October 20, 2006

Plain Text Please

Filed under: Rants,Teh Interwebs,You Suck — Katrina @ 10:15 pm

And now, for a double spacing, format-copying edition of…


Wysiwyg editors. You know, I can’t believe a word, even if just an acronym, with two W’s and two Y’s and fun as hell to say could stand for something so lame. What You See Is What You Get! Well, you know what? Maybe I don’t like what I see. I’d like to format it myself. I don’t care if you think I’m making it harder on myself. I find it easier. Grant me that.

Uh oh. Not always an option.

Allow me to clarify. Look around this site. Have a look over at Science Village, too. Everything you see? I designed it myself. My own handmade coding. HTML. CSS. Little bit of JavaScript and PHP. Only things on either site that I didn’t make myself was this blog (WordPress) and SciVille’s counter (free script right off cPanel).

So you can take your FrontPage and Dreamweaver and whatever the hell else and shove them where the sun don’t shine!

Seriously, learn the fucking code. Are you that lazy that you even need these things? Do you know how fucking EASY it is to learn HTML? You know what I use to design my sites. NOTEPAD!!! Yeah. Right there in Windows’s trusty Accessories menu. Plain ordinary Notepad.

But I digress. After all, it wasn’t the Wysiwyg editors for webpages that set this off. No. It’s the dumbass editors that we find now and then on text boxes on web forms. The Rich Text Editor crap. I hate that.

You find this shit on webmail a lot. Hotmail and other providers feel the need to “make things easier” for you, and provide you with a nice little rich text editor so you can format your messages as if they were a Word document. Complete with automatic formatting, error checking, and, for some reason I’ll never understand, double spacing. Seriously. Hitting ENTER jumps down two lines. What the fuck? To make it jump down one line when I want it to, I have to do SHIFT+ENTER. You know when I need to double space? When I’m typing a fucking school assignment! I graduated from college three and a half years ago, assholes. My double spacing days are over. Keep that shit out of my e-mails.

More and more, I see these rich text editors appearing in other places they are not welcome. Message board reply pages. Blog posts. Granted, in some cases, like on the message boards, the editing crap is out of the way and not forced on you. It’s there, but you don’t have to use it. phpBB is rather nice, in that you merely mouse over the editor buttons, and it shows you what the BB code tags are for that command. I prefer to use code tags. Makes more sense to me, and they aren’t exactly rocket science.

But then you get the ones that force the fancy formatting on you. No way to turn it off. You’ve got this ugly ass double-spaced text box with Times New Roman font. But, hey, at least it looks just like a Word document!

While I’m hovering around that, it reminds me of another beef I have with MS Office. When pasting, why the fuck does it also paste the format of the source? I hit Ctrl+V, and I’m seeing the font, color, and size of the page I got the item from. In other words, I’ve got a page that is all in blue 14pt Verdana, and I copy some text from a webpage to paste into my Word document or Excel spreadsheet, and it pastes in 12pt white Times New Roman, just like the page I got it from. Not to mention that if any of that text happened to be a hyperlink, that got dragged into my page as well.

When the hell would that even be useful? But, instead, it’s the default paste option. Not only that, it’s pretty much the only paste option. If I don’t want that, rather than the nice quick and painless Ctrl+V, I have to go up to Edit, click Paste Special, and click the blurb by “Paste As” that says “Unformatted Text”. THEN what I want shows up, my copied text in the 14pt blue Verdana that the rest of my page is in. And if I’m pasting lots of stuff, I have to go up to Edit and do that same fucking thing each time. Shit, at the very least, I should be able to change the paste default. But, for some reason, it doesn’t seem to want to give that option.

So, seeing as I’ve delved into only one of what is a myriad of grievances about fancy office features, why the fuck do I also have to deal with this shit on websites? Get it off there. Don’t make me beat the crap out of you.


  1. Silly. Paste into TextEdit first. Or Notepad. And use a code editor. They make your HTML nice colors.

    Comment by Zach — October 21, 2006 @ 2:46 pm

  2. Y’know, how the fucking hell can you bitch about WYSIWYG editors when you’re using BLOG SOFTWARE???

    Hippo Critt! 😆

    Comment by Galen — October 23, 2006 @ 10:24 pm

  3. SnipeMe.net board is nice. You design the software yourself? No? Then cram it. 😛

    Comment by Katrina — October 23, 2006 @ 10:37 pm

  4. I agree with you for the most part. Although the intro page to my site was made with Dreamweaver (I am a visually oriented person), I actually coded some of the other pages, and I am trying to get better at it. Part of my reluctance to coding directly is my need for a visual example before I finish it. I do understand the problems with some WYSIWYG things, though: the fact that rich-text editors copy the font you were using in one program to another can be a problem. I don’t mind that they work like word processors, but I don’t like their bugs, and I often have to paste something into a plain-text editor from a rich-text program BECAUSE of bugs like that. I wish accuracy and visuals would just be reconciled already. Perhaps a coding program with a live preview box right next to it so you see what you’re doing, but you’re still hand-coding?

    Comment by Luke — October 25, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

  5. Yeah, I know this post is fucking old. Deal.

    Another way to get the formatting you want is that nice little square thing that pops up when you paste. Click it and select “unformatted text only”. Still not quite as easy, but ^V and two mouse clicks is better than find menu click find option click find option click click OK.

    Mind, one of my teachers (who was training us for word certification, too!) didn’t know that either.

    Comment by maxh — December 17, 2008 @ 10:06 pm

  6. Being a HAAA-RRRDCORE programmer, I wrote my site my self. I used Adobe® Dreamweaverâ„¢. Not for WYSIWYG shit, but for dynamic previews. So, in short, don’t give Adobe® Dreamweaverâ„¢ a bad name, it is not really for that shit, it is just to be a help.

    Comment by Hayes — July 10, 2010 @ 10:39 pm

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