Category: Blog

10 Block Editor Tips

I’ve been struggling up the learning curve of WordPress’s infamous Block Editor. I like the Block Editor, but it took about three calls to the Suicide Prevention Hotline before I finally became comfortable with it. Now I’ve almost entirely abandoned the Classic Editor.

Goodbye, Classic Editor! You were a class act, but now there’s a new kid on the block.

WP has done a very good job at hiding some useful features, some of which seem like very basic features. Such as, how to add a line of text directly below the current line, while staying in the same paragraph. Poets and listmakers would appreciate how to do this.

Google has been helpful, and I’ve discovered other solutions by accident and trial-and-error. There’s much more to figure out, so I wouldn’t consider myself an expert.

If you have any questions, I recommend trying Google. I can’t be anyone’s personal tutor because I’m still piss-poor at this, and even worse at explaining technical things to others. Besides, I’m impatient with people who are as slow at learning things as myself.

Nevertheless, I thought I’d pass along, to the best of my doofus brain’s limited ability, ten of my most useful discoveries. I hope this will benefit anyone else who’s been battling the Block Editor.

10 Block Editor Tips

  1. To add a line directly below a line, within the same Paragraph Block, such as when you’re typing a poem or compiling a list, press the Shift+Enter keys.
  2. To change the text color of part of a Paragraph Block, rather than the entire block, select the text, then hover over the down arrow in the top menu, which will reveal the words, “More rich text controls.” Select that down arrow, then select “Text Color.”
  3. To make text wrap around an image, select the image, then hover your cursor over the various, funny-looking boxes in the top menu, until your cursor displays, “Change alignment.” Click here, then choose a left or right alignment. You will also likely have to reduce the size of the image. How to do this should be fairly obvious, after you select the image.
  4. If you copy and paste text to the Block Editor, and it appears with the ugly gray, “Classic Editor” background, hover over the box to the left of the up and down arrows, in the top menu, and your cursor should display the words, “Change block type or style.” Click on this box, and then choose “Transform to . . . Paragraph.” This will remove the gray background and convert the text to Paragraph format.
  5. To add a new Paragraph Block, without having to go through all the rigmarole of clicking on the Plus “+” sign box, position your cursor at the end of an existing Paragraph Block, and press the “Enter” key. A fresh, new, blank Paragraph Block will appear directly below.
  6. To move a block of text, or an image, or any other type of block, select the block, then click on the up or down arrow in the top menu.
  7. To instantly delete a block, select the block, then press the Shift+Alt+Z keys.
  8. To undo some dumb, fool thing that you just did, press the Ctrl-Z keys.
  9. To save text as a reusable block, click inside the block, then click the three vertical dots in the top, right menu. Choose, “Add to Reusable Blocks.” To name or delete the block, click the Plus “+” sign in the top-left menu. Then choose the “Reusable” tab. Then click on the “Manage all reusable blocks” link.
  10. To insert a reusable block into a post, click the Plus “+” sign in the top-left menu. Then choose the “Reusable” tab. Then find the block with the name you’ve assigned to it, that you’re looking for, and click that block. It will insert into your post. If you want to edit it within the post, you must immediately choose, “Convert to regular blocks” in the top menu. Do this immediately, or this option will disappear from the top menu. Then you’ll have to delete the block and start all over again.

Here’s a very useful, 20-minute YouTube tutorial on how to use the Block Editor. It just covers the basics, but I found the information very helpful at transitioning from the Classic Editor. And a big shoutout to the Widow Badass, for bringing this tutorial to my attention:

Interblogging

I thought I was the first to use the word, “interblogging.” Then I discovered it had already been thunk up by a bunch of other people. The Urban Dictionary defines “interblog” as something of a portmanteau, used by those who haven’t a clue about blogging and the internet.

Interblog: When discussing blogging and the internet to a much older person, who knows nothing of the web, they get confused and combine them.

Urban Dictionary
Comments are the heart of interblogging.

To cover up my stupidity, I came up with my own definition, which I think is much more sophisticated. I now define interblogging as the involved interaction that occurs between bloggers, mainly in the Comments section of their posts. And really, that’s what I’ve been thinking the whole time I’ve used that word.

I like my definition, because it makes me look less stupid. But more importantly, it puts a label on a netherworld of blogging that exists just one level below the surface of the blogosphere. It refers to an inconspicuous passage that bloggers can travel through. A wormhole of sorts. A hyperlink, that leads to a speakeasy world of free-form forums and direct interaction.

Some bloggers just seem to be putting out their message, without interacting much with the public. They’re what I call “broadcast bloggers,” engaged in one-way communication. Some of these broadcast bloggers can be popular. They have hundreds, or thousands of followers. Some also receive a large number of complimentary comments to their posts.

But their responses seem taciturn. They say stuff like: “Thank you.” “Thanks for following.” “I appreciate it.” “You’re nice.” I wonder if they copy and paste some of these remarks. It seems obvious they’re not looking for a conversation. And maybe that’s because they don’t have much time for chatter. They’re too busy posting.

Then there are the interbloggers. When you check out the Comments, it’s like opening the door into some sort of wild party. Well, not always so wild, but at least something less tame than an empty library full of cobwebs.

The commenters are doing a whole lot more than just complimenting the post, if they’re complimenting it at all. Hell, they could be insulting it. But mainly they’re offering their own profound insights and experiences, debating issues, making smart-alecky remarks, telling a joke, or just shooting the shit.

And the author of the post is often responding with thoughtful or unthoughtful remarks going well beyond a two or three word sentence. It’s an actual conversation. It’s involved interaction. It’s what I call interblogging. At least now I do.

I’ve been interblogging for over six years now, thanks to a long-time blogger named Cranky Pants. Six years ago she had a blog called Gibber Jabberin’, and the interaction that occurred on her site was the quintessence of interblogging, in my view. Gibber, er, Cranky, inspired me, and so I shut down my broadcast blog and began a new one, called Golden Daze, where I put an emphasis on interblogging.

But the theme of Golden Daze didn’t quite feel right to me, so after about a year I shut it down. Exactly five years ago, on January 25, 2016, Chasing Unicorns was born, and I’ve stuck with this blog ever since. Today is Chasing Unicorns fifth birthday. And after five years I’ve managed to almost reach 1,000 followers (994, at latest count). It was up to 999 a few days ago, but I think I might have pissed a few people off. As usual.

Yes, I realize that 95% of my followers are just trying to sell me something, but I’m still proud of my illusory fame. And yes, I’ll admit the growth has been slow, but I don’t follow other blogs just to get them to follow me back. I follow them because I genuinely want to try reading them for awhile. And that doesn’t happen very often. Even more rare is me continuing to follow a blog. I’m very picky.

Most of my followers don’t interblog much, if at all. But a few do, and they’ve made this endeavor worthwhile. I appreciate the friendships we’ve developed. And I invite anyone who’s been reading from the sidelines, and who’s interested, to join the fun.

I think interblogging is the most enjoyable way to run a blog. I’m sure I would have given up on this shit a long time ago if all I did was broadcast blog. Interblogging brings blogging to life. It turns it into a human experience. And it’s a lot more fun, with all the smartasses that leave their smart-alecky comments. I’ve made good friends from interblogging. And a few good enemies.

So thank you to all who follow my blog, and who put up with the smartass remarks I leave on your blog. Thank you for the good badinage and the bad goodinage. You make it fun. I wouldn’t do this without you.

Masscots

Vic, at Cosmic Observation, has suggested that this blog needs a mascot. I thought a jackass named “Jack” would be an apt mascot, since we have so many smartasses that drop comments here. But then she suggested a female mascot. Perhaps a jackass named “Jenny.” She pointed out that Jenny is the animal husbandry term for a female jackass.

First of all, now that I know this, I feel sorry for any woman named Jenny. And I also feel sorry for any husband that has to marry an animal. But if I had to marry an animal, I think a jackass would be my first choice. They’re cute, and ornery, and funny, all at the same time. Just what I like in a spouse.

Back in the Old West days, many a lonely desert prospector considered their jackass to be their best friend. And who knows what went on between them, in the name of animal husbandry. So if a scruffy old desert prospector can marry a jackass, I think it’s only fitting that we smartasses choose the jackass as our mascot.

As Chancellor of Jackass University, I hereby make the choice, without objection, for all of us. I nominate our new mascots to be jackasses.

Only I’m calling them “masscots,” with two s’s. And their names are Jack Ass, and Jenny Ass, from the Ass family.

If anyone objects to this nomination, please leave your smartass comments, below. If necessary, we can hold an election. And then we can contest the results of the election. We might even take it all the way to the Supreme Court, and leave it up to its nine jackasses to decide the matter.

And now I introduce to you, our nominees. Our two prospective masscots. Our symbols of the hallowed craft of smartassery. Here, ladies and gentlemen, are Jack and Jenny Ass . . .

Lizi Rose

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