WordPress 6.4 Release Notes

WordPress 6.4 (released November 7, 2023) includes a number of block and editor improvements! We’ve highlighted the updates that we believe will be helpful to know for all Newspack publishers.

Block Pattern updates

Add custom categories to help organize your Patterns

WordPress 6.4 includes the ability to add categories to your custom Patterns. This allows you to organize your synced and unsynced Block Patterns in the Block Inserter.

You will now be prompted to assign a category when you create a Pattern. The categories operate similar to tags on posts, and you can assign more than one to each Pattern.

You can also add categories to existing Patterns by editing them under WP Admin > Posts > Patterns.

Preserve wide and full alignment in synced patterns

Previously, synced patterns that used wide or full aligned blocks would lose that alignment. WordPress 6.4 resolves this issue, so the block alignment will be saved along with all the other settings.

List view updates

The List View is an invaluable tool for navigating the editor content, especially on more complex pages. WordPress 6.4 includes some enhancements to this feature to make it easier to use. 

See image and gallery thumbnails in List View

List View now includes a small thumbnail preview of all of the images in the Image and Gallery Blocks. 

Deleselect blocks using the escape key

You can now deselect any blocks in the List View using your keyboard’s escape key, fixing a prior issue where it wasn’t possible to deselect blocks from this view. 

Duplicate blocks with a new keyboard shortcut

List View now includes an easier way to duplicate blocks using a keyboard shortcut. To use, double-click on a block in List View to select it, and press “Command+Shift+d”. It works as expected in our testing, but please note that this is also the shortcut to bookmark the current tab in Chrome.

Block-specific improvements

WordPress 6.4 includes a number of new block-level features and improvements, including the following:

Image Block can now “Expand on click”

In WordPress 6.4, the Image Block has a new option to ‘Expand on click’:

When enabled, it will add a lightbox effect to the image. The cursor will switch to a magnifying glass when hovered over the image, and the image will expand to its full size on click:

Aspect ratio applied to Image Block placeholder

Empty Image Blocks display a placeholder until images are assigned; in this WordPress release, that placeholder will now respect the block’s Aspect Ratio settings. This makes it easier to complete a page layout without a finalized image, because the placeholder can be adjusted to match different shapes.

Name Group Blocks to make them easier to find in List View

A new Block Name field has been added to the Advanced Panel of each block’s settings in the right sidebar. If you give a Group Block a name here, it will show up in the List View as well. This can be used to help organize more complicated layouts, and make specific blocks and content easier to find.

Set colors for button and heading blocks inside of Group and Columns Blocks

The Group and Columns Blocks now include an option to change the colors of Button and Heading blocks nested inside of them. By default, these options are hidden under the “…” menu in the Color panel in the right sidebar, and they can be enabled one by one to make them visible in the actual Color panel.

These options allow you to create consistent themed styles across different Group and Columns blocks, which could be helpful for unique styles used for special series, or calls-to-action.

Threads and X icons available for the Social Icons Block

The Social Icons Block now has icons for Threads and X; for the latter, the classic bird icon for Twitter is also still available:

Add padding to the File Block

The File Block now includes a Padding control, so you can adjust the spacing around the block. This is especially handy when paired with the block’s background color control.

Change the color, font styles, and padding of the Footnote Block

Introduced in WordPress 6.3, the Footnote Block gets some new styling options in this latest release. The block now lets you adjust the text and background colors, font styles, and padding.

Updated Link Control displays ‘Open in New Tab’ in preview window

The “Open in new tab” control has been moved out of the ‘Advanced’ section into the link preview, making it easier to enable and disable this option. The preview is still only available after the text is linked.

Columns Block and Paragraphs Block bugfix

Some of you may have run into a strange bug where deleting a Paragraph Block that follows a Columns Block will “merge” the two together, breaking the Columns block. WordPress 6.4 includes a fix for this issue.

As always, if you have questions about these changes, please open a new request in the #newspack-help Slack channel.