Have you seen the new Enhanced Editor?

+97 votes

Hi WikiTreers,

I'm excited to announce that we are now beta testing an alternative to the basic text editor. We're calling it the "Enhanced Editor."

Give it a try by clicking the "Turn On Enhanced Editor" button below the text editing box on any profile. If you do, markup tags will appear with grey backgrounds to set them apart, some coding will be highlighted for easier editing, and some things will be WYSIWYG, e.g. headlines will appear in a headline-sized font. See Help:Enhanced_Editor for more explanation.

Our hope is that this will make it easier to edit profiles, for advanced members and new users alike.

Usage is optional and will remain so. You can turn it on and off with the button, and you can choose your default preference on your Settings page.

What do you think? Please post here with any problems or questions, or suggested improvements.

Onward and upward,


P.S. If you like this new editor, thank Ales Trtnik. Doing something like this has been requested many times here in G2G. But when we looked at it a couple years ago, it wasn't practical. I had no interest in working on it again, but Ales persisted. On the other hand, if you have complaints, Ales might have them too. He preferred something with more options and colors than what we decided to implement.

in The Tree House by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
This sounds like a wonderful inclusion for us to work with.

This looks like a real improvement. I notice with enhanced editing turned on I am not able to resize the edit box at all, but I assume this is due to the beta release?

I would greatly appreciate the option to widen the edit box permanently since there is a lot of scrolling involved. Perhaps you could give us this feature next (moving "How to add sources" and "Formatting tips" from the right margin to the bottom of the page for example).

A new feature was added. Press F11 for full screen editing. Focus has to be in the enhanced editor control.

Thanks Ales! I just tried it and while it widens the window to full screen, it doesn't actually widen the text box.

Edit: I see that I first have to be in enhanced editor, then press F11. That's really nice. Ideally I would like access to the other fields (name, dates, etc.) but I'll take it. :-)

My browsers find and replace feature is working now. See my original answer.

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]>

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} <![endif]-->

Hello Chris and Ales,


I tried the enhanced editor but it is not easier for me.


I’m blind and my screen reader gets confused when trying to edit the Biography area. Tags and WYSIWYG features “to make it easier” tend not to work for the blind.


I don’t know how many other WikiTreeers are editing profiles using a screen reader. I’m one, and I’m passing on my comment.


I hope that the enhanced editor will always be an option.


My screen reader is able to allow me to create and edit the profiles but posting is very difficult.


In your explanation of the enhanced editor you ask:

…What do you think? Please post here with any problems…


It isn’t exactly clear to me where to post my comment so I hope it gets through.




Peter Tesar-14

Since I struggle with formatting, this is a real improvement. Thank you to Ales Trtnik.
Peter Tesar-14 I absolutely support your reqeust that the enhanced editor should always be an option.  I have some understanding of apps and websites being difficult or impossible to use. I am partially sighted and use large fonts that often cause a stack of problems or fail altogether. I am grateful to Chris and all the WikiTree voluntees that mostly it copes well with my large fonts.
Thank you Ales Trtnik for this great new feature for editing.  I've spent several hours looking for mistakes in the past, when this feature shows them quickly.  I'm trying to get my 50 years of genealogy work into WikiTree while I still can, and have tons to do.  This will keep me typing, instead of hunting.
My praises are a tad overdue, but this is possibly the most wonderful feature you have created.  After adding inline sources, it was almost impossible to find the place that needed editing in the text.  I would gather all the clues I could remember from Preview, and still not locate the place to fix.  

Everyday I'm doing a happy dance over this feature.

41 Answers

+25 votes
Best answer
Thank you Chris and Ales!

This is really great, although it will take some getting used to. Please keep the ability to turn this on and off.

I did find that the text edit box was really small until I added a longer sentence like this and it automatically resized.

One glitch. if you use the C button to insert a <ref> </ref> tag pair, the cursor is positioned before the <ref>
by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (369k points)
selected by Chris Whitten
There is some problem with some cached JS files. Pressing CTRL+F5 should make the toolbar work.
Thanks, Kay. We will be addressing those two issues ASAP.

Kay, I found when using the C button to insert the <ref> </ref> tag pair, the zone between the two is the same gray color as the surrounding area. With the enhanced editor off, this zone is blue, which helpfully indicates where you need to paste reference text.

Kay, we just released an update. These issues should be fixed. Thanks for posting about them.
Thanks for the star Chris. Old programmers may retire, but then they have time for genealogy but never forget their testing and diagnostic origins.
I've been using this feature to fix some suggestions, and it's just wonderful. I can now find the mistakes easily on the page!!!!   It's always been hard on the eyes to handle long pages with many references.  This is priceless.
+30 votes
I have wished for something like this, so THANK YOU for adding this feature! Much easier to read in edit mode now with the citations highlighted. I hope it encourages people to make more use of in-line citations!
by Joyce Rivette G2G6 Mach 9 (90.4k points)
+27 votes
Thank you Ales and Chris.   The continual improvements on WikiTree are great!
by Peggy McReynolds G2G6 Pilot (418k points)
+26 votes

yesyes for me. It will make editing easier and faster. It should be easier to see if you've made any little mistakes in formatting. it will be a huge help for data doctors who, like me, work on a lot of gedcom cleanups.

by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (482k points)
+22 votes
Great all the inline citations stand out!

Thank you.

I like that the ENHANCED EDITOR can be turned on or off. The changes in colors and fonts have their place but I wouldn't want that to be the only choice.

The find and replace feature on my browser gives me both editors and if I make different changes to each it only changes the highlighted editor.
by Pat Credit G2G6 Pilot (145k points)
Update on the issue with my browser's find and replace feature: It now is working. I still get both the enhanced editor and the original editor but they are working together.
+20 votes
I love the view one gets in Edit mode. It does make things easier to see.

HOWEVER, I do not seem to be able to use the clickable icons above the text box. Cannot italicize or bold a selection. Also cannot click on Cite icon to add <ref></ref> symbols for inline citations.
by Shirley Dalton G2G6 Pilot (475k points)
I couldn't get the Category box to work at first. Redisplayed the profile a while later, and it *did* work. Hmmm. (Might have been user error on my part ;)
I did the same,  but found enhanced edit mode was turned off when I tried to add a cite. Don't know if I turned it off or redisplaying the profile did it.

There is some problem with some cached JS files. Pressing CTRL+F5 should make the toolbar work.

Thanks.  I'll give it a try.

That fixed the problem. Works great and I really do like the enhanced features. Thanks for all your great work, Aleš.

+19 votes
Superb feature!
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)
+18 votes
Excellent, works really well on a long bio with in-line cites once you get used to the different fonts.
by Bobbie Hall G2G6 Pilot (175k points)
+16 votes
Thank you Alex and Chris, this is great!
by Nicole Boorse G2G6 Pilot (846k points)
+14 votes
Oh, this is working so well for me. I've been checking it out this afternoon. Love it.

Thanks to the team!
by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (728k points)
+16 votes

Chris, What I would say about all the changes you described is "it's a start".  The only thing is, I don't see any background color on markup, but I do see a different font face (a serif one, possibly Courier) for the tag content, which I find disconcerting.  A colored background would be wonderful, without the different font face.

EDITED TO ADD: Here is a cropped screenshot from a profile I manage:

by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (805k points)
The background is coloured grey.
For the image that Gaile posted, the background is gray for most of the ref definition, but the background is light green for the familysearch.org link definition (starting after the https:// and ending just before the New York State Census hyperlink). I've found that if I tilt my laptop screen back farther, the color distinction is more apparent.
I agree that the monospace font in the URLs breaks too much with the rest of the text. I'd prefer a different background colour instead, maybe some yellowish for the URLs.

Overall, a little more colour wouldn't hurt. The interface still has a long way to go before it starts to resemble Word Perfect for DOS from the Eighties.
Rick, I don't understand how you see colors in that image.  The only colors I see are black text, white background, and green underlined link.  It's not a question of screen angle - I am not using a laptop and my screen is 36" with 1900 x 1080 resolution that can also be used as a television.  When I pasted the screen capture into photoshop to crop and save it, it did not show any colors there either.  Saving it as a jpg file should show exactly what is on the screen.
Gaile, I can barely discern the light green background colour now, after Rick pointed it out. I've got an excellent 32" screen at 2560 by 1440 pixels with the brightness turned way up.
Try playing with monitor contrast, it can make much difference.
Contrast is a definite problem. If I adjust the contrast on my monitor I then have color distortion. The contrast is outside the recommendations for accessibility by the WCAG2 guidelines but then much of WIkiTree is at odds with it.

Hmmm, I think Navarro, Ales, and Doug are right (see comments on previous answer).  Playing with your display settings can make the appearance much better.  I'm actually using a TV as a display, and after some experimentation found that if I lower the contrast (opposite of what I would have expected) it helps.  I also have a setting for Color Temperature, which I changed from 'Computer' to 'Normal,' and a setting for Black Detail, which I changed from 'Off' to 'Low,' and both of those help too.  The Enhanced Editor now looks pretty much what I would have expected it to look like from Chris' description, and the changes also helped make Google maps look a lot more readable (which I complained about above).  Thanks for the ideas, folks, and apologies to Google.

+13 votes
Excellent Aleš !!! Glad you persisted.

Possible enhancement:  I chose a Profile I had been working on and did some testing. I removed the </ref> from one of the inline citations and the grey background filled in between that citation and the next.  Could you set a background color for mismatched tags? Have to say that more than a few times my keyboard has screwed up, not me of course, and my <ref> and </ref> have not matched causing an error when trying to save.  So I have to hunt to find where my pesky keyboard made the mistake.  Colorized would make this a thing of the past.  Of course the rather large grey area it created is a tip off.

Also my keyboard likes to play with braces and brackets and when in Preview mode I discover that my keyboard placed double brackets instead of double braces or visa versa.  Maybe I should get a new keyboard...LOL  So when typing in a test template, the only thing that turns red is the immediately printed character and the flashing cursor bar. All previous characters return to black. Maybe your eyes are that good to see this, but these old eyes had to try it a few times to see the red color. I'm using a 32 inch monitor about 18 inches from me. And I feel my monitor respects me more than my keyboard.  ;)

Still love the enhancement.

Oops, noticed one other thing.  When you copy and paste the citation from Family Search the url included is preceded by a ( with no space between the ( and https: and is therefore not shaded green as it is not perceived as a real url.  Not a big thing to me.*

*My monitor made me mention it.  It likes green.
by LJ Russell G2G6 Pilot (169k points)
+12 votes
Thank you for this!! I just tried it on two profiles and it makes the inline citations stand out nicely. Can't wait to use it to clean up profiles after merges.
by Virginia Fields G2G6 Pilot (513k points)
It's a great help in distinguishing citations with actual content from dead links inherited from gedcom merges.
+9 votes
I like the new editor a lot, but I just discovered what looks like a bug: I'm unable to add category from the drop-down list.

I have to temporarily switch the EE off and select category, then switch it on again.
by Leif Biberg Kristensen G2G6 Mach 9 (93.3k points)

There is some problem with some cached JS files. Pressing CTRL+F5 should make the toolbar work.

Pressing Ctrl+F5 may work on a Windows desktop, but on a Linux/KDE desktop it brings you to virtual desktop no. 5. However, when I press Shift and click the Update icon in Firefox while in Edit profile mode, it does actually work. Thank you.
+13 votes

I love heart the new edit mode!! I was able to cleanup a bunch of Gedcom profiles today because I could see exactly what I was doing. Thank you so much for helping to improve WikiTree.

by Jennifer Jordan G2G5 (5.4k points)
+11 votes

It's a really slick feature!  Thank you both for taking the time, imagination and resources to implement it.

by Bonnie Saunders G2G6 Mach 1 (14.0k points)
+10 votes
I wish I had known about this yesterday while editing a complicated and messy profile!  Refining it today and finding this tool so much easier. Love seeing the references in different type  and the actual format (like bold).Thank you!!!
by Cindy Cooper G2G6 Pilot (136k points)
+9 votes
Thank you for making it easier for those of us with "old eyes" to read what we have written.
by Dana Johnson G2G6 Mach 2 (25.3k points)
+10 votes
In general, I think it an improvement. The contrast needs tweaking or we will lose more people with vision impairment but that is cosmetic (a stylesheet change).

The highlight of <ref> and other syntactic items is nice. Perhaps a future enhancement would change the <ref> entities into a form that indicates there is one but hides the text until clicked on. Perhaps with a popup to edit. That would make the overall text more readable. Anyway the enhancement is an improvement over the default editor.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (406k points)
+9 votes
Since this was introduced I have been unable to use the category picker in category Edit screens.  

I have tried using ctrl + F5 and have tried three different browsers(Edge, Chrome and Opera) and tried using a different computer all together to no avail.
by Darren Kellett G2G6 Pilot (147k points)
Still works for me. (Safari, Chrome, Opera and Vivaldi on Mac, Edge on Win10)
Darren, give it a try again and see if it is up.  A few days ago, the horizontal line button did not work.  It may be that they are right in the middle of some programming changes when you were trying.
Darren, we just released a round of fixes. Please post again if you still have the problem. Thanks!
Hi Chris

I am glad to say that the round of fixes corrected the issue I was having.

Thank You

Related questions

+34 votes
3 answers
+4 votes
1 answer
+7 votes
1 answer
+6 votes
1 answer
179 views asked Nov 5, 2019 in The Tree House by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (127k points)
+72 votes
2 answers
633 views asked Apr 4, 2016 in The Tree House by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
+56 votes
13 answers
+49 votes
15 answers
808 views asked Oct 30, 2019 in The Tree House by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
+95 votes
54 answers
3.7k views asked Mar 19, 2019 in The Tree House by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright