#EditorWars – #BlockEditor vs #ClassicEditor

Did you wake up yesterday morning to find your blog world turned upside down by a sneak attack during the night? I did. And let me tell you, I spent one awful day trying to figure out what to do about it. Gone was the page where I could choose between the Classic WordPress Editor I’ve used for way more than a decade and the Block Editor, which I loathe. Yep. In its place was the “new and improved” (read “hot mess, totally ruined for my purposes”) Block Editor. Yes, I know they said we’d have the option of using the Classic Editor “at least” until 2022. Alas. It had disappeared.

Now, granted, I probably should have spent some time learning how to use the Block Editor, just in case such as this transpired. At least I would have known a bit about which things I could no longer do. (Of which, there are several.) But I kept putting it off, because I knew in my heart I’d be disappointed in what they were planning to do. 

Sure enough, I was utterly dismayed. I can add colored blocks of text, yes, should I want to do that, but I soon discovered every single new paragraph is a block of its own. If you, like me, want to make yours easier to read by changing the front from gray to black, making it Bold, and possibly even making  it larger, you are left with one option: format every single paragraph separately. No “Select All” available anywhere that I could find.

Now this isn’t a huge deal for a shortish blog post, but I also have a private beta blog where we share full chapters of our WIPS. Some of these are more than 3,000 words, and they have lots and lots of paragraphs, especially if there’s very much dialogue. Have you any idea how long it took to individually format 60 paragraphs? A chapter share that normally takes me under ten minutes to post went to almost 2 hours by the time I’d figured it all out. 

Needless to say, yesterday was spent with me tearing out my hair, shaking my fist at the sky, and cursing in multiple languages. (Okay, I only speak English, but I’m fluent in Southernese, which includes many, many varieties of swearing.) 

And THEN I chanced upon a commenter on John W. Howell’s blog post who had an answer. It was EASY. It was QUICK. And it was a SANITY SAVER! Thank you, Dale at A Dalectable Life, for helping me get back the page wherein I still have the option between Classic and Block editors. I don’t know how long it will last, but for now, it’s working perfectly. 

And for those of you who have been as frustrated as I, here is how you do it:

  1. Open your WP blog, click on your face (or whatever image you use) in the circle at the top right in the black bar. (Right beside the bell.)
  2. Once you have clicked there, it will bring you to your Profile. On the left side, choose Account Settings.
  3. Scroll down until you get to Interface Settings and see the slide bar under Dashboard Settings.
  4. Click on that to turn it off.
  5.  Scroll down below the Colour Options and Click on Save.

Then, you will have the same admin page as before this mess occurred. You can once again (as you used to do) click on “All Posts “ and at the top of that page, click on  “Add New and choose Classic from the drop down menu.

Voila! Options returned and all is as it was!

Thanks to Dale for her help, and good luck to each of you who were anywhere near as upset as I was yesterday.

WE ARE SAVED!

89 thoughts on “#EditorWars – #BlockEditor vs #ClassicEditor

    • Thanks for sharing, Jeanne. I’m sure there are a LOT of folks who were totally flummoxed by this event, as I was. (The only good thing about it was it gave me a chance to use the word “flummoxed,” which I love. 😀 😀 😀 )

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure it’s fine for lots of things, but again, it is no friend to reformatting your blog text.
      And if you ever discover a “Select All” feature, I’d love to know where it’s hiding. Having to format 60 paragraphs individually was madness! And took forever. I’d settle for a formattable default setting for new posts, too.

      I’m resigned to having to learn how to use it because it will probably come along one day, but I will hate it unless they fix the formatting issues. (I couldn’t even get it to Select All Blocks, which would also have worked.) GAH.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m pretty sure I have text colors and font size preselected. But it could be part of the theme. I know I can do it for my website, but that’s self-hosted. A pox on WordPress for changing and not letting us know!

        Liked by 3 people

        • I think it might be possible to do it for your WordPress blog and maybe the editor doesn’t change that. But I sure could find no way to do it for a post. And sometimes, I want certain posts to look different from the rest of the blog anyway.) YES. A pox upon them for being so sneaky about it all. I sure didn’t get any warning, and it was a very rude awakening. 😨😠😡

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for the tip, Marcia. I only us my WP on my laptop on the weekends, so I hadn’t noticed the change. I use the WP app sometimes during the week. The app uses the block editor, and between it and sometimes using the block editor while on the laptop, I’m a little familiar with it. I do much prefer the classic editor, though, and am happy to see a workaround for getting to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are most welcome, Jeanne. Yes, you can drag and drop blocks (paragraphs) and use colored backgrounds, but not being able to format text in the entire post is HUGE for me. If anyone has a fix for that, I’d love to hear about it.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I’m glad the tips are useful for you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad it will be useful, Olga. It only took a couple of clicks and it was all back again as though the whole thing was just a bad dream. (Horrific nightmare!) 😀 Thanks for stopping by and letting me know this might be of use to you. 🙂

      Like

  2. In the block editor, if you hold the shift key while hitting return for the next paragraph, it keeps the formatting. Staci Troilo taught me that. It works on my WP theme except in the email notices, so I actually don’t use that trick much anyway in case people are reading via email. I will definitely look for the latest and greatest all-capabilities theme next time I switch themes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well that didn’t work for me when I tried it yesterday, but I am taking note again, because sooner or later I need to find something that does. It might have been due to my particular WordPress theme, I’m not sure. I really don’t like much about the Block editor, but most everything else I can put up with. Not being able to continue the formatting from block to block was a real stopper. And googling around for help, I discovered many, many people having the same issue.

      Now that I have my Classic editor option back, I’m not worrying about it so much, but I’ll need to give it another go at some point in readiness for the Classic editor to truly disappear. Thanks for the tip, Priscilla. It would certainly be a huge help when writing a post from scratch. Don’t know if it will work for cutting and pasting an entire book chapter, but I’m saving ALL tips for future study. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

        • I immediately checked to see if Staci’s trick worked for me on my blog, and it doesn’t work at all on either one, even though they are different themes. (I don’t know if that part has any bearing on the matter or not.) I was so hoping it would solve the problem so I’d be prepared if and when Classic disappears for good. *sigh* Why can’t they leave well enough alone? Or just let us choose between the two? I certainly don’t mind if others prefer the Block editor. I just hate having the choice taken away from me. 😦

          Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve no idea how happy I am on your behalf that you found a way to get back to something that works in a logical, efficient and familiar way! You rock! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I could take credit for it, but I would NEVER have known what to do, and my gratitude for Dale’s comments on John’s blog is immense! SO happy to be back on familiar ground. Thanks for sharing my joy, Trish! 😀 ❤

      Like

  4. I still have the classic, which I love. Although I was finally forced to use the new one this week. I needed a nice long walk after that to regroup. I hope we can hang on to classic permanently. I was lucky to run across information how to keep it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seeing Dale’s post on John’s blog this morning was the best thing to happen to me since I woke up yesterday, Denise! I was SO happy. Glad you’ve got yours working, too, and I hope we can keep it a long time, yet. 🙂 Thanks for taking a moment to comment, too. 🙂

      Like

  5. Thanks, Marcia. I tried it and I am still getting the cursed block editor. I don’t get the option of Classic editor. I am getting around it, but it takes more time so I was hoping this would work.

    Like

  6. I have been using blocks and share your frustration at the paragraph perplexity. The other day I couldn’t change something in a block so decided to delete the block. For some reason it wouldn’t let me. Thinking outside the box/block I then decided to start a new post and cut and paste all the other paragraphs ( separately of course ) into it and do the pictures again. Then Itrashed the original post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • All because you couldn’t delete a block? OH, my word! This thing stinks. I hope the instructions above help you get the choice to use Classic instead back. While I might keep trying to learn more about the Block editor, as long as I have to format every paragraph separately, I will NOT use it willingly. I don’t get why they can’t just let us choose, period. I’m not against anyone else using it. I just don’t want to be forced to use it when it doesn’t work well at all for my purposes. *sigh*

      Like

    • Glad you didn’t wake up to total chaos Thursday morning, Harmony! Funny, I was going to email you in my blind panic to see if you had any ideas! I’m so grateful that I saw Dale’s comment on John’s blog. Truly saved my sanity! May your good luck HOLD! 🙂 ❤ (But yeah, keep these instructions handy, just in case.) 😀

      Like

    • You’re welcome, Jan. HIs follower, Dale (linked above) posted the workaround in the comments, and I will forevermore be grateful to her for that. So easy!! And now we can hopefully buy enough time to figure out what ELSE can’t be done in the Block editor. I’m making a list. 😀

      Meanwhile, hope it helps if you were caught short, too! 😀

      Like

    • Yay for being able to help you in advance! (Oh, how I wish I hadn’t had to go through the shock of Thursday’s experience.) So glad you’ll be set, and I agree with you about John. 😀 Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to let me know this will be useful for you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I followed your “fix” but it was too late for me to do it. WP forced the change on my blog several months ago. In the beginning, I still could click “classic” but now it disappeared. Even my “All Post” view is different than before. Over the last several months, I tested one block at a time and avoid doing anything that would get me stuck. I hope with enough complaints, WP would do something. I have a premium account and they switched those accounts first. 😦 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry to hear that, Miriam. The fix took me mere seconds, as the page with the choice came right back. As LIz mentioned above, they have to know we longtime bloggers do NOT want to start over somewhere else, trying to build a new following from scratch. I think I could manage the Block editor (whether I like it or not) if I could format all blocks (paragraphs) at once. But not being able to use a Select All option is a game-changer. And SO frustrating. I’m braced for the option to disappear again, and hoping to learn how to do what I want with the Block editor before that happens. I’ll keep experimenting on various approaches. But nothing that forces me to manually format each and every paragraph is going to make me a happy camper, for sure. (Hey, WordPress: Ever hear of SELECT ALL???)

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess over the last few months, I settled with the inevitable and learned to do one block at a time, Marcia. Now I’m so used to the new way of uploading the photos, I just go along with it. I still don’t like it when I don’t have the same choices I had before. Oh, well. I did complained several times with no results. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • One block at a time works okay for regular blog posts, but as I say, on my Beta Blog, we share full chapters. Reformatting the font size, color, and BOLD settings for SIXTY individual paragraphs, one at a time, is NOT going to work for me. A two-minute task can take a couple of HOURS. They need to add a SELECT ALL option so you can do it in 3 clicks, instead of in 180 clicks. Or, conversely, leave us the option to choose the Classic editor if it works better for our purposes.

          I’m glad you’ve adjusted to the Block Editor, Miriam, but for me, it simply doesn’t do the job I want it to do, and that’s horribly frustrating. Hope they improve it before I’m forced to use it. And in the meantime, I hope they’ll leave us the choice to use the Classic editor for a long time to come. Sure would make my life easier. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • I remember the night when WP forced the change on me and I was in the middle of doing a post. I wanted to post it before midnight and I couldn’t make it to work. My headache and backache over it were killing me.

            You said your beta read blog is private. How do you share the posts when it’s private? Do you limit it to certain readers to view without going to public? I have two private blogs for writing also but only I can see them. I once forgot and left it open and got public followers and comments.

            My critique group send chapters out in Word of PDF for comments before Zoom meetings. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • My blog is by invitation only. I don’t know how yours is set up, but had I not wanted to invite anyone, I could simply not have done so. Instead, it is set up for me to share my work a chapter at a time and get feedback from my betas. If your blog is a typical WordPress blog, you can access the Users/Invite Users part from your Admin Menu. And you can assign different levels to the users, too. Most of my betas can read and comment on everything, but aren’t set up to originate new posts. When I upload a new chapter, I post from the home page and they are alerted via email that there’s a new chapter to read. And nothing posted on it goes out publicly.

              And I’ve just invited another author to join me. She can post her chapters there, too, and we have been in the process of inviting her betas to read there, too. They’ve already started. I’m excited about the changes. I’ve had this blog set up since I wrote my first book, and my betas are wonderful. I much prefer seeing if each chapter is working as I meant it to before I move on to the next. If not, I make changes then, rather than at the end of an entire novel, where I might have to change something all the way through. Makes sense to me, and it’s fun, too.

              Hope that makes sense, Miriam. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              • It makes perfect sense to me, Marcia. I would like my work to be reviewed one chapter at a time rather than at the end of the manuscript also.

                I’ve posted about 10 chapters on one private blog. I’ll go to Admin and check the setting.

                How do you find authors to join you? Someone who knows you already or follows your blog?

                Thank you for sharing your ideas, Marcia. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                • I invited personal friends first, Miriam, and then asked a few online friends if they’d be interested. I’ve been very lucky with the wonderful readers I found. Some have reached points in their lives where they don’t have enough time, as children grow or work issues interrupt, and others have been added here and there along the way. I’ve enjoyed hearing the thoughts of each one of them. My daughter used to read for me, too, before her life got too busy, and my niece-in-law read for a while, too. Just think about those you believe will enjoy what you’re writing (so it won’t be a chore for them) and who will give you honest (but kind) feedback if there are things that don’t make sense to them, or that they don’t like for whatever reason. You don’t always have to change those things, but I highly recommend you give them serious consideration. If one person has an issue, others might, too. So you have to decide when to change, and when to stand firm.

                  My readers are pretty sharp so that when they have a problem with a line or a scene, I can usually see just what they mean, and a small tweak or two fixes it. And one of them is a writer, herself, which means I get a professional viewpoint from her. I wouldn’t trade my beta blog for anything, which is one reason why I was so frustrated at the Block editor making it extremely hard to post a long chapter.

                  Good luck if you decide to give it a try. I’ve never regretted it! 🙂

                  Like

    • You are very welcome, Gwen. As soon as I saw Dale’s instructions on John’s blog, I knew I had to do everything possible to help spread the word. Her fix is EASY. And it worked instantly for me. (No telling how long it will last, but I can use the Classic Editor for now, while I try to find a cure for my main problem with the Block Editor. Most of the stuff is just “fluff” if you ask me, and not something that I care about one way or the other, but not being able to format an entire post at once is a HUGE issue for me. If I ever find a way around that, I’ll be sure to post it here.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I’m glad to know these instructions are helpful for you! 🙂 ❤

      Like

    • Apparently, WP has never heard the old expression, “If it ain’t broke, DON’T FIX IT!” 😀 The Classic Editor is lovely, and while being able to use colored blocks of text here and there IS pretty, it doesn’t begin to make up for the things that are wrong with the Block Editor. First thing they need to do is add a quick and easy way to SELECT ALL blocks (paragraphs) so you can format them at one time. THAT is simply a horrid mess.

      I’m so happy to have the option between the two back for now, but I fear it won’t last long, so I’m studying the situation closely in the meantime. After all, nobody, including ME, wants to start from scratch with a new blog elsewhere.*sigh*

      Thanks for stopping by, Diana, and I hope the tips will help should you need them. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        • I agree, and no, I can’t imagine starting from scratch elsewhere either, Diana. I think that’s what they’re counting on. 😦 But boy, the Block Editor needs some serious work, if you ask me, so I’m very happy to have found a reprieve for the time being. (Meanwhile, I’ll keep studying it and seeing how the heck I’m supposed to do the things I WANT to do that don’t involve colored blocks, draggable or not.)

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I went down the same path until someone showed me the same thing. It’s baloney that they insist on changing everything. I understand if things might not work on new platforms and such, but at least try to make it similar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, Craig. I hate how they did it with no warning, too. And IF we’re going to lose Classic altogether one of these days, I sure hope they’ve figured out a way to give us a SELECT ALL feature. Formatting an entire book chapter with 60 paragraphs that each had to be done separately nearly cause me to have the Big One! I’m glad you had the fix and knew just what to do. It was really a nightmare!

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m still digging out from under everything that went wrong last week, from having to knock a hole in the shower wall to weld a broken pipe to dastardly villains screwing around with my blog in the middle of the night. 😉 Sure hope this week will be better for ALL of us! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 29th March 2021 – #Kindness D.G. Kaye, #ClassicEditor Marcia Meara, #Booktitles Jessica Norrie | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  10. I guess I dodged a bullet because I didn’t start blogging regularly until last year and didn’t have to unlearn old habits. However, I know the pain of switching editors/wordprocessors. Have had to do it many times over the decades of computer use. I still find myself searching for functions that no longer exist that SHOULD! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aye, there’s the rub, eh? Why does the Block Editor LACK some basic functions that would make it easier to use? That’s my biggest issue. I’ve never tried to write anything, anywhere that wouldn’t let me choose Select All if I wanted to reformat fonts, etc.

      But lucky you that you don’t have to unlearn those old habits, Carol. That’s truly difficult for those of us who’ve been blogging a long time. I’m glad you are able to work in Block, and hope any improvements they MIGHT make going forward will be easy for you to use, too. (See, I’m not giving up on hoping they’ll fix the things that are wrong with it. 😀 )

      Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just did a little test to see if I could ‘select all’ and found a way to do so. This won’t work if your cursor is waiting for you to type somewhere inside a block. You have to start by clicking in the margin of your post, such that no blocks are selected. Then type ctrl-a. Good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

        • While I’m back to using Classic until they take it away again, I AM trying to learn how to deal with the Block editor so I’ll be better prepared the next time I wake up and find saboteurs have visited during the night. SO, thank you very much for this tip. I’ve googled high and low and not found it before. What I’m trying to do is be able to format the font in all paragraphs at one go, because on my beta blog, we have full chapters up, and it takes a long time to format every block/paragraph individually. If this works, I’ll be toasting you for days, along with Dale, who showed us how to get the page back that still lets us choose Classic.

          THANKS so much, Carol! I really appreciate your taking the time to experiment and then getting back to me. Will let you know how it works. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well, I have some bad news. I just went onto a page in the editor, selected everything and then typed ctrl-i to change all the fonts to italic. It didn’t work, which stinks. I guess the only thing you can do after a select-all is copying everything to the clipboard or cutting. Hopefully, that will change before you return.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks for letting me know, Carol. It’s just weird that there’s no way to do this most basic of chores. I’m not giving up yet, though. And while I can, I’m going to keep right on with the Classic editor, and just wish they’d continue to let us choose.

              Thanks for trying to find a solution, though, I appreciate that! 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you so much for posting these instructions. However, I’m visually impaired and use screen reading technology. On the Account Settings page under Interface Settings, I’m not finding a slide bar that says, “Dashboard Settings.” There’s a heading that says, “Dashboard Appearance,” but it doesn’t appear to be clickable to turn it on or off. Under that, there’s a checkbox that says “Turn on advanced pages” or something like that, which is unchecked. What am I missing? I’d really appreciate any help you can give me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, gosh, Abbie, I don’t know if I can help you or not. I got these tips from a commenter on another blog, and really knew nothing about that page at all. I will check it out and see if I can find a way to make it clearer, something that would work with your reading technology. Let me get back to you here tomorrow, with whatever I can discover. I’ll do my best!

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      Like

        • Hi, Again, Abbie! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I’m hoping you’ve found an answer by now, since I’m not sure if what I discovered will help you or not. All I can say is that when you get to “Dashboard Appearance,” next to the On/Off Slider bar mentioned above, it says “Show advanced dashboard pages: Enabling this will replace your dashboard pages with more advanced wp-admin equivalents when possible.” So there should be something there for you to click that will turn this option OFF. If not a slider bar, then perhaps some on/off “switch” of some other kind?

          I know this is not a lot of information, but I’m hoping it helps. So far, having turned mine off, I found I could once again access the page where I’m given an option between Classic Editor and Block Editor. Fingers crossed you’ll be able to do the same. Good luck!!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Actually, I discovered, by accident, that when I checked the box to show advanced pages, I at least have the option to edit posts in the classic editor once I’ve created them in Gootenberg. That’s what I’ve been doing before, creating them in Gootenberg and editing them in the classic editor. Thank you.

            Liked by 1 person

  12. Definitely horrible, for me too, Marcia! Its like a overnight exchange of a traditiional typewriter with a virtual touch screen keyboard, and you dont know which text processing software is used. 😉 Maybe i know why they have done. Have a look: https://yoast.com/help/how-to-install-the-classic-editor-plugin/
    Paid blogs can install plugins, and they want to force users paying for the use of wp.com. ;-( Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually have a paid blog, Michael. What they ask for in that article is that you convert your blog to a business blog, which is another type of paid blog and costs MUCH more. Since I don’t sell my books from here, I see no reason to do that. But the workaround described above WILL get you back to the page that allows you to choose between the two editors. At least for NOW, that’s what I’m doing. And also trying to learn a bit more about the crummy Block editor so when it happens again, I won’t be wandering around like a stranger in a strange land. 😉 I’m hoping (probably foolishly) that they’ll leave us the choice. I hate when someone else makes my decisions FOR me. 😠

      If you haven’t already done so, follow the instructions above and you’ll have the option to use the Classic editor again. Good luck! 🙂

      Like

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