Gutenberg 2.8: What is new?

Gutenberg 2.8

Last updated - July 8, 2021

Gutenberg 2.8 is the current stage of the upcoming default WordPress Editor. This update was released on May 4th 2018. As you know it will be the default editor in the WordPress 5.0, releasing this summer, getting an insight of its features will be helpful. With each new release of Gutenberg, it comes with improved features and bugs fixed. Gutenberg 2.8 serves as the foundation of what is coming in the next release of Gutenberg 2.9.

Although the average rating of 2.7/5 is not very encouraging, but as more features and improved User Interface is taking over the editor, ratings are expected to improve. The rating tells a story which is very clear that there are two groups of users. One group is loving the upcoming editor and other group seems to unlike the upcoming replacement of the present classical editor. Now there are some developers who have developed special plugins to deactivate Gutenberg and the plugin has 5 ratings. It means some editors/bloggers are actually are willing to keep Gutenberg deactivated.

If you are still unaware of features of Gutenberg, here are 10 Features of Gutenberg that changes your Blogging Experience. Now let’s see how much Gutenberg 2.8 is different from its previous releases.

What is new in Gutenberg 2.8?

Adding Spacer Block

The new version adds a new block called’ Spacer’to add space between two blocks. As earlier the plugin used to have similar space between all blocks, spacer lets users to add a space of desired width.

Spacer Gutenberg 2.8
Spacer Gutenberg 2.8

Color Palette

A new feature based on color in both background and text color is included in the new version. Now the configured colors can be assigned to classes. This has introduced the use of color name to select the desired color. This feature helps in easy use of the feature. It is also going to help developers to come up  with defined colors while designing themes based on Gutenberg.

Color feature is now available for Button Block too. Both the background and the text color of the button can be changed by selecting the color name in the sidebar. One more feature added is that the color palette disappears if color is available for it. For instance , the Classic Block has no option for color in it, so when you select the classic block, the color palette disappears.

Less Distraction While Typing

The Gutenberg 2.8 is improving the User Interface in different ways. One more step in this direction is that when user start typing in any block, the ‘movers’ on the top left side of the block disappears and appears back as soon as cursor is removed from the block. This also hides the block menu which appear on the top of the block.

Additional Feature of Addition of  ref="noreferrer noopener" for target="_blank" links is also included. Users can now add ref=”noreferrer noopeaner” for target=”_blank” links.

Drop Cap Indicator

The paragraph blocks has the feature where users can add drop cap to the first letter of the paragraph. This version adds a feature which indicates if the paragraph will show a drop cap or not. Since drop cap can be added to multiple paragraph blocks this is a helpful addition. If the block is having drop cap on it shows “Showing large initial letter” and if not it shows “Toggle to show a large initial letter”.

Features in Gutenberg 2.7

Editing Permalinks

Starting from the top, the editor let users edit the permalink. It was a long awaited update and bloggers were longing for this feature. To edit the permalink you can click on the ‘Add Title‘ block to get the edit option. Click on the edit button and you can edit the permalink.

This becomes a handy tool, as now users can start writing a title for their next document, without any concerns. Now users will change the permalink any time between the start and publishing. This eliminates the need of going for a redirect later.

gutenberg 2.7
Gutenberg Permalink Edit Option

Page Break

Page Break is the new feature which helps you in optimization and indexing a lot. You can select and give a page break at any point of the document. To add one go to  Blocks> Layout Elements> Page Break.

Adding a page break will allow you to stack your website’s content in an organised manner. Now you can offer a single document in form of multiple pages. Maybe you can expect a plugin that will show the scroll arrow to the next page at the bottom of the first page of the document. This pagination is going to help different components of a single document to be presented in different pages, making it convenient for the readers.

Gutenberg 2.7
Page break in Gutenberg


I hope you have gone through the previous method of adding rows and column to a 2×2 table in Gutenberg’s previous edition. If not I recommend reading 10 features of Gutenberg first. That is going to help you understand the differences in the two updates.

Earlier the table block would allow user to add only two rows and columns. But here is a great addition to the latest version of Gutenberg 2.7.0. It now allows user to add any number of columns one by one. To do so add an new Table Block. You will get a basic 2×2 table. Now you have you click on ‘Edit Table’ and select if you want to:

  • Add Row Before/After
  • Delete Row
  • Add Column Before/After
  • Delete Column

The video shows the ease with which you can create a full fledged table with any number of rows and  columns.

Gutenberg 2.7
Expanding Tables in Gutenberg 2.7

Better Classic Editor Block

The editor had a block called Classic, which was provided a block which gave a feel of the classic editor. The current update shows a advanced classic editor as a block. The classic block has a full fledged toolbar of its own. People who like the classic editor can use the block and feel a less different form the current editor.

But you can’t add a media file directly in the classic block. To add media you need to add a media block next to the classic block. But if you don’t want to add new block for images, you can still go for Copy and Paste. For instance if you want an image in the classic block. you can copy the image and paste it in the classic block.

Gutenberg 2.7
Classic Block now has the complete toolbar

Better Hover Detection

In the above illustration, you can see the ‘Vertical Block Scroll’ on the top right and the ‘More Option’ and ‘Remove Buttons’ on the top left corner outside the blocks. As the user hovers close the top corners on either sides, these options appears. This has been an improved feature compared to the previous versions. The plugin detects intents and shows the options using soft detection technique.

Assigning Dimension to the Images

The image block has a new addition in form of ‘Image Dimension’. This allows users to go for desired values of image width and height. Earlier versions had the percentage variations portions, where users could only select form four default dimensions of 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%.

It has one more feature where users can choose the Source type of the image. It basically means that any variation in the dimension will be carried on the source type. The source type can be full image, medium, full shop single and catalog type, large or a thumbnail. Each of these has a fixed dimension and act as the source image. All these variations are a good indications for WooCommerce Users. These will help in better optimization of images and fit better with each other.

Gutenberg 2.7
Changing Dimension of Images

Link Interface

Earlier both the Add and Remove Link button were there in the block’s toolbar. Now there is a better and logical presentation can be seen while adding links. Add link appears in the toolbar, so you add a link. Once a link is added, it is replaced by a Remove link Option, which seems smart.

“Open in new window” feature is added again. The option appears when you add a link. To get the option, users need to click once on the linked proverb to get the Link Settings Button. There you can toggle on or off Open in new window option. Link Settings also has the traditional suggested links box.

Gutenberg 2.7
Adding and Removing Link

When you add the classic block it has both add and remove link in its toolbar. Users can add links in the classic block in the good old way. ‘Open in new window’ feature for this will still be the older one, where a new dialog box appears with suggested links and a box to tick if you want it to open the link in a new window.

Gutenberg 2.7
Adding and Removing Links in Classic Block Gutenberg 2.7

For Plugin Developers

The new version also came with a Plugin Sidebar API, which can be used by Plugin developers for development of additional Plugins. More Info on Plugin Sidebar API. To get to this option you need to click on the three vertical dot on the top right corner of the editor. Once you click on that, you’ll find a ‘Hello World’ bar. It also mentions Plugin.

With its addition developers will get access to a sidebar where they can carry out the plugin development work.

Download Gutenberg 2.8

Looking Forward

Well, you require to update your current version of WordPress to 5.0 to even experience Gutenberg. So instead of learning how to detective Gutenberg, it’s better to get ready for Gutenberg. You can do this by testing Gutenberg 2.8. And if you find any bug or want a feature added, you can submit a ticket to the Gutenberg Development Team at Github. Get the Official and Complete List of Gutenberg 2.7 and Gutenberg 2.8 updates straight for the developers.

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