What’s New in Gutenberg 11.6!

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Last week Gutenberg plugin version 11.6 was released. As we have explained on previous occasions, new official versions of WordPress include stable features that have been previously tested in the Gutenberg plugin. So, if you want to know what’s coming to WordPress, you always have the possibility to install the Gutenberg plugin and check out its new features.

While these do not have to be the final ones, in our case, when developing WordPress plugins, we always like to test what’s new and make sure that our plugins will be well adapted to the latest developments. So after installing the new version of the Gutenberg plugin locally, I’m going to share with you the features that have caught my attention so that you can keep up to date with what you can expect in the future version of the block editor.

Editing the Site Logo

When you wanted to add your website logo, until now, you had to make sure that you uploaded the image with the exact measurements of the logo so that it would be displayed correctly. Now, with the aim that you can adapt your logo without leaving the editor, you have the option to add a site logo block, upload any image, and then crop, zoom, and rotate it as you like.

To do this, on the page you are editing, insert a Site Logo block.

Insert a site logo block
Insert a Site Logo block.

This block allows you to directly add or select any image from your media library. Once selected, you can now select the aspect ratio of the image and rotate it.

Crop site logo
Crop the site logo.

Once you have selected its aspect ratio, you can pan the image to crop the area you want.

Adjust the position of the logo
Adjust the position of the logo.

And once you have made the necessary adjustments, you just have to apply it and you already have the final logo of your website by editing the image directly from the WordPress block editor.

Final site logo
Final site logo.

Typographical Options of the Post Title Block

If you have the tt1-blocks theme installed and activated, when you open any template in the editor that uses the post title block, you will see that you have the option to select different font types and modify the font size, aspect ratio, line height, and font formatting for this block.

Changing the look of a post's title block
Changing the appearance of the title post block.

Updating Global Styles

This is my favorite feature that has come with this version of Gutenberg. Basically, you can now make modifications to your theme’s global properties directly from the theme editor. For example, if the theme comes with a certain background color, or a certain font, now you can change this without having to change the theme.json file.

In the theme editor, to the right of the Settings icon you will see a new Styles icon. At first glance it may look like an option to change the theme from light mode to dark mode, but it’s not.

Editing the theme's global styles
Editing the global styles of the theme.

After clicking on it, you can see that, on the one hand, you can change the typography of the theme and its colors:

Modifying the theme's background color from editing global styles
Modification of the background color of the theme from the edition of global styles.

In this way, you can change the text color, background color, or the color palette in a very similar way to the one you find when editing any block. But not only this. You can also make style changes at the block level:

List of the blocks to which you can change their style
Partial list of the blocks to which you can change their style.

You can select any one and also modify its style:

Modifying the style properties of a specific block
Modifying the style properties of the paragraph type block

Editing Template Parts

Another new feature of Gutenberg 11.6 is that you can now not only edit templates, but also template parts.

Editing template parts
Editing template parts.

This is one more feature with the purpose of making theme and template editing possible within the block editor.

Basic Support for Child Themes

Another new feature of this version of Gutenberg is basic child theme support. Child themes allow you to create styling modifications to any theme so that whenever there is a theme update, you don’t lose your modifications.

With basic child theme support, you now have the options to edit the site when the child theme is active. And templates, template parts, and theme.json files from a child theme now override those from the parent theme. Be aware, however, that this feature still has open questions on GitHub, so things might change in the future.

API to Lock Blocks

Although the user interface is not yet available for use, work is underway to provide the user with the option to lock some blocks so that they are not deleted or moved by mistake:

Sketch of what the locked blocks user interface will look like
Mockup of how the locked blocks UI will look like (source: Github)

At the moment, the API is ready for this new functionality and, surely, very soon, we will have it in our editor.

Conclusion

We’re getting closer and closer to the previously discussed goal of bringing the ability to directly design WordPress themes in the block editor. Particularly, being able to edit global theme styles is a great advancement, giving the user the option to make big changes to their site without touching a single line of code. What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

Featured image by Fikret tozak on Unsplash.

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