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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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 'layout' 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',

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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)

Work in progress…

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useOnce (optional) useOnce (optional)

  • Type: Bool
  • Default: false

Whether a block can only be used once per post.

// Use the block just once per post
useOnce: true,

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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 a 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 a 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,

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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.