We've added several new improvements to the Text Editor, which you and other members use to post blogs, add comments or message each other. The first change is the spacing. We have had major spacing problems in blog posts, forum posts, messages and text boxes. The spacing has been adjusted and we think that the result will be a big improvement. However, the adjustments that have been made will impact all prior posts, blogs, messages and text box information. As a result, the spacing on these prior texts might be have even larger spacing problems. The text boxes on our homepage will likely look different with the new spacing as the changes take effect. We will work on re-adjusting the spacing on the homepage over the next day or two. Old blog posts, messages, forum posts, etc. might have increased spacing problems. We can not do much to fix that. However, all posts, blogs, messages going forward should have improved spacing. 

Along with control over spacing, we've also updated some of the ways in which the text editor handles line breaks and how it creates the code around text you've added.

Earlier this summer, we added a new control over the text editor. These controls allowed you to have text added in HTML mode converted to <p> tags. The problem was that it was converting every single line to <p> tags, even for lines that were part of the same paragraph — which would add spacing around those lines, when it didn't exist originally.

That problem has been fixed, and now all blocks of text added in either Visual or HTML mode will be appropriately wrapped in <p> tags. Lines that have a "soft return" (similar to hitting Shift + Return in Microsoft Word) will get a <br /> tag, so they will still visually appear as part of the same paragraph.

The HTML editor has always been somewhat of a hybrid. While it's supposed to be for HTML-proficient users, we've also tried to make it easy for anyone to use. Specifically, we've tried to preserve all line breaks added in HTML mode.

This actually caused more problems than it solved, and ended up creating a lot of bugginess with the editor. So, while you will still be able to type paragraphs into HTML mode, extraneous line breaks will be ignored. So if you are in HTML mode and actually want 5 lines of space between two paragraphs, you'll need to enter the HTML code to do that, or go to Visual mode — where it is actually supposed to be "What you see is what you get". So, to recap, a single line break separating paragraphs will look fine, but a bunch of extras spaces will be tossed out. This is much more in line with how other editors work around the web.

You now also have the ability to preview some content where you previously didn’t have that choice. You have had the ability to preview a blog post before publishing it. However, doing so took you out of the writing flow. The system would save a draft and open your preview in a new window. It also then forced you to click a link to come back to your draft after previewing to keep writing, which meant another save and load of a new window. This could be a laborious process if you needed to preview a blog multiple times before actually publishing it.

To help streamline this, we’ve changed the way the Preview button works. Now, it immediately opens your blog preview in a new, separate window. Your current blog draft will stay open in its own window, and you can continue working on your draft at any time. While this is not a radical change, it will probably save a lot of time over time. 

We’ve added this functionality to forum discussion posts, too. Previously, forum discussions did not have any preview possibilities, forcing you to edit a post after publishing. Now, if you need to make an important announcement but want to see what it will look like before it’s live for everyone, you can. Also, you'll be able to preview in Group forums, too.

I hope these improvements help improve your experience on our website. If anyone experiences any problems with these items, please message me and describe the problem.

 

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