WordPress editor modes for streamlining content creation

This tutorial explores the various editor modes in the block editor that you can select to improve your writing or editing experience.

Learning outcomes

  1. Using distraction free mode
  2. Enabling focus mode
  3. Showing or hiding admin UI using the full screen mode
  4. Selecting spotlight mode
  5. Using the always open list view feature
  6. Editing template parts in the template editing mode

Comprehension questions

  1. How familiar are you with all the editor modes available in the block editor?
  2. Where do you write your website’s content?
  3. In what ways can these editor modes improve your writing or editing experience?


Hi, and welcome to Learn WordPress. In today’s tutorial, we are going to look at all the options WordPress provides to streamline our content creation. Do you sometimes feel that there are too many external influences whilst editing or writing a page or post?

Distraction free mode is a new feature that helps you stay focused on your writing by minimising distractions on your screen. To enable the distraction free mode, click on the three vertical dots top right and enable Distraction free. As you will see, it says, “Write with calmness” below.

Once you’ve enabled the focus mode, you’ll notice that the editor screen changes. The toolbar at the top of the screen disappears, the block toolbar doesn’t appear when you click on content, only your content remains. This helps you stay focused on your writing and minimise distractions. The idea is that it’s just you and your words, and it allows for a simpler and more streamlined editing experience. You will notice it feels more like a text editor than a block editor.

If you want to add a new block, you can merely click forward slash and the name of the block. If you need to access the toolbar, while in distraction free mode, simply move your mouse to the top of the screen and the toolbar will appear.

Another option you will see is called full screen mode. This option gives you the ability to show or hide admin UI or user interface. If you prefer to have your admin sidebar stay visible while working, you can disable this feature. Now you can access your sidebar in two ticks, and if you would like to hide it, you can select the full screen mode.

Next, let’s talk about spotlight mode. Spotlight mode is available in both the post editor and the site editor. When you toggle this on, all blocks are greyed out except for the one you’re working on so that you can focus on a single block at a time. Let’s see this in action in the site editor as well. So let’s make our way to Appearance and then click on Editor and then open up one of our templates and then enable spotlight mode, and now you will also be able to work on each block individually.

Another option worth highlighting is to enable the top toolbar while you’re working and editing. When you select the block toolbar view, you don’t have to worry about the block toolbar getting in your way while editing a block.

Another feature worth exploring is always to have the list view open. This can be selected when you go to Preferences and select Always open list view. When you toggle this on in the post editor or the site editor, it opens the list view sidebar by default every time you open the block editor. This is helpful if you are one of those who use the list view all the time.

Lastly, if you’re working on a template, you can also edit your header and footer template parts in the template editing mode to ensure a simpler and more focused editing experience. You can also drag your header and your footer to see what your navigation menu will look like on smaller screens.

Give these options a try and see how they can improve your writing productivity, and visit Learn WordPress for more tutorials and training material.

Workshop Details


Wes Theron

I am an Instructional Designer for the WordPress open-source project sponsored by Automattic. I am a strong supporter of the open-source movement. I have a background in education and content development. I am a husband, father, dreamer and lifelong learner.