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Making moves
Status: New idea

Short Version

In TB Calendar's Event Description field, I'd love it if the former plain-text editor could be resurrected via a new toggle/checkbox option in Settings (or in Config Editor), so we're not forced to use the new rich-text editor.

Long Version

I use Calendar Events a lot, especially the free-form Description box where I enter lots of notes and to-do's.

In TB 78.x, the big Description area/box/field was a plain-text editor. It worked *flawlessly*. (I'm on MacOS 11.7.x, btw.)

But when I upgraded to TB 91.x (and now 102.x) , it became a rich-text editor.

I don't mind that in itself, but the rich-text editor has a handful of bugs that make it difficult to copy-paste and edit the data in that Description box reliably. Very frustrating. I talk more about these bugs in this Mozilla Connect thread here.

It would be great if the former plain-text editor could still be an option, via a new toggle/checkbox control in Settings (or an entry in Config Editor). Since all the old plain-text-editor code must still exist (currently deactivated), presumably reactivating it as a user option shouldn't be a large development chore (I hope!), and would hopefully continue providing bug-free UI/editing for those of us on MacOS who don't need rich-text features.

Thank you for considering my humble feature request.


Status changed to: New idea
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks for submitting an idea to the Mozilla Connect community! Your idea is now open to votes (aka kudos) and comments.

Making moves

In my post above, I linked to another/former post I made here in Mozilla Connect with more details about the buggy rich-text editor. But the link embedded in my post above no longer works; the original thread has vanished. What happened to my original detailed posting?

New member

I'm quite surprised that this is the only post I can find discussing the "new" calendar event rich text editor.  And I'm equally surprised that it's only got 12 thumbs up.

I actively despise the new editor.  Strong words I know but it seems completely unfit for purpose.

Firstly, I have zero desire to edit my events in anything other than plain text.  So I am clearly not the target audience for this change.  But my main frustration is just how broken it is for creating events with clear consistent formatting

When pasting some text into the editor, it tries to preserve the formatting of the original source.  If the source uses different fonts, colours or sizes, there's no way to clear this. Quickly resulting in a very ugly event description.

The option to "Paste without formatting" would get around this.  In its absence, I resort to pasting first into a text editor and copying the plain text from there into the event editor.

But that isn't the end of the frustration.  Even entering plain text gets corrupted on save.
Somewhere along the line it decides to insert extra new lines.  When it's simply a double new line that's ugly but bearable.  But I've just been struggling with it inserting new lines in the middle of text.  One line of text being broken up into four.  Correcting it in the editor.  Saving and it's split again.

A longer rant than I intended.  But you would make me a happy man if I could have the option to use the plain text editor again.

New member

Editing notes in Calendar is almost unusable now with the Rich text!

Open a note to edit, and extra linefeeds have been added/deleted - unusable!

Give us a genuine option!

Thanks, John.

Making moves

In my original post up top, I included a link to a Mozilla Connect thread with more bug details, but that link went dead for some unknown reason. Below is the original text of that separately linked post:

Thunderbird Calendar: Buggy Rich-Text Editor in Event Description Box

I use Calendar Events a lot, especially the free-form Description box where I enter lots of notes and to-do's.

In TB 78.x , the big Description area/box was a plain-text editor. It worked flawlessly. (I'm on MacOS 11.7.x, btw)

But when I upgraded to TB 91.x (and now 102.x) , it became a rich-text editor. I don't mind that in itself, but the editor has a handful of bugs that make it difficult to copy-paste and edit the data in that Description box reliably. Very frustrating.

Rather than detail here all the specifics of the various UI/editing bugs, let me just mention one. I have a feeling most of the bugs are due to a mishandling of line-feeds/carriage-returns (maybe that term dates me, ha!) here on MacOS. Anyone on MacOS and a newer version of TB wanna reproduce this easy bug? Here goes:

Go into any Event and the Description field/area/box and hit enter/return multiple times to move the cursor downwards. Notice how you need to press enter *twice* per line? I know, this in itself isn't that problematic. But in addition to it being unnatural behavior, I have a strong hunch that all the other UI bugs there that I experience frequently/daily are underpinned by that line-feed bug.

Can anyone else here reproduce this? If so, I should step forward and formally file a bug report.

(Real quick, the other bugs: Copy-pasting or deleting lines often moves other nearby text into the wrong place, and cursor suddenly jumps to the top or bottom of the box. Unexpected concatenations sometimes/often occur. Undo/Redo often distort/corrupt the text after a few steps in either direction.)

Back in TB 78.x and the plain-text editor, I had *zero* of these problems. Editing, copy-pasting, deleting, Undo/Redo -- all worked perfectly, just as I'd expect.

I lament the loss of the former plain-text editor. Does anyone know if I can somehow re-enable it? I looked around the Config Editor in Settings (that "about:config" area), but couldn't find anything.

I'm seriously considering trying to learn how to dual-install an older version of Thunderbird so I can use the Calendar and plain-text editor in the Event Description (it's that important to me), while using the latest TB version for email.

Or, would I be more successful -- instead of a bug report as mentioned above -- in formally requesting a Calendar feature to toggle plain-text editor vs rich-text editor? If they added such a toggle, I assume they'd reactivate the old flawless plain-text source code.

Thanks, everyone, for making it this far in my post. I failed to keep this short. 😞

Btw, kudos to the developers for re-adding Calendar functionality in the latest version to restore behavior whereby double-clicking a Calendar event goes directly into edit-mode.

Thank you much!

New member

Good idea. The editor is inserting random newlines in plain text that I paste into the text box.

New member

I like the rich text editor - specifically hyperlinks and bulleted lists.  However the insertion of erroneous line breaks and extra blank lines is annoying.  Hopefully these bugs will be remedied soon.  Thank you.

New member

I, too, find the old plain-text editor to be preferable, and I believe having the option to use it would be a valuable addition.

New member

Me too. It just worked. Now it's trying to be far too clever, and not succeeding. If I edit an event in HTML - tedious I know - I expect it to work, but now it gets messed up. Worse, if I provide it clean HTML externally, it messes that up too.

New member

I also am getting random line breaks and insertion of line feeds in the calendar event description field.  I find it barely usable.  I have tried configuring the wrap parameters in advanced settings but this has failed to resolve this issue.  I agree a plain text editor option would be good as well as resolving the rich text editor issues. 

New member

I also need to be fixed as soon as possible, i want to paste text, save it and next time i opened not be a mess html code.


New member

I experienced your issue. Too bad mozilla staff seems negligent on this annoying issue. Currently I am just editing calendar events in google calendar (the calendar is connecting to my google calendar) and have an aggregated view in Thunderbird calendar.

New member

I also have the same issues with text formatting in Thunderbird Calendar 102.8.0

If I attempt to update an event's text, the text is further jumbled after saving/updating the event!!

Strollin' around

On Windows and possible other OSes, Ctrl+Shift+V pastes without formatting.

New member

This issue is frustrating me as well.  The calendar event description text is almost unusable.  This is a feature that I've made frequent use of.  Each time you save or update an event description, additional line breaks are randomly added to the text.