What’s new in Gutenberg? (16th February)

This belated release brings support for nested blocks into Gutenberg. The list of changes is rather big, so it's broken up into sections. It also has a new Columns block that leverages nested blocks to operate — it is labeled experimental, though, as it needs further work and has some browser hiccups.

Most notably to the user experience, we are introducing block shortcuts on empty paragraph blocks to streamline the process of inserting content that is not text, while also optimizing for the writing experience. The global inserter, featured at the top of the editor, is meant to become more of a primary way to add content when the user is not writing. Getting this balance right between block creation and the writing flow is crucial and we'll continue testing with users to refine it. 

We are also making changes to how text is synced to the application state, which improves the reliability of the "unsaved" state, the undo mechanism, the ability to dismiss the publish sidebar automatically as soon as you make another edit, and so on.

2.2 🌱


  • Block Nesting is live! 🎉  It comes with an experimental Columns block. (Note: converting a nested block into a reusable block is disabled on this first version.) Furthermore, this is not a specific implementation for columns alone — any block author can take advantage of defining nested areas.
  • Refined block insertion experience:
    • Introduce block shortcuts on every empty paragraph block. This also temporarily disables the sibling inserter as we work on refining this interaction.
    • Add trailing text area at the bottom of a post to continue writing.
  • Preview saved blocks while hovering on the inserter. Allows users to quickly see what they are inserting before inserting.
  • Enable triggering onChange events within RichText component on every keystroke. This was an enforced limitation that prevented saved post checks from being faithful.
  • Rework undo levels to use history "buffer" and leverage the mechanism to aid in continuous syncing of RichText history records.
Hovering a "saved block" shows a quick preview

User Experience

New features

Block API and Extensibility

Bug fixes

Other changes