Gutenberg 13.7 Expands Custom Template Capabilities and Adds Estimated Reading Time to Info Panel

Gutenberg 13.7 was released this week with major updates to Full Site Editing (FSE) functionality that expands the creation of custom templates. Users can now create templates for custom taxonomies, specific terms, and unique categories and tags. The update also includes the ability to create templates for specific pages.

Clicking on the “Add New” template and selecting Category will launch a new modal where users can select a specific category:

In a separate article on the expanded capabilities of custom templates, Automattic-sponsored contributor Justin Tadlock outlined the template creation process and summarized further work on this branch of FSE functionality.

“There are tons of use cases for these types of models, only limited by what their creators want to create,” Tadlock said. “For example, a user might want to display a grid of posts for a specific “photography” category, but not change the default list style for others. A restaurant owner can remove the site’s default sidebar on the “menu” page to let the photos of the dishes take center stage.”

All of these additions put more control over the CMS in the hands of users than they ever had in the early days of WordPress. Creating a custom template for a taxonomy or for a specific page would have been a task for which most users would have had to hire a developer. Now anyone can create custom templates with just a few clicks in the site editor.

Category customization is also the focus of the latest round of testing for the FSE program, which ends on August 1. The test aims to guide users in exploring the general category model and the new design of the model selector introduced in Gutenberg 13.6. Each test call comes with a structured way to explore beta features as well as specific questions to answer during the process. It’s basically a guided way to contribute to WordPress that allows people of all abilities to shape the user experience with their feedback.

Gutenberg 13.7 also introduces a new “Play Time” count that users will find in the info panel at the top of the editor. It estimates the reading time of pages, posts and custom post types.

Gutenberg’s block locking feature already offers quite granular control, but this release extends those capabilities to allow locking all blocks inside a container (group, cover, and column blocks) into one. click.

source: Gutenberg 13.7 release

Other notable improvements in version 13.7 include:

  • Updates the modal design of the Preferences screen and other screens to reduce noise, add background blur, and make the design more consistent – PR #40781
  • Add “Use selected image” to download and media library options in placeholder for new cover block – PR #41722
  • Adds support for text decoration to post title block – PR #42328

This release includes 167 PR thanks to contributions from 58 people. For a full breakdown of all changes and bugfixes, see the full changelog in the post message.

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