Formatting or Markdown?

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16 comments

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    Robert Talbert

    Strong second for Markdown. 

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    dmitry smirnov

    Markdown, please. I mostly need it in "Note" rather then in list items. Existing formatting options in list items are good enough

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    rawbytz

    I've been fervently anti-Markdown (for WorkFlowy) since to implement it system wide would require fundamental changes to the way the WF works.  Markdown, by definition, is bi-modal with edit and view modes.  WorkFlowy isn't; it is WYSIWYG.  

    Much of the "flowy" comes from NOT jerking into and out of view/edit mode whenever you change focus... after all WorkFlowy bullets and notes are just a bunch of different text fields. Markdown is best suited for one big text area, imho. 

    There are hybrid implementations of WYSIWYG and Markdown, and they are getting better.. Slack's is pretty good, but it still requires an editing mode toolbar to make it work.  Would you want a toolbar popping up every time you change text fields in WorkFlowy? I wouldn't. 

    As Dmitry suggests above, I could see a new "View" option for notes (like Boards) where the user could designate a note "Markdown".  When you click into the note it is in edit mode, and then when focus is removed it renders Markdown. In list view these notes would always display rendered and expanded. 

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    Jeet Shah

    @rawbytz

    I totally agree, so we can simply have the markdown editor when typing starts in Shift+Enter mode. once you come out, it should switch to 'view'.

    We wait for typing to start, because for long notes, we may want to just scroll through & view; not read the markdown code!

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    Nate Sammons

    Please please please allow markdown in "notes" -- this would make WorkFlowy pretty much perfect.  Look at how 'Notion' uses / commands to insert things, if this worked in a WYSIWYG Markdown editor inside a note it would be amazing.

    Specifically, I need to be able to:

    * Add code segments with `code` and blocks with ```language ...  ```

    * Bulleted and numbered lists

    * Bold/italic/underlined text

    * Links

    * Embedded media like YouTube, attached images, etc.

     

    Just adding code blocks (inline and blocks) would be amazingly useful.  `code` and ```code``` if nothing else...

     

    Adding rich text to notes would make such a huge difference in usability.  And as far as the "bimodal" editor, take a look at Typora, it has a nice clean WYSIWYG Markdown editor

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    Michał D

    >There are hybrid implementations of WYSIWYG and Markdown, and they are getting better.. Slack's is pretty good, but it still requires an editing mode toolbar to make it work.  Would you want a toolbar popping up every time you change text fields in WorkFlowy? I wouldn't. 

    Please have a look at hackmd.io. They have a veery nice editor. Yes, it does have two panes, for edit and view. But even in edit pane, formatting is applied on-the-fly (at least bold, italics, underline, code fragments and code blocks).

    Similar functionality, with or even without the view mode, would be fantastic to have in WF.

    I could even imagine an application-wide switch to either use current WYSIWYG formatting or markdown (similarly to what is possible in Slack).

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    Ian Edington

    This would also make Workflowy an instant competitor in the Personal Knowledge Manager space (what I'm currently using it for)

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    Florenz

    Workflowy is a remarkable product, but this is such an essentiell feature for me that blocks me from going "All-In" on workflowy. 

    I am a software engineer and want to save some code snippets somewhere. The notes section in each bullet would be great for that. But without a code block, its more or less unreadable, no indents, no monospace font, etc. Also writing documentation with an the `code` Syntax would make everything much more readable. 

    Also writing markdown text in my blog (with optional preview), another big win. 

    So please, please consider at least basic markdown support. 

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    Max Yakin Bozek

    Please don't ever make WorkFlowy a Markdown editor!
    Markdown is noisy, cluttered, and awful to read, and even worst, super cumbersome to edit when you try to change something you see in edit mode, then that item or letter or word will jump to another place when you want to to edit, is so frustrating and annoying!

    Also, consider that most Markdown editors like Obsidian are trying really hard to achieve WYSIWYG because their users continuously ask them to move from MD to a beautiful and functional modern editor to avoid dealing with the troubles of MD!.
    Then, WorkFlowy which already has achieved great WYSIWYG interface will go back steps to the more premiliminar, uncomfortable, and basic Markdown format? That makes absolutely no sense to me.

    For the ones who really like Markdown there is also Dynalist which is a WorkFlowy clone only that has a horrible design and a very ugly UI. WorkFlowy on the other hand, is an almost a pixel-perfect beautifully designed functional and aesthetic tool. Please don't ruin it with MD!  :D

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    Florenz

    @max yakin bozek
    Apart from the rest of your arguments, which don't contribute anything to anything, your post also bristles with ignorance. But that's okay.

    So, because you don't like markup support, no one should use it?
    And who said that it should replace anything? This is a great example for optional support - don't like it - don't use it. Thats it. Everybody wins. 

    Markdown is a markup syntax, used by a lot of people. And I talk about A LOT a lot. You can write markdown somewhere else, and paste it into workflowy. And export it as fast as that and use it somewhere else - blog software, wikis, reddit, confluence, etc

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    Max Yakin Bozek

    @Florenz thank you for having the power and willingness to illuminate us among this veil of ignorance regarding which arguments do contribute and which ones don't. Next time I will ask you before posting! And good luck using using nerdy geeky Markdown while we normal users enjoy the benefits of a beautiful and functional modern WYSIWYG designed editor like WorkFlowy already has  :D 

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    Florenz

    > thank you for having the power and willingness to illuminate us among this veil of ignorance regarding which arguments do contribute and which ones don't.

    Well before that you decided what feature is good and and what is bad,... so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    But if you want me to elaborate, both of your posts are more or less just opinions (that's ok, just maybe a lack of arguments), but also lots of insults to everyone who has contributed to this feature request.

    Btw hello to everyone who subscribed to this by mail, sorry for spamming. 👋

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    Ian Edington

    Jumping on the bandwagon while your inboxes are already full :P

    I've been thinking about this for a while and I can see the arguments on both sides.

    The best argument that I saw against markdown is that you can use markdown in workflowy and actually many people do, there just isn't any associated formatting. I personally have been using this method since reading it because I write almost everywhere in markdown and it makes it so much easier to copy paste into something else.

    On the other hand it isn't nearly as satisfying without the bold actually being bold and moving out of flow in order to highlight and make it bold is the opposite of what workflowy is trying to achieve (FWIK).

    I would love to see some auto formatting of some markdown but I'm in agreement with the idea that having a side by side pane goes against the purpose of workflowy even if it is an opt in feature. But when you type *hey there* for the entire string `*hey there*` to be bold would be awesome IMO. Same with headers, ect.

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    Frank (Workflowy Support)

    Our CEO is definitely considering Markdown. It was a resounding "No!" a a couple of years ago... not part of WorkFlowy's vision... and now it seems like it may become a possibility... but the trick would be how to implement so that it does not disrupt WorkFlowy's flow. We don't have this on the immediate roadmap... but it is there in the back of the Team's mind, begging for an audience.

     

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    M J Pearce

    I use markdown a lot, but I wouldn't want to risk any loss of Workflowy's rich text features such as colour.

    I find it easy to copy and paste into markdown editors as it is (apart form the unrelated problem of Workflowy concatenating lines), and it is easy to write in markdown syntax if I needed to anyway. After all that's the point of markdown. And at least not being a markdown editor means Workflowy is agnostic about which variant of markdown is followed.

    The one thing Workflowy does which is more consistent with a markdown editor than a rich text one, is that Enter in a bullet note produces a new line rather than a new paragraph. That's irritating especially when combined with the concatenation problem.

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    Alexander Pokorny

    I like markup languages for certain purposes, but if you ask me I would always vote for full LaTeX, markdown is very simple, but of course very limited (and needs a lot of javascript in the background if you want MathJax, Mermaid, PlantUML etc.) ... But all of that is more for the "nerds" of us than for business people.

    I have started to write everything in LaTeX 30 years ago at university, but the majority do prefer clean simple formatting an WYSIWYG. Also, most people, including myself, abandon software even if it is functional, when it is not pleasing the eyes, you must "like" to work with it, otherwise you will not be productive.

    So while I always like more formatting options, including the crucial formula feature (MathJax), I am more inclined towards the concepts of block editors (like Notion, Nimbus, Craft ... and all the clones). This is fast, user friendly and convenient. A copy&paste feature in Markdown could be easily included to make data exchange easier.

    But for those who want wo see all their # signs for every header, there are other competitors doing that. For me personally, while I speak markdown fluently, a visible hash-sign in header lines would be a deal breaker for using the software – it has to be clean, pleasant to the eye and encourage productivity without distraction of "meta language" artifacts, even if I know them. I expect almost "print ready layout" from a text which I need for knowledge work.

    So maybe Workflowy's approach is perfect simply not targeting everyone?

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