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Viewing the potential live output when editing a question or answer.

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I have just raised a Q and A but when editing the answer (that involves a picture) there is no "live" version of the potentially finished post and this will prove to be a problem when making a complex answer especially if MathJax/Latex is used. SE.EE does support this feature and I think it's vital.

Also, there is no facility to renumber the bullet points. If you look in my answer, there are two bullet points names "1".

This is what I see when editing an answer: -

__ Well I tried to embed an image by pressing the picture button but I got javascript:void() in the bottom left corner. Yet I know java is enabled because I've just used a web page that uses it and I should know because it's one of my own web pages __

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3 comments

Java isn't JavaScript :) Lundin‭ about 1 year ago

Reproduced. The issue seems to be specifically when editing an answer, and it's not about images specifically: the live preview for the answer doesn't show up. It does when posting an answer, so this is an edit-specific problem. Monica Cellio‭ about 1 year ago

@Monica - yes, the upload image thing has been fixed by ArtOfCode. See my bottom answer that explains a work around /bodge fix for seeing the edit preview screen. Andy aka‭ about 1 year ago

3 answers

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Sounds like you have JavaScript disabled for this site. There is a live preview feature available, but it necessarily requires JavaScript to work; without JS enabled, it just... won't.

As for your bullet points, this is a feature of Markdown (though "feature" is questionable...). Any line that starts with a number and a period, i.e. 1. or 2. is treated as a bullet point in a list and put into an ol HTML element. These elements number their items automatically. When you have a list item, followed by a block of content that's not part of that list item, then another list item, they are treated as two separate lists, and numbering starts again at 1.

You can solve this by making the block of content in the middle part of the preceding list item. In your case, you've got an image between points 1 and 2 that splits the list; if you make that image part of point 1, it should display no differently but number the lists correctly - you can do that by indenting the line containing the image with four (or more) spaces.

I've edited the post for you to fix its display; if you follow the edit link yourself, you'll be able to see the changes to the Markdown I've made to make it work.

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8 comments

Thanks. Hmmm java should be working because I use it a lot! Andy aka‭ about 1 year ago

I have Java enabled (who doesn't these days!). You say there is a live preview feature "available" - does that mean I need to find it because it's not present if i go back to my question/answer and trial edit it. Andy aka‭ about 1 year ago

I've just tried editing the question above but the double underscore for bullet points doesn't appear to work also and also, I tried to embed a screen shot from my EE question (in order to show the lack of preview pane) and now the image embed button doesn't work. How do I enable java for this site? Andy aka‭ about 1 year ago

Javascript was not blocked in google chrome - I checked. I also specifically enabled it for this site but no luck and I still can't see the preview pane. Maybe it's a chrome thing that you haven't got right yet? Andy aka‭ about 1 year ago

@Andyaka JavaScript, not Java. Big difference - it'll make no difference if Java is disabled, but JavaScript is 100% required. Given that I develop in Chrome and have the preview working for me in Chrome, I doubt it's a Chrome thing - it sounds like a local setting somewhere. What browser version (go to chrome://version)? What "double underscore for bullet points" do you mean? ArtOfCode‭ about 1 year ago

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I recommend using native HTML for lists, and most other formatting for that matter. HTML gets around the ambiguity of what is an item and what is text following the list. The list isn't over until the </ol> tag.

For more information about formatting, see the Formatting Posts document in the site help. This is at https://electrical.codidact.com/help/formatting.

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2 comments

Personal preference. I happen to think using markdown for everything is better - I actually wish markdown was ever so slightly more complete so that no html would be needed. I mean, 4 characters for bold (asterisk asterisk start and finish) and super easy to type compared to a minimum of 7 characters using HTML. Similar for lists - e.g., unordered lists just an asterisk and a space on each line instead of a ul tag to start/finish and li tag on each line. Doesn't get batter than that. manassehkatz‭ about 1 year ago

@manass: Markdown is simpler, but that simplicity comes at the cost of ambiguity and too many unintended markups. I also don't want to have to remember two syntaxes. Use markup if you like, but please make sure all the same formatting features continue to be available via some subset of HTML. Actually, it would be nice to be able to force markup off so that it doesn't "helpfully" decide to format when I use an asterisk, a few dashes, or whatever, for other reasons. Olin Lathrop‭ about 1 year ago

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A work around has been found for this and I'm sure this will get a proper fix before long: -

  • Go to the edit button for your answer (for example) and press it
  • Notice that there is no live preview screen of the edit-in-progress as per this: -

Image alt text

  • What you see below the edit-answer text area is a preview screen of the original question (incorrect - that should appear but further down below the "currently-invisible" answer preview screen)
  • Click somewhere in the text edit area and use CTRL-mousewheel to reduce the web page size to something smaller
  • After a second or so you should see the correct preview screen: -

Image alt text

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2 comments

The thing is the following: The exact same form component is used in multiple places, including the "new post" and the "edit post" context. In most of these contexts, it makes sense, to assume that there is only something in the input, after the user has pressed a key. An exception is the edit context, where there is content before the user has interacted in any way. Because of that assumption, the form will update the preview whenever a key is pressed. luap42 😷‭ about 1 year ago

Hence everything works, when you press the "Ctrl" key to zoom in/out. However, any other key should work, too, including using the arrow keys to move the cursor. This makes some sense for edits, too, as you probably only need the preview once you make changes ('cause you just saw the preview). But this is still suboptimal behavior and will be changed in the near future. luap42 😷‭ about 1 year ago

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