A very zen, distraction-free writing expertise is my white whale of WordPress options. The one which landed in WordPress 3.2 was fairly near excellent, however the block editor modified the whole lot.
Within the early days of the Gutenberg mission, contributors labored on other ways to enhance the writing expertise after reviewers mentioned they discovered it distracting and disruptive, that the idea of blocks may not be fully compatible with the simple task of writing. The block editor launched settings like Fullscreen mode, prime toolbar, and Highlight mode, partially to mitigate the lower than optimum writing expertise.
Plugins like MRW Simplified Editor and Iceberg have tried to bridge the hole, nevertheless it’s not the identical as having a built-in, core possibility for distraction-free writing. WordPress does so many issues effectively however I’d like to see it present one of the best writing expertise on the net, and not using a third-party plugin.
Gutenberg contributors have returned to this problem once more with an early exploration of what a drastically decreased interface may seem like as a brand new setting for enhancing focus. The PR outlines the explanations for the exploration:
- The UI of the publish editor is so heavy it makes it onerous to focus. Issues seem and disappear: principally the floating block toolbar and the insertion level flashes relying the place your mouse rests on the display screen.
- Utilizing the highest toolbar eats display screen actual property.
- Utilizing decreased interface doesn’t cut back a lot.
- Writing and basic content material creation could be extra nice on a clean canvas with little chrome to obfuscate line of thought.
- Having full UI energy on the press of a key (ESC) is straightforward sufficient.
Automattic-sponsored Gutenberg engineer Andrei Draganescu created a video to reveal what a “decreased interface” setting may seem like. Most notably, this mode retains the editor prime bar hidden and prevents the block toolbar and insertion level from showing. It additionally hides the drag deal with within the block toolbar and a few icons within the editor prime bar.
After some suggestions, contributors agreed that it could be good to make the highest toolbar obtainable on hover. Additionally they explored the potential for detaching panels from the highest bar in order that they float on the canvas.
On this mode, customers conversant in the keyboard shortcuts can nonetheless invoke them to carry the hidden panels to the forefront once more.
“I wouldn’t name this a writing mode per se as a result of for some folks one of the best writing surroundings could be the default one, or prime toolbar; for others it may be highlight, and many others,” Gutenberg lead architect Matias Ventura mentioned. “The ‘decreased interface’ (which I hope to rename ‘distraction free’) is extra about eradicating UI from the canvas and dealing extra with keyboard and shortcuts.”
The PR for exploring a drastically reduced interface continues to be within the exploratory stage. It’s a superb begin at lowering the ache factors felt by customers who simply wish to write with out the distraction of block-related interface components consistently popping into view.