Gutenberg 13.5 Adds Featured Image Placeholder Support for Cover Block, Cleaner Pasting to Other Apps

Gutenberg 13.5 is now available. The release comes two weeks after the plugin introduced support for button elements in theme.json, axial spacing in the Gallery block, and a redesigned Publish popover in 13.4. The latest release includes 12 enhancements and 15 bug fixes with the most notable changes landing in the Cover block.

Prior to 13.5, the Cover block’s support for using a featured image had a more confusing UI with a separate button in the block toolbar. The featured image toggle has now been relocated to the media replace flow. The Cover block has also been updated to display a placeholder when the featured image in use.

image source: Gutenberg 13.5 release post

The Cover block’s overlay color and opacity controls have been moved into the inspector controls sidebar’s Color panel for consistency to match the UI for other blocks.

Gutenberg 13.5 also expands the design tools available to the Post Navigation block. Users can now set the link color and font family. This is one of those situations where contributors discussed how much design control makes sense for users in this context. Automattic-sponsored contributor Jeff Ong made the case for instances where users may want to have post navigation use the heading font, instead of the body font.

image credit: Jeff Ong – Gutenberg PR #41378

One small update to the Publish date picker is that it now highlights today’s date, expanding on the popover design update introduced in 13.4.

Gutenberg users who frequently copy and paste between other writing apps may be pleased to learn that version 13.5 introduces a change that strips the HTML from copied block markup for the text/plain version of the clipboard. Gutenberg engineer Andrei Draganescu explained the reasoning behind the change:

Pasting into plain text editors should only paste the text we see on screen not the whole underlying markup.

This is an improvement in the experience of writing in a different app rather than in the WordPress editor itself, and then bringing over the content. Since one could move text content back and forth a few times, pasting block markup is annoying if not even prone to introducing problems.

Prior to this change, pasting from Gutenberg into another app looked something like this:

Stripping the HTML out of serialized data in the copy handler before placing it in the text/plain version results in a cleaner paste, as Draganescu demonstrated in a video:

Video Source: Gutenberg PR #41366

Check out the release post for a full list of changes in 13.5. If you don’t have the Gutenberg plugin installed, you will have to wait until the next major WordPress release to take advantage of these fixes and enhancements. WordPress 6.1’s release date was announced today as October 25, 2022, following a long alpha and two short beta periods.


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