ACF Chat Fridays are open office hours with the ACF team and users, featuring live discussions of all things ACF, answering your questions on getting the most out of your fields, and what’s coming in ACF 6.1.
The March 17 session included a detailed discussion of the 6.1 Beta release and what’s changed since the Alpha, as well as a look at a new workflow that makes it easier to select field types. Participants in the session reached out to the ACF team with questions on how to copy content from a Flexible Content field on one page to another page, and possible improvements to the content editing experience.
Co-hosted by Iain Poulson, Liam Gladdy, Matt Shaw, and Anthony Burchell.
We have some exciting news before we dive into the session details: ACF has made it into the latest round of Torque’s Plugin Madness! Please swing by and vote for ACF in the latest matchup. Each round lasts one week, but you can vote twice each week. Make sure to get both your votes in!
In other ACF news, Damon Cook of our Developer Relations department gave a preview of the custom post type and taxonomy registration coming in ACF 6.1. In the video, Damon uses ACF 6.1 to build a recipe site, while also drawing on block patterns created with WP Engine’s new Pattern Manager.
ACF Chat Fridays are best experienced live. The energy generated by our users really makes these sessions something special. With that said, we understand you might not be able to make it to every single one. Check out the video below for the complete experience, or skip to the summary to catch the highlights.
The session included a demo of the ACF 6.1 Beta Release. This is currently available to ACF PRO users through the “My Account” tab. Users of the free plugin can access the beta release through GitHub.
The demo of ACF v6.1.0-beta1 highlighted some of the refinements that have taken place since the Alpha release. The Beta release adds the ability to regenerate and clear singular and plural labels. If you need to change them, you can clear the existing labels and easily regenerate them, or overwrite them manually.
The Alpha release of ACF 6.1 only allowed setting the Admin Menu Parent as a boolean. The Beta release gives you the option of specifying a slug instead, directly through the plugin’s UI.
Adding supports allows you to enable various features in the content editor. This has also been improved in the Beta release with the introduction of custom supports. This was not initially intended to be part of the 6.1 release, but we added this ability after a number of users reached out to us.
The session also included a preview of the improved experience around selecting field types. The dropdown menu is still available as usual, but ACF 6.1 also includes a “Browse Fields” button on the Edit Field Group screen.
Clicking Browse Fields opens a modal that provides a better view of the available field types, including descriptions of what they do, how they appear to site editors, and why you might use them, and links to relevant documentation and tutorials.
The modal allows you to browse, select your field, and assign a label. Labels assigned through the modal are carried through and used to populate the usual label and name fields.
We want to make sure any new UI features don’t interfere with workflows our users may have already established. ACF 6.1 includes a filter to turn the Browse Fields feature off, allowing you to carry on with the familiar dropdown menu and the workflow you’re accustomed to.
Broadly speaking, this applies to any of the new features in ACF 6.1, including custom post type and taxonomy registration. If you have a solution you already use for this, you can set a filter to remove that capability from ACF 6.1.
The next session of ACF Chat Fridays is scheduled for March 31, 2023, at 3pm GMT.
Every ACF Chat Friday gives you the opportunity to ask the ACF team questions about technical challenges and the best way to achieve a specific objective. We can’t fully reproduce those questions and answers here, but we’ve included a small selection below. Minor edits have been made for clarity and style.
Q: Is there a good way to copy content from Flexible Content fields on one page to another page?
A: In theory, you could use an API function to get data from a Flexible Content field and then manually copy it over, but it would probably be faster to use MySQL and just copy the meta over.
It should be possible to do this with a template part, assuming you’re building a full-site theme. You could use an Options page to hold the Flexible Content, and then drop that into every page that matches the requirements.
Q: Are there any plans to add a visual representation to the Flexible Content field? It would be great if we could show what was changing.
A: We do have some plans for the future on improving the content editing experience in general, including making it easier to add the right layout. For now, we suggest taking a look at how Rareloop used ACF and ACF Extended to give content editors a better experience.
We share relevant resources during the call. We’ll sum them up here and try to provide a bit of context:
Join us on March 31st for the next session of ACF Chat Fridays. This session will take place at a special time, 3pm GMT, giving more of our users a chance to participate.
What do you think we should cover in upcoming sessions? Let us know what you’d like to see on Twitter.
Sign up for the next session of ACF Chat Fridays here:
The list of upcoming sessions is below. The March 31st session takes place at 3pm GMT.