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Shortcodes Aren’t Leaving Us

Don’t panic about shortcodes going away. It’s not all what you think.

In a recent post, someone asked:

We have this scenario a lot:

Lorem ipsum some text [shortcode]affected text[/shortcode] more text, all within one parapgraph.

How can this be solved with Gutenberg?

Quick answer? It won’t.

Just like [shortcode] that outputs a single content, or [shortcode text="affected text"], there will remain a need for singe, inline, in context, shortcode for a while.

I know it’s confusing. This is because there are different kinds of shortcodes for different purposes. Some, yes, will no longer be needed as much.

Shortcodes for Inline Content Shortcodes for Inline Content

This is the easiest one to understand. Think about videos. Or my example of inline editable blocks. Those are a very clear one to one. If you’re inserting a shortcode (or an embed) on it’s own line today, that will be ‘replaced’ in time with a block.

Embeds are already supported, by the way. If you create your own embeds, they too are automatically blocked.

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Shortcodes for Layout Shortcodes for Layout

This is harder to understand, since it’s not fully ready yet. But if you’ve used a plugin or a theme that told you to use a lot of shortcodes to make a two column layout, guess what you’re not going to be doing anymore in the future? That’s right, using shortcodes. Instead, we’re creating listicles, tables, how-to directions and more.

Example of Yoast SEO’s How To Block — coming soon. (Credit: Yoast.com)

Their looks a lot better than my basic blocks, but it shows you what we can do and how great we can do it. Those simple and complex layouts will become blocks, where we will be able to actually see what it’s supposed to look like. This includes the Gallery shortcode we all know and love.

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Shortcodes for Text Insertion Shortcodes for Text Insertion

And finally we have the ‘classic’ block. This is the sort the poster was asking me about. Guess what? Nothing’s going to change with those any time soon. Oh, I’m sure eventually someone will take my inline-editable-block concept and make it so when we add the shortcode, it’ll adjust the text accordingly right before our eyes.

And really, if we look at the concept of [shortcode]affected text[/shortcode] we realize how much more we can do already with Gutenberg. What are we affecting the text with? We can already make it bold. But can we make it blue? Not yet. But I can see this coming soon.

But right now? Those inline shortcodes, in the middle of your block, are staying put.