When entering text in a Rich Text field it is sometimes desirable to have a soft return — ie. a simple line break within the paragraph rather than starting a new paragraph. In many situations (including EllisLab's own forums) a shift-return keyboard combo will give this result — but not in EE's RTE, where it starts a new para.

Typing <br> will generally achieve the desired result (although it's clunky and sometimes needs the entry to be submitted more than once before the line breaks registers as behind-the-scenes html). But if clients want an RTE field it's generally because they don't want to be typing HTML elements into their text — certainly not to achieve something as basic as a soft return/line break.

I'm sure that it is possible to create an RTE button for this but that process is not particularly simple for non-developers, and really shouldn't be required for such a basic function.

Am I missing something? Or is there really no simple way to insert a line break into a paragraph in the RTE?


Okay, it turns out it’s a bug that manifests when using the RTE in Safari. Switching to Chrome gets rid of the problem (though I'm not 100% sanguine about telling clients that they need to avoid a specific browser if they want to be able to use soft returns).

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    RTE has never been ready for prime time and seems off EL's radar to fix the little numerous bugs. A 3rd party WYSIWYG is the safer bet. – Jeremy Mar 20 '14 at 15:25

Hold down the Shift key when you hit Return in practically any text field and you should get a soft carriage return.

  • That was the first thing I tried, as per the first para of my question -- it is a pretty standard keyboard combo across apps and OSes after all -- but it doesn't give me a soft return when used in an EE RTE field. Does anyone else have different results from using a Shift-Return in this context? – RickL Mar 8 '14 at 18:19
  • Sorry, I missed that. You should be able to use shift-return though. What text formatting setting is used in the field options for that text area? Auto <br /> should allow your clients to insert a break without inputting any HTML. – rchrdg Mar 8 '14 at 22:00
  • Rich Text areas do not provide for different output modes. Text direction and Number of text rows are the only field options available. – RickL Mar 9 '14 at 11:06

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