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Formatted text in Tickets, not forum

Hi,

Not sure how hard this is to do, but it would be really nice, is to have emails submitted as tickets to keep the color that was submitted.

Reason is my clients submit html/outlook rich text which shows red or other colors of things they want changed or updated, just to be clear. However, once inside the ticket, I don't see any color at all. (Luckily, from the server side, I get a CC of all originals at another mailbox so I can see what they really submitted originally, with the crossed-out text, colors, etc.)

In a related feature request, it would be nice to be able to put [code]...[/code] and just have it marked as code in the ticket and in the forums.

Thanks! You have a great product here!

 

 Zendesk Update, September 2, 2014 

Since this thread has become complex we wanted to provide a summary of the issues up front. This thread has discussions about two topics:

  1. 1. Inbound communication from customers to agents - this is something we're assessing and researching now.
    Zendesk currently provides a way for you to see the raw email sent by a customer. 

  2. 2. Outbound communication from agents to customers with formatting.
    For this, we have Markdown.

351 comments

  • Official comment

    Good news! On September 29th, we began rolling out our new editor for ticket comments: https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/211594147-Introducing-a-whole-new-formatting-option-for-agents

    The editor includes all the formatting options you would expect to find with Markdown, but shows you all formatting as you're editing - like Gmail, Google Docs, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, etc.

    This topic will be marked as "Done". I am aware that a few comments, and part of the original post, in this thread also talks about preserving inbound formatting. We are working on it, but please follow this thread instead: https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/203422616-Creating-tickets-from-HTML-emails

  • 0

    Yes, this is about the only request from our agents that we have not been able to accommodate in our trial. Agents would very much like to bold or underline in ticket comments for emphasis. The very format tools available in the forum comments would be perfect. I also agree that inbound formatted / html comments would be a boon.

  • 0

    +1 for this feature

    The ability to markup, format, and set font properties for text in ticket would be a HUGE benefit.  

    I would personally like to see these options:

    Bold, Underline, Italic, Strikeout, Bullet List, Indent, Highlight, Font Style, Font Size, Text Color

     

    Also the ability to insert graphic such as screenshot embedded in the content rather than as an attachements would be a major bonus.  

     

    Thanks!

     

  • 0

    +1

  • 0

    +1 for this - BBE code would be fine.

  • 0

    I'd like this as well. Tiny's strict xml filtering would be perfect for my needs. Specifically tables are useful for my science-y company's ticket requests.

  • 0

    s/xml/xhtml/ :)

  • 0

    +1,

    preformatted text (code) would be the formatting I would use the most.

  • 0

    Agreed.  My biggest grievance is that HTML links show the full URL.  Often this URL is huge and makes the email confusing and cluttered to read.

  • 0

    +1

    Would be nice to have some form of wiki/bbe syntax, especially for html links

  • 0

    Yes! This is our number one issue as we use Zendesk more, and SharePoint less. In instructions even basic formatting is so important for clear communication. Just like here in the Forum is fine.

    I'd be interested in the reason it's not included already. Is there a complexity or downside that's not apparent?

  • 0

    This is huge.  We really need more control over the emails that get sent.  Bold, bullets, etc.

  • 0

    Yes, We need rich text formatting. _This should be a standard feature. _

  • 0

    I actually search Google for "zendesk rich text" in hopes of finding a way to hopefully enable this option.  This post is all I could find.  I think this is currently Zendesk's biggest drawback.  I'm signing up for the RSS on this feed in hopes that it will be added soon.

  • 0

    I used to want this but after using the rich text editor in the forums I changed my mind.  Please do not implement this feature without a good rich text editor.

    The current editor is very buggy.  I can never tell if I put 1 space or 2 between lines.  Sometimes I think there's a space and then none appears.  I would not want to get an upgrade only to lose control over my ability to properly format an email.

     

    Google held off for a long time before adding rich text to gmail.  I wouldn't mind you guys working on more important things first.  37 Signals seems to manage just fine without rich text too.

  • 0

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all the comments in this post, they're all detailed which is great news. 

    However, I just wanted to make sure I added some points which I think need to be considered here. I come from a background in Email Marketing and Email Design so I speak from at least some experience.

    When Emails get sent out, they are sent in something called Multipart/MIME format, which essentially means two versions of the Email is sent out.

    • One Plain Text Email - this is completely plain, no formatting, no bold, no underline. Text. Plain.
    • HTML Email - this is the Email complete with all HTML markup.

    At the moment, you are able to change the HTML portion of your Email using the Template - but this is just a header/footer and the actual content of the Email isn't rich text (although it still forms part of the HTML Email). 

    HTML in Email is, for lack of a better word, rubbish. It's hard to get right because it formats differently in the vast majority of Email Software - Outlook 2007, Hotmail, Gmail being amongst the worst (if you're as geeky as me check out  http://www.email-standards.org/).

    Not only this, but Spam Filter Software often negatively scores Email with a lot of HTML Markup, or Rich Text - that's a very general view, but using too much bold, underline and italic will usually be a good way to get in someone's spam tray. 

    Then you get to the real crunch. Not everyone likes HTML or Rich Text Emails. In fact some people opt to receive only Plain Text Emails - or read Emails from their mobile device. As a result, these people won't even see a bold, underline or italic.

    There's plenty of ways to workaround having no Rich Text Email. 

    • Use Character Emphasis, rather than bold - this is this needs *attention* and this is _important_
    • Long URLs? Then shorteners such as http://bit.ly work great
    • Need to show someone some code?  http://pastie.org/ works great too.

    With all this considered, perhaps some would like to re-consider this feature request, or feel free to tell me if no one agrees with me :)

    Jake Holman
    Zendesk Support

     

  • 0

    To be perfectly honest Jake – this sounds like an excuse, not a reason. There are people, who remain outside my understanding, who insist on sending only text email. It drives me nuts in this day and age, so please appreciate that I have a predisposition to ranting on this subject.

     

    OK we accept the inherent injustice of a world that renders HTML inconsistently.  It’s rather like the insight that democracy sucks, but not as much as the alternatives. *Something is better than nothing. *The fact is higher-fidelity formatting helps in communication. That’s why almost everything we read, print, web, email isn’t in one non-formatted  type.

     

    I have to give detailed examples of copy changes to English as a second language Agents. Bold, color, indent, font, bullets, – these are all very powerful communications tools. That’s why they exist. They aren’t eye-candy. They are functional communication tools.

     

    You’ve presented workarounds but that’s what they are. It’s OK to say “the development resources required to bring rich text editing to Zendesk, in a way we would be proud of,  is a lower priority  than other feature requests* is something we could all appreciate and understand. To argue that plain text is better – I don’t by that.

     

    *respectfully*

    Derek

     

     

  • 0

    It's a cruel stab in the face of my argument to cut and paste from Microsoft Word and see the mess of HTML (which it looks like I can't edit).

    I'll shut up now.

  • 0

    As someone who works a lot with email (I work at Postbox), I can say definitively that simple HTML should render fine in 99.99% of email clients out there and will not get caught in spam filters.  

    Simple Bold, Italic, Underline, and ordered and unordered lists would go a long way.

    Remember, we're using Zendesk to provide support.  Often times this requires several steps that people must follow (which makes lists great) and we would like to emphasize certain points WITHOUT HAVING TO RESORT TO USING ALL CAPS, WHICH SEEMS RUDE. 

    Jake, you even used bullets in your response to this issue.

    Ok, 'nuff said, thanks for listening.

  • 0

    <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-520092929 1073786111 9 0 415 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin-top:0in; margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:10.0pt; margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} p {mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-margin-top-alt:auto; margin-right:0in; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoPapDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; margin-bottom:10.0pt; line-height:115%;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} -->

    Jake -

    I appreciate your post.  I appreciate companies that actually post replies to their user's forums - Thank you.

    However -   I can't speak for the other people that have posted, but my reason for adding to this conversation was not as much to make the tickets / emails look good for the customer, but more for an internal use.  Personally, i use a lot of detail in my tickets and I reference them frequently.  If formatting was an option, then I could find what I was looking for much easier.  I believe that most people know how to use asterisk and other forms of "Character Emphasis", easily, but simple want further options which is why this was posted.  As for customers that have various email clients, I believe that should be used at our digression.  If we get complaints about HTML formats, then we could always have the option to only submit our tickets in any format we choose.  I appreciate your comments, but believe that any requested (and optional to the user) features like this one should not be left out by your team simply because a small percentage of people *may* :) not know how to use them.

    Please share your thoughts - Thank you

  • 0

    I'll add one comment just so people don't think I'm completely deranged. When I submitted I had all that Word HTML/XML code on the in the post and screen. I've come back now and it's gone. I'm happy for that.

    Sherman makes a good point +1

  • 0

    Looks like I posted code as well since I typed it in another program. - Whoops - Hopefully that doesn't take away from my credibility any....... Thank

  • 0

    While briefly evaluating Zendesk over my coworker's shoulder, I was happy to see that rich text e-mail was available, as it wasn't in our previous support solution.  Now I see that it's unavailable here as well, in order to hold true to a doctrine of purity which, without irony, was expressed using the very same rich text features we ask for.  I understand that e-mailing a web page requires arcane HTML, but really, all I need is the basic features available right in this forum: bold, italics, bullets, and hot links.

  • 0

    Ironically, the email updates we get from this post is exactly what we're crying out to get for tickets!

  • 0

    Jake I appeciate the tips you gave about pastie etc but we can't really expect our users to use various websites and then post links in their support tickets. By the nature of a support ticket the user is probably not in the best of moods when when create the ticket so pointing off to other sites is likely to make them really pi**ed!

    I think Zendesk is great but as a software company we really need the ability to handle links, code blocks etc in our support tickets and this is the main thing holding us back from rolling out zendesk across our organization. It seems such a shame because as I say I'm a great fan

  • 0

    I've been trying to fight it, but the lack of rich formatting is going to kill ZenDesk for us. The links in tickets look horrible, and the fact they can't bold, highlight, or do anything standard formatting is causing a ton of headaches. 

  • 0

    +1

  • 0

    +1, (please add support for basic html functionality to tickets.)

    It is interesting (and helpful)  that you can add something like blockquote tags around something, and it will show up correctly in the on-line version.

  • 0

    That's really strange. I could swear the blockquote tag was showing up as you would expect in the "Events" area of a ticket. When I looked again today, the less-than and greater-than characters were translated into entities and so lost the html interpretation. Maybe I was mistaken.

  • 0

    Any updates on when we could anticipate this feature being available?  I feel like this is an expectation most end users (and support folks) have of a helpdesk system.  I don't like asking my end users to modify their writing style because the system doesn't interpret something they wrote.

    One positive note is that I've noticed that pasted screenshots in emails do translate into an attachment in ZenDesk.  I would like to see that possible from within the ZD interface as well, but it's a great start.  Now, if we can just get the text control a little more developed, you will improve an already spectacular product.

    Thanks,
    Bill

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