How To Get The Best Out Of The Block You’re Using The Most On The Gutenberg Editor

It may seem much longer, but at the end of 2018, WordPress introduced the Gutenberg Block Editor to users. 

And what a journey the Block editor has had since introduced. Some users moved to other blogging platforms to avoid using it, whereas others decided to continue using the Classic editor for free via the Classic Block. 

Banner for the blog post 'How To Get The Best Out Of The Block You're Using The Most On The Gutenberg Editor'
Are You using The Paragraph Block To Its Best Advantage?

Last year, I witnessed more than ever fans of the Classic editor coming over to using the Block editor, some of whom wondered why they hadn’t done it sooner.

As more bloggers use the Block editor, I thought I’d write some posts on how some of the most popular blocks work.

I’m kicking off with the ‘Paragraph‘ block, which everyone who uses the block editor will use.

How Do I Find Or Add A ‘Paragraph’ Block?

  • After adding the title of your blog post, click on the ‘+‘ symbol in the draft section of the post.
  • In the search box that opens, type in ‘paragraph.’
  • Select the ‘paragraph‘ block.
Screenshot showing where and how to find the 'Paragraph' block on the Gutenberg Editor
Where to find the ‘paragraph’ block
  • Start typing in the paragraph block on the draft post.
Screenshot highlighting where to type in the Paragraph block
Start typing in the Paragraph block

How Do I Add A New Paragraph?

  • Tap the return button on your keyboard to add a new paragraph.

Does The ‘Paragraph’ Block Come With Any Options? 

Yes. The ‘Paragraph’ block comes with a toolbar full of options. Here’s a list of what you can do.

  • Align text
Screenshot highlighting the Align button on the Block editor
Where to find the ‘Align’ button
  • Make text bold
Screenshot highlighting where to find the 'Bold' text button on the Block editor
Where to find the ‘Bold’ text button
  • Make text italic
Screenshot highlighting where to find the 'Italic' text button
Where to find the ‘Italic’ text button
Screenshot highlighting where to find the pingback button on the Block editor
Where to find the ‘pingback’ button
  • Other available options
  • Highlight text 
  • Add inline code
  • Add an inline image
  • Justify paragraphs
  • Keyboard input
  • Strikethrough text
  • Subscript
  • Superscript
  • Underline uppercase text
  • Change text to uppercase
Screenshot showing where to find 'Other options' on the Paragraph block
Where to find other options

Are There Any Other Options?

  • Yes. Click the kebab menu in the toolbar to show even more options such as ‘Add to reusable block‘ and ‘remove paragraph.’ 
Screenshot highlighting options under the kebab menu on the Paragraph block
Click the kebab menu to see more options

More options are also available on the righthand side of the draft page. To see them, select any block that contains text and select the ‘Block‘ option.

Screenshot highlighting the Block icon on the drafts page of a blog post
Make sure ‘Block’ is selected.

Colour: Change the colour of text or the background colour of a block.

AMP Settings: AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open-source framework that allows browsers and apps to quickly load your site’s content on mobile devices. AMP is enabled by default for all WordPress.com sites. Click here for more details. 

Typography: This allows users to set the size of the font in a block. Here’s an example. In the next block, I’ve selected font size 36.

Hugh’s Views And News

See how much bigger it is than the text in other blocks.

Users can also manually set the size of the text by clicking the icon that sits to the right, just above the Size Default box. The icon looks like two small slider buttons.

Advanced Options:

HTML Anchor: This option allows users to insert ‘page jumps’ into a post. For example, you could anchor the words ‘Skip to the bottom of this post‘ in a block. Clicking on the anchor text then takes readers to the bottom of the page. Click here for more details. 

Additional CSS class(es):  Add CSS code to a block. –

CSS is the acronym of “Cascading Style Sheets“. CSS is a computer language for laying out and structuring web pages (HTML or XML). This language contains coding elements and comprises these “cascading style sheets”, which are called CSS files. 

Note: Some of the above options I’ve mentioned may move or change over time.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Looking for more information about the Gutenberg Block Editor? Check out these posts.

If you have any questions about the ‘Paragraph’ block, leave them in the comments section. I’ll try my best to answer them.

Is there a particular ‘Block’ you’d like me to cover in an upcoming post?

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63 thoughts on “How To Get The Best Out Of The Block You’re Using The Most On The Gutenberg Editor

  1. There are some bloggers I follow who steadfastly refuse to even consider Block Editor even though they know that Classic Editor is no longer supported by the WP technical team and that all the effort is going into block editor changes.

    1. I think I know a few like that, too. I know of some who upgraded their WordPress plan simply to be able to continue to use the old Classic editor, despite it being available to use for free in the Block editor via the Classic block. I can’t imagine why anyone would upgrade and pay to continue using an editor that is still available for free. I believe there are a few very minor differences, but from what I learned, nothing major. Plus, as you rightly pointed out, WordPress offers support for the Block editor.

  2. Thanks for this, Hugh. I’ve been resisting the change, but find the Classic Block is a good way to get started. Bookmarking this in my WordPress tutorials folder. 👌

  3. Love love love the blocks, making my blogging so much easier. I have no formal training in this but have managed to work my way through blocks, and must admit that I was slow to go over to using the blocks, and now do not understand why I did not do it way earlier. Well, better late than never. Thanks Hugh. @esmesalon #seniorsalonpitstop

    1. Good to hear, Esmé. I think many users were somewhat frightened by trying out something new. But if you give it some of your time and learn how everything works, it becomes much easier to use. And it has taken blogging to a whole new level.

  4. Hi Hugh. You know I so appreciate your Gutenberg help. I remember when I shared one of your links on my blog and you told me you received the pingback. What I did was highlighted your name and had to add the URL to your blog as the link I created, nothing different than I used to do to link to a blog and when posting about someone else’s work. From that you got the pingback? 🙂 Thanks. x

    1. Hi Debby, I’m glad these posts help so many who read them. I hope you’re getting used to the Block editor? The more you use it, the easier it gets, and it won’t be long before you know which of the blocks you’ll use the most. No need to concern yourself with ​all of them.

      There are reasons why pingbacks won’t work. The main ones being –

      When created to the home page of a blog
      When there are errors in the link address
      When created from most self-hosted blogs
      When a blogger does not allow pingbacks or links (there is a setting for that)

  5. Great post Hugh! It extremely helpful!
    I’m still playing around with these blocks but I’ve saved this post for future reference!
    Thanks so much for sharing your blogging knowledge! 😊

      1. I actually prefer the Classic Editor… lol
        I pre-write my posts and then copy and paste them in but I’m slowly learning about the Block Editor, thanks to posts like this one!

        1. Do you access the Classic editor for free via the Classic Block?

          I also prewrite all my posts and paste them onto the draft page. I especially like how the Block editor separates each block rather than everything I paste being in one block.

        2. The Classic editor block can only be accessed via the Block Editor. If you’re not using the Block Editor, you’ll be using the old version of the Classic editor.

        3. On the ‘Post’ page of the dashboard of your blog, click the small arrow next to ‘Add New’ post, and a menu will open showing Block Editor and Classic Editor. Select the Block Editor. From there you can search for the classic block.

  6. I was one of those reluctant to change. I’m glad I did in the end though. Towards the end of last year I discovered you could start a new page on your draft blog post – very useful if you want to share something that might upset some readers as you can give a warning and leave it up to them to look or not. I just wish WP would allow we writers the chance to indent the first line of a paragraph 😦

    1. There is an indent option in the Classic block. So if you use the Classic block for just the first paragraph of a post, you can indent it. There is another option, but it involves entering inline HTML code – something I’m not good at. However, if you want the details, I can certainly send them.

      Please let us know about the new page option on a blog post. I’m not sure what it is, but it sounds intriguing.

  7. Well I just learnt that those three dots are called a kebab menu – I never knew that! Thanks Hugh as always a great post full of useful information.

  8. You know how long I tried to refuse to change from the classic to the Gutenberg editor. But I totally love it. As you mentioned, some things change over time which is a bit “irritating” once you have finally found your routines… lol. But it is really great to work with such a variety of tools. Great post, Hugh! You opened up a case of worms for many, I bet… haha.

    1. That’s great to hear, Erika. Too many of us are afraid of change, but when trying something new out, we can be amazed by what new changes can do, how much time we can save by adapting to them, and how much more we can do with them. The transformation in blog posts drafted with the Block editor is impressive. We have to keep moving with the times.

      And I’m delighted that WordPress has given users the option of continuing using the Classic editor for free via the Classic Block. I can’t understand that some users chose to pay to upgrade their WordPress plan to continue using the Classic editor even though it’s free to use via the Classic Block. They must have spare money to burn.

      1. I have to confess that I am one of those always struggling a little with change once I am used to something that fits me. But it doesn’t keep me from going with the change anyway… haha. In most cases it is a benefit to make the effort.

        Agreed, that doesn’t make much sense to me. It happens when you don’t have a Hugh who teaches you that you have the option to switch editors… lol

        1. When I was working, I hated any kind of Change, Erika. When the Block editor came along, I hated it too. But then I told myself I was being silly and that WordPress would not be introducing a new tool to us if it wasn’t going to be good. I watched some tutorials, read some posts, played around with all the latest tools on a draft post, and gradually fell in love with the change they were introducing. They gave us plenty of notice of what was to come, so I didn’t see why anyone would have any cause to complain. Many did, but many have now used the Block editor and wondered what all the fuss was about. I see it as one of the storms you mentioned in your post earlier this week.

        2. That’s such a fantastic comparison, Hugh. Indeed! Yes, same over here. There must be something about it when they are installing it. Next to not liking change, I am curious and stubborn. So, I had to know how to work with that new editor (once I was ready to leave my comfort zone… lol)

  9. Great info! I’ve been using block for a while now but I don’t usually do anything fancy. Maybe I’ll branch out a bit. One thing I’ve found: I write my posts in Word first, then cut and paste into WP. When I do this, the block editor creates separate blocks for each paragraph (my whole post doesn’t become one block).

    1. I don’t use many of the options either, Janis, but it’s great to know how many options and tools are available to those using the Block editor. It’s always good to try some of them out, though. And I do the same as you when drafting posts, but I draft them in ‘Grammarly.’

  10. Thanks for the drill down into the simple paragraph lock, Hugh. I do enjoy using the font and background colors, which have a template and options for adjusting the color. It’s always good to know how your theme works with the font color over the background color because the option may not prompt you that the combination “may be hard to read.” Self-editing with a preview is always a good idea! Very similarly, I use the list block and I found that for the background color, you can also choose the gradient option which is adjustable as well and offers interest in the layout (my old newspaper layout experience still at work ;). I still feel as though I’ve only scratched the surface for blocks so anything you share always has good tidbits of helpful info!

    1. I could have added so much more about the ‘colour’ opinion, so I’m glad you covered it in your comment, Terri. I didn’t want this post to go on too much, so I skipped most of the ‘behind the scene’ details. However, the other day, when checking out one of my posts on my iPhone, I was horrified how the background colour of the blocks I put questions in at the end of each post was a lot different to that on my iMac. It was so glary that I almost needed sunglasses to view it. It also made the text inside the block harder to read. Have you come across the same problem? If so, how do you deal with it? Maybe it’s just a matter of picking a softer colour, but I was pretty shocked at how the background colour of certain blocks looked on my iPhone. Needless to say, I’ve removed some of the background colours in some of the blocks.

      1. My theme shows fonts as grayish so I choose softer pastels for background most of the time. I mostly choose black or white font color in bold. Just in case. I always preview for desktop and mobile. Again, great post that anyone can make use of Hugh!

        1. I’ll have to play around with the colours and see if I can find one that doesn’t make the coloured background garish on my iPhone, Terri. A soft pastel colour sounds the best option. Thanks for the thumbs up for this post. I hope it helps plenty of readers.

    1. Have you tried the Classic block, Cathy? It’s the only block you’ll ever need to use if you want to stick with the Classic editor. And unlike the old Classic editor, there are no plans on removing support for it because it comes as part of the Block editor.

      1. Yes, sorry Hugh, I didn’t explain myself properly. I’m using the Classic block. I’m very glad to know it’s a feature that will stay, I thought the classic option was going to be phased out from the block editor as well.

        1. I’ve not heard the Classic block is being phased out, but I have heard that the old-style Classic editor that is not part of the Block editor is being phased out. If I hear any different, I’ll let you know, Cathy. However, I believe the emphasis is on adding more blocks rather than removing them.

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