Serckit Editor Update August 2020

published Aug 20, 2020 1:24pm

Over the weekend of August 22/23 2020 SERC is rolling out a new default editing tool for folks editing content on SERC sites. While in many ways it replicates the behavior of the previous editing tool it has 3 key new features.

Multiple people can edit the same page at once

Active Authors Indicator
The new system removes the old limitation that only one individual could be editing a given page at a time. Now multiple editors can work on a page and see each other's changes in real time -- just like Google Docs. This will significantly streamline collaborative editing of documents in settings like workshops and meetings where people are working synchronously. You'll notice a display at the top of the editing window that indicates who is actively editing the current page. Other than that there's nothing extra you need to do. Just jump in and start editing.

Changes are saved automatically

Autosave Indicator
The new editor checks every few seconds to see if the page has been edited and if so, will automatically save those changes. A small display indicates the last time a save was made and when automatic saves are in progress.  You also have the option to manually save at any point. If you attempt to leave the page with unsaved changes the system will alert you, giving you a chance to save.

Links in the editor are active

In the past Serckit's editor represented links with square bracket delimited tags like this [link 'link to google']. Links in the editor now appear as the more tradition blue, underlined text. You can edit the link text directly. Clicking a link in the editor invokes a pop-up that you can use to edit the url, or to open the link in a new tab. There is also a new link button in the editing toolbar which you can use to turn existing text into an active link.  This new behavior brings Serckit's editor in line with link creation behavior found in other editors (e.g. Word, Google Docs, other web editing tools) which should make it easier to learn for folks new to the system. It also means there's an easy mechanism for 'following' a link even when you're in the middle of editing.  Note that the old square bracket tag will continue to work and is in fact still used 'under the hood' which you'll see if you're an expert user using the html editing mode.

These new features are all the result of an underlying transition Serckit has made to a new editing widget. This change was motivated both by the new features that this new editing widget makes possible (there are more to come) and also the ending of support for the previous editing widget by its developers. SERC staff have been internally testing and using this new editor for our day-to-day work for several months and have been looking forward to making it widely available. Don't hesitate to get in touch with your SERC support person if you have questions or run into issues.