@wordpress/editor Edit

Building blocks for WordPress editors.

Installation Installation

Install the module

npm install @wordpress/editor --save

This package assumes that your code will run in an ES2015+ environment. If you’re using an environment that has limited or no support for ES2015+ such as lower versions of IE then using core-js or @babel/polyfill will add support for these methods. Learn more about it in Babel docs.

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How it works How it works

The logic flow concerning the editor includes: inferring a block representation of the post content (parsing); describing the state of a post (representation); rendering of the post to the DOM (rendering); attaching controls to manipulate the content a.k.a blocks (UI).


The goal of the editor element is to let the user manipulate the content of their posts in a deterministic way—organized through the presence of blocks of content. Usually, in a declarative flow, the pieces that compose a post would be represented in a certain order and the machine would be able to generate an output view from it with the necessary UI controls. However, we don’t begin in WordPress with a representation of the state of the post that is conductive to this expression nor one that even has any knowledge of blocks because content is stored in a serialized way in a single field.

Such a crucial step is handled by the grammar parsing which takes the serialized content of the post and infers an ordered block list using, preferably, syntax hints present in HTML comments. The editor is initialized with a state representation of the block nodes generated by the parsing of the raw content of a post element: wp.blocks.parse( post.content.raw ).

The visual editor is thus a component that contains and renders the list of block nodes from the internal state into the page. This removes any trace of imperative handling when it comes to finding a block and manipulating a block. As a matter of fact, the visual editor or the text editor are just two different—equally valid—views of the same representation of state. The internal representation of the post content is updated as blocks are updated and it is serialized back to be saved in post_content.

Individual blocks are handled by the VisualBlock component, which attaches event handlers and renders the edit function of a block definition to the document with the corresponding attributes and local state. The edit function is the markup shape of a component while in editing mode.

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Components Components

Because many blocks share the same complex behaviors, reusable components are made available to simplify implementations of your block’s edit function.

BlockControls BlockControls

When returned by your block’s edit implementation, renders a toolbar of icon buttons. This is useful for block-level modifications to be made available when a block is selected. For example, if your block supports alignment, you may want to display alignment options in the selected block’s toolbar.


( function( editor, element ) {
    var el = element.createElement,
        BlockControls = editor.BlockControls,
        AlignmentToolbar = editor.AlignmentToolbar;

    function edit( props ) {
        return [
            // Controls: (only visible when block is selected)
            el( BlockControls, { key: 'controls' },
                el( AlignmentToolbar, {
                    value: props.align,
                    onChange: function( nextAlign ) {
                        props.setAttributes( { align: nextAlign } )
                } )

            // Block content: (with alignment as attribute)
            el( 'p', { key: 'text', style: { textAlign: props.align } },
                'Hello World!'
} )(

Note in this example that we render AlignmentToolbar as a child of the BlockControls element. This is another pre-configured component you can use to simplify block text alignment.

Alternatively, you can create your own toolbar controls by passing an array of controls as a prop to the BlockControls component. Each control should be an object with the following properties:

  • icon: string – Slug of the Dashicon to be shown in the control’s toolbar button
  • title: string – A human-readable localized text to be shown as the tooltip label of the control’s button
  • subscript: ?string – Optional text to be shown adjacent the button icon as subscript (for example, heading levels)
  • isActive: ?boolean – Whether the control should be considered active / selected. Defaults to false.

To create divisions between sets of controls within the same BlockControls element, passing controls instead as a nested array (array of arrays of objects). A divider will be shown between each set of controls.

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RichText RichText

Render a rich contenteditable input, providing users the option to add emphasis to content or links to content. It behaves similarly to a controlled component, except that onChange is triggered less frequently than would be expected from a traditional input field, usually when the user exits the field.

The following properties (non-exhaustive list) are made available:

  • value: string – Markup value of the field. Only valid markup is
    allowed, as determined by inline value and available controls.
  • onChange: Function – Callback handler when the value of the field changes,
    passing the new value as its only argument.
  • placeholder: string – A text hint to be shown to the user when the field
    value is empty, similar to the
    input and textarea attribute of the same name.
  • multiline: String – A tag name to use for the tag that should be inserted
    when Enter is pressed. For example: li in a list block, and p for a
    block that can contain multiple paragraphs. The default is that only inline
    elements are allowed to be used in inserted into the text, effectively
    disabling the behavior of the “Enter” key.


( function( editor, element ) {
    var el = element.createElement,
        RichText = editor.RichText;

    function edit( props ) {
        function onChange( value ) {
            props.setAttributes( { text: value } );

        return el( RichText, {
            value: props.attributes.text,
            onChange: onChange
        } );

    // blocks.registerBlockType( ..., { edit: edit, ... } );
} )(

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