What’s New in Gutenberg 9.1?

Gutenberg 9.1 introduced big updates for two of the flagship features planned for WordPress 5.6.

Gutenberg 9.1 Updates

Gutenberg 9.1 was released on September 30, bringing with it some exciting new updates.

The official release cited nearly 200 new commits and more than 75 contributors on the development team. 

The main highlights of the Gutenberg 9.1 release are updates to the Widgets Screen and Block API – the two biggest projects planned for the release of  WordPress 5.6

What’s new in Gutenberg 9.1?

Widgets Screen Reverted 

The block-based widgets editor that was removed from Gutenberg 8.9 is back and was updated to match the post editor inserter design so that the two now use the same UI. 

The new editor is one of the primary features planned for the WordPress 5.6 release in December. It continues to improve but is currently limited to only regular blocks.

Gutenberg 9.1 Core Contributor Andrei Draganescu offered some insight on the current state of the customizer in the revision ticket:

“I will approve this since the current state of the customizer in the Gutenberg plugin is broken, and there is no clear path forward about how to fix that. With this patch, the normal widgets can still be edited in the customizer and the block ones don’t break it anymore. This is NOT to mean that we won’t proceed with fixing the block editor in the customizer, that is still an ongoing discussion.”

Make WordPress Core is calling for testers for the new Widgets screen in Gutenberg 9.1. WordPress asks that testers report their findings on GitHub in the Gutenberg Repository

New Features for Block API

The Block API gained two new features. Users now have the ability to add “open in new tab” to a Social Links block, and add image size control to the Media and Text block.

The Media and Text block now functions the same as a normal Image block. Now, end-users can choose from any registered image size built for the uploaded image. 

Gutenberg 9.1 also improved the UI for several blocks. One of the best improvements is the addition of a new dropdown selector for block pattern categories. 

Block patterns are now organized by category, which makes it easier to navigate the list of patterns available. Users no longer need to endlessly scroll through block patterns to find a specific pattern. Now when selecting a category, category patterns will be automatically displayed. 

The Cover and Group blocks now have an explicit box-sizing style rule that prevents potential issues when using the new padding/spacing options. 

Additionally, the Code block now allows for HTML editing and rich text content.

Theme Updates, New APIs and Bug Fixes

WordPress theme authors saw a boost to the ongoing Global Styles project that will allow them to configure features for their users. 

They are now able to use a custom .json (CSS) file to control block editor features and presets. Theme editors now have control over font sizes, color palette, and the ability to enable or disable certain features.  

Gutenberg 9.1 also featured three new APIs and more than 20 bug fixes. 

Among the key bug fixes, all widgets are now properly initialized when added, and widgets no longer unmount once added. 

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