Scouting Forums

WYSIWYG Messages

We’re new to Scoutbook and are missing from our previous application WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) rich-text editing. BBCode is fine behind the scenes, but there should be a way

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can do here to format. It’s a standard today that should be possible to implement in a much more intuitive way than even this forum. A shortcut would be to allow people to paste rich text from an editor like MS Word and have it retain that formatting. Thanks!



This is required for us to use for communications. We now have to use two different systems - one for communications and events and Scoutbook for advancement tracking.

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There are a couple of options. The first, which you mentioned, is using BBCode, of which, honestly, I’m a big fan.

The other option is to move your format-heavy stuff to your troop forum here on Discourse (which does what you’re looking for), and just use the Scoutbook messaging to send links to the forum thread on Discourse.

The second option also lets you see how many times your thread has been viewed, which you wouldn’t get from an email blast. I don’t know if that’s important or not to you.

BBCode is a bit antiquated now. Now it’s easy to just implement one of the tons of rich text editor instead of what’s present. I’m not opposed to having it use BBCode on the back-end, but even the implementation on the dead-man-walking Scoutlander is way better:

To each his own. I find using BBCode or markdown much faster and easier to use than a WYSIWYG editor…

I don’t have anything against BBCode and have used it from essentially its origins, but without a realtime preview when you might have a nested list, it’s just a pain for the vast majority of users. What we have in Scoutbook has caused most of our leaders to miss using other platforms where they could easily create formatted emails. Now you have to essentially send the email to one user to get a preview and make sure you didn’t miss a tag.

With the Feature Assistant Extension, you can preview the email without sending it.

It’s not as intuitive as a real-time WYSIWYG interface, but it works now, and doesn’t have to wait until the messaging module is updated.

Alternatively, you can lean into your unit forum. Publish your updates there, and email links to the threads. Or better still, make sure all of your adults are subscribed to your unit forum so they get notifications for updates.

I hadn’t heard of that. So it’s a Chrome patch to add onto Scoutbook core functionality…

Better than nothing, thanks! Hopefully we get a proper editor!

There’s also a version for Firefox. Both are available with instructions here.

Sounds like a good bandaid!

Does anyone else want to see a better editor?

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I’d like one on general principle, but it’s on my “C” list behind almost everything else, to be honest. I do a lot of ASCII-art formatting to highlight things, since a lot of our parents may not read their email in HTML/RTF-enabled viewers.

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It hangs out as a low c for me. Not going to be a deal breaker as I have been with scoutbook for a number of years.

had the non-html reader come up recently and it totally blew my mind. HOW??? LOL

Dunno. I had one parent tell me they read email in some sort of EMACS mode. The first thing that went through my mind was “If you know enough to know what EMACS is, why are you using it to read email?”

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Vi is my preference.

It seems like low hanging fruit these days to have a proper editor.

Sure, but low-hanging fruit still needs to get prioritized when you have finite resources…

Good thing we’re here in the request area. I should have made it more clear that in a committee meeting literally everyone remarked about how poor the editor is for messaging. While I am a tech guy, most weren’t all the familiar with how to use it.

@JonathanSchalliol - in 5 years I have not had a single comment about it except to state that it was nice to have a way to message parents and leaders. My personal priority would be all of national awards added, then calendar, possibly adult awards then way down that list is text editor.

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A better way to control the display and generation of messages/event description/etc is in the backlog - we have no idea when it will be scheduled

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I’ve been very happy with the new forums, and have recommended to our troop that we use the new Troop forum for all of the heavy communications. Most of our emails lately have been along the lines of “Here’s the link to the PLC notes”…

That also puts the things that should be shared and archived in a place where they get shared and archived…