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I am a huge fan of Evernote and have been since I first started using it two years ago. However, one of my main issues with the product (across all platforms, but primarily on PC) is with the poor formatting capabilities of the product. I especially have issues with properly formatting outlined lists (i.e. when I want a multi-level outline: I. -> A. -> 1. -> i. ...)

This is particularly an issue when I want to draft work emails in evernote, which I think Evernote could be the perfect tool for. Am I missing something, or is this a problem that a lot of other people are having?

Evernote team: Keep up the great work! I would love to hear about how you guys are thinking about this issue?

Thanks!

Matt

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For better outline performance, I rely on the free workflowy.com service. Promote, demote, export etc.

When a section is set up the way I want, I will export that section into Evernote for future reference.

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I agree with OP totally. I have been using Evernote for some years, and most importantly for plain-text notes and lists. The list formatting is broken; I make numbered or bulleted lists, and if I erase a line, it leaves a phantom bullet or number with space. For example:

  1. first item
  2. second item
  3. .
  4. third item
  5. fourth item

That #3 would occur after I deleted something in its place, and if I backspace in front of "third item" or delete behind "second item", then "third item" will jump up to join "second item" with an empty #3 in my list. A phantom space that is impossible to remove without deleted the entire list.

Please fix this, thanks!

And p.s. to jbenson2, I agree Workflowy.com is an excellent outliner. I'm even paying $5/mo for their service, a rare thing for me. Now hoping they release their offline version soon.... oh, the arrogance of companies making web-only apps, as if the world was only hyper-connected first-world cities. I'm a Canadian expat living in Ghana, and it is clear that most of the world cannot take advantage of cloud-based computing or web-based apps. Gripe over.

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I completely agree. I just updated to the latest Mac client, really hoping that THIS time the formatting issues would be fixed. I thought I saw a blog post or update somewhere that said it got an overhaul. I was heartbroken to find it's just as bad as aways, especially when I paste something in from a website. I just pasted in a simple table, with 2 columns and several rows, and tried editing it. It was impossible. On another note (and this happens all the time), when I delete a row, between a heading & a paragraph, for instance, the paragraph will completely reformat, often to something completely different from either the paragraph itself or the title. Sometimes this includes the leading (row height) getting set to such a low number that the rows butt up against each other. As far as I know, there's no way to change leading. I always end up pasting my content into TextEdit, making my changes there, and pasting that into Evernote. But then, even if I have to change just 1 small thing, I usually have to copy it back into TextEdit or all the formatting will get screwed up again. This is HUGE for me! It's super annoying, and really feels like it shouldn't be this way. I wish it would just use the same editing engine as TextEdit (if that's possible) or at least function similarly. Right now, it's just super frustrating to use, which doesn't leave a nice taste in my mouth after every time I use it, and that adds up after a while to make me want to look for an alternative that handles formatting right.

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I completely agree. I just updated to the latest Mac client, really hoping that THIS time the formatting issues would be fixed. I thought I saw a blog post or update somewhere that said it got an overhaul. I was heartbroken to find it's just as bad as aways, especially when I paste something in from a website. I just pasted in a simple table, with 2 columns and several rows, and tried editing it. It was impossible. On another note (and this happens all the time), when I delete a row, between a heading & a paragraph, for instance, the paragraph will completely reformat, often to something completely different from either the paragraph itself or the title. Sometimes this includes the leading (row height) getting set to such a low number that the rows butt up against each other. As far as I know, there's no way to change leading. I always end up pasting my content into TextEdit, making my changes there, and pasting that into Evernote. But then, even if I have to change just 1 small thing, I usually have to copy it back into TextEdit or all the formatting will get screwed up again. This is HUGE for me! It's super annoying, and really feels like it shouldn't be this way. I wish it would just use the same editing engine as TextEdit (if that's possible) or at least function similarly. Right now, it's just super frustrating to use, which doesn't leave a nice taste in my mouth after every time I use it, and that adds up after a while to make me want to look for an alternative that handles formatting right.

I doubt this (website pasting) will change anytime soon. There is so much going on with that, I don't see Evernote investing the effort into making sure that pasting HTML into XHTML works well. Even Word can get funky with this stuff.

I doubt this (funky formatting in regular notes) will change anytime soon. It is a longstanding problem. The best solution for me has been to use FormatMatch. It is free. It activates / deactivates with a shortcut. All you do is select your text, cut, and paste it back in. Everything ends up unformatted. If you like formatting, this might not be for you, but for plain text folks like myself, it is a simple solution.

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I completely agree. I just updated to the latest Mac client, really hoping that THIS time the formatting issues would be fixed. I thought I saw a blog post or update somewhere that said it got an overhaul. I was heartbroken to find it's just as bad as aways, especially when I paste something in from a website. I just pasted in a simple table, with 2 columns and several rows, and tried editing it. It was impossible. On another note (and this happens all the time), when I delete a row, between a heading & a paragraph, for instance, the paragraph will completely reformat, often to something completely different from either the paragraph itself or the title. Sometimes this includes the leading (row height) getting set to such a low number that the rows butt up against each other. As far as I know, there's no way to change leading. I always end up pasting my content into TextEdit, making my changes there, and pasting that into Evernote. But then, even if I have to change just 1 small thing, I usually have to copy it back into TextEdit or all the formatting will get screwed up again. This is HUGE for me! It's super annoying, and really feels like it shouldn't be this way. I wish it would just use the same editing engine as TextEdit (if that's possible) or at least function similarly. Right now, it's just super frustrating to use, which doesn't leave a nice taste in my mouth after every time I use it, and that adds up after a while to make me want to look for an alternative that handles formatting right.

I doubt this (website pasting) will change anytime soon. There is so much going on with that, I don't see Evernote investing the effort into making sure that pasting HTML into XHTML works well. Even Word can get funky with this stuff.

I doubt this (funky formatting in regular notes) will change anytime soon. It is a longstanding problem. The best solution for me has been to use FormatMatch. It is free. It activates / deactivates with a shortcut. All you do is select your text, cut, and paste it back in. Everything ends up unformatted. If you like formatting, this might not be for you, but for plain text folks like myself, it is a simple solution.

I have been using an option in Butler to paste in unformatted text - sometimes; But there are times when I do want formatting, and I just want to edit the formatted text. It's a pain having to paste it all in as plain text and re-format it all from scratch. Thanks for your suggestion nonetheless.

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Yep. That is the problem. Plain text in Evernote isn't really plain text, but it is close. Formatting, especially with multiple kinds, is tough. That's why I tend to write my "formatted" stuff in plain text using markdown and run it through a markdown-friendly app (nvalt) when i need to generate the formatting. It is a gap in Evernote, and I think it would be an ideal use case for a third party integration: a minimalist interface with markdown options would be welcomed by many of us :) I am not sure this degree of formatting precision is worth it for Evernote to do, but I wouldn't mind if they did!

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Completely agree as well. I like to be able to highlight certain text in colour - really helps me to retain stuff in my mind. But Evernote, which I have only just started to use, is a fine product indeed - in fact, it will be a lifesaver to me after having used another product (Infohesive) for years but which simply doesn't "cut it" anymore. Well done Evernote team!

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I have the same issue even with making things from scratch.  I make a simple format with simple text.  Center a header and a sub header, center a picture, then some notes beneath it... will guess what?  I try to do the same thing a second time and I start getting all sorts of issues.  I do this in MS Word and then post it into evernote and no problem.  I'm big on visual aesthetics, and evernote really throws me with the simple things...

 

Another thing.  I write... as in chapters of books.  Why is it when I make simple edits from my phone (a grammar error or two) then go back to the note and I find I have words that lost spaces, etc.  I hate that.  I wish these simple things could be fixed it's very annoying.

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Agree with all that's been said. I couldn't manage without Evernote now, but it is intensely frustrating in the way it screws up text formatting. I just now copied 3 lines from a webpage, and taking out the bullet point on one line turned everything into bold type size 18!

I agree there are workarounds and that complex web pages may be impossible to reformat correctly, but surely the basics can be fixed. The developers are constantly coming up with new 'features'. Can't you PLEASE fix the formatting issues first. Does anyone from Evernote read these forums?  I'd love to know why they don't consider it a priority.

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This is an area of Evernote that's driven me crazy for years.

 

I AGREE!

 

I don't buy the "get another duck" answer I've seen from Evernote on this topic, on multiple different threads. I also do almost all of my note taking in EverNOTE - and LOVE the tagging, multiple notebook abilities, sharing, saved searched, platform independence (cloud), etc. We use it heavily where I work, and I've recommended it to literally hundreds of people.

 

HOWEVER - basic, dependable outlining needs much improvement. I don't want to have to launch Word or something else, and then copy/paste back and forth every time I want to make a simple update or change to an outline. I use outlines heavily for agendas, meeting summaries, etc - and I shouldn't have to go elsewhere to do it.

 

I try to insert a number in a list, and get new lists starting over. Indent/out-dent drops list numbers sometimes. I've spent 30 minutes sometimes trying to fix a very simple, stupid formatting problem. This shouldn't be so hard - PLEASE fix it!

 

Lots of reasons to love Evernote - NOTHING else is as powerful. But this problem is a gut-wrencher when you just need them to work, and want/expect to keep it simple without integration between other toolsets.

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I agree with all the others, formatting in Evernote is HORRIBLE and extremely frustrating. I tried hard to convince my husband to use it for some trip planning we're scheduling this winter, as he sits beside me with his laptop and I'm on my iPad, but no dice. He sees the awful misbehavior of Evernote formatting and wants nothing to do with it. Meanwhile, I can't get at where he's saving content for the trip on his laptop.

It's RIDICULOUS that a program like Evernote, with all its power and potential usefulness, apparently won't address this problem that pretty much makes it impossible to get docs looking like I want them. I was disappointed to learn this has been a problem for years. I will never upgrade to the paid version with it being this way!!

You guys seriously expect us to accept phantom bullets, irregular text sizes from program misbehavior all the rest of the editing baloney??!! Maybe it's time for me to find something else to use instead. I shouldn't have to find some work around for what should be basic editing!!

Thanks to everyone that posted here. Until I read this string, I thought something was wrong with my iPad or the Zag/Logitech keyboard that I use with it. Now at least I know that the problem likes with Evernote.

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I agree with all the others, formatting in Evernote is HORRIBLE and extremely frustrating. I tried hard to convince my husband to use it for some trip planning we're scheduling this winter, as he sits beside me with his laptop and I'm on my iPad, but no dice. He sees the awful misbehavior of Evernote formatting and wants nothing to do with it. Meanwhile, I can't get at where he's saving content for the trip on his laptop.

It's RIDICULOUS that a program like Evernote, with all its power and potential usefulness, apparently won't address this problem that pretty much makes it impossible to get docs looking like I want them. I was disappointed to learn this has been a problem for years. I will never upgrade to the paid version with it being this way!!

You guys seriously expect us to accept phantom bullets, irregular text sizes from program misbehavior all the rest of the editing baloney??!! Maybe it's time for me to find something else to use instead. I shouldn't have to find some work around for what should be basic editing!!

Thanks to everyone that posted here. Until I read this string, I thought something was wrong with my iPad or the Zag/Logitech keyboard that I use with it. Now at least I know that the problem likes with Evernote.

 

Welcome to the forums. I wouldn't call it horrible. I'd say "quirky." It's frustrating if you want absolute control over your text (I do), but it is livable if you can let go and accept some of the limitations. In my case, I use plain text (this pretty much solves all of the problems except for tabs) and use markdown for when I want something to look nice. If you use formatting, stick to the basics. For example, don't bullet-ize something until after you have finished the list. Then, when you add bullets (select section and press the bullet icon) you won't get any phantoms. These kinds of workarounds are clumsy, to be sure, but serviceable. The developers are hard at work on improving the editing, and with the addition of rich text editing a couple of years ago on the iPad, they have certainly made a lot of progress. I think they know there is more work to do, so stick around and see what you think about the improvements over time. 

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I would say Evernote formatting is horrible.  Tables for me are the real pain.  I use Evernote for Mac, Windows, Web, iPad, and iPhone.  Microsoft OneNote is by far superior with table editing on Windows, Web, iPad, and iPhone.  Unfortunately, no Mac version.  And it isn't free.  Evernote does have some other strengths, but the focus here is the formatting problems, which are significant and have been for quite some time.

 

When I am in a meeting or trying to get things done quickly, they should work in a predictable manner.   Tables often suddenly have extra cells on the end (I have to use other software to clean them out via numerous copy/paste actions that ultimately put them back into EverNote as a cleaned up table). Long task or to-lists are often painful on the iPhone as the cursor suddenly jumps to the top.  I often have to push multiple times to get check lists to check on the iPhone (e.g. grocery lists).

 

The web version needs major updates.  I often see the rational that people can just use the full versions.  This is often not practical in the business environment where machines are locked down or the company policy prohibits installation of unsupported software.  

 

I still use Evernote for personal purposes (it has been abandoned for business purposes as OneNote is vastly superior for my editing needs right now), for now. They have the right idea for some many things.  They need to put concerted effort into editing soon.  I need to be able to format it correctly right away so I can move beyond to focusing on deficiencies of a tool and onto the task that needs my attention.

 

My $0.02.

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Great...  It's been a few months since I've been around here after discovering the unusable formatting and outlining in EN.  I've tried lots of other options and they've each had some problems, either in formatting/markup or in multi-device sync.  I figured I'd see if the EN guys had fixed any of this and see it's still the same.   I even see GrumpyMonkey is still here and still saying it's not so bad as long as you really don't care too much :)

 

I guess my search / wait continues...

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I am new to the community, but not to Evernote. I have been using it for some time now and I am both surprised and disappointed in the fact that this is not a priority with Evernote. The formatting issues are what keep me from making EN my main tool for many uses including school, my work - which is independent contracting, and general organizational needs. With my schooling we are required to use the MS Office tools, which EN is obviously hating because when I copy from a MS product to EN the text is close to impossible to use. The formatting somehow gets so messed up that the text is unable to be formatted at all in EN and I am forced to go back to the MS product to format anything and make is useful. 

 

The outlining is a joke in EN. It has potential but it is worse than the Google Docs formatting issues. At least they have been trying to better themselves. Don't get me wrong I LOVE Evernote! I just think something as BASIC as formatting, that pretty much every other solution seems to have no issue with, is something that should have been addressed a long time ago. 

 

Come on EN, you can do it! You are the star tool for so many, but I can't make you THE TOOL until the core needs - like this formatting - is taken care of for us. 

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I am having a hard time with formatting with bullet points. I like to skip 2 lines between bullet points, but EN puts the bullet point on the next line after I hit the return key. Is there a way to skip 2 lines between bullet points?

 

For example:

 

 

  • Shared stations are stations created by other Pandora listeners and have a little icon of "people" next to the station name. Shared stations can be edited, but you'll have to give a thumbs up or down to a song first. Then you'll be prompted whether you want to make this station your own. If you say yes, then the station will no longer be a shared station, and the "Add Variety" button will appear.
  •  
  • There's not currently a way to merge stations. You can always copy the Artist and Song seeds from one station and add them to another – but your Thumbs data cannot be moved.
  •  

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I am having a hard time with formatting with bullet points. I like to skip 2 lines between bullet points, but EN puts the bullet point on the next line after I hit the return key. Is there a way to skip 2 lines between bullet points?

 

For example:

 

 

  • Shared stations are stations created by other Pandora listeners and have a little icon of "people" next to the station name. Shared stations can be edited, but you'll have to give a thumbs up or down to a song first. Then you'll be prompted whether you want to make this station your own. If you say yes, then the station will no longer be a shared station, and the "Add Variety" button will appear.
  •  
  • There's not currently a way to merge stations. You can always copy the Artist and Song seeds from one station and add them to another – but your Thumbs data cannot be moved.
  •  
  •  

 

Answered in the other topic that you asked this. Please don't post duplicate questions.

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i hoped a note one day and it was reformatted into almost an excel like format with borders. I finally tried to reformat and now it is a mess, totally out of order and almost unusable. It was one i depended on a lot and I'm at a loss as to what to do. Evernote is useless to try and contact for assistance and I'm seriously considering moving everything to Onenote. I've used evernote for years and have loved its notebooks etc. I don't even have a backup of that note.

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