Support » Requests and Feedback » Request: Paragraph breaks in blocks

  • Hi. I have request for the Gutenberg block editor.

    As it is, hitting Enter to start a new paragraph automatically creates a new paragraph block. It would be nice if this were not the default action as it would lead to a lot of extra blocks when paragraphs within the same block will do just fine. I know we can create a new paragraph within the same block by using Shift+Enter instead, but it’d be easier if we could just press Enter. Perhaps have a block option where pressing Enter creates a new paragraph within the block?

    Thanks, and I hope you consider this request.

Viewing 12 replies - 16 through 27 (of 27 total)
  • Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    To move past that and back to your original question: Is selecting text across multiple paragraphs something you do a lot? Big large scale editing like that? It seems like a strange thing to do to me, so I’d be interested in knowing why you need that functionality.

    A simple workaround would be to simply merge the two paragraphs. Go to the beginning of the second one, hit backspace, and it merges in with the one above it. One paragraph. Then select whatever you like and cut and paste and so on.

    Cutting and pasting text is indeed something I do a lot when editing in a text editor. But generally it’s whole paragraphs, not partial portions of multiple ones.

    Thank you for the detailed response, @otto42.

    I’m all for using the block editor if it does what I want. As @bhagwad mentioned though, having some paragraphs within the same block can be more logical at times. I’ve seen that there are container blocks and such, but that just seems to be like an unnecessary extra step. Same thing with choosing a different block when the same block could potentially do the same thing.

    It sounds to me like you would prefer to ween people off using Classic blocks, but can only recommend that we use Classic blocks if we want breaks in the same Paragraph block. Again, my reason for wanting this is that it makes more logical sense to have related text be visually grouped together in the editor.

    Here’s another idea if you don’t want to give an option for breaks in the same Paragraph block: How about an option to just visually group blocks together (without using a container block)? Perhaps make multiple blocks (either consecutive or not) be selectable and able to be grouped so that when you select one, all the group blocks are outlined? Then you can maybe give options to edit the styling, etc of the blocks as a group? I know we can create reusable blocks which will have the same styling and such, but I personally would rather not increase the number of block types on my site. It just seems disorganized to have so many block types, and I can’t be the only one who feels this way. I would rather do more with the default core blocks than have to take time to search and find if there’s a block that does what I want, especially if what I’m asking for is pretty simple. Heavy users of WordPress may not mind these extra steps, but I’m speaking more from a light user’s POV. I know WordPress is built on plugins extending its functions, but at the same time it’d be nice if the platform could do what we want out of the box.


    Oops, looks like I was in the middle of writing my reply when you posted a second response. It’s more of a visual thing than anything. Some paragraphs might be contextually related and therefore I want them in the same block. I would be fine with there being an outer outline around multiple blocks (not between the blocks) if the paragraphs had to be in separate blocks. I just want a visual cue that certain paragraphs/blocks are related and to have them grouped together visually (without the need to insert a separate container block which I find to be an unnecessary extra step that we’re currently being forced to do).

    Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    Well, I’m not quite seeing how using the older editor which didn’t separate those things at all equates to having more visual clarity.

    The separation of paragraphs into separate blocks is desirable. Grouping them together again, for reasons outside of layout or some such thing, not so much. So, yeah, sorry. I don’t get it.

    Hmm, let’s put it this way…

    When a block is selected, that block is outlined. Especially if you have a bunch of consecutive short paragraphs, this can be pretty jarring. Say you have paragraphs A, B, and C which are all related in content. Select B and B is outlined, making it visually look like a separate piece of content that is not related to A or C.

    So I guess you could say that it’s more of what the Block editor is doing rather than what the Classic editor is not doing. It’s an organizational thing. I’m sure everyone’s brains work differently so some people may not have an issue with this while for others it might be annoying to varying degrees. Unfortunately I fall in the latter camp. It’s not a dealbreaker, but I really do wish related paragraphs could at least look like they’re related, or not show any such outline that makes them look unrelated.

    I just wanted to chime in as a writer and editor who also understands why paragraph blocks make sense from a code perspective. “Selecting text across multiple paragraphs” is entirely how I write.

    I frequently cut up and merge paragraphs, take a chunk and move it into the middle of another, slice off a sentence off and make it stand-alone then, realize it goes better with another thought. Obviously I can’t speak for everyone’s experience, but this is how most of the writers I know compose and edit their text.

    So I struggled with the block editor for a while, confused why editing text had become such a pain, until I realized that hard separations of the paragraphs was in fact on purpose, and that the technical distinction of a “block level” layout element was going to be forcibly injected into the process of writing itself. For me, this makes it unusable as a writing tool.

    The explanations have helped me understand the logic behind this, which is that WordPress actually is becoming less of a writing tool, like a text editor or Word, and more of a page layout tool like InDesign. I understand the reasoning behind this, and I see the problems it can help fix. But anecdotally, I know a lot of writers, and the only person I know who actually composes text in a page layout program is a professional graphic designer.

    If there is any way to treat paragraph breaks in particular as parts of a larger coherent whole, integrated with each other, I urge you to consider them. I’ll keep looking for workarounds that allow me to write in this way within WordPress. And if they eventually no longer work, I’ll just have to resign myself to WordPress being strictly for layout instead of composition.

    … Shift-Enter … thank you very much!




    … Shift-Enter … thank you very much!

    This has already been addressed in the thread:

    I know we can create a new paragraph within the same block by using Shift+Enter instead, but it’d be easier if we could just press Enter.

    BTW, shift-enter inserts line breaks <br>. It doesn’t make multiple paragraphs in a block, it makes all your post into a single paragraph with line breaks in it.




    I didn’t mean it like that … I didn’t know we can create a new paragraph within the same block by using Shift+Enter … I was thanking the stars for somebody explaining that and saving me hours of fighting my site.

    Sorry for the confusion 🙂



    Oh sorry, I had assumed you were being sarcastic. In that case, hooray! Though unfortunately it’s not the best workaround.

    My problem with having multiple blocks for each paragraph is that the tab used to format the text in the block covers the other paragraph blocks. Some people may only want to focus on a paragraph at a time, but some of us actually want to be able to read over the entire blog post and would like to do that without having to click outside of the blocks. If there is a way to hide this tab, please let me know.

    On the far right, you’ll see three vertical dots. Click on that and select “Top Toolbar.” Those “tabs” that are getting in your way should then be displayed at the very top of the page.

Viewing 12 replies - 16 through 27 (of 27 total)
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