Using rich text mode

I am a new user, using Joplin on Windows 10. Joplin version is 1.5.11 (prod, win32).

I have a basic question. I know Joplin offers two different modes - markdown and rich text. My question is, is the rich text feature really "rich text" ? I use the rich text editor and copy content off a webpage (which has formatting and colors). After I paste it in the editor, initially it might look like the original content. However, if I leave the note and then come back to it, I will see that all of that formatting is gone. The same is also true when I try to add empty lines. Is there a way to keep the original formatting? To be more clear, I want it to behave like Evernote (which preserves any formatting), if that's possible.

(I have read on Joplin's website that the "rich text" is actually internally stored as markdown anyway. If that's true, how is it really rich text, given that markdown only offers very limited formatting optons? Or maybe I am missing something? Just a genuine question to understand the capabilities better. Thanks.)


I thought the term "rich text" referred to text that was just slightly more complicated that pure text. If you are looking to save web pages exactly as they appear, you may need to look at full word processors.

The content of web pages is really complex. Even in a word processor doc you wouldn't be able to save everything.

Welcome to Joplin! Hope you can get it to do what you need.

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By "rich text" I was thinking of something like the format in Microsoft RTF files for example (basically word processor). I could be wrong but I thought that was the standard for rich text?

So is there a way to at least add blank lines in my notes?

Looking at the website, I think that it is incorrect for this to be called rich text editor. Maybe people coming from Linux and Mac use rich text differently than windows users. I think it is better if it is only called WYSIWYG editor, but that's probably too technical. It's definately not RTF that is the Microsoft proprietary format you may be used to.

@laurent Should it really be called a rich text editor?

Personally I never use the WYSIWYG editor so I haddn't come across the multiple line issue. If you wanted to keep multiple lines in, you would have to add <br/><br/><br/><br/><br/> in the markdown editor.

I hope others will comment, but it seems that if you want formatting that is not included in markdown, this may not be the app for what you are trying to do.

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I have the same problem, it's been there in earlier versions of Joplin too.

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After I paste it in the editor, initially it might look like the original content. However, if I leave the note and then come back to it, I will see that all of that formatting is gone.

"all of that formatting" or "some of that formatting"? Because for me it works.

In any case there are limits to what formatting can be supported due to the underlying Markdown storage. For best results, I'd recommend using the web clipper.


Thanks, I'll give the web clipper a try.

It's a bit confusing, at least to the new user. It would perhaps be nice if Joplin always displays it in the format in which it will be stored. That way the user doesn't get a surprise later.

I can probably live without having all the formatting support, although it would have been very nice if the support was there. That way I could have just copy-pasted from the web without having to reformat stuff on my own. To be able to add newline though would be very useful, otherwise it could possibly have been a deal breaker for me. So thank you for the suggestion. As I understand, </br> is not part of original markdown syntax. Is there any documentation available in Joplin on what all external (that is, non-markdown) syntaxes are allowed to embellish our notes?

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I think it is not a problem at all, that Joplin does not support all kinds of formatting. What is a little confusing is that what gets displayed initially (after paste) is different that what is displayed in the same note after switching to another note and back. But it is for sure a minor problem.


The Microsoft RTF spec is quite large. Supporting the entire thing would require a lot of code. We want Joplin to remain a slim, responsive app, since many (including me) use the mobile version in addition to the desktop version. As Laurent documents, under the covers, Joplin is still storing notes in MarkDown format.

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I just started trying the WYSIWYG/rich text editor. It is indeed not great. I wanted specifically to use it for a table. So I made the table to have the number of rows I would need, then I went to other notes to gather the text to put in the rows. When I go back to the table, all the empty rows are gone. Not good.

I'm not clear on why I can have blank lines in a markdown file, but viewing in the rich text editor removes them.

There is so little formatting supported in markdown, the welcome docs loaded in the fresh install of Joplin really has them all.

And a lot of the markdown plugins apply only to the markdown editor, not to the WYSIWYG editor.

Personally I'm of the view that a note app doesn't need to support all kinds of formatting. For notes we actually type, the formatting needs are usually pretty simple. For those who want a note app that is less a note app and more a repository for web clips, Evernote is a good option. Since moving to Joplin, my Evernote account is essentially web clip storage.

Markdown formatting and being able to see it, makes things simpler in multiple ways. For one, I don't have to try and fight hidden formatting, which was sometimes a problem in Evernote (and will be in any html or html variant note app that doesn't allow users access to the actual formatting layer). For another, it means you have very good data portability.

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Sure, there are pros and cons of both (complex formatting vs markdown). If Joplin supports markdown only, that's fine (just like Evernote only supports their proprietary format). The reason behind my original post was that Joplin claims to have a "rich text editor" but I found that it didn't seem to really support rich text (although it may also be true that the meaning of "rich text" is not very well defined). I found this confusing and a bit misleading (just saying that it is a WYSIWYG editor is better IMO). However, it's still a great app and fits most of my needs, so I'll keep using it.


I agree that there is a confusion between "rich text" and "Rich Text Format™" I think that "visual editor" makes much more sense. @laurent, any chance of changing it? Perhaps even just a note in the documentation website that rich text does not mean MS RTF.

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I know I don't want it to be called wysiwyg because it doesn't translate to anything in most languages, and most people don't know what it means.

Maybe a few people are confused with the term "rich text editor", but won't there be a few people confused with the term "visual editor" too? With "visual editor" we are now losing the fact that it's about "text" so maybe some people will think they can edit images and videos directly inside.

What I mean is that you can use any word, and there's always someone somewhere who won't quite know what it means.

I don't even mind one or the other to be honest, I don't have a strong opinion about this, but I'm not sure we are solving an issue by switching from one to the other. It feels like there's not a strong case for changing.


I agree it may not be strong. I think the confusion will only be there for Windows users. For them rich text is considered to be something specific that includes quite a bit more formatting than md. Thanks for the consideration, though. I really appreciate how responsive you are. It's what makes Joplin so great. Thanks!

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