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Text Formatting Issues

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#1 BenS

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:43 AM

Hello, I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right section, but I was wondering if anyone else had text formatting issues with Evernote. I've found the tab system to be a bit wonky and it's difficult. I tried to create an outline today, but once I increased my font-size, text on individual lines began to overlap. I had to add an extra line between lines of text and above my first line to get it to display correctly. Are there any plans to add new improvements to the text editor? I feel like that is the weakest part of Evernote - I love the continuum it runs on and the great synchronization!

#2 FactMan

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:55 AM

Welcome to the forum! Evernote i not, and from my interpretation of what has been said by Evernote "officials" on this forum, never will be a text editor. We just have to live with what it does do at present.

Secondly, Evernote does not release any information on what their plans are for the future - WYSIWYG. So, we will not know if there are any plans to improve the text editor until they actually appear. I believe that part of the program is actually handled by a program from another company, so even more unlikely that we will hear in advance of something happening.

However, I do agree that it would be wonderful if there were to be many improvements in the editor!

#3 TBacker

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:05 AM

I have been an Evernote premium user for some time. I have it on two Windows machines and on my two Android devices.

In all of the time I have used Evernote, the editor has NEVER been anything but HORRENDOUS! And it's consistently bad across all platforms!
  • Bulleted lists and outlines randomly change indentation and grouping
  • Changing fonts frequently breaks formatting
  • Changes to formatting on one section of text randomly breaks or reformats other areas
  • Once you manage to get your document formatted the way you want and sync/save it, the next time you edit it it will blow up all over again
I hate to say it, but they've gotten big enough where they feel they can ignore complaints about stuff they don't want to deal with (likely because of difficulty re-writing and/or expense buying new editor controls). Seems they're all about drawing new subscribers with big features lists, and not so much about fixing painful issues for the existing base.

#4 dlu

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:24 AM

I hate to say it, but they've gotten big enough where they feel they can ignore complaints about stuff they don't want to deal with (likely because of difficulty re-writing and/or expense buying new editor controls)...


I don't really buy into that. I don't think companies get "so big" the can ignore complaints. I think while you're small, you have to choose which complaints to fix because you can't fix everything. Plus, if we really wanted to ignore stuff, why not just shut the forums down altogether?
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#5 TBacker

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:38 PM

I apologize for dipping into anger and speculation, I'm just frustrated with this long-standing issue (as are MANY others if you scour this board).

It's not in how I use it, it's not something I'm doing wrong, it's the WSYWIG HTML editor you guys use. I don't know if you're using a third-party product or if it's in-house, but it falls down too easily if you do manually enter/edit anything outside of a simple text document. Formatting is difficult and frustrating.

If I have to bullet, outline, or format anything, it takes longer to enter it in to Evernote and fight the formatting issues than to open another piece of software to write the document and then copy it into Evernote. I'm not the only one who has resorted to this. Hell, I just had to do it this morning.

If I can do it in wordpad on Windows or in a simple text editor app on Android, I should be able to do it in Evernote.

#6 dlu

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:59 PM

I apologize for dipping into anger and speculation, I'm just frustrated with this long-standing issue (as are MANY others if you scour this board).

It's not in how I use it, it's not something I'm doing wrong, it's the WSYWIG HTML editor you guys use. I don't know if you're using a third-party product or if it's in-house, but it falls down too easily if you do manually enter/edit anything outside of a simple text document. Formatting is difficult and frustrating.

If I have to bullet, outline, or format anything, it takes longer to enter it in to Evernote and fight the formatting issues than to open another piece of software to write the document and then copy it into Evernote. I'm not the only one who has resorted to this. Hell, I just had to do it this morning.

If I can do it in wordpad on Windows or in a simple text editor app on Android, I should be able to do it in Evernote.


Oh I've seen them. Yeah part of it is the trouble with an editor for HTML in general takes a lot of effort. Multiple that by all the clients we have (each with a slightly different implementation) and it is a headache. For a while we had an iOS client that worked fine on its own, but screwed up notes edited by other clients. Since then, we've added more testing (but personally I think we might be being a touch too cautious as a result).

If you have a list of issues, can you PM them to me? I'll make sure they're on our list at least on Windows Desktop. It's on my sort of ever growing list of things to fix
If you have a serious issue with Evernote, you can submit a support request here. Evernote employees read the forums, but it is not run by customer support or a way to directly get customer support.

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#7 TBacker

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:42 PM

I'm sure someone probably thought of this, but what if you switched to an RTF or home-grown editor for the (non-web) front end, and write a standardized RTF-HTML-RTF class? Seems like you could do a translation from one to the other fairly cleanly. Heck - you probably already have the code from your document import capability.

The issue appears to be the HTML is degrading with each change in formatting by the user. Each successive edit to a increasingly complex / cloudy HTML code makes it worse. Instead, don't change the HTML on the fly from the UI - write the HTML once after the user is done with the document in memory/UI. It may generate cleaner more robust HTML.

Just a thought.

#8 dlu

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:05 PM

I've briefly thought of something like that... but I dunno how to get RTF to play nice with webclips and other funky HTML. I'm also concerned that the extra conversion of HTML to RTF back down to HTML and then ENML just adds an extra opportunity for edge cases. But I'll think about it some more. You have a good point about changing HTML on the fly causing it get murkier and murkier
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#9 TBacker

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:21 PM

Yeah - rich content and media is past the capability of RTF. Hmmm...

I'll think about it to.

The bottom line to my thought process is to have the user interface to a less corruptible / less fragile / standardized code or format in memory and translate the document as a whole back and forth to your storage in the background. Or store the edited data in its native format on your database and do the HTML translation for the web interface only.

The only other option I can think of is pretty intense - code your own UI with a proprietary markup (revise ENML?) that is less fragile, with translation classes from the common document formats (RTF, HTML, images, links, etc.). You could start with something modeled after RTF and extend it. It would give you complete control rather than trying to fight with a coding that isn't really designed for real-time document editing. I'll admit I don't know anything about your ENML to know where it is in the process or what it currently entails.

For your installed base, and power users especailly, this is probably the biggest thing that takes some of the shine off of an otherwise excellent product.

#10 dlu

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:25 PM

Yeah *ideally* we'd have a proprietary engine that would markup HTML on the fly without mucking things up. But it's pretty difficult and would have to be ongoing as the web evolves. The closest thing I can think of is the new GoogleDocs engine that got a major revamp about two years ago. But they still only need to accommodate basically rich text functionality and not web clips. And they have, from what I can tell, a pretty talented and well staffed team that only focuses on that for the web. Dunno how it'd play out across multiple platforms.
If you have a serious issue with Evernote, you can submit a support request here. Evernote employees read the forums, but it is not run by customer support or a way to directly get customer support.

Check out our Knowledgebase.
View our User Manuals here: Mac or Windows
Check out the Getting Started Guide
Still need help? Submit a support request here.

#11 Hiroaki

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:32 PM

I cannot agree with you, there are many editing apps out there that does the simple job of retaining bullet formatting fine. Within a single month of my Evernote usage, I came across this formatting bug more than several times that I am now considering to use other app for note taking (I haven't found a good one yet.).
I was really going to pay for the premium feature, have been doing the structuring of nested tags for my use, and this was all hindered by the most fundamental feature a notebook app has....

I am disappointed, but for now, there is no way I can use this to take serious notes, and come back later to find all my bullet levels reset, or the formatting going bizarre.
I love all the other features of Evernote (except I wish they had nested notebooks instead of a single layer stacks), and I must part with this until this fundamental bug is repaired.

I am sorry Evernote, but a note taking application cannot claim to be a good one when it cannot retain the input formatting, it is an essential ability of a note app.

#12 meltleetemp

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:37 PM

I never posts on forums, but I took the time to get account and sign in because this is a problem that causes a lot of pain. My notes kept blowing up and losing it's formatting and it irritated me enought to look for a solution. I have to say, I agree with other comments that this is a fundamental basic function of your tool that prevents me from investigating any other bells and whistles you add if you can't simply capture and preserve what I write. I too might soon look for another solution if this keeps happening.

#13 Sceritz

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 06:52 AM

I have been an Evernote premium user for some time. I have it on two Windows machines and on my two Android devices.

In all of the time I have used Evernote, the editor has NEVER been anything but HORRENDOUS! And it's consistently bad across all platforms!

  • Bulleted lists and outlines randomly change indentation and grouping
  • Changing fonts frequently breaks formatting
  • Changes to formatting on one section of text randomly breaks or reformats other areas
  • Once you manage to get your document formatted the way you want and sync/save it, the next time you edit it it will blow up all over again
I hate to say it, but they've gotten big enough where they feel they can ignore complaints about stuff they don't want to deal with (likely because of difficulty re-writing and/or expense buying new editor controls). Seems they're all about drawing new subscribers with big features lists, and not so much about fixing painful issues for the existing base.

These are all issues I've been experiencing regularly myself and I figured that eventually in one of the updates it'd be fix... well a coupla years passed and that's not the case.  I love evernote but these little things are starting to get really really annoying.

 

I hate to say it, but they've gotten big enough where they feel they can ignore complaints about stuff they don't want to deal with (likely because of difficulty re-writing and/or expense buying new editor controls)...


I don't really buy into that. I don't think companies get "so big" the can ignore complaints. I think while you're small, you have to choose which complaints to fix because you can't fix everything. Plus, if we really wanted to ignore stuff, why not just shut the forums down altogether?

 

And companies DO get to big to ignore things... it happens all the time.  Because they know there's enough people not complaining about those things.  Not saying that's the case with Evernote, but it does  happen.  I had an HP employee tell me on the phone that forums weren't enough evidence for a real computer problem but an outlet for the users to complain and get it out there system... and refused to fix my under warranty PC because it was a "software" issue (I'm an IT tech and I know it was Hardware).

I cannot agree with you, there are many editing apps out there that does the simple job of retaining bullet formatting fine. Within a single month of my Evernote usage, I came across this formatting bug more than several times that I am now considering to use other app for note taking (I haven't found a good one yet.).
I was really going to pay for the premium feature, have been doing the structuring of nested tags for my use, and this was all hindered by the most fundamental feature a notebook app has....

I am disappointed, but for now, there is no way I can use this to take serious notes, and come back later to find all my bullet levels reset, or the formatting going bizarre.
I love all the other features of Evernote (except I wish they had nested notebooks instead of a single layer stacks), and I must part with this until this fundamental bug is repaired.

I am sorry Evernote, but a note taking application cannot claim to be a good one when it cannot retain the input formatting, it is an essential ability of a note app.

Very true, even when I do get editing working halfway correct when I need to go back and edit something SIMPLE from my android phone... I find all kinds of crazyness either keeping me from doing so or completely ***** the note over just by opening it up on my phone.

 

I never posts on forums, but I took the time to get account and sign in because this is a problem that causes a lot of pain. My notes kept blowing up and losing it's formatting and it irritated me enought to look for a solution. I have to say, I agree with other comments that this is a fundamental basic function of your tool that prevents me from investigating any other bells and whistles you add if you can't simply capture and preserve what I write. I too might soon look for another solution if this keeps happening.

I can't possibly think of switching to another note taking program at this point but the crazy thing is this.... it's getting so.  bad that I AM thinking of other possibilities... things like workflowy even...  Honestly, I don't want to.  I like Evernote, but the basics are killing me.  This needs to be fixed



#14 AndreasM

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:01 AM

Yes EN get it fixed, before coming out with some improvements nobody wants or is asking for!!!!!



#15 petey5

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:43 PM

I have not been with Evernote long enough or in deep enough to have some of these experiences. Not that it is certain I would. 

Having 'indent' is easy and enjoy it, however along with others of you I am finding not having TAB (5 spaces, personally set  # of spaces....) seriously hampering.

 

I find it VERY difficult to understand why Evernote would not have this simple feature that every typewriter, Selectric typewriter, Word Processor, Note Taker,etc...  programs have continued for more than 30 years to identify as important to us.

The technical evolutionary processes that have left this feature in the various programs for more than 30 years cry aloud that we want this feature. Other programs have it! And Evernote you have so many other more complex features (ie BBCode, paste from other media, rich text...). WHY ignore this simple but much used, desired, been around forever feature.

 

My sympathies are with you with 'blown up' formatting

Please if you want TAB along with the other problems you have, add this to your cries as well: 

"WE WANT TAB!"



#16 paulalbert

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:57 PM

This user has complained about text formatting issues since 2011:

 

3. The number one priority though, for me, is the text editor and the need to correct unexpected and unappreciated behaviors. If I have two pieces of selected and differently sized text, the font size should be none of the above. Also, changing the font to 14 should... change the font to 14. Take a look at TextEdit on a Mac, do usability studies, whatever. Just please, please fix the weird quirks of the text editor.

 

I don't care about all the add-ons in the Trunk, or the Atlas, or tags or notebooks. I just want the text editor to work.

 

About every month I look for an alternative to Evernote. If Evernote started acting more like TextEdit, I would stop.



#17 Pete C.

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 02:09 PM

Google "evernote formatting issues" and we can get a bunch of related results. It has becoming an more and more important issue since most of them appears before 2011 and some of them happen across platforms. If they are not fixed any time soon, it will make many of us rage quit and switch to other applications.

 

Just one more adding to the list:

  • When using web version and pasting some copied text from web with Ctrl+Shift+V, the next line break become further away from each other (just like switching from <br /> to <p></p> in HTML).

Perhaps you guys can add a HTML button for experienced user like me to edit the formatting? If not, a clear formatting button would be nice too.

 

Like cjminott said in this post, "if the Evernote text formatting code worked even half as good as the text box in this forum post I'd be happy."

 

One more thing. I know you guys are not Microsoft, but perhaps you can target MS Word as a future goal? Thanks.



#18 ThatGuyJeff

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:17 PM

I have to agree with some of the other posts. The document editor in Evernote is pretty bad, and it does a horrible job with formatting. A for effort but maybe a C- for execution.







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