Changes can be polarizing for a lot of people, even bloggers. This was most apparent when WordPress introduced the new Gutenberg Block Editor update which basically overhauled the whole writing experience in WordPress. Needless to say, work got disrupted and bloggers had to relearn new things. Thankfully it turns out the Block Editor can be just as good as the Classic one if you know some nifty WordPress Block Editor tricks.
In case you haven’t adjusted well enough yet to Gutenberg, we have prepared for you a list of WordPress Block Editor tricks; these will help you have an easier content creation tenure. Some of these are not that well-known and can only be found out either by tinkering or by going through WordPress’ lengthy Gutenberg manual, which is tedious.
So, take these WordPress Block Editor tricks and tips to heart to save yourself a headache the next time you write using Gutenberg. Here are eight of them you’ll surely use frequently after knowing.
1. Checking the word count
One of the first things you’ll notice with the Gutenberg update upon writing is the lack of a certain metric; the one that previously helped you gauge your effort before: the word counter. In the Classic Editor, it was easily displayed at the bottom left corner of the end of the page. For Gutenberg, however, you’ll have to do a bit more than scrolling down to see your progress.
You can check the word count by clicking the Content structure button, or the “i” with the circle near the top left corner. If will show you the total word count (includes the title and links) as well as other information about your article structure. Alternatively, you can just press Ctrl + A (CMD + A for Mac) to select all blocks; this will reveal the word count on the right panel along with the total number of blocks.
2. Useful keyboard shortcuts list
The convenience of knowing the handy shortcuts in Classic mode has been replaced. Case in point are the shortcuts for headings or subheadings in Gutenberg. Of course, they did introduce some new shortcuts to make the workflow faster but that in itself is new information to be memorized. Instead of keeping notes, however, Gutenberg has done this for you.
Simply press Shift + Alt + H on the keyboard and it will bring up the new keyboard shortcuts list for the WordPress Block Editor. Alternatively, you can also click on the three vertical dots on the upper right corner of the editor; you can select the keyboard shortcuts notes from there.
3. Easy switch from visual to code
Another thing which Gutenberg made more difficult or hidden compared to Classic is the HTML code view. As such, anyone doing some manual coding or embeds can have a harder time with the WordPress Block Editor. Sadly, Gutenberg added some additional steps for accessing the code view.
You now have to click on the three vertical dots again on the upper right corner; from there, select the “Code Editor” mode, it’s right below the “Visual Editor” mode. Alternatively, you can just press Ctrl + Shift + Alt + M to switch to code. It takes more steps compared to Classic (just one click) and there’s no other way around that.
4. Adding images is now easier
One notable improvement Gutenberg has over Classic, though, is adding images. You can now add images with a simple drag and drop and this will place the image exactly where you drop it. That means you can just drop it on the text and it will wedge itself in.
Moreover, you don’t even have to drag and drop if you don’t want to. Simply copying the image and pasting them also works for a more pinpoint accurate image posting. This also works for Google images; you don’t even have to save the image to your device in order to copy and paste it or upload it; Gutenberg will fetch it for you.
5. Quick and easy way to add preferred blocks
The block system is the star of Gutenberg though it does take some time getting used to. Still, it’s a good way to make your paragraphs and content more modular. You’ll just have to deal with the cumbersome block adding mechanic. Gutenberg is quite notorious in this regard; it can take many clicks to select what kind of block you want to add next (paragraph, heading, code, image, etc.).
Thankfully, you can make this process a little bit faster and easier by adding the “/” command in a new block. As soon as you press that key on a blank block, the WordPress Block Editor will present you with block type options. This way you can minimize the number of clicks and keyboard presses you have to do just to designate block types.
6. The unified Top toolbar
Do you miss that Top toolbar for the Classic editor which lets you format the text and change its orientation or appearance? You’ll be pleased to know that Gutenberg still has that– only, it tucked that toolbar away hidden in those three vertical dots in the top right corner.
Once you click those, you’ll see an option called “Top toolbar,” click that and voila. There’s your old friend back right where it is; it’s a bit more limited, though and requires more clicks to operate compared to the Classic Editor version. Nevertheless, it’s a handy function to have especially if you write frequently.
7. The classic block
With all that’s been said and done, missing the Classic Editor even with all these WordPress Block Editor tricks is understandable. Because no matter how you look at it, operating in the Classic Editor just takes a lot fewer clicks and overall actions.
Lucky for you, you can actually have the best of both worlds. Gutenberg is at least sensible enough to include a unique type of block called the “Classic Block”. You can access it by clicking the “add block” beside an empty block and searching for the classic block and selecting that. It’s, well, a block but has all the functionalities of the Classic Editor. It’s essentially a Classic Editor within a Gutenberg block, in case you’re not convinced of Gutenberg’s power.
8. Switching back to classic mode
If the Classic Block leaves you wanting and you still miss “old reliable,” you can just resort to plugins. There’s a free Classic Editor plugin for WordPress right now with 5+ million active installations and a unanimous 5-star rating. Seriously, it only has 16 ratings below 5-stars and 681 5-star ratings.
A lot of people simply just don’t want to let go of the Classic Editor despite Gutenberg’s sleekness and modularity. So, rest assured, no one’s judging you for resorting to this plugin. Do keep in mind the WordPress Block Editor tricks we mentioned as they will come in handy when the only option you have is to use Gutenberg.