Community Wishlist Survey 2021/Editing/Writing a : in visual editor shouldnt add a blockquote but a : to the source code

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  • Problem: Writing a : and getting a blockquote is not intuitive and breaks with the convention of being able to write source code in the visual editor. There is also no other way to get an : into the source code. Equations are always indented with a : so it's an important feature to have.
  • Who would benefit: Everybody who needs an : indent aka everybody who writes equations.
  • Proposed solution:
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Nabloodel (talk) 19:17, 19 November 2020 (UTC)


  • @Nabloodel: Note : is not intended to be used for indentations in article text. : creates a definition list (which is why VE maps it to blockquote instead, which is a proper indentation). This is a very unfortunate and longstanding habit that grew out of talk page discussions, but it is VERY bad for people relying on screenreaders to read an article
  • but character : is used in discussions and there are pages, where is allowed visual editr on talkpages or forum chats. JAn Dudík (talk) 16:39, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
  • This is most often used with equations, which look weird with no indentation. I know of no other ways of indenting them. So maybe add a paragraph style for equations instead (and use a bot to change millions of :<math> to the new style)?
    • Indenting article text with colons is semantically invalid and bad for accessibility. A div tag can and should easily be used to provide a block indent. See en:Template:Block indent. Jonesey95 (talk) 19:09, 22 November 2020 (UTC)
      • Editors should never have to use html tags. That's why we have the wiki markup language. Paragraph styles are the way to go; we use them for headings and quotes, there should be one for math equations. Ponor (talk) 21:16, 22 November 2020 (UTC)
  • I notice that under the dropdown menu for VisualEditor - Icon - Bullet-list-ltr.svg there are two options that I normally can't click on, even in articlespace: Decrease indentation and increase indentation, both of which have keyboard shortcuts. Any clue as to why those may have been disabled? Tenryuu (talk) 04:23, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
  • The :<math> issue is phab:T111712. As mentioned here and on that task, it would be better to not (ab)use the : syntax for this. ESanders (WMF) (talk) 16:44, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Equations can be indented by <math display=block> instead of :<math> so :-indentation is not really required for that. Threading of discussion pages is a bigger issue. —David Eppstein (talk) 18:01, 26 November 2020 (UTC)