Visual editing (WYSIWYG)


Not that this thread needs complicating or that LaTeX even needs to be considered right now (because I would think it’s pretty niche?), but LaTeX would require two different modes.


Yeah, we’re considering two possibilities:

  1. You can use the menu to insert a LaTeX segment and later click on it directly to edit it.
  2. The LaTeX renders when the cursor is not inside, and “un-renders” when you try to move your cursor inside. The un-rendered mode would be what you get by focusing on an item right now.


So is option 1 kind of like option 2, except even more granular? i.e. a LaTeX segment only un-renders when the mouse clicks on it or the cursor moves into it (I certainly hope keyboarding to be supported), and then it renders as soon as you move out?

I do really like the sound of that—I think.


Yeah option 1 is pretty much pure WYSIWYG. I think the advantage is that nothing ever gets “un-rendered”, so no surprised there. The downside is of course having to click on LaTeX equations makes the feature less useful. LaTeX is supposed to be portable like Markdown.


Offering WYSIWYG as an option would please me no end, while leaving the option for Markdown for those who appreciate it would satisfy all of us. I’m finding the display of Markdown on the selected item to be distracting and inconvenient…


I enjoy WYSIWYG but would like the editor to retain some markdown-ish features. The option to type [[ and you can start to search for a note to link to is an awesome feature here. Would hate to lose that to “underline the word you want to link, press CTRL + K”


I fully support a WYSIWYG option. The way Typora does it seems to be a great best-of-both-worlds solution.

Pretty much the only issue I’ve come across happens while using the mouse to select some text and a keyboard shortcut to bold it. It’s incredibly frustrating to have to relocate the word I was targeting for every single instance.

In an attempt to find a solution, I wrote a userscript that shows the raw text on hover, instead of only on focus. It helps a bit by saving one click, but the problem still remains. Hopefully somebody can find some value from it :slight_smile: .


Nice script!

Consider using the classList interface rather than manipulating the string. :slight_smile:

(Mind removing the console logs? :stuck_out_tongue:)


1000% support this – ~ ** { Making Life Better } ** ~

  • most appropriate time is now

don’t support the ‘popup menu’ that medium and dropbox paper does

  • this clutters up the screen, more than it needs to be

  • the key thing is that these shortcuts are basic, everyone knows ctrl b ctrl i ctrl k (everyone has used a word doc)

if they don’t,

  • the much much larger problem is even finding out about dyna

i only found out about it from quora and only because i was curious

i tried googling around for reviews and stuff and there was like nothing


How should it be different than Dropbox/Medium/’s editors?

Before Dynalist, I had never heard of (or remembered) Ctrl+k (but wish I had). And currently it doesn’t work.

That’s a different topic, which you could make a post about if you haven’t already, and share your thoughts on how to spread the word about it. The Dynalist team has done its part in making a reddit ad, Quora posts (I found it from there, too, via Google), etc.

I guess the people who would otherwise review Dynalist live inside it since it’s very useful and versatile, so we never hear about it. But I try to promote it wherever possible.


I also strongly believe the best solution is to integrate both. I can’t imagine it would be too difficult to make both work in different modes that can be switched in the options menu. WYSIWYG could be the default option for the majority, and those who use markdown can find the option to turn it on as it is right now. I also really like “[[” links.


Coming back to this quote from @Erica’s opening post:

the question is when is the most appropriate time to do it

I think the answer to that is: ASAP.

  • Quite a number of people don’t like the double editor concept; a good number are even annoyed. So making the change makes the product more accessible and desirable to (new) users
  • if the change has to come, now is better than later. Alienates less people & gets it done.


And if it’s somehow easy to rollback, then it’s worth experimenting with.


I’ve added a poll to the OP.


Mentioned before, but if you can give Dynalist the visual style+function of Bear then you’ve made it.


We don’t like showing the Markdown, honestly. It makes the formatted text look bad (it’s like HTML tags still showing in your webpage).

Anyone else feel the same way?


The difficulty is mainly with Markdown’s spec (or rather, lack of spec), rather than the technical aspect of it. Compared to markup languages like XML, Markdown is very loose. For example, it doesn’t tell you how to handle nesting and overlapping. It doesn’t tell you about how to extend it either, that’s why there are so many flavors of Markdown out there.

Of course, the strength of Markdown lies in that it can merge formatting with plain text in a readable way. It’s flexible and quick, but not that strict and rigorous. Converting anything between WYSIWYG (actually HTML or XML under the hood) and Markdown freely… that sounds like a nightmare. I’ve actually never seen any system that does that. Would really love to see some real world examples.


They seem to have solved the WYSIWYG and markdown problem in a very nice way. Also their support for equations and math is really good. Second only to more technical tools as Lyx.


I’ve tried Typora, but I don’t think it fells under the traditional WYSIWYG category. When you press Ctrl+B, it basically just inserts asterisks for you, rather than applying the format directly. With a WYSIWIG editor like Google Docs, you’ll almost never seen the “code” that’s responsible for the formatting. You just see it.

I believe @Matt_Groth was talking about a way to switch between WYSIWYG mode and Markdown mode, which is kind of different from what Typora does.

That being said, if Typora were to open source their editor someday, it would be an improvement over what we have right now.


Wow, I had no idea. Sorry about being so presumptuous!