Update 2010-07-27: Blog post “The new blogger editor is great”.
Don’t get me wrong: I love Blogger, otherwise my content wouldn't be here. The web application for managing posts is nearly perfect. But there are a few things that regularly annoy me. I list them in this blog post.
- Resizable editing area: This is the simplest to fix and the most annoying non-feature. Editing long posts becomes quite challenging when the editing area is so small. If you search for this issue on the web, you’ll find that people have been asking for this for quite some time now.
- Shortcuts: Having shortcut keys to, say, turn text bold speed up editing. If one does it via access keys, it is relatively painless to implement.
- Navigation: After editing a blog post, it makes most sense to directly return to that blog post (or, even better, to where one invoked editing). Right now, especially because I sometimes publish a post to see what it looks like, I need too many clicks to get where I want to.
- Make “Edit Posts” more accessible: it is a frequently used feature (much more so than “Settings” or “Layout”).
- Insert images at the current cursor position: Right now, one usually needs cut and paste to move them to their correct place, because the are always inserted at the top.
- Smart quotes, smart apostrophes: "smart" turns into “smart” and don't turns into don’t. This would be awfully nice to have, especially if it was configurable for different languages.
- Tables: WYSIWYG editing for tables would be very useful.
- Nested bullet lists: While nested bullet lists can be overdone, they are necessary, especially for shorter posts that need to be scanned quickly. Indenting an item via tab, outdenting it via shift-tab is how this is typically done.
- Paragraph styles: pre, headings. pre is especially cumbersome when done directly in HTML, as the “Compose” editor changes pre content in unexpected ways (removes spaces etc.). It is an essential feature when writing about source code. Headings are relatively simple when adding them in HTML (you need to start at h4), but should still be GUI-accessible.
- Breaking up long posts: Often it is nice to initially show a brief introduction and then continue into the full blog post by following a link. For feeds, having control over where content is broken up is handy, too.
- Captions for images: With in HTML 5, there will soon be standard markup for this. Blogger can already prepare for this by supporting captions now.
- Special symbols: →, ⇒ and © come to mind, but there are many others that should be simple to insert.
- Spoilers: Hiding text and revealing it only on demand is a nice feature for quizzes and such. A work-around is to draw text in white. Then one needs to select it to see it.
- Special HTML characters: are handled strangely in round trips between “Compose” to “Edit Html”. Sometimes they are escaped, but
brackets are not escaped when going from WYSIWYG to HTML and thus cause problems when going back. If one manually escapes angle brackets in HTML, the HTML entities are escaped and show up as ugly HTML code in WYSIWYG mode.