# Announcing the Stacks Editor Beta release!

TL;DR: The Stacks Editor Beta release rolled out on July 5, 2022! To see what we've been working on, what we are working on, and what we plan to work on, check out the Stacks Editor repo on GitHub. The editor is still an opt-in feature, and there is currently no timeline for a network-wide deployment.

## This question is no longer being monitored for new answers. If you have further bug reports or feature requests for the new Stacks Editor, please post them as new questions tagged stacks-editor.

Back in early 2021, we announced the launch of the Alpha version for a new Stacks Editor. The announcement post saw a lot of activity, and after a lot of work by our Stacks Team, we're ready to launch the Stacks Editor into its Beta version!

In the original announcement for the Alpha Version of the new editor, Catija highlighted some of the reasons why we needed to create a new editor, ranging from meeting our Teams users' needs to simplifying future dev work on the public sites (you can read more in the original announcement). We asked you to test it and provide feedback — and you did. The post gathered 110+ answers with bug reports, feature requests, and more general feedback provided by you.

The team worked hard to respond to your feedback, but after a while, public feedback from the team about what was being worked on slowed to a near halt. While the team was still working silently on the Stacks Editor during this time, they had to balance this work with other priorities on their plate. More importantly, though, and as I mentioned above, we ended up not updating you on where work on the editor was and where we were planning on going with it: this doesn't reflect well on us, and we apologize. We'll aim to be more proactive and frequent with communications on this going forward. This brings us to this post.

As Yaakov mentioned earlier in June, the Stacks Editor is the main editor used in the new Ask Question Wizard, which will be made available on Stack Overflow sometime after the Beta 2 release goes out. The new Wizard, in turn, will later be a central piece of the Staging Ground project. So where are we going next?

You can have a look at the Stacks Editor repo on GitHub to see a breakdown by feature of what's been worked on and what is still to come (issues in the “No Milestone” section are backlogged, with no projected pick-up date). To give you a high-level overview:

• Alpha 2: This is what the team's been silently building and shipping since the original Alpha release of the editor. The editors used on network sites were updated to include this release on June 21, 2022. The team’s worked to fix many of the issues reported by you, including:

• Beta 1: This was released on July 5, 2022 and is in production as of July 12. Full release notes are available. The main accomplishment of this release is to ensure the back-end library is feature-complete as compared to the old editor — meaning the Stacks team laid the groundwork that’ll allow the dev teams responsible for the Public Q&A sites to work on Stack Exchange-specific functionality. With this, the latter teams will be able in the future to build plugins into the editor, with the goal of reaching feature-parity (for all sites) to the old editor available on the network. Some of the issues addressed on this release were:

• adding initial support for a Markdown preview pane — we know this was a big pain point for many of our power users. Some integration work with the product still remains to be done before this is usable on the sites — we will post a separate update detailing this when it’s ready;

• enhancements to link insertion and editing, as per the issues reported here and here;

• and adding official external plugin support, which will be required for supporting various extra editor features across the Stack Exchange network, such as poker, go, chess, code snippets, and MathJax.

• Beta 2: This was released on July 28, 2022, and the editor was released on participating sites on August 8, 2022. For this release, we identified some issues we feel should be addressed before launching the Ask Wizard and Staging Ground projects. This release also included some issues that were reported in answers to this post. Some of the highlights for this release are (full release notes also available):

• An overhaul to the code highlighting system that addresses a number of issues reported with highlights to Markdown mode when text isn’t CommonMark compliant, as reported here, here, and here.

• A change in the toggle between Rich Text and MarkDown modes - the toggle is now icon-based, instead of the on-off switch that had been in place up until now.

• Bug fixes with image-uploads (here and here), code block serialization.

• Block elements are now allowed inside list items.

• Note: while the preview pane plugin is working in the editor code, some work remains with integrating this into the site. We'll post a separate update detailing this when it’s ready.

• Beta 3: These are issues that would be beneficial to address, but not required for baseline functionality. Once these are addressed, the Stacks Editor should be ready for a network-wide deployment (though we don’t currently have any plans to do that; more on that below). There isn’t a timeline for addressing these issues, and the team will tackle them as their bandwidth permits. Highlights for this release include:

Until the end of July 2022, we have members of the Stacks team as well as devs from one of the teams responsible for Public Q&A assigned to working on the issues marked as essential for the Beta 2 release. Additionally, there’s some flexibility on that roadmap to account for high-priority issues reported in response to this post, and though we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to address every single thing reported, we’ll be responding to all feedback as we triage it and, all applicable unique issues will be logged in the Stacks-Editor repo. Once July’s over, we’ll still be monitoring and responding to issues and feature requests surrounding the Stacks editor, be them reported on MSO or MSE (which can be brought to staff attention using this process), or on GitHub (more on how to report issues at the bottom of the post). These will be triaged based on severity and developer availability to prioritize issues for the Beta 2 release.

## FAQ

### What was that about a network-wide deployment?

As I mentioned above, the Stacks Editor is a central piece of the new Ask Question Wizard and Staging Ground, so for now we’re committing resources to ensure the work needed to support that project is successful. Additionally, we’re expecting you will report many more issues that have yet to be identified, and have to be prepared to be able to address those issues and respond to those reports. For that reason, at the moment we don’t have any timeline to roll out the Stacks Editor network-wide, and are instead focusing on ensuring we can undertake the near term work required to support the Ask Question Wizard and Staging Ground project. When we get to the point where it looks like extending the opt-in testing to questions, or even a network-wide deployment might be in sight, we’ll make sure to loop you in.

### Is this still opt-in?

Yes! The editor will continue to be available on Stack Overflow for Teams, and for answering questions on Meta Stack Overflow and Meta Stack Exchange — this is reached via an opt-in on the Profile > Settings page labeled “Enable new editor” (the text here will be updated soon to change the “Alpha” label into a “Beta” label). When the Ask Wizard is released on Stack Overflow, all users will be able to toggle into this question asking mode, where they’ll be able to try out the Editor in that context as well (more details around this will be shared on MSO when the release is made).

### How to provide feedback

• I have updated the statuses on all old posts/answers to reflect what was completed and released in Alpha 2 and Beta 1.
– Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
Jul 12 at 14:40
• I am a bit annoyed. How did I miss that y'all finally decided to include a preview pane, which is the main thing I miss from the old editor 😁
– Journeyman Geek Mod
Jul 12 at 18:44
• @JourneymanGeek You didn't miss it. This is the first time that we announced a preview pane. It is built into the editor not (you can try it out here), but it still needs some tweaks and integration work to get it to work on the sites. There will be a separate post about it when it is ready to go.
– Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
Jul 13 at 8:54
• Not quite a feature request proper - and more for the future but for the sake of clarity - especially during the beta phase, and as/when the new editor is more widely used, would it be sensible to have the current version somewhere for the ease of classification of bug reports between versions?
– Journeyman Geek Mod
Jul 14 at 12:56
• @JourneymanGeek you can always try out the current version at editor.stackoverflow.design (this will always be the same version as on-site, except for the slight lag between when a new version is released for the editor and has not yet hit the site).
– Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
Jul 14 at 13:01
• can implement fira code or any font with ligature in code??? i.imgur.com/mOO2sOM.png Aug 5 at 17:21
• @ArcanisGK507 we don't have plans for custom font support in the code editor.
– Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
Aug 7 at 13:41

Update the Alpha label to the Beta label in the Preferences tab:

YE: as noted in the comments, the stacks editor on MSE and MSO only shows up when posting or editing answers. Asking questions continues to only use the old editor

In the original announcement it said:

You can opt out at any time but it will take up to 10 minutes to revert to the old editor

After I go to the preferences page the Stacks editor is activated for answers but not for asking questions. For example, I opted in over 1 hour ago but the ask question dialogue still looks like this:

while at the same time if I try to edit an answer the Stacks editor is already activated:

The new editor is only active for answering, not for asking ...

So my question is when will Stacks editor be activated for questions?

• The new editor is only active for answering, not for asking ...
– Glorfindel Mod
Jul 12 at 19:41
• @Glorfindel is that explained somewhere, I tried reading through those massive threads several times and never found that explanation. Jul 12 at 19:42
• It's not 100% obvious, but this question states "The editor will continue to be available on Stack Overflow for Teams, and for answering questions on Meta Stack Overflow and Meta Stack Exchange".
– Glorfindel Mod
Jul 12 at 19:49
• @Glorfindel well that explains why I could never figure out why it worked sometimes, other times not, and the 10 minutes seemed to turn into a whole day. Jul 12 at 19:50
• @bad_coder It was also mentioned in the TLDR of the original announcement post: "Note, the new editor will only be active when drafting or editing answers on MSE or MSO during the alpha test." (emphasis not mine). Jul 13 at 0:07
• It's confusing since I was using Teams, MSE and MSO main and meta, and apparently I missed that 1 sentence... Jul 13 at 0:21

The placeholder text in the edit summary seems to be missing a bracket, or at least for us mobile users.

• It's not missing a bracket, rather, due to the narrow screen size, only part of the placeholder text is being shown. The full text reads: briefly explain your changes (corrected spelling, fixed grammar, improved formatting) Jul 16 at 7:03

Since many SE sites support mathematical formulas, a visual formula editor can be added as an editor feature.

• We will be tackling per-site plugins at a later release, with the goal of achieving parity on all sites with the functionality of the current editor. This will be done before we can begin to test network-wide. I am marking this as declined right now because - while it is on the roadmap - it is not part of the current scope of work.
– Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
Jul 24 at 6:45

Shouldn't we be able to drag the question right above the answer? It’s easier for mobile users.

– Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
Jul 17 at 12:31
• @YaakovEllis what do you mean? I'm not able to drag the question to see the whole question, as you can see I only can see partially of the question when answering in my screenshot Jul 17 at 12:48
• I believe you. I cannot reproduce it on any device or mobile testing mode. Whenever I try to, I am able to drag to see the question about without any issue. Hence my inquiry as to your setup/device/browser.
– Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
Jul 17 at 12:50
• Oh wait I just realise I could drag it, problem is that the drag slider is at the bottom right corner of question as a tiny dot, so its impossible to spot @YaakovEllis Jul 17 at 12:59
• So sorry for causing you inconvenience @YaakovEllis I'll check more carefully next time Jul 17 at 13:05
• In that case, this is covered by this answer already, and GH #101
– Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
Jul 17 at 13:06
• Not really @YaakovEllis, this is the question slider,not the answer slider Jul 17 at 13:09
• Both use the same resize css property. But if you notice carefully, I do talk about the question slider in that answer as well. Jul 17 at 14:35

Using the old editor I seemed to notice a sort was sometimes applied to the numbered links upon submitting - meaning the link numbers would be changed by the system to be numbered by order of appearance in the post. (I tried searching for an explanation but could never find a post explaining it.)

So I would expand on @RyanM's natural sorting FR and ask that in the following example the link numbers be sorted 1, 2, 3 in the both in the references and the reference list under the post. So if you wrote the following:

1st paragraph [link 1][3]

[2]: https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/380333
[1]: https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/380336
[3]: https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/380331


The system would convert it to:

1st paragraph [link 1][1]

[1]: https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/380331
[2]: https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/380333
[3]: https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/380336


And why would this be advantageous? For a couple of reasons:

1. It would allow the OP to just insert any link numbers without having to worry if you're getting the sequence numbering right! (Notice that if the OP now wanted to change the post and insert link#4 at the very top, they needn't worry about renumbering or sorting the links they had inserted previously.)

2. This would make post maintainability (editing) a lot more convenient. For example if you're editing a massive post with +140 links, keeping the numbering synced would guaranteed the link numbers you see below and above link 123, are indeed 122 and 124 as you they occur in the post (so the editor needn't worry about keeping track of things).

• I substantially disagree with this. Auto-renumbering and/or reordering the link references makes post edit diffs very hard for a human to review. It substantially expands on what the actual change was and effectively hides that actual change within a bunch of noise. While I might agree that there should be the ability for the user to manually choose to have the links auto-reordered, I strongly disagree that this should be something that is routinely auto-applied. Jul 14 at 15:43
• @Makyen I would say the problem might be with how the diff viewer presents the change. If the diff highlighted a single char instead of the whole line that's mostly unchaged, it would make inspection of newly added lines trivial. But good very good point, I hadn't thought of how diff view adds to the problem. Jul 14 at 15:48
• While there could be substantial improvements in the diff viewer, there isn't a reasonable set of improvements in it which would fully cover the auto-renumbering and auto-resorting which is proposed here (other than the diff being coded to specifically handle things in reference lists, which isn't appropriate, IMO). Jul 14 at 15:52
– V2Blast StaffMod
Jul 14 at 18:11
• ...That said, I think the Stacks editor uses inline links (i.e. [like this](https://example.org/)) by default when you hit Ctrl/Cmd+L, rather than the "reference-style" links (i.e. [like this][1], with [1]: https://example.org/ at the end of the post) that the old editor uses by default.
– V2Blast StaffMod
Jul 14 at 18:15
• @V2Blast I tried finding a post explaining the renumbering rule several times (over maybe a good couple of hours) but I haven't found an explanation posted yet. I've seen it happen on my own posts, yet I can't explain the rules or conditions that make it happen. I never use shortcuts, my links are all hand crafted... Sometimes it happens other times not... Jul 14 at 18:18
• This would require a significant amount of work. We might consider exploring it more if there was a strong community consensus around it, but until then, going to have to decline it.
– Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
Jul 17 at 12:27

In the image upload dialogue the Imgur logo is slightly misaligned with the preceding text. I also think it doesn't look good overall with the remaining fonts and other elements:

• The actual display of this on screen is very small. It may be one pixel off when you magnify it (as you have done), but the overall presentation of it when not magnified appears to have all of the text inline.
– Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
Jul 17 at 12:34

The general consensus in the web accessibility community is that CSS strikethrough text is not accessible, as the strikethrough decoration is typically ignored by screen readers and the text is read out loud without any indication of a strikethrough. In addition, it can be difficult for screen magnification users or users with low vision to see what the text is, or figure out what text is crossed out. — Veroniiiica

Instead of using strikethrough, an author should either delete the text or reword so that the post works without using strikethrough.

Note: While there is no strikethrough button on the current beta editor, there's one on the preview page editor.

• We aren't including a strikethrough button on the site right now. So I dont have much to respond to here.
– Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
Jul 17 at 12:52
• @YaakovEllis so that makes this status-completed, right? Jul 18 at 12:59
• Well, we didn't complete anything though…
– Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
Jul 18 at 13:09
• No-repro then because there is no button? @YaakovEllis /exit ocd mode Jul 19 at 20:00
• I think to make this no longer no-repro, this can be phrased as "please cancel any potential future plans to add a strikethrough button". Aug 9 at 9:06