Jun 042009

As I continue to explore the latest changes to the Mozilla Developer Center, here are a few subtle — but useful — changes you may enjoy.

I’m hard at work to make more additions and improvements. One of these that should be landing soon is a feature that will automatically hide the table of contents sidebar while you’re editing articles. This gives you the full width of your browser window for editing, which not only gives you a broader canvas on which to write, but also presents your content more like it will appear when the article is rendered for viewing.

The code for that has been written; I’m working with IT to get it checked in and activated. We need to sort out the best way to manage it in SVN to ensure it stays up to date as we upgrade the MindTouch software in the future.

New keyboard shortcuts

Among the many keyboard shortcuts supported by the MindTouch editor, there are a couple of newly-supported ones that I find useful.

First, you can now press shift-space to insert a non-breaking space.

Second, and more useful, you can press shift-enter to exit out of the current block. For example, if you’re editing a pre block, shift-enter drops you out of the block so you can resume editing the body text.

Saving from source mode

You can now save your changes while in source editing mode. This is a big improvement; previously, if you were editing an article’s raw XHTML code, you had to switch back to the WYSIWYG view before you could save your changes. It was quite frustrating. Now it’s all better!

Paste as plain text

Next to the Cancel button in the second row of the toolbar is the new “Paste as plain text” button, which pastes the contents of your clipboard with all formatting stripped out. This makes copying and pasting from one place to another much easier. Sometimes you do want to keep all the styling and links, but often you don’t. Now you can do it either way.

Create div containers

It’s now easy to create a div block using a new popup div editor. You can choose among styles to apply to the block from a list, or use a more advanced form to build a custom block. You can also still drop into the source editor to do it if you like, of course.

 Posted by at 4:14 PM