WordPress plugin developer Jeffrey Carandang continues to plough forward with new features for EditorsKit, a collection of page building block options for Gutenberg. What began as a block visibility management plugin has grown to include more features aimed at tweaking various settings in the editor.
Version 1.5 adds some text, heading, and paragraph styling and formatting options that aren’t currently available in core. For example, Gutenberg lets users change the background color and text color for an entire paragraph, but that’s where the color customizations end. EditorsKit now supports highlighting a section of text or a heading and choosing a color or background color.
This may seem like a niche request to implement but Carandang has tracked nearly two dozen related issues and discussions where users are asking for text highlighting or similar features.
This release also adds underline and justify alignment options to the paragraph block. Gutenberg doesn’t include it by default, as WordPress 4.7 removed the justify button from the TinyMCE editor in 2016. However, the demand for justified text has not disappeared.
In adding the format to EditorsKit, Carandang cited 10 issues from Gutenberg’s GitHub repository and eight WordPress.org support topics where users have asked for the justify text option or have commented on it being missing.
Those who have Jetpack installed will already have the justify alignment option. Carandang plans to add a check for wpcom/justify to the next release so users of both plugins won’t have two justify options.
EditorsKit 1.5 tackles the widespread issues with Gutenberg’s autosave function by adding a toggle that allows users to enable/disable it. This setting can be found under the vertical ellipses menu at the top of the editor.
Users have reported getting stuck in autosave, particularly with slower connection speeds, and some have experienced problems with their hosts.
Neat. I’ve seen users leave their browser tab open all night and their session expires, but the autosaves continue to post even though it’s now getting a 403. Then when the person wakes up their server blacklisted their IP.
— Jay (@wpdevlife) April 30, 2019
As the result of getting stuck in autosave, users often attempt to refresh the screen only to lose the work. This has been an ongoing problem since last year. EditorsKit gives users the option to turn autosave off if they are experiencing problems and save manually as they see fit.
Version 1.5 adds theme support for changing the block width to match the page template and layout. This allows theme developers to customize block sizes based on the template the users selects.
Carandang has been adding new features based on his own needs but has found most of them to be fairly common requests in the Gutenberg repository. He made upcoming features and ideas for EditorsKit public on GitHub and is accepting feature suggestions in this format. A few of his current ideas under discussion include:
- a React emoji picker
- copy link icon for the top bar of the editor
- to-do style using checkbox and strike through
- Markdown support for RichText API
- uppercase and indent formats
I asked Carandang if he has any plans to add an option for paring down Gutenberg to the bare essentials with an interface more focused on writing. He said it is a possibility but is optimistic that the Gutenberg team may work to solve this common complaint in core.
“I’ve thought of that, specially when my writer colleague asked me about it,” he said. “But I think it’s not time for that yet. I’ll wait for more Gutenberg releases before deciding if it’s needed in EditorsKit.”
Carandang said he doesn’t plan to add any custom blocks to EditorsKit. His goal is to extend blocks for users to have options that they can utilize globally, while using whichever blocks plugin(s) they prefer. The plugin currently has no revenue model but he may pursue monetization in the future.
“At of the moment, I’m more focused on building the plugin features rather than monetization, but extensions may come in a year or two when Gutenberg is more stable,” Carandang said.