Using the Gutenberg Editor



“Gutenberg” is the name of the new editor experience onWordPress. Their goal was to create a new post and page editing experience that makes it easy for anyone to create rich post layouts.

First let me say, that I have been using the new editor for a few days. It’s different, but I’m not struggling with using it. The layout is simple, and you can figure everything out by clicking the + to the left of each paragraph when you begin typing. 

I’ve found the scheduling feature to be glitchy, and have had to click on each part of the date and time in order to get the scheduler to accept my request. But, I haven’t died yet!

I do want to share some things that I’ve found to be invaluable in maneuvering the changes. This is the canonical list of keyboard shortcuts:

Editor shortcuts #Editor shortcuts

Shortcut descriptionLinux/Windows shortcutmacOS shortcut
Display keyboard shortcuts.Shift+Alt+H⌃⌥H
Save your changes.Ctrl+S⌘S
Undo your last changes.Ctrl+Z⌘Z
Redo your last undo.Ctrl+Shift+Z⇧⌘Z
Show or hide the settings sidebar.Ctrl+Shift+,⇧⌘,
Open the block navigation menu.Shift+Alt+O⌃⌥O
Navigate to a the next part of the editor.Ctrl+`⌃`
Navigate to the previous part of the editor.Ctrl+Shift+`⌃⇧`
Navigate to a the next part of the editor (alternative).Shift+Alt+N⇧⌥N
Navigate to the previous part of the editor (alternative).Shift+Alt+P⇧⌥P
Navigate to the nearest toolbar.Alt+F10⌥F10
Switch between Visual Editor and Code Editor.Ctrl+Shift+Alt+M⇧⌥⌘M

Selection shortcuts #Selection shortcuts

Shortcut descriptionLinux/Windows shortcutmacOS shortcut
Select all text when typing. Press again to select all blocks.Ctrl+A⌘A
Clear selection.EscEsc

Block shortcuts #Block shortcuts

Shortcut descriptionLinux/Windows shortcutmacOS shortcut
Duplicate the selected block(s).Ctrl+Shift+D⇧⌘D
Remove the selected block(s).Shift+Alt+Z⌃⌥Z
Insert a new block before the selected block(s).Ctrl+Alt+T⌥⌘T
Insert a new block after the selected block(s).Ctrl+Alt+Y⌥⌘Y
Change the block type after adding a new paragraph.//

Text formatting #Text formatting

Shortcut descriptionLinux/Windows shortcutmacOS shortcut
Make the selected text bold.Ctrl+B⌘B
Make the selected text italic.Ctrl+I⌘I
Underline the selected text.Ctrl+U⌘U
Convert the selected text into a link.Ctrl+K⌘K
Remove a link.Ctrl+Shift+K⇧⌘K
Add a strikethrough to the selected text.Shift+Alt+D⌃⌥D
Display the selected text in a monospaced font.Shift+Alt+X⌃⌥X

I did a cut and paste from this document: What is Gutenberg

As you can see, I couldn’t change the size of the copied table to accommodate the words typed on each line. There is a table feature now, but I have not played with it to see how it works.

Nevertheless, these shortcuts will prove to be a huge help. I copied the table from the site above and pasted it into a Word document which I then printed out. Eventually, I’ll have most of these keyboard shortcuts memorized.

I found that I could create a template post that I saved in drafts. The first thing I did was to take my old post and copy it and set it up into the block format. It was tedious and time-consuming, but I now have a template copy that I can copy from each week. This is a great help for many of my posts, such as my poetry challenge and recap which are basically the same each week. (I’ll give instructions for the Mac as that is the type of computer I use). 

Please note: There is a copy a post command that you can use, but it doesn’t bring over your colors, centering of paragraphs, etc. I tried it and found it to be a waste of my time.

Instead, from the draft copy, I could do a command A, command C, and then a command V, to paste the copied material into a new post document which included all the highlighting, indenting, and special text settings I had set up in the template.

Cut and paste clearly have issues, so if you use that function be prepared to clear up your post.

There are some cool things you can do to highlight text by changing the block text color and the background color from the color settings menu on the right. In the block above, I made the background gold and the text orange.

Headings or Titles


You can’t change the color of the titles. But, WordPress made it easier for you. If you select the paragraph setting, you can enlarge the font size and change its color, and background color, like I did above with the word “However.”

There are settings on the right-hand side of the editor for your document and for the blocks. You can even add a drop cap to your writing now! You can also move the blocks around by using the up or down option on the left-hand side of each paragraph.

I do want to mention that I had some posts scheduled already. I attempted to make some changes and found that I couldn’t. I didn’t try this, but I figure you would have to switch back to the old editor in order to make your changes.

Don’t be afraid to use the new editor. There is a lot of hype out there right now and I admit, I was the most fearful of all. Now that I’ve had the chance to use the editor, I’m finding that it’s not that bad. As with all new things, you just have to learn how to use the program. At one time you had to learn how to use the old WordPress editor, right? When you put it into those terms, it’s not so scary.

Image Credit:

If we want to stay relevant in today’s fast-paced society we must embrace change. I might deny that I said any of this tomorrow, but for today… pull up your big girl or big boy panties and try the editor! <3

Hugs to you all! <3

104 thoughts on “Using the Gutenberg Editor”

  1. Pingback: The Gutenberg editor is here to stay – WordPress Guidelines

  2. Pingback: Using the Gutenberg Editor — Colleen Chesebro ~ The Faery Whisperer | Penny Wilson Writes

  3. Thank you for all these shortcuts but I am more confused now. LOL! I did use it on one of my posts. I found it a little confusing but gettting the hang of it, I think! Yikes! Just when we get used to one way to post they always mix things up for us. Keeps us jumping! Ha! 🤗 😘 🎄 🎁

    1. LOL! I think there will be lots of updates. I noticed when I copy from a document in Word, it lumps many of the words together. Very tedious to check each paragraph for errors. The Italics doesn’t work for me either. I suppose they will get more of this fixed as we go. I do like the ease of use. Commit to the editor and just learn how to use it. It’s not that bad. <3

  4. I’ve tried it on a few of my posts. At first, I was frustrated however I am getting used to it. It’s different and some of the features are helpful. With that said, some of the features I don’t like can be turned off. I have issues when I hit the publish button and when including links in my posts. It takes time but once you get used to the settings, it gets better.

  5. Sadly I think Gutenberg will be the end of my blogging on WordPress, I tried it and couldn’t get it. You’re one of the first posts I’ve come across that said it was easy, maybe I’ll try again, but my first experience was yucky. Oh well, all things must come to an end. 😉
    Thanks for trying to cheer us up about this ‘change’. 😉
    Hope this week treats you kindly. 🙂

    1. Donna, the trial version was horrible. I had issues with it too. But the actual editor isn’t horrible. Try again. It’s different, but take a day if you can and just play and create some posts. I added a link that tells you how to do everything. Don’t give up yet. We need you! <3

  6. Thank you for the pep talk and motivation! I’m working with the new editor right now. I’m going to give myself 2 weeks before I post something. Still getting the hang of it, but I appreciate the encouragement Colleen! <3 🙂

  7. nancy marie allen

    Thanks so much for this timely info! We are all in panic mode over this and really, come January, I suspect we will all be singing Gutenberg praises – one can hope, right? LOL

  8. I’m with Peach and Boyack up there. I do *not* want to try this. *weeps in corner* I use the two-times old WP admin dashboard still. Yup, I do.

    This is some fab info, Colleen. Sharing. (And reluctantly taking notes.) 😉

      1. It is, right? We always hate/fear change. Then we get used to it and are all, “Oh, yeah! Remember when it used to be the WP dashboard?” I do, however, hope this is the last change for a long while.

        I love sharing things when I learn (mess up) on my blog. It saves others some time and frustration. So… Thanks for this post. 🙂 <3

  9. Ugh! Not looking forward to any of this. I use the WordPress app to prepare and schedule my posts. Any editing I do on the old original editor. Any idea when they force this down my throat?

  10. Thanks so much for sharing this information, Colleen. I’ve printed out the shortcuts. You’re right in what you say. We all, once, had to learn how to use the classic editor, so now it’s time for us to all learn how to use Gutenberg. And, as you mentioned in one of the comments, WordPress will at some stage stop updating and fixing bugs in the classic editor. When that happens, I don’t want to be one of the bloggers then having to rush to learn how to use Gutenberg. With December and the Christmas season coming up, the blogging world tends to go quiet, so it’ll be a great time to get to grips with Gutenberg.

  11. I’ve read mixed reviews, Colleen, so your experience seems positive! I had to learn a new educational platform last spring to teach my classes and was glad I dove in. Have you heard when WP will update?

  12. You are so brave, Colleen. My brain shut down about halfway through reading this and I started hyperventilating. OMG I’m screwed. Ha ha ha. Seriously, why do they do this to us… to me! I don’t learn new tricks very well! Anyway, I plan to stay with the current editor for now, but I did save this post for the future in case I need it. You did a great job laying it out and I’m sure the shortcuts will be invaluable. Thank you!!!

  13. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    I will leave you tonight with a post on the new Gutenberg editor as tested and used by Colleen Chesebro… who is urging us to embrace change… but as she admits it is still pitchy and a bit frustrating… I will let them iron a few things out before I dive in.. I keep my posts KIS…just text and images and with the amount I post I would need a sedative drip… thanks Colleen for the tutorial and have bookmarked for when and if I give it a go..

  14. Arghhh! I HATE keyboard shortcuts. I hope your exhaustive explanation of all this doesn’t mean that’s the default way to use Gutenberg. I know it should be faster than mouse clicking, but I rarely use it anymore–it seems retro to me. But it’s like all the Microsoft products (and I suppose MAC as well) and computers generally, at least three to five ways to do anything for whatever floats one’s boat.

    1. Well crap! You burst my bubble! LOL! I use keyboard shortcuts all the time. I think you just have to try the editor for a few days and see if you like it. Eventually, the old editor will go away and I would rather know the new way now then, later. I was trying to cover a lot of topics so this post seems long. I hope you’ll give it a try. I’m an old witch and if I can do it anyone can. LOL! 😀 <3

  15. I am already mixed up just reading all you can do with it…lol. You are brave Colleen. The old one is working fine so I don’t see why I would frustrate myself at this time, it doesn’t take much for me to get frustrated.

  16. I’ve saved this for reference, another way of saying I don’t understand on first reading…. I’m glad I’m not the only one who couldn’t schedule – I panicked and opened another page, found the draft copy and published immediately instead, by the time I had done all that it wasn’t long before I wanted it posted anyway, but it would have been infuriating if I was getting a few scheduled before I was going away.

    1. I knew there would be glitches… there is in all computer related activity. I decided to not take myself so seriously and just took the plunge. It’s a lot easier then I thought it would be. <3

      1. as it is said, why fix something when it’s not broken? i’m sure you are right, but don’t want to play around with WP when it took me so long to master in the first place.

        1. Yes, but I have no idea how long the old editor will be around. I’d rather learn now when I can take my time, then having to learn it because tomorrow the old editor will be gone. We all go at our own pace. <3

          1. Well…. I just wrote my first post using it!
            I’m not sure… I liked being able to copy an old post and just change the content, for the challenge posts, but I can’t see how to do that now!
            Still, you’ll have to see my Chai and A Chat tomorrow to see if it worked!! <3
            Thanks for the tips though!

              1. Lol!!!
                I know, go me!!!
                Well, I’m off work today with two sick kids and not feeling too bright myself…
                Might just draft up some copies of regular posts then …

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