Gutenberg 6.5 Adds Experimental Block Directory Search to Inserter and New Social Links Block

Gutenberg 6.5 was released today with a rough prototype that adds one-click search and installation of blocks from the block directory to the inserter. Selected blocks are automatically installed as a plugin in the background and inserted into the editor with one click.

The pull request for the experiment indicates that it’s still very much a work in progress. It extends the inserter to fetch a list of suggestBlocks similar to reusableBlocks, and the list is currently served from a mock API.

The prototype is can be turned on under the Gutenberg > Experiments menu, a relatively new Settings page that was added in Gutenberg 6.3. This menu also allows testers to enable the experimental Navigation Menu Block, Widgets Screen, and Legacy Widget Block.

Block Navigation has also been added to the experimental Navigation Block in this release. This addition is considered a first start that is expected to evolve over time.

“Regardless of how the UI evolves for this block, I think there will always be a need for representing the menu structure as a child block tree with all menu hierarchies mapped out consistently and not hidden (dropdowns, etc),” Gutenberg engineer Matias Ventura said.

“Luckily, we already have a view that handles that representation in the ‘block navigator.’ That means if the navigation menu block is represented through child blocks, we’ll get this view for free.”

In the future, Gutenberg engineers may allow for drag-and-drop reordering of items in the navigator and may explore rendering the view inline or in a modal launched from the navigation menu block.

Gutenberg 6.5 Adds New Social Links Block

Gutenberg 6.5 also adds a new social links block under the widgets panel. It allows users to place social links anywhere within the content by clicking on the icons and pasting in their social URLs. The gif below demonstrates how the block works, although the grey placeholder icons have since been removed in favor of opacity changes to indicate unconfigured blocks.

This release introduces a handful of other notable updates, including support for border radius changes in the button block, support for adding captions to images in the Gallery block, and the addition of local autosaves.

The 6.5 release post has not yet been published but the plugin update is available in the admin and a full list of enhancements and bug fixes can be found in the changelog.

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