I don’t like the Gutenberg Block editor. I feel constrained when adding images by the way I am forced to let the image sit at the top of the block. It’s either left-aligned or right-aligned, but always at the top of the block. It used to be the case that an image could be placed anywhere in the paragraph and the text would wrap around that image. This was most useful, especially if you are writing a longer paragraph and feel the need to add an image halfway down the text. The top of a text paragraph is not always the most appropriate position for an image. Here you can see that the image appears to be embedded within the paragraph, and you can see that it is relevant to the text.
I have tried a number of 3rd party editors much to the disgust of the WordPress
mafia, team. who appear to think that the block editor is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Open Live Writer, which was an open-source replacement for Windows Live Writer, was my favourite, but that has not been actively developed for over 5 years. Microsoft Word is good but I need to do a little bit of work to get the display of the post to look correct. However, there is an excellant tutorial on https://weeklyprompts.com/ website/blog (NB: I must re-read this again) along with many more helpful downloadable files.
So, I may have to go back to the Classic Editor, with which this post was written. Any suggestions to the WordPress team/support/forum is met with the classic “Thank you for reaching out ...” (whoever coined that phrase needs help) followed a day or so later with “We are not currently looking to blah, blah, blah…“
I recently tried a Windows app called Net Writer 2. From the information in the Microsoft Store this app “…Net Writer helps you write blogs. WordPress, Movable Type, Livejournal, Google Blogger and MetaWeblog based blogs are supported…”. To be honest, it not worth the time it takes to download. It looks clumsy and dated and has an interface that looks like it has been built by a seven year old.
I recently had a brief (very brief) discussion with an ex-colleague, about using the Classic Block. I know when I post using Word as my editor, the post can be saved as draft and that when edited before final publishing, the post opens up in a Classic Block. But a ex-work colleague suggested that it is a bit of a halfway house between the Classic Editor and the Block Editor, and that I shouldn’t dismiss it out of hand.
I had a short flirt with the Classic Block when it first raised its head, but it was nothing serious and I deleted the post without publishing it. The main aim was to understand the idea behind it. I now understand a lot more and thought I would have a play around and see what mess I could come up with.
I have to admit, it seems a little better that the full Block business, but there are a few little niggles that would help it on its way. A way of being able to move an image around the post would be great. I don’t think it would be too difficult to include a Full Justification button, which would help when keeping your work to certain style. It would certainly be useful if the WEBP image format could be used. I’ve recently found that for many images WEBP comes in at about half the file size of a JPEG (or JPG). Helpful if you use larger images.
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Lastly … does anyone actually call the Block Editor, “Gutenberg” ? Whenever I hear the word, I usually think about the internet book resource Project Gutenberg. Just a wondering.
I am still looking to find a better way to write a post, without using the WordPress Block Editor. I have given up on using Open Live Writer which was billed as the direct Open Source replacement for Windows Live Writer. There has been no work improvement on the software and recently has stopped working with Google Blogger. I don’t use Blogger much, but it was good to have an alternative.
I decided to have a go with Microsoft Word. I’ve wanting to try for a while, but it seems from what I have heard, that it is not a good place to blog. I have to agree with some points, that it is not the easiest of editors to get used to. For one, there is no way to add tags to a post. I scoured the internet for an answer and the only thing I could come up with is to post as a draft, then edit in WordPress to add tags. So that is what I have tried here and have discovered that it is quite feasible to this, although it does take more time and the post ends up being edited as a Classic Block! Now is that good news? And will WordPress keep the Classic Block in the future?
Another thing that I have found with the Block Editor which annoys me, is the placement of images. In the old Classic Editor, I could place an image into a text paragraph at more or less the position (left or right-aligned) anywhere in that paragraph using the word-wrap feature to wrap the text around that image. Which meant that the image could be, for example, two lines down from the top of the paragraph and two lines up from the bottom of that same paragraph. This does not happen in the Block Editor. The image can be left or right-aligned, but word-wrap into the text, you have to ‘move’ the image up which puts it at the top of the paragraph. There is simply no dynamic positioning.
Update: After viewing this post both on a tablet and a smartphone I have found that the Word formatting only applies if the post is viewed on a computer/laptop. So maybe not such a good option after all.
At the end of last year, in fact my last post of the year I mentioned that I was going to stick with Open Live Writer as opposed to the WordPress block editor. I was also occasionally using BlogPad Pro on my iPad. But things have changed a little since then.
I had read about my sites Media Library and decided to have a look and see what was in there. I was rather shocked to find that most of the images I had uploaded for my posts had duplicates. They didn’t appear to be taking up much space, but I wanted to know if it was ‘the norm’ to have duplicated images.
I posted a query on the WordPress forum and after a few questions and answers, it became clear that it was the desktop software (Open Live Writer and BlogPad Pro) that were causing the images to duplicate. It looks like a thumbnail image was being created when the main image was uploaded which was linked to the main image. As I understood it, deleting the thumbnail image would prevent the main image from showing or something like that.
The crux of it all was that the only way to prevent this happening was to use the block editor. It was also suggested, that as I prefer to use desktop software to write a post, that I should use the WordPress app instead.
So, I’m giving it another go …