No direct indication of current styling (pre-annotation stack)
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Description

VisualEditor doesn't provide a way to immediately see the current styling applied to a text, and to the text you're about to enter.

In most cases, this isn't an issue because the text itself shows the styling (e.g. bold, italics etc.) but in other cases it's not that obvious. For example, punctuation marks like colons, commas, quotes etc. are small enough it's difficult to see that they're in bold / italics etc.

This results in styling being applied by mistake by some users, and other users being unhappy with VE because it facilitated that user error. For example, adding a comma after italicized text will also italicize the comma. This is normal VE behavior, but if the comma shouldn't be italicized, it's currently difficult for the user to see that it needs fixing.

In many text editors, one way to identify basic styling is to look at the toolbar, where the "Bold" or "Italics" buttons are shown as pressed if the text is in bold or italics; it's not ideal because it's away from the cursor, but it's a clue. VisualEditor shows this with a gray background, but since it's hidden in the styling dropdown, it's not immediately visible so it fails for the purpose described here.

Another common clue provided by text editors is to format the cursor itself to reflect the current state of styling. For example, the cursor might be slanted to indicate that the text about to be typed will be in italics, or the cursor might have a heavier font weight to indicate bold. This provides a clue to the user about the current styling.

gpaumier created this task.May 5 2015, 3:32 PM
gpaumier updated the task description. (Show Details)
gpaumier raised the priority of this task from to Needs Triage.
gpaumier added a project: VisualEditor.
gpaumier added a subscriber: gpaumier.
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptMay 5 2015, 3:32 PM
Jdforrester-WMF renamed this task from No direct indication of current formatting to No direct indication of current styling.May 5 2015, 3:33 PM
Jdforrester-WMF triaged this task as Normal priority.
Jdforrester-WMF set Security to None.
Jdforrester-WMF added a subscriber: Jdforrester-WMF.

The work to adjust the styling and behaviour of the toolbar may fix this, possibly.

gpaumier updated the task description. (Show Details)May 5 2015, 3:52 PM
Elitre added a subscriber: Elitre.May 5 2015, 5:42 PM
Jay8g added a subscriber: Jay8g.May 6 2015, 1:45 AM
Jdforrester-WMF renamed this task from No direct indication of current styling to No direct indication of current styling (pre-annotation stack).May 8 2015, 1:33 AM