What’s new in Gutenberg? (14 August)

The Gutenberg 6.3 release is an important milestone in terms of accessibility of the editor.

Gutenberg comes with a lot of features by default, each block can be manipulated with custom controls in its toolbar and inspector panel, block movers, a drag handle. The block UI also includes the content of the block itself which can be complex from block to another. This makes it very challenging for screen reader users to navigate the content of their posts.

To address that issue, we’re introducing the Navigation Mode. By default the editor is loaded in this mode, it allows you to move from block to block using a single Tab press. You can also use the arrow keys to navigate between blocks. Once you reach the block you want to edit, you can enter the Edit Mode by hitting the Enter key. The Escape key allows you to move back to the Navigation Mode.

It’s very important for us to make the editing experience as enjoyable as possible for all the users with different accessibility needs. This feature is very early, please help us test it and we’re looking forward to taking your feedback into consideration.

This feature includes dozens of improvements and bug fixes including:

  • support for text alignments in table block columns.
  • Border color support for the separator block.

For developers, new APIs are available such as the BlockPreview component that allows you to render and preview blocks in any context.





New APIs

Bug Fixes




Performance Benchmark

The following benchmark compares performance for a particularly sizeable post (~ 36000 words, ~ 1000 blocks) over the last releases. Such a large post isn’t representative of the average editing experience but is adequate for spotting variations in performance.

Version Loading Time KeyPress event (typing)
Gutenberg 6.3.0 4.8s 53.5ms
Gutenberg 6.2.0 4.5s 49.7ms
Gutenberg 5.3 (WordPress 5.2) 5.6s 60.1ms

👏 Kudos to all the contributors. Thank you.

#core-editor, #editor, #gutenberg