Help Center Article Editor needs to support (easy) source code formatting

76 Commentaires

  • Commentaire officiel
    Katarzyna Karpinska
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hi All, 

    Thank you very much for all the comments in this thread. I can see that there are a few requests over here, namely:

    1. Code blocks with language detection
    2. Markdown
    3. Call-outs (pre-defined styles for code, notes, alerts, etc.)
    4. In-line code
    5. Unification of the experience with ticket editor

    I'll start with the last one. We are working on changing the rtf technology powering our editors to make sure that we provide the same experience across all the products. At this moment we have already unified the ticket editor and the content block editor and in 2023 we'll move the article editor to it as well. 

    Changing the rtf technology will allow us to implement a lot of changes to the content creation experience that should address some of the needs raised here.

    For example, you can already see in the Content block editor you can see that the code block is allowing language-sensitive formatting. We also started supporting markdown in Content block editor, you can read more about it here. We plan to extend this functionality the article editor as well.

    The last thing that I'd like to address here is advanced article components (like pre-formatted alerts, notes, info boxes). It's definitely on our roadmap and we hope to start working on it sometime next year. You can always check our roadmap here


  • Tom

    Adding our vote for source code formatting in the Help Center article editor. The exact features we are looking for were written by Christian Colding of Zendesk here:

    TinyMCE now has an excellent official 'Code Sample' plugin: It would be wonderful if this could be added to the Help Center editor. Please :-)


  • Matthew Marichiaba

    Markdown support, please!

  • Andrew Soderberg
    Community Moderator

    Zendesk should really update the TinyMCE WYSIWYG editor and/or add the many useful editing tools that have been available for this WYSIWYG editor for many years.If you want I will be glad to write another comment with ALL the popular WYSIWYG tools that we are not getting that we should have. Quickest way to see you own favorites that your not getting is to go here:

    The TinyMCE WYSWYG editor natively supports creating custom styles like the one Zendesk uses for Notes (I worked for an enterprise CMS company that also uses TinyMCE, so I know what is possible).

    If the whole "has to be compatible with a number of different publishing destinations" then how about bringing the WYSIWYG article editor that Zendesk uses for it's OWN Guide articles for the rest of us to use in our articles!

    For example: Article Notes... You can't do this now, but Zendesk can for their guide.

    Zendesk article Notes are comprised of:

    <div class="p">

    <div class="note note">

    <div class="notetitle">Title</div>

    Note body text.


    If you try to add these tags, they get removed, If you try to add <style> tags in the source of the article, they get removed when you publish the article.

    Why can't we have the WYSIWYG tool that assigns these tags and styles to our content in articles. I am sure I can find more like this. We should have access to the same Guide article editor that Zendesk uses itself!  see image:

    One of the selling points for me, or rather what I saw in Zendesk's support articles when making the buying decision was the broad variety of styling that was possible. It was not cool when I then later found out that these are not possible in the WYSIWYG editor we get for Guide articles.

    Having to re-define the CSS of a text color in the tool bar to get the example above is a real hack (as found in another community post: ), and we should not have to reinvent what is already there (just turned off).


  • Daniel Wood

    Have to admit, I am kind of amazed that it does not seem possible to create my own custom styles to be applied via the WYSIWYG drop-down, but am instead stuck with only 4 header styles.

    I mean, what do you guys imagine a good help article to look like, format-wise, in 2020? Because I'm guessing it involves more than 4 different header sizes and the occasional bullet point list.

    The fact that switching to code view does/can not grab my cursor position is just icing on the time-wasting cake. Hundreds and thousands of human-hours, wasted every day in this product, just scrolling back down through the Code View trying to find the paragraph or header where you need to apply that custom style... 

  • Larry Garfield

    I'm currently evaluating ZenDesk Guide as a knowledge base for our company, for potentially both internal and external docs.  The lack of a code sample formatting option could very well be a deal-breaker, as we have a LOT of code samples and command line examples in our current documentation.  Our target audience is developers so they'll want code samples.

  • Chaz Spahn

    +1 for Code Samples. This will be a great first step. But what we really need is custom style creation and selection. I have a need for Notes, Warning, Error, and Code. At this point, we are stating to look at other options for our KB because it is far to costly (time and resource wise) to get our articles they way we want them.

    NOTE: I have posted the same request for at least 5 different threads that all ask for this capability now.

  • Jonathan March
    Community Moderator

    4 years later, this remains a significant pain point.

  • Diana Langston

    Also, is there going to be a way to install some sort of plug-in for code examples, such as Prettify etc. 

    We need something that allows syntax highlighting of source code snippets.

  • Jukka Raanamo

    Was also thinking of migrating to Zendesk Guide and put ALL documentation there but as technical company there's plenty of code in multiple languages we need to present to our users. If we cannot do that then we're better off with our current do-it-yourself documentation platform and using the rest of the Zendesk products also make little sense.

  • Nick Jones

    +1 as an organisation which supports users who code, the lack of simple editor (TinyMCE) options like this is deeply frustrating for those team members authoring articles and supporting users, and for the users who are receiving lower quality support.

    +2 this relates to our ability to have a consistent set of styles when editing/previewing, as compared to being published. If we could add code formatting and other enhancements within our custom theme, problem solved. However our custom theme doesn't apply to the editor/preview, so we're back to square one. see: and

  • The lack of decent code block options is a major disappointment for my team as well. We need to be able to share code snippets to our advanced users, and more frequently in our internal guides. 

    Messing around with the source code editor has been very difficult with no line numbering, tabbing, etc. I try to stay out of there whenever possible. But for now, I'll just need to settle for using <pre> I think. 

  • Ryan McGrew
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hey all,

    Today we've rolled out an ability to insert code blocks as pre-formatted text in the article editor. It's a small change and doesn't include syntax highlighting, but will hopefully will make it a little easier to insert code into your articles.

    We will continue to take more advanced functionality as a product feedback.


  • First Data Support (MG)

    The code block from Zendesk is not the same. it doesn't highlight code according to what programming language is used. all it does is to arrange the code in a distinct section. Hard to read the code in this way, especially when the code section is long.
    also, there is no option to switch seeing a different code when a different programming language is used, 

  • Arnor Baldvinsson

    I agree 110%  I really liked that option in the old one as I have posted several articles with source code on my portal.  

    Arnor Baldvinsson - Icetips Alta LLC

  • Niclas Kårlin

    I works very well in tickets. Frustrating that those are not available in Article.

  • Rom (Old)

    Hi Ryan,


    you can see the solution that Tom offered 

    "TinyMCE now has an excellent official 'Code Sample' plugin: It would be wonderful if this could be added to the Help Center editor. Please :-)"


    this seems like a simple implementation that should not span over "quarters" as you suggested. This is blocking our development of the HC and forcing us to look else were for documentation purposes. 

  • Maria McDowell


    The lack of code snippets is a major factor in our hesitancy to use Guide. Please add them!

  • Chun Lee

    Please please please prioritise this. This is not the only thread or request on this subject.

  • Manuel Morales


    There is no workaround that will work in my environment so we are waiting for this feature to be implemented ASAP.

  • Pete Holborow

    Adding my voice for code samples as a requirement. You do it in the ticket editor, why not in the Guide editor?

  • Eitan Blumin

    Adding my vote as well.

    This is such a common functionality, especially for something that's supposed to be a Knowledge Base...

    How do you not have this yet???

  • georgemabey

    👋very much in favour of an improved code sample experience!

  • Peter Watt

    Adding my vote for this to be implemented. We are putting together developer documentation and being able to add code blocks would be a really great addition.

  • Celine Ladoire

    I've done some slight digging around and found this article:

    If you remove the <code> bit, and only keep the <pre> looks like it works?

    Unless you guys are looking for something else?

    Code I used for this is:

    p { color: red; }
    body { background-color: #eee; }
  • Chaz Spahn

    Zendesk uses a modified version of TinyMCE. They CHOSE to strip out functionality. Right on Tiny's homepage...

  • Ryan McGrew
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hey all,

    It's not quite as simple as what parts of TinyMCE we do and don't strip out. From our perspective, what we allow into an article via the Article Editor has to be compatible with a number of different publishing destinations. For example, if you create an article with a red text that has to be rendered properly in our Article Editor, Help Center article templates (with CSS styling), the legacy Mobile layout of a our Help Center, the Knowledge Capture Application, the Mobile SDK that customers integrate with, the Web Widget and for customers that consume article content via the Article API. Supporting all these channels as output sources for an article makes our platform useable in many different contexts, which is great. However it increases the burden of building out new features for the Editor. So yes, TinyMCE has code block support. But that doesn't mean that we can "just turn it on" for our Editor.

    That being said, there are a number of things that customers are asking for that we don't provide that we should add to the editor. It's a process of refinement and prioritization. I can assure that I read all of your feedback. We are working on set of competitive research and user testing around source code formatting right now. I'm hoping we have some settled findings by early August. From there it will be about working out timing for implementation. I can't give you a timeline at this point, but it is something we're actively looking at.


  • Nick Jones

    thanks Ryan, useful to understand.

    I do wonder whether, like with theming, the overall compatibility across channels couldn't be left to the customer? If it were an option to configure some editor features, or at least to use our own theme custom CSS within the editor, that would, that would be transfer a similar level of responsibility to what we do today as a customer when customising our theme in general. For some customers who only use one or two of the channels you describer, that would represent a major change in what was possible... 

    thanks again for your response.

  • Jason Stevens

    This is a blocker for me to be able to role out fuller use of the guide.   How is it that this has not been implemented?   Please prioritize this.

  • Guido Santo

    This is a blocker for me as well.

    I have narrowed down to Zendesk for our service desk and knowledge base requirements in a lengthy process and this basic requirement is probably the main reason why we simply cannot go ahead.

    Our product requires technical integration documentation and code snippets are bock standard in any half-decent editor. Even Freshdesk has a fantastic code block in their editor...


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