How to Easily Use the New WordPress Gutenberg Editor

Big thank you to Martha Kennedy for spreading this around. These days, I don’t think I need it, but in case I change my mind, it’s nice to know that there’s somewhere to go for a rational explanation.

If you do a lot of complicated posting — especially if you are using cross-references and inserts from other texts, this might be exactly your thing. It’s similar to Framemaker, Adobe’s once premier text editing system, although not quite as intense (or huge) … but Frame was made for designing technical books with footnotes over multiple volumes with all appropriate indices.

This is not intended for that although, in theory, you could use it. I’d be interested to know how it works for you. Especially since Adobe abandoned Framemaker years ago. It was almost a thousand dollars for a single single-user purchase — updates cost less — more than a decade ago. Its audience shrunk, making keeping it up to date not worth the development time, or in any case, that’s what I assumed.

Adobe had stopped fixing the bugs a couple of years before they stopped selling it anyway and since it was THE tool for multi-volume documentation, maybe that’s why companies stopped writing documents? No software?

Good luck and have fun!

How to use the new WordPress Gutenberg Editor

Can I address the elephant in the room?

WordPress doesn’t look like WordPress anymore.

The WordPress Gutenberg Editor has replaced the familiar WordPress Editor.

Welcome to the world of blocks! There are blocks available for all kinds of content: You can insert text, headings, images, lists, and lots more!

This post will explain why WordPress switched to the Gutenberg Editor and offer a tutorial so you know how to use the new WordPress editor.

Why Did WordPress Switch to the WordPress Gutenberg Editor?

Bloggers were using third parties to build landing pages.

For example, bloggers and other content creators were paying to use DragDropr to move around content.

WordPress Gutenberg Editor


My landing page for new subscribers is an example of content moved around on that page.

As you can see, my image block and my text block are next to each other. Using DragDropr, I arranged the blocks this way.

WordPress wanted to have this functionality. By adopting this feature and more, WordPress will continue to grow. That was the rationale.

(NOTE: Gutenberg was created to help grow the business aspect of WordPress and was not designed for “regular” bloggers. They admitted this to me. Not even professionals need such a complex text editor. The good news is IF you need it, it exists. Hopefully, it will still exist in another year. You can never tell with WordPress.)

How to Use the New Gutenberg WordPress Editor

Are you familiar with Medium, a publishing site, works in a similar manner to the WordPress Gutenberg Editor.

You add blocks with different parts of your blog post in them.

WordPress Gutenberg Tutorial:

Once you click “Add Post,” you see a series of blocks on your screen.

Add your title, your blog post graphic, and the text of your post where directed.

The WordPress Gutenberg editor is intuitive. You don’t need to click the plus sign to add a new block. Each time you hit enter, a new block will be created.

Should you want to add a new element, click the plus sign.

If you drag your cursor to the left of the block, you’ll bring up the edit functions.

Look at your options for elements to add. Although they’re listed by most commonly used, you may find additional elements intriguing. These may be elements you never thought to use until you saw them as an option to add in the WordPress Gutenberg Editor.

To add an Image:

Create a new block and click the Image icon.

Upload your image. Notice the alignment and edit choices are directly above the block for your convenience.

Use the handlebars on the sides of the image to alter the size. You can also just drag the sides of the photo until they’re the dimensions you want. Write the caption directly in the draft if desired.

Don’t forget to put your focus SEO keyword in the Alt Tag.

Alignment choices for setting your image to the right, left, or center will be available as well.

Many of these features were available in the Classic Editor but were not so obvious.

If you want to create a new heading, after creating a new block, click the T (for text).

WordPress Gutenberg Editor

After typing, you see you are given a choice for what type of heading you want to add.

Under the block, you see you have choices such as adding HTML code to the block or an Image.

Clicking the 3 dots will enable you to choose additional options.

Did you notice the Grammarly editor appeared? You can now edit individual blocks with Grammarly.

Once again, you can add new elements by clicking the plus sign.

You can add YouTube or Vimeo videos simply by pasting the link into the block.

You can add blockquotes as well.

Do you like to embed lists in your blog posts?

You can also add numbered lists or bulleted lists.

To add Custom HTML in the new WordPress editor:


WordPress Gutenberg Editor

When you click the plus sign in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, you’ll be able to search for HTML. Look: The Custom HTML Code option came up when I searched for it.

Look: WordPress Gutenberg Editor Tutorial

The new WordPress editor is intuitive. I don’t have to search for HTML code. It “knew” I commonly use the HTML code and it came right up the next time I needed it.

Since I paste codes for embedded elements and throw a linky party, I use HTML code pretty often, so this feature was important to me.

You can toggle between the HTML and the preview so you can see how your text will look.

Click “Preview” to load a preview of this page so you can make sure you’re happy with your blocks.

Finished writing? Just click “Publish” and you’re good to go.

What if you need help with the WordPress Editor?

You can insert a plugin needed to get the classic editor back.

If you need help, there is a WordPress Gutenberg tutorial video. You can see how to use the WordPress Gutenberg Editor.

Fair warning: The video was made a year ago when the editor was still in the beta testing stages.

Advantages of Using the WordPress Gutenberg Editor

  • You can move the blocks around.
  • Resize your image by moving the handlebars on the sides. Just drag your image to the size you want it.
  • You don’t need 3rd-party tools like DragDropr to build landing pages.
  • You don’t need 3rd party plugins like tables since the editor allows you to insert a table.
  • The option to enter an image comes in when you add a new block. Therefore, you don’t have to keep going to the top of the screen to add media.
  • You have more options now.
  • The options you had before are more obvious now.
  • Using the Gutenberg editor is like using Medium. If you can publish at, you can easily publish using the new WordPress Gutenberg editor since Medium uses the same concept of blocks.
  • If you’re not happy, you can install a plugin that will put the previous WordPress editor on your site.

Disadvantages of Using WordPress Gutenberg Editor

  • Bloggers now have to learn a new skill: Mastering Gutenberg.
  • You can’t use the editor on your phone and you won’t be able to until 2019.

Wrapping Up: Features of The New WordPress Gutenberg Editor and Tutorial

This post explained 

  • What Gutenberg is
  • Why WordPress switched to a new WordPress editor
  • How to use the WordPress Gutenberg Editor
  • The advantages and disadvantages of the new WordPress editor.

Your turn: What is your opinion of the WordPress Gutenberg editor? Are you used to it yet? What is your opinion?

Readers, please share so bloggers struggling to learn the WordPress Gutenberg Editor read this tutorial and learn how to use Gutenberg.

Categories: Blogging, Editing, reblog, Software, Technology, WordPress, Writing

Tags: , , , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. Nope. It’s completely unnecessary for how I format my posts. Basic text and a couple of photos with a caption. All perfectly doable with the ‘classic’ editor. 😀


  2. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing my article with your readers. I appreciate you putting in the link so people can read opinions of Gutenberg shared on my blog. Sometimes knowing we are all in this together makes adjusting less stressful.


  3. I will use the new editor when they pry the old one from my cold, dead paws… which they haven’t yet. I crave familiarity. My company adopted a brand new box cutter 11 years ago that works completely different from the way the old ones did. Despite the fact that it had been banned, I still use my old one (and have hoarded enough spares to last me a long time) because I do not have the time nor the patience to learn an entirely brand new system. The word “intuitive” would immediately turn me off to the new editor, because anytime something is described as “intuitive,” it’s a virtual lock that I won’t have a clue how to use it. What’s intuitive to others is apparently not particularly obvious to me…


  4. I can see that it would be useful for business users but I’m just doing this for a hobby and don’t need a landing page or some of those other things. I did find the tutorial made it sound a bit less daunting but I haven’t started to use the new editor yet and won’t until I hear that the bugs in it are mostly sorted. I am surprised to hear that it won’t work with phones at present as I had assumed that these changes were to favour the phone bloggers.


  5. I’ve avoided using Gutenberg because I thought it would be /less/ than the old classic editor [I’m still using the old dashboard & editor]. Having read your post I’m definitely going to give it a try as I have a publication on Medium and don’t mind its editor. Thanks for the heads up!


  6. I haven’t started using the new editor. I’ve been resisting making the switch, especially since I do most of my blogging from my iPhone. But I guess at some point I’ll just have to give in and go with the flow.


  7. Saving and sharing… Oh how I hate change! Haven’t tried the new editor yet, but will surely need this crash course when I do. Thanks!


    • I might try it, but I’m betting I won’t. I have no interest in working on text processing. That’s what I did for 35 years and got paid for it. Now, with no one paying me, not interested. Call me crazy, but I’m RETIRED.


  8. I pretty much use the new editor the way I used the old editor. I haven’t had any problems using it at all except that the Preview function still doesn’t work.

    When it becomes handy is in the insertion of photos or a photo album. It’s also nice for quotations and offers a little instant hyperlink note at the bottom of a quote, “citation.” It makes resizing photos easier if I decide at the last minute I want to do that. I think some of the problems people have are related to whatever their blog’s theme is.

    Anyway, I thought this tutorial was useful. I started to make one myself but decided I’m too old and don’t have enough time in my life to do that job. Funny how we get. 🙂


    • I just don’t want to be bothered. It’s not a lack of interest in good text processing, it’s just that I spent my life doing it for a living and I really don’t want to do it anymore. It’s like driving. My last few jobs, I was driving between 5 and 7 hours EVERY DAY. I spent more time in the car than I did in the office. If I had my druthers, I would never drive anywhere again, but of course, I will.

      I am much more interested in figuring out new and better ways to process pictures.


  9. I just started using it and am working my way around. I happen to be one of those people who likes change (a lot of people I know don’t) and I can see how nice it is working. I just used it this morning and inserted a picture but in the wrong spot. I found it easier to move the picture up one paragraph. I am still getting used to it but it works for me.


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