Help:Enhanced Editor

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The Enhanced Editor is an alternative to WikiTree's basic text editing box. Whereas the basic editor is plain text in black and white, the Enhanced Editor has color cues with highlighted tags and some "WYSIWYG" features, e.g. headlines appear in a headline-sized font.


Turning the Enhanced Editor On and Off

Using the Enhanced Editor is optional. You can continue to use the basic text editor.

There is a button below the text editing window that enables you to turn the Enhanced Editor on and off.

You can choose your preference on your Settings page. This will set your default, but you can still turn it on and off below the text editing box at any time.

Turning it on with line numbers

There is an additional option for the Enhanced Editor: line numbering. These will appear in the left margin of the text editing box if you select this option in your Settings.

What Do the Colors Mean?

Here is an overview of the color coding and highlighting.

  • Some text is "WYSIWYG" (What You See Is What You Get), including:
    • Headlines closely correspond to how they appear on profiles.
    • Bold text appears bold and italicized text appears in italics.
    • Links appear as they do on the page, i.e. the text is green and underlined.
    • List items and manually indented lines (:) appear indented, but only on the first line.
    • Horizontal rules roughly mimic the way the lines appear on profiles.
  • The stuff you see on the editing page but not on the final profile page — all the various code and tags — appear in a courier/monospace font with a grey background.
  • URLs, internal links (page names), and categories have a green background.
  • Template parameter values have an orange background.
  • Mismatched tags and brackets for tags appear in red while you are typing to draw your attention to potential problems.

Why Isn't It All WYSIWYG?

The Enhanced Editor is only semi-WYSIWYG. It's not fully WYSIWYG because the formatting tags aren't hidden. For example, headlines appear in a headline-sized font but you still see the double equal signs (==) that make text a headline in wiki markup.

We want the genealogy on WikiTree to be accessible long into the future. Even after WikiTree itself is gone. Even after the Internet as we know it is gone. For as long as there are people who are interested in their history, we want the biographies of our ancestors to be a part of it. Therefore, our collaboration is focused on the content — the actual text and what it communicates — rather than how it's formatted to appear on our web pages. Some formatting is necessary for clear communication, but we want to keep the markup as simple as possible.

One problem with WYSIWYG editing is that the formatting tags tend to bloat over time. Since you don't see the markup tags, as you add, remove, and adjust them, it's easy to add unnecessary tags that are cancelled out or overridden by other tags. This is especially true in collaborative editing over long periods of time. Even though you wouldn't see it on WikiTree, the actual text of our ancestor profiles would quickly become crowded with unnecessary formatting tags. This would make the text larger and more difficult to import into other systems or read as plain text.

We know this makes it a little harder for new users to edit profiles, and this is unfortunate. The Enhanced Editor with its partial WYSIWYG features is a compromise.

This page was last modified 21:47, 15 October 2021. This page has been accessed 11,486 times.