# Block Controls: Toolbars and Inspector

To simplify block customization and ensure a consistent experience for users, there are a number of built-in UI patterns to help generate the editor preview. Like with the Editable component covered in the previous chapter, the wp.blocks global includes a few other common components to render editing interfaces. In this chapter, we'll explore toolbars and the block inspector.

# Toolbar


When the user selects a block, a number of control buttons may be shown in a toolbar above the selected block. Some of these block-level controls are included automatically if the editor is able to transform the block to another type, or if the focused element is an Editable component.

You can also customize the toolbar to include controls specific to your block type. If the return value of your block type's edit function includes a BlockControls element, those controls will be shown in the selected block's toolbar.

var el = wp.element.createElement,
	registerBlockType = wp.blocks.registerBlockType,
	Editable = wp.blocks.Editable,
	BlockControls = wp.blocks.BlockControls,
	AlignmentToolbar = wp.blocks.AlignmentToolbar,
	children = wp.blocks.source.children;

registerBlockType( 'gutenberg-boilerplate-es5/hello-world-step-04', {
	title: 'Hello World (Step 4)',

	icon: 'universal-access-alt',

	category: 'layout',

	attributes: {
		content: {
			type: 'array',
			source: children( 'p' )

	edit: function( props ) {
		var content = props.attributes.content,
			alignment = props.attributes.alignment,
			focus = props.focus;

		function onChangeContent( newContent ) {
			props.setAttributes( { content: newContent } );

		function onChangeAlignment( newAlignment ) {
			props.setAttributes( { alignment: newAlignment } );

		return [
			!! focus && el(
				{ key: 'controls' },
						value: alignment,
						onChange: onChangeAlignment
					key: 'editable',
					tagName: 'p',
					className: props.className,
					style: { textAlign: alignment },
					onChange: onChangeContent,
					value: content,
					focus: focus,
					onFocus: props.setFocus

	save: function( props ) {
		var content = props.attributes.content;

		return el( 'p', { className: props.className }, content );
} );

Note that you should only include BlockControls if the block is currently selected. We must test that the focus value is truthy before rendering the element, otherwise you will inadvertently cause controls to be shown for the incorrect block type.

# Inspector

While the toolbar area is useful for displaying controls to toggle attributes of a block, sometimes you will find that you need more screen space for form fields. The inspector region is shown in place of the post settings sidebar when a block is selected.

Similar to rendering a toolbar, if you include an InspectorControls element in the return value of your block type's edit function, those controls will be shown in the inspector region.