Implementing Gutenberg Image Alignment Options into your Theme

Implementing the new Gutenberg Image Alignment options due out in WordPress 5.0 is a cinch. Start getting your themes ready now!

The new Gutenberg editor is quickly approaching. For those of you that don’t know Gutenberg will be shipping with WordPress 5.0. Which is currently aimed for an April release date.

That leaves only a few months to get your plugins and themes ready once Gutenberg is live. Luckily a lot of it will be handled out of the box with posts being automatically ported to the Gutenberg editor.

But a few features will require some modifications to your theme to add support. One of those is the new wide and full size image alignments.

Gutenberg image alignment options

Declaring Theme Support

Adding support for the new image alignments is easy. You just need to add the add_theme_support( 'align-wide' ); function into the after_setup_theme action. If all that is nothing but gobbildy gook to you the following snippet inside your functions.php should do the trick. Just make sure to replace my_theme with a prefix unique to your theme.

Styling the Output

WordPress outputs two new classes on the figure element markup to handle these new alignments: alignwide and alignfull.

The actual markup output will look similar to this.

Now before proceeding I should note that these image sizes are going to work best on post layouts that don’t have sidebars. Like the layout you’re currently reading. The Authority theme displays posts (on desktop) in a content area centered on the page with a max-width: 688px set.

If you’re on a mobile device you’re not going to have as much space. So here’s a diagram.

Initial Layout example
A sample image alignment with a narrow content area


So for our alignfull image we want to break out of the content area’s width. We can do that by setting the width of the alignfull element to be 100vw or 100% of the viewport width. Then using positioning and negative margins to center it.

I’m then setting the img element in the figure to grow to 100% of the figure size regardless of the size of the image. This could cause loss in quality for smaller images so use as you like.

Example of .alignfull


On our alignwide image we just want to break out of the content container slightly. We can handle this similarly with the figure element by making it take up the full 100vw then setting the img inside to have a max-width.

So now our alignwide figure element will expand 100vw. But our img element inside will have a max-width of 1024px. Allowing it to break out of the content container, but not expand fully to the edges until we get to a smaller screen size. Feel free to use whatever max-width best suits your design.

Example of .alignwide

Wrapping Up

Getting your theme ready for the new image alignments coming along with Gutenberg in WordPress 5.0 is the starting point. If you’ve got another suggestion for handling these new image alignments I’d love to hear it in the comments. There’s no one way to style a website.