November 2021

11th November

Rich Text Editor

Who is richer than Jeff Bezos? You, whilst using Avion’s new rich text editor 🤑.

Okay, slight exaggeration there, but we are absolutely thrilled to announce our new rich text editor. We are fully aware that our previous text editing experience was rather rudimentary, so we hope this new addition to Avion is going to make your life much easier when authoring stories and planning backlogs.

TL;DR: Story writing is better in Avion and it plays nicely with integrations.

The challenge.

From afar, providing a rich text editor with basic controls, such as bold and italics seems like a simple task. Clearly, text formatting like this has been around for decades in the software we all—sometimes tortuously—use, such as Microsoft Word.

However, even the slightest mention of “rich text formatting” or the truly oldskool terminology “WYSIWYG” (What You See Is What You Get) to any front-end developer might produce a facial reaction known as the stank face. And this is no positive stank face either.

Rich text formatting on the web is fraught with inconsistencies, lack of standards, strong opinions and legacy code. But the reality is—users expect a beautiful editing experience. With tools like Notion and Bear setting the bar so high, it’s a problem that needs to be tackled head on.

We knew that our in-app editing experience needed to be world class. And with some serious thought and engineering — we managed to execute on this part of the task fairly rapidly ⚡.

However, one of the unique things about Avion is how tightly we integrate with some select backlog tools. This provides a completely unique set of challenges when working with rich text, as each tool offers a different subset of editing features and of course, stores and sends this in varying formats.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have mobbed as a team to iron out all inconsistencies when syncing descriptions across our different backlog tool integrations. And the result—we think—is a pretty damn incredible text editor that can seamlessly sync text across different tools. We must be truthful, there are some known limitations, but most Avion text editing features are largely syncable across other tools and vice versa.

The Avion text editor supports:

  • Headings 1 – 6 and paragraph text

  • Carriage returns and soft breaks

  • Bold, italic, strikethrough and inline code formatting

  • Code blocks with language selection

  • Block quotes, with rich child elements

  • Bulleted, numbered lists and horizontal rules

  • External links and inline images

  • Tables with rich child elements

  • Undo / redo

  • Keyboard shortcuts for everything

  • Auto-formatting (type markdown and we convert to rich text on the fly)

This has been fun and challenging to build. And it doesn’t stop here either. Here are a few ideas that we would like to consider adding in the future:

  • Inline checklists

  • Tying up inline images/links and Avion attachments

  • Support for advanced punctuation and formatting (ellipsis, subscript, etc)

  • Resizable images

  • User mentions and internal Avion linking

As always if you have any feedback, just reach out using our in-app chat. We hope you enjoy the new editor 🙂

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