When it comes to WYSIWYG editors WYSI rarely WYG. The problem I always have is when people paste in formatted text from word.

Ideally, what I'm looking for is a way for people to input text into the document while at the same time teaching them structure... I just don't know if that's a realistic goal ( compared to cut n' paste )

I'm curious if people have found using something other than WYSIWYG editors ( take SO, for example ) has worked for REAL WORLD USERS. I'm not talking about programmers, developers and experience internet users... I'm talking about your average user.

I'd be interested in best practices when it comes to getting users to enter content... and I'd love it if someone could point me to some good editors/examples.

there are lots of choices when it comes to WYSIWYG ( ckEditor, FreeTextBox, TinyMCE ) but I don't hear a lot about SO-like techniques.

Does adding that small barrier scares users away?

Is it too difficult to teach people to mark up their text?

Is it easier to teach them html?

Is a BBCode implementation a good idea?

What are some Pros/Cons to wysiwyg/markup.

What approach have others used?

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Have a look at Asciidoc

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There are many good markup languages and generally the more natural the markup is the higher the probability that users will use to do markup.

A very common (used also by SO) is Markdown. Another good one (though much less known) is Texy!.

Generally it depends on the application you want to use and the relationship users have to your app. For things that users will have to edit (say as a part of their job or something) I think a Markup language is reasonable since the benefits will son outweigh the costs of learning.

However for places where it is already hard to motivate people to edit it (say like a wiki) a reasonable WYSIWYG is often a better solution.


Another good point is to still use an editing pallete to help out with the markup language (SO is again a good example; for a really interesting implementation see

Jakub Hampl