Introducing: an upgrade to our text editor

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We’ve rolled out an upgrade to one of the heaviest used features on Ning: the text editor. It’s used for all sorts of activity ranging from writing a Blog post to sending a private message, to editing member Profile pages. Previously, each of those tasks would involve using a different text editor for each different type of page. Now, Ning Creators and members will have a clean, consistent user experience when adding content. We’ve been beta testing the new text editor on dozens of Ning Networks, and feedback from our Ning Creators has greatly influenced how this new text editor works.

New Ning text editor

You’ll find the new text editor in just about every place on your Ning Network that requires typing. By default, members will be in WYSIWYG mode — but wherever you see a toolbar, you’ll have the option to switch back to HTML mode if you prefer. Aside from a consistency and a clean design, the new text editor is loaded with useful functionalities:

  • The ability to drag and expand boundaries of the text editor so that you’ll never run out of space when you write, minimizing the need for scrolling
  • Embedding rich media content is now easier. The video embeds pasted in WYISWYG mode will be automatically visible, without the need to switch to HTML mode. There’s also a new “Embed” button that allows members to paste and see embed codes without leaving WYSIWYG mode.
  • Links added into the text editor will, by default, open in a new window if they link off your Ning Network, and open in the same window if they link within your Ning Network. Not happy with the default? Just click on a link after you add it, hit “Edit” and change the setting.
  • Text pasted from a Word document is better handled. And now you have the option to paste in plain text so that only basic formatting is retained to ensure your text appears cleanly when it’s posted.

We’ve also added new functionalities specifically for members on any Ning Network:

  • More control on alignment, padding, and size when adding image. Members can also choose from linking the image to the URL of the image file, a webpage, or another image.
  • Even more room to share their thoughts: Just hit the “Full Screen” button to use the entire browser window.
  • Ability to customize the link and text when adding hyperlinks

If you’re a Ning Creator and want to join the discussion with the Ning Team and other Ning Creators or learn more about this feature, join us on the Creators Netowrk. Let us know your thoughts and suggestions about this new feature.

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24 thoughts on “Introducing: an upgrade to our text editor

  1. Jim Kelly

    Some time around the first of December, administrators have not been able to edit text boxes. They indicate it’s possible to edit the Heading for the textbox but the textbox itself will not allow text to be input. Is this a result of the new text editor?

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hi, Jim. You might want to share your question on the Creators Ning Network. You can also submit a ticket in the Help Center and we’ll try to get you some one-on-one help.

  2. Dick Glasgow

    I must say, this new so-called upgrade is proving to be a total nightmare.
    The previous system was so easy to use & worked perfectly well.
    I never had any problems with it.
    It wasn’t broke, so why oh why did you try to fix it?
    This is a disaster & is destroying all the joy I used to have with my three Ning sites.
    I do hope you change it back …. & soon!

  3. Ran

    I like the look of the new text editor, but it’s really doing a number on the styling of my blog posts.
    It’s causing trouble when new paragraphs are created (not giving enough space to clearly read it as a new paragraph) as well as the leading between individual lines. It’s also making the blogs 12pt by default–I feel like previously it was 11pt (which is no longer an option in the text editor). Now, when I manually change the font back to 11 or 10pt, it still keeps the default 14pt leading.

    Overall, it’s really making my posts (and the HTML behind it) messy unless I go into the HTML and manually restyle the text. Would LOVE and update on this!

  4. Global Studio

    I, too, want to share my distress that–in the space of a few days–a function vital to the operation of one of our nings has been changed and/or deleted. Our students started uploading their final work for the semester last week, so I created a basic set of instructions. This weekend I began to get panicked e-mail because you have changed/eliminated this functionality. I see now that the ‘paperclip’ icon–a substitute for the previous ‘upload file’ icon–has reappeared for blog posts and discussions; however, there seems to be no way to upload files to text boxes or the comment walls.

    I will definitely go to the discussion on the Creators Ning; however, such abrupt and unpredictable changes in functionality certainly make me doubt our ability to maintain our payments to Ning.

  5. Jill Robinson

    Like a number of other people, we are dismayed that we are no longer able to upload text documents into groups as it destroys one of the main purposes of our website. Will you be reconsidering after all the feedback?

  6. Steve

    Nice edition. Any chance that we will be able to save a draft of the new ‘text editor’ pages like we can on the blog post pages? For example, when want to message our members, I wish I could save a draft before having to send it.

    Thanks Ning!

  7. tom maguire

    In the Groups section the comment wall interface now has no attachment part . I imagine this is part of the website update by Ning.
    Previously this facility was available on the Group comment wall. Can you please insert it there again.

  8. Allan

    the file upload facility existed when I signed up to plus plan and is an absolutely essential feature for us which has now disappeared without any notification….seems like it is now only available for an additional upgrade fee ( to PRO) – will now have to consider shutting down network and look elsewhere for something that will deliver what we had previously.

  9. Ronald

    Looks great!
    I think this will help our members to share more content rich articles.
    But it would be even better if NC can choose if the lay out of the blog/forumpost is visible on the homepage. I think it is great if members can change the lay out of posts, but the homepage can get really unreadable with all the differnt lay outs.

    What is your vies on that?

  10. 562CityLife

    I have to say, that this new editor is awesome! Thank you very much! My favorite part though is the ability to add padding to an image placement!!! Thank you a thousand times for that!

  11. Jens Mügge

    Hi Evan,

    thank you for all your efforts to make our networks speedy and user friendly.
    This text editor is superb but why it is enable for private messages and comment boxes too?
    It can be useful to compose a wonderful and nice designed blog or forum post –
    but each network on NING has their own rules and preferations. Often member would like to post a video, text and a website address – that ‘s all what they want and need – and this was possible with the first text editor which was in use on NING 2 years ago. I read that this new text editor was a wish by many Network Creators – but once again. Each NING network is unique and therefore please allow us that we can choose which type of editor we will use on our network – e.g. if we want use this editor for private messages and comments on comment walls of member profile pages. And if you force us to use this editor please let us use this without any limitations of characters …

    And please: if you upgrade features like this editor don’t forget that there is one of the first features on NING networks which needs an upgrade too – that the event calendar. I hope you will invest the same effort to upgrade the event calendar like the text editor.

    Thanks a lot for your understanding.
    Jens Mügge

    / Founder of Overtone Music Network

  12. Suzanne H.

    Ever since you introduced the new text editor some of our members are complaining that they can only type a paragraph or two before they can’t see what they are typing because it drops below the bottom edge of the reply box. This is a problem because many of our members give lengthy replies. Does anyone else have this problem? Is it just a glitch in the new editor? What to do about it?

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hi, Suzanne. You might want to share your question on the Creators Ning Network. We also have a Help Center that has a lot of informative articles about this. You can also submit a ticket in the Help Center if you are having specific problems and we’ll try to get you some one-on-one help. Hope this helps!

  13. Faudot Jc

    Hello,
    Thanks for the upgrading of Textbox formatting functions, but what happened to the uploading files functionality ?
    It really helped and definitely hurts not to have it any longer !
    Are you considering reinforcing this ?
    It was strange to discover this missing, right within an upgrading phase !
    This is not trifle : the upgrading is about easing ways to write and add media and pixs, that’s great, but getting away with the files uploading is kind of a “facebook” leveling down strategy.
    If you want Ning networks to be thinking and working networks, let them upload files easily in the texts posted by their members. If you want your networks to be “Hey, look at this pix and youtube thing” kinds of networks, well, it’s an appropriate way to pave the road, but then, on the long run, the road will narrow.
    There’s a big highway right close to this one.
    With the very best,
    Jean-Christophe Faudot.

  14. Richard Guerra

    You seem to have removed a function with this update. I can no longer attach pdf files. This function was the primary reason I convinced my employer to allow us to pay for this site. If I cannot figure out how to do this effectively, I will need to cancel our membership, as it is pointless to pay for a site that we can no longer use effectively.

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hello! Yes, we have made some changes to the way files are uploaded using the text editor. You might want to check out the discussion about this on the Creators Ning Network, where we collect feedback from our Network Creators.

  15. Mary Ann Bolton

    The new text editor looks great, though with most things new, we’ve got to work out the kinks. In my text box “This Week’s Highlights” – there is no paper clip icon for inserting a file. I’ve explored other pages and see that it does exist elsewhere. I need help ASAP – this is a church site and we need to get Sunday’s info up.

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hi, Mary Ann. We’ve included the new text editor in just about every location where you can include text, so that is all now standard. There’s more about this here, which I hope will help in some way.

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