Formatting your task descriptions like a ninja 🥷

The new Description Editor is slowly being rolled out to everyone, and I already love it! :heart_eyes:

Adding formatting styles like Headings and Page Breaks allows me to create much richer and easier-to-understand descriptions while simultaneously leaving the possibility to keep it simple with just plain text if I wish.

I thought the rollout of this feature could be an excellent opportunity to share my formatting tricks with everyone, so you can also move around in the Description field like a ninja :ninja:.

Type /

If you type the slash symbol, a contextual menu will open with all your formatting options and some more!

2022-09-30 Screenshot 000315

Ninja mode on :ninja:

If you are anything like me, every second in your life counts, so you’ll be glad to know that there is an even faster way to apply the new Headings and Page Breaks.

Markdown-like formatting :raised_hands:

Shortcut Formatting style
# + space Header 1
## + space Header 2
- - - (triple dash) Section break

2022-09-30 Screenshot 000316

The good old formatting

Of course, you can still do your typical bold, italic, underline and strikethrough.

Shortcut Windows Shortcut Mac Formatting style
⌃ + B ⌘ + B Bold
⌃ + I ⌘ + I Italic
⌃ + U ⌘ + U Underline (use your imagination here :face_with_raised_eyebrow:)
⌃ + ⇧ + X ⌘ + ⇧ + X Strikethrough

Bullet and number lists

Not everyone knows you can select text and turn it into a bullet or number list with two handy shortcuts, so here they are.

Shortcut Windows Shortcut Mac Formatting style
⌃ + ⇧ + 7 ⌘ + ⇧ + 7 Numbered List
⌃ + ⇧ + 8 ⌘ + ⇧ + 8 Bullet List

2022-09-30 Screenshot 000322

Of course, you can also trigger bullet points by just typing.

Shortcut Formatting style
- Bullet style
1. Number style

2022-09-30 Screenshot 000323

Sometimes, you just have your hands on your mouse

If you select a word, a little layover appears just a couple of pixels away, and all the formatting options you need are just a click away.

2022-09-30 Screenshot 000324

Working with blocks

You can be very intentional about what goes in an existing versus a new block.

Shortcut Result
Create a new paragraph in a new block
⇧ + ↵ Create a new paragraph in the same block

Moving block of texts around

You can drag and drop blocks up and down as you need. I am unsure how much I will use this one, as I like to keep my hands on the keyboard as much as possible, but I can see this being useful during reviews of various lists…

2022-09-30 Screenshot 000319

Global modifiers and extra tips

Did you know that:

  • With a dash “-” and an angle bracket “>” you get an arrow? →
  • ⌘ + K lets you add a hyperlink?
  • If you select a word and use the paste shortcut ⌘ + V, it will paste the hyperlink into the word?

Global modifiers :earth_africa:

Below are keyboard shortcuts that you can use in any text field or text editor on a computer and will literally save you years if you use them consistently :slight_smile:

Shortcut Windows Shortcut Mac Formatting style
⌃ + A ⌘ + A Select all text
⌃ + → or ← ⌥ + → or ← Move one word to the left or right
Home or End ⌘ + → or ← Move to the beginning or end of the line
⌃ + ↓ or ↑ ⌥ + ↓ or ↑ Move to the beginning or end of a paragraph

If you combine the above with shift ⇧, now you can also select words, entire lines or paragraphs at the speed of light. So if. I’d hit “⇧ + ⌥ + ↑” right now as I am typing this; I would select the entire paragraph just like this.

2022-09-30 Screenshot 000330

Anything we can add here? Feel free to contribute; happy to update this one with the input from your comments :slight_smile:

Hope this helps!

Take care,
Rosario

14 Likes

Terrific post, @Rosario_Messina!

Would you prefer it here, or perhaps in #tips:tips-forumleaders instead?

Thanks for this,

Larry

2 Likes

Thank you my dear :hugs: just moved it to #tips:tips-forumleaders. That’s what happens when you get the inspiration late at night, and you are not wise enough to wait until the next morning to publish :slight_smile: .

2 Likes

Hi @Rosario_Messina - great post - thanks :+1:.

1 Like

Awesome post @Rosario_Messina!

1 Like

Thanks for helping us be Asana Ninjas! Great post

2 Likes

Hiya! This is great. Will it be rolled out to project updates soon?

Yep, gradually everywhere there is text.

1 Like

I can understand that it is nice to have more formatting options - but now if I insert several lines at once, the spacing is off as they get inserted as separated paragraphs and I have to edit it manually (Shift+Enter) or else it is hard to read. Therefore my life has gotten more complicated and I would prefer if I could op out rather than having to edit the pasted text constantly.

1 Like

Thanks for the great update!

My problem is now when I hit Enter at the end of a line, there is an automatic double space.

Can anyone tell me how to change this back to single spacing?

Thanks most kindly!
Cathy

Rosario included that info in the OP. Basically, Shift+Enter is your only option:

Larry

2 Likes

Larry, thanks so much!

Found that answer and it works perfectly!

Have a nice weekend.

1 Like

@Silke_Graser I agree with you on this one, pasting from another source has gotten harder due to the extra line in between. Hopefully we‘ll see improvements and updates to the feature soon.

Not sure how to make this work when copying and pasting, it creates multiple blocks

@Rachel_Williams1,

The post you replied to is a response to question about typing, not pasting.

For pasting, I gave a workaround in another thread:

Hope that helps,

Larry

1 Like

Unfortunately, I can’t get to work for me, but thanks for responding.

2 Likes

I also noticed this. We have descriptions filled out in our template projects, and now I can’t just hit return. Instead it creates two lines of space instead of just a typical single line. This is only if we already have information being copied in a project. Also the “hovering” tools is obnoxious. It’s already at the bottom of the text box, why do I need it covering up the text I already have there? It’s blocking my view of information.

I am so happy that ‘normal’ paragraph formatting is finally back after this desaster. It was so tedious to copy words and whole lines via double and triple click. Our knowledgebase entries and other tasks, some of which were automatically generated, accumulated for years and the new formatting made them harder to read and edit. The simplicity of Asana had been severely curtailed. The automatically appearing formatting bar is still a bit annoying but the biggest mistake has been undone, bravo!

Just discovered: The new inline image functionality is awesome! Now we just wait for table formatting and then nothing can stop us :wink: