be transformed into its block counterpart.

transforms: {
    from: [
        {
            type: 'shortcode',
            // Shortcode tag can also be an array of shortcode aliases
            tag: 'caption',
            attributes: {
                // An attribute can be source from a tag attribute in the shortcode content
                url: {
                    type: 'string',
                    source: 'attribute',
                    attribute: 'src',
                    selector: 'img',
                },
                // An attribute can be source from the shortcode attributes
                align: {
                    type: 'string',
                    shortcode: function( named ) {
                        var align = named.align ? named.align : 'alignnone';
                        return align.replace( 'align', '' );
                    },
                },
            },
        },
    ]
},
transforms: {
    from: [
        {
            type: 'shortcode',
            // Shortcode tag can also be an array of shortcode aliases
            tag: 'caption',
            attributes: {
                // An attribute can be source from a tag attribute in the shortcode content
                url: {
                    type: 'string',
                    source: 'attribute',
                    attribute: 'src',
                    selector: 'img',
                },
                // An attribute can be source from the shortcode attributes
                align: {
                    type: 'string',
                    shortcode: ( { named: { align = 'alignnone' } } ) => {
                        return align.replace( 'align', '' );
                    },
                },
            },
        },
    ]
},

A block can also be transformed into another block type. For example, a heading block can be transformed into a paragraph block.

transforms: {
    to: [
        {
            type: 'block',
            blocks: [ 'core/paragraph' ],
            transform: function( content ) {
                return createBlock( 'core/paragraph', {
                    content,
                } );
            },
        },
    ],
},
transforms: {
    to: [
        {
            type: 'block',
            blocks: [ 'core/paragraph' ],
            transform: ( { content } ) => {
                return createBlock( 'core/paragraph', {
                    content,
                } );
            },
        },
    ],
},

An optional isMatch function can be specified on a transform object. This provides an opportunity to perform additional checks on whether a transform should be possible. Returning false from this function will prevent the transform from being displayed as an option to the user.

transforms: {
    to: [
        {
            type: 'block',
            blocks: [ 'core/paragraph' ],
            isMatch: function( attribute ) {
                return attributes.isText;
            },
            transform: function( content ) {
                return createBlock( 'core/paragraph', {
                    content,
                } );
            },
        },
    ],
},
transforms: {
    to: [
        {
            type: 'block',
            blocks: [ 'core/paragraph' ],
            isMatch: ( { isText } ) => isText,
            transform: ( { content } ) => {
                return createBlock( 'core/paragraph', {
                    content,
                } );
            },
        },
    ],
},

To control the priority with which a transform is applied, define a priority numeric property on your transform object, where a lower value will take precedence over higher values. This behaves much like a WordPress hook. Like hooks, the default priority is 10 when not otherwise set.

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parent (optional) parent (optional)

  • Type: Array

Blocks are able to be inserted into blocks that use InnerBlocks as nested content. Sometimes it is useful to restrict a block so that it is only available as a nested block. For example, you might want to allow an ‘Add to Cart’ block to only be available within a ‘Product’ block.

Setting parent lets a block require that it is only available when nested within the specified blocks.

// Only allow this block when it is nested in a Columns block
parent: [ 'core/columns' ],

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supports (optional) supports (optional)

  • Type: Object

Optional block extended support features. The following options are supported, and should be specified as a boolean true or false value:

  • anchor (default false): Anchors let you link directly to a specific block on a page. This property adds a field to define an id for the block and a button to copy the direct link.
// Add the support for an anchor link.
anchor: true,
  • customClassName (default true): This property adds a field to define a custom className for the block’s wrapper.
// Remove the support for the custom className.
customClassName: false,
  • className (default true): By default, Gutenberg adds a class with the form .wp-block-your-block-name to the root element of your saved markup. This helps having a consistent mechanism for styling blocks that themes and plugins can rely on. If for whatever reason a class is not desired on the markup, this functionality can be disabled.
// Remove the support for the generated className.
className: false,
  • html (default true): By default, Gutenberg will allow a block’s markup to be edited individually. To disable this behavior, set html to false.
// Remove support for an HTML mode.
html: false,
  • inserter (default true): By default, all blocks will appear in the Gutenberg inserter. To hide a block so that it can only be inserted programatically, set inserter to false.
// Hide this block from the inserter.
inserter: false,
  • multiple (default true): A non-multiple block can be inserted into each post, one time only. For example, the built-in ‘More’ block cannot be inserted again if it already exists in the post being edited. A non-multiple block’s icon is automatically dimmed (unclickable) to prevent multiple instances.
// Use the block just once per post
multiple: false,

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Edit and Save Edit and Save

The edit and save functions define the editor interface with which a user would interact, and the markup to be serialized back when a post is saved. They are the heart of how a block operates, so they are covered separately.