How to use the Block Editor to make your posts look the way you want them to

How do I add a block?

In this post, we’ll concentrate on adding a block using two methods the Insertor and the Slash Command. If you want to learn about other methods, go HERE.

The Inserter is a good way to make yourself familiar with blocks and guides you through searching, selecting and adding them. The Slash Command is a shortcut that you may find helpful once you’re familiar with blocks and how to use them.

What is the Inserter? 

The inserter is a way of searching and adding blocks to a post The inserter icon is a cross in a circle. Whenever you see the symbol ⊕ you can click on it and get a list of blocks, in a little modal window.

On top you see the ‘Most Used’ blocks. You can scroll down and open up other categories, like Layout, or Common and find more blocks.

How do I find the block I want with the Inserter?

From the inserter you can use the search box to search blocks by typing the beginning of a block name or a keyword for example, "image" or "heading", then a list of blocks that fit the search will show. Select the desired block.

Where do I find the Inserter?

There are three places where you can use the inserter to add a search for, choose and add a block:

  • Inserter ⊕ in the center between blocks 
  • Inserter ⊕ right of an empty block
  • Inserter ⊕ in the Top Tool Bar

We’ll go through each of them in turn

Inserter ⊕ in the center between blocks 

When you are writing or editing a post and hover your cursor between two existing blocks, the

Click on the Inserter icon to search for a block to insert.

Inserter ⊕ right of an empty block

Click on the Inserter ⊕ to search for a block to insert.

Inserter ⊕ from the Top Toolbar 

Click on the Inserter icon ⊕ at the top left of the editor. (Top Toolbar)

The Inserter from the Top Toolbar also shows additional information per block and you can see a small preview of the block.

The Slash Command

When you’re writing a post and press Enter one or more times, a block will open and you’ll see one of two prompts:


When you type / a window like the one below will appear. You can select your block from the list in the window.

If you type / followed by a letter, for example /i, then the window will sort the blocks starting with the letter you typed. So /i produces:

8 thoughts on “How to use the Block Editor to make your posts look the way you want them to

  1. The Block Editor thing has become a fairly long post.

    I’m tempted to shorten it by removing these two questions:

    How do I check what my post looks like?

    What do I do to publish a post?

    I don’t think the answers vary significantly between Classic Editor and Block Editor.

    I’m also wondering how/if we respond to questions about the content.

    Do we want to have, probably in addition to this, an FAQ section for The Secret Reading Room?

    1. We’ll have a fairly extensive FAQ section — one main page and a whole boatload of tutorials in addition, linked from the main page and also from a dedicated menu.

      Having looked through your post — which I think is great and exactly the kind of guidance people are going to need — what may make the most sense in this particular instance might be to break it up into several chapters, each of them going into a separate post. This is probably also going to be the approach we’ll be taking to other, equally long / “involved” tutorials.

      Also, one of the tutorials we’re planning will be a very basic “how to get started” one, literally from “I’m here — now what?” to “this is how you publish a post” and “here’s where you find xyz item(s)”. So I would suggest that anything not specifically relating to the block editor could go there, unless the block editor has specific publishing settings beyond the “save draft / edit / schedule / publish” modes.

      Tutorials such as this should be formatted as “projects”; that will
      (1) keep them out of the general feed and move them into the dedicated feed we’re reserving for admin issues (general site announcements, tutorials, etc.) and
      (2) auto-enable a “Comments” section where questions can be asked.

      Incidentally, we’re (provisionally, but I think we’ve agreed to settle on this one) working with a theme that has a very clear setup for the “comments” section, with each “original” comment (or question) creating a new box of its own, and all subsequent responses nested within that same box. Christine, MbD and I all like that a lot; particularly when it comes to explaining things and following up on questions in the early days of the community, that should help a lot.

      1. In that case, it might makes sense to put a post with a short overview with lego bricks explanation of blocks and then links to each of the different questions as post somewhere else and have the post independently searchable.

        I don’t know how that’s done in Projects. I haven’t been able to find any tutorials on Projects on

        I think the best that I can do is complete the segments and add the links and then ask you to move it into an appropriate project format.

        Will that work`?

        1. Absolutely!

          “Projects”, for our purposes, are really just glorified posts, though, which we’re using to keep the admin stuff out of the main “posts” feed, for everything that
          (a) calls for comments / responses, e.g. tutorials and the “Questions?” posts in connection with reading games, and
          (b) is most easily made accessible in a comprehensive but dedicated feed (as pages don’t go into any feed, so you necessarily have to link to those from a site menu somewhere; which in turn means that pages are basically something we’re just using as static one-off things).

          So, to tie several “projects” together, e.g. for your “block editor” tutorial, we’d basically do just what you propose: Present the basic explanation what is a block in a general intro “project” (= post filed as “project” in the site’s “portfolio” section rather than in the “posts” section), then create separate “projects” for each of the follow-up questions and link to those from the intro page. Eh voilà tout!

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