Block Editor – Reflections

My post on Saturday was the longest post I’ve ever written. The fact that I published it through the Block Editor also made it the most challenging post. I learned a lot about the Block Editor during this post, but since that post was almost 3,000 words, I think I’ll give you a break today. I’m going to share one thing I learned about the editor. I’m choosing this particular thing for three reasons:

  • Several people asked about it.
  • It doesn’t require any CSS code.
  • Every WordPress user can do this, even people on the free plan.

Note: If you aren’t a blogger, aren’t using WordPress or are avoiding the Block Editor like the Corona virus, skip to the gallery at the end.

In order to make Saturday’s post easier to follow, I wanted to add a visual break as David or Teagan moved from one person/group to another. I used the separator shown below.

I had already created a separator that was different from my theme’s default separator, but that involved CSS and, as you can see below, it doesn’t have a 1920s feel to it.

Once I found an image I could use, I inserted it into an Image Block and centered it. Easy-peasy.

Insert an Image block
You can upload the image here, but I like to add mine to the library first and then Select it from here.
You can select from several sources. I’m using my media library
There’s my color Art Deco separator – Hi Jennie.
Align the image in the center as you would text

Of course, I used that separator eleven times in the post, and I didn’t want to have to go through all those steps each time. So, I took advantage of a new feature in the Block Editor – I made the image block holding the separator image a reusable block.

Open the block options (the three offset horizontal lines) and choose “Add to Reusable blocks.”
Give your reusable block a name.

After that sequence, whenever I wanted to insert the separator, I just had to type ‘reusa…’ to have the block selector present my Reusable Blocks. Note: I could also type ‘1920…’ to bring it up.

Select the block you want from your reusable blocks.

This block will be available to me from this point forward unless I delete it. If I want to change it, I can edit the image and it will be changed everywhere it appears, in every post. If I want to make a change but I don’t want to apply that to older posts, I can repeat the process and give the block a new name. You might remember that the separator I used on Saturday was a grayscale image. You can see it listed in the reusable block pallet.

Some of you read 3,000 words on Saturday, so this is all I’m giving you today. If you have any questions about reusable blocks, ask me in a comment or shoot me an email. If I can help you, I will be happy to do so.

91 comments

  1. Thank you, Dan, for the helpful information on the Block editor. I’m just beginning to use it, so your photo collage directions are very helpful. As always, the photos are exquisite. I particularly like the one with the long shadows. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Dan. I like the block editor and have been using it pretty well since it was first introduced. I didn’t know however about the reusable blocks. That’s a good little feature to keep in mind.

    There is no question that change is in the air right now and your photos certainly show it. It’s time to start cleanup in the yard … when the rain eventually stops …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reusable blocks are good for those things you always add to a post (copyright, disclaimers, etc., that you don’t want to put in a sidebar widget. There are a lot of uses, but you have to be careful. I wanted to use them for the One-Liner Wednesday explanation, but I’d have to keep the link outside the block, or every prior post would link to the current page on Linda’s blog.

      I just remembered to drag my leaf bag to the curb.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I needed to look up how to schedule a post yesterday, but it was easy to find instructions online so that’s sorted! I’m slowly getting used to the Block Editor. I liked your Art Deco separator a lot and wondered how you did that. Thanks for that lesson on reusable blocks and how you added it to your post.

    I love all your backlit images in this post like Maddie’s hair, flowers, and trees. I really love that drop hanging from the chain fence too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked this Deborah. I don’t like the Block Editor, but it does have some useful features. Reusable blocks might be my favorite.

      I love walking when the sun is low and it gets behind ordinary things. I really liked the way it lit up Maddie’s feathers. I’m glad you like the drop :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I admit it – I’m stuck in my ways, and with all the s#*t in 2020, I don’t have the desire to learn a whole new way of blogging. I post on my blog and manage a non-profit blog. Over the weekend, WordPress thought differently and poof I was into the block editor because I had been ignoring it up until then. I stumbled upon starting a new post and then editing with classic editor so that is how I’ve survived this weekend. How I go forward, I’m not sure. I’m not making money or running a business, I blog for fun and the community. If it becomes too difficult and it’s not fun anymore, I guess I’ll be done. I think I need to borrow Maddie for a long walk with one of those Mike’s waiting for me when I get back. :-) Happy week, Dan, and if you have any suggestions on keeping it simple, I’m all ears. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have been struggling with the Block Editor, Judy. The simplest way, if you can’t summon the Classic Editor from the Admin page, is to insert a Classic block at the top and paste your entire post in it.

      I’m so glad we found a window to walk earlier than waiting for the last bus to leave. I like walking with the sun is low. Maddie likes it better, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know in my head WordPress’ target audience is under 40, but it irks me that they have decided to not give us a choice except to figure out a work around. Oh well, I’d better get over it, because it’s pretty obvious who their focus is, and it sure isn’t us. :-)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The latest well-under-40 thing I found out (my wife found it and read it to me) is that “punctuation in text messages and on Twitter is offensive. Periods are harsh and other punctuation is passive-aggressive.”

          Now I’m waiting for WordPress to start warning me about using punctuation. Sorry kids, it’s called language.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. That’s cool, Dan. I’ve been using a default separator offered with the ‘separator’ block. However, I find it too faint in some posts. I never thought about creating one of my own.
    Glad to see you making use of the ‘reusable’ block. It’s such a fantastic block given that any changes you want to make (e.g. price of a book) are made on all posts where you’ve used the block.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a few uses for the reusable blocks, Hugh, but I clearly needed it for Saturday’s post. I know I would have messed something up, and I wanted that post to looks crisp. Below is the CSS I use for my separator, just in case it helps.

      /* Rounded border */
      .da_roundedSep {
      border-top: 8px solid #bbb;
      border-radius: 5px;
      }

      I know you know this, but

      Add to your theme in Customizations
      Insert new empty block in your post
      Open the Advanced sidebar area in the Block Editor
      Go to Custom CSS
      Insert name WITHOUT the period i.e. da_roundedSep

      Similarly, this is the CSS I use to indent a block (like the bulleted list in today’s post)

      .da_indent40 { margin-left: 40px; }

      Than can be added, the same way, to any block in your post.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Dan. I’m not good at writing CSS code. I usually get WordPress to write them for me. They recently did one so that I could change the font colour of the name of my blog to white. What I may do is look for a separator on a free site like Pixabay and see if I can insert it as an image. I don’t know if it will work, but you’ve given me the idea to give it a try.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I finally read enough instructions that I did today’s post with the new Editor. Then I get on the Reader page and discover WP put in in 5 hours before I did it. I checked my settings and I am still on EST. I published at about 6:15 am and it now sits in the Reader as though I did it at 2:00 am.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WP and scheduling seem to have an abundance of problems, GP. I remember Teagan mentioning one week that it simply wouldn’t let her schedule a post for midnight. I have had the box where the time/date settings appear pop-up and go away, leaving the post set to publish “Immediately” – I’ve had to save the draft, exit and go back in to set the time. It’s frustrating.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. My pleasure, Maggie. I’m always available for questions. I might not know the answer, but I’ll give it a shot. It’s less frustrating when I’m trying to help someone than when I’m trying to schedule my post so I can go to bed ;-)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I like the lines of the shadows and chain in the photo of the chain fence. I find the reusable blocks convenient for inserting the icons for certain posts such as One-Liner Wednesday that remain the same for many posts. I no longer have to search for the original image.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a very good use of reusable blocks. I have to change the way I format those posts, because mine always have an additional element (image, link, etc.) that changes each week. But I do find it a very useful tool.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You know me Dan. I skimmed through all the WP stuff and headed to the fun part…the gallery!! 😊

    LOVE the sun shining through Maddie’s fur, just like the bunny’s ears. Also the sunlit trees. Interesting shot through the chain link, but the raindrop (actually 1-1/2drops!) caught my attention.

    No, I don’t think Mimi wants a ‘scritch’ from you. She wants to finish her nap and then start another
    one! Perhaps you need to double up on MuMu’s brushings. After all, you are “retired” now and should have all the time in the world! 🙄😳

    As I told Pam, I am in awe of how bloggers, particularly during quarantine, can keep producing interesting posts. Not easy under the best of conditions. But when I read in different blogs the “mechanical” horrors most of you are experiencing to send a post to my inbox, I admire your sticktoittiveness. I’m so sorry blogging has become such a chore for most. It shouldn’t just be fun for me, the reader, it should be fun for you, the blogger.

    By the way, thank you for your kind words in Saturday’s post. We need to hire a carpenter to enlarge all our doorways so I can get my swelled head through!

    Hope WP gets its act together soon.

    Ginger

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much. Ginger, and thanks again for joining us on Saturday. Your ‘jello’ comment cheered a lot of people up.

      I love walking Maddie in the morning when the sun is still low. This was the first time I caught something in a drop that I could recognize. Maddie almost licked that drop – I swear it’s like she doesn’t have three water bowls to choose from!

      I can’t leave the house without giving MiMi a scritch. It annoys her, but I can’t resist. MuMu, well, I could resist her, but she screams to be brushed. As you say, “your retired now, so brush me!”

      I’m hoping that, after figuring out a few more features like this one, I’ll be able to get back to blogging just being fun. Right now, it’s fun taking pictures and writing, but I have to gather my inner strength to do battle with WordPress.

      It’s funny, I wasn’t going to have a gallery today, since I added so many screenshots. Then I thought, “what about Ginger and others who don’t blog or don’t care?”

      I hope your week is off to a great start.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have used block editors in one form or another off and on for a while. I get the editor and understand it, but I find the way WordPress chose to organize their screens anything but intuitive. I don’t like the way it operates in opposition to the way normal writing and word processors have traditionally worked. It was designed for web design. Not for writers.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree, Maggie. I’m also bothered by the many ordinary things I do that cause the interface to change do that sidebars are missing and very difficult to get back. Showing all available blocks, for example. I write my posts in Word, but formatting in this editor is a pain.

      Like

  10. Good morning, Dan. I hope your week is off to a great start. Thanks for this detailed “how to.” You may have given me the courage to try — if I can stay connected long enough. I had enough trouble figuring out how to get the “classic block” to work in this latest WP mess.
    Thanks for the gallery too. I especially liked the Maddie’s eye view flower. And MuMu, with her whiskers pointed all the way forward — that’s one happy kitty. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure, Teagan. As I mentioned earlier to someone, feel free to ask questions. If I don’t know the answer, I don’t mind looking around.

      I like the Maddie’s eye view pictures, especially when the sun is low.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Dan, I am still playing catch up from the weekend. It was a granddaughter weekend. And a grand way to throw everything slightly out of kilter. I have to go back and take more than a flash look at Saturday’s post. For now I am enjoying the long shadows and the raindrop embellishments. Happy Monday.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Very nice and a great explanation of using a spacer.  I think if I edit my photos on ipad photos first I can use the block editor, but as yet the sizing isn’t to my liking. It distorts if I try to make it thumbnail, etc.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I take that as high praise, coming from you, Cheryl. Maddie has been walking more slowly. Instead of being dragged around, I have tom time to look at things. I’m also trying to pay attention to the things she investigates.

      Like

  13. I love that reusable block trick! I’ll have to remember that: I have a few blocks I reuse, such as the picture of Earth I use on Fridays. I think my favorites of your pictures today — other than the critters, of course! — are the ones with the chains. But the critters always win. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for the tutorial, Dan. I had been avoiding the Block Editor like the plague, but when it came time to switch (I don’t think I had an option), I found it wasn’t too bad. I didn’t know about the reusable block, though. I like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I made the move before I had to. I found myself at a good point to get used to it. It works well for me now, but I still have to use a Classic block fairly often. I’ve said a number of bad things about the Block Editor, I figured it was only right to talk about something good.

      Like

  15. Thanks, Dan. I am wading through the new block editor. Of course, I had no choice so here sits a resentful user. I’ve done three posts now and have figured out that to use dialogue I need to get a classic block and let her rip. Creating a block for each line of dialogue was a pain. I am surviving this mess. Your photos looked good and I was interested in how the ‘reusable block’ selection was used. Now I know. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was hoping people would find it useful. As for dialog, I write mine in Word and then paste it in to the Block editor, and I do end up with a block for each line. Thankfully, Linda doesn’t like us to be editing the SoCS posts, which is the only time I write dialog.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Silly me, I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as a “default separator.” Thanks for your step-by-step in case I ever need a separator, default or not.

    I am still having problems seeing a preview of my post before publishing (I have no idea why, and the Happiness Engineers didn’t help), but another blogger told me how to do a work around.

    Currently, I’m having a problem with Lists (I noticed you had a bulleted one in this post) and I can’t figure it out. When I indicate that I want a List Block, the block moves way over to the left side of the page – quite a bit left of my paragraph block. The one you have is nice and neat, slightly indented from your paragraph block… just like I want mine to appear. Did you do something special to get it to behave?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With respect to the separator (I forgot) if you click the ‘+’ sign in the corner of the block, you get a list of available blocks. If you start typing’SEP…’ a Separator block will appear for you to choose.

      Like

  17. I had lots of problems with that list. I found that I cannot paste text into a list. I had to enter the items one by one.

    I have a bit of custom CSS that I use to indent blocks. I was happy to see that it works on lists. I use indented text often, and when I discovered that the Block Editor doesn’t have an indent option, I complained. The Happiness Engineer told me, “Indenting is an old school format option. By using it, you’re showing your age.” and added that they had no intention of adding it. So, I decided to go the CSS route. I will create an indented list and save it as a reusable block. It won’t solve the pasting problem, but it will get me the look I want.

    If you have a premium plan, one that allows custom CSS, I’d be happy to send you the code and the instructions for adding it. It’s pretty easy, and you only have to do the hard part once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d be happy enough if my bulleted list aligned with my paragraph (god knows that I don’t want to show my age by – horrors – INDENTING my list), but the editor places it a good three – four inches to the left of my paragraph block. I know it can’t be right but I can’t seem to fix it. I do pay some for my plan but I don’t know if it’s premium. Maybe you could send the code (realizing, of course, that I’m not too technical… for example, I don’t even know what CSS means) and I could at least try. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Like

  18. I find it difficult to believe that I’m actually ahead of the curve on the Block Editor thing. I’ve been using it for ages, since they said the Classic was going to go away. I had no idea about the reusable blocks, though, so I’ll have to remember that and see if I can use it. I’m unhappy that you can’t easily put a caption in the middle, so I’ve just given up on captions and I detest!!!! that they did away with the light grey circles that used to show on the calendar to indicate that you had a post scheduled for that day! MOST annoying and such a small thing to have left. But overall, I’m fine with the BEd because I operate at such a low level. :-)

    I like the chain shot and thanks for sharing about the reusable blocks.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Sorry to repeat that. If you are using the free plan, I don’t think you can add the custom CSS. I think that’s a mistake on WP’s part, because CSS is the only way to fix some of the things they’ve messed-up.

          Liked by 1 person

  19. I don’t understand any of this post (surprise!) but the Art Deco separators in your Saturday post were beautiful. I noticed those right away. With so many people having problems with Blocks, I am sure this was a huge help to them. Maddie’s eye view of things is so appealing to me. When I bend down to take a photo of something, I am always amazed at how different it looks. Seeing what Maddie sees is pretty darn cool. The chain link with the water droplets on it–beautiful. I don’t think anyone would notice if Maddie kind of kicked that ball home….her coat blends in with all the fall colors…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha – if the ball is still there tomorrow, I’ll let her know you gave her permission. I feel like taking a Sharpie and writing “stop littering the park, use the trash cans!”

      She almost licked those drops off the chain. You know, because we don’t give her any water at home ;-) It’s crazy, she won’t drink out of her bowl, if she drops food crumbs in it, but she’d drink out of a puddle if I let her.

      If you ever have questions about the Block editor, feel free to shoot me an email, Lois.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m still using the Classic Editor plug-in. Since my blog is self-hosted, I still have that option. I do intend to learn the Block Editor at some point, but I’m in no hurry. The main thing for me is that I have a huge backlog of texts in MS-Word, so I have to be able to copy them into WordPress without losing all the formatting (especially the spaces between words).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I write my posts in Word, but I don’t add a lot of formatting their, as much of it is lost when pasting into the WP editor. I still have access to the Classic editor. I decided to switch because it was a good time for me to make the change. Better that than to have it dropped on me when I’m not ready. I just want to get back to where writing was the hard part and posting was easy.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I need to read this again, with coffee. I still have a terrible time with the block editor. Wouldn’t it be just as east to put a separator image in your media library and keep adding when needed? Thanks for the “Hi Jennie” and my crazy photo. And, it is wonderful to see your tree again as the seasons and sun are changing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Essentially, that is what I’m doing, Jennie. The image resides in my media library. It’s in an image block, centered and sized to my liking. By making that block “reusable” I don’t have to go through those steps, and the separator always looks the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Very helpful….I got thrown into it with no warning and under a tight timeframe, I wasn’t a happy camper. After walking away from it until I had more time….much better. I’m hanging onto your post for a reference guide!!!! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Thanks for the hot tips for Block Editor. I still haven’t clicked the button to update to the newest WP version. But it looks like WP did it in the background despite me not clicking on it? I do prefer to click the Classic Editor block choice when writing a post and things seem mostly doable, despite only have written two posts since all of that happened. LOL. I need to read your 3000-word post soon to get some more tips. PS – I love all the bright colored photos you shared!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I hope that by sharing some of these bits, people can start feeling a little better about the switch. I haven’t been switched, but I opted to go at a time that was convenient for me.

    Like

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