October 2021 was a productive month for the WordPress team, as they worked to quickly churn out updates for the WordPress 5.9 release in December 2021.
In October alone, WordPress gave users a peek into the new Twenty Twenty-Two theme and released two latest Gutenberg updates – Gutenberg 11.6 and 11.7.
Keep reading to learn more about:
The Gutenberg 11.6 update released on September 29, 2021, introduced dozens of new additions, including:
- Site Logo Cropping
- Block Lock Control
- Support for Child Themes
- Global Style Updates
A cropping function for the site logo has been in one too many WordPress users’ wishlists, and finally, it’s been granted.
Before Gutenberg 11.6, website logos had to be edited before uploading, but now, it’s possible to crop, zoom and rotate your logo in the Site Logo block toolbar.
Block Lock Control
Besides template locking, you can also lock individual blocks to prevent them from being moved or removed. You can achieve that by adding a lock attribute to the block settings. The block-level lock takes precedence over the template lock feature.
The block lock control feature was proposed by Matias Ventura, saying that while template locking prevented inserting or moving blocks (i.e. in custom post type templates), the editor does not yet offer much granular control.
The ability to lock key elements was important in applications such as preventing the removal of post content for a single post template. Potential applications of the block lock control are the WooCommerce Checkout block and reusable blocks.
Before Gutenberg 11.6, all components of Full Site Editing did not entirely support child themes. Now, templates, template parts and theme.json files from a child theme should work on the front end and Site Editor when the child theme is active.
Global Styles is one of the features the WordPress community is excited about because it finally lets users and theme developers connect via their theme.json files.
The Global Styles system and interface let users change their website’s overall look without editing individual blocks or pages. Users can change background colors or adjust the heights and widths of their website elements from one place.
In Gutenberg 11.6, developers introduced a navigation component, added a simple Global Styles preview to the sidebar and updated the Global Styles Icon.
Other Gutenberg 11.6 updates included Typography options for the Post Title, improvements to the Query Pagination block to support the flex layout and a Toolbar button for converting old Gallery blocks to the new format.
In usual fashion, the Gutenberg team released version 11.7 on October 13, 2021, two weeks after releasing version 11.6.
The latest version includes:
- Global Styles improvements
- Navigation Block Improvements
- Column Block Spacing
Building off the Gutenberg 11.6 Global Styles navigation improvements, developers introduced a color palette to the Global Styles sidebar in version 11.7.
Another notable update is the presence of the Layout section at the root level of the Global Styles sidebar, which allows users to adjust the padding for the website.
Gutenberg 11.7 introduces multiple improvements to the Navigation Block, including the ability to:
- Add new links after clicking the “+” icon without an additional block step.
- Add links using the slash inserter.
- Create new pages when adding links.
- Transform navigation links into other allowed block types, such as Site Logo, Home Link or Social Icons.
- Notice linking mistakes with the appearance of squiggly lines indicating empty links.
Column Block Spacing
Gutenberg 11.7 now allows you to adjust the spaces between columns and the margins surrounding the block. This feature complements the block gap feature that was first introduced in Gutenberg 11.4.
Other Gutenberg 11.7 updates include duotone filters to the site logo and a lighter Navigation experience.
The Gutenberg 11.6 and 11.7 updates focused on improvements to Global Styles and Navigation blocks, which will be incorporated into the WordPress 5.9 release in December 2021.
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