Spotlight on Spira 6.13 - New Rich Text Editor & Swimlanes in Diagrams

November 8th, 2021 by inflectra

The upcoming release of our Spira platform includes a major overhaul of the rich text editor we use throughout the application. The new editor improves the user experience and features of the text editor, letting users more easily add and view links, create checklists, highlight text, and strike-through text. In addition, it opens the door for adding popular, requested features for adding artifact #tags and @mentions.

In addition, the built-in diagram tools get even more powerful with additional shapes and options. You can now make diagrams that group individual shapes together to form Kanban board diagrams and swim lane diagrams.

New Rich Text Editor

Since version 5.0 of Spira, we have been using the powerful CKEDITOR text editor for all of the rich text editing options within Spira. However we have been using version 4.0 of CKEDITOR for most of the pages in Spira. Eagle-eyed users may have noticed that we were using a newer version in the Requirements Document view. We were beta-testing newer versions of CKEDITOR on that page, and now we can proudly announce that from version 6.13 (and onwards) we will be using the newer version of CKEDITOR throughout the Spira platform:

The new editor provides additional features and enhancements over the old editor, including:

  • Additional formatting options such as strike-through (as well as bold, underline and italics)
  • To-do checklists (as well as numbered and unordered lists)
  • Highlighted text (as well as foreground and background color)
  • Ability to embed YouTube videos (as well as images)

Finally, the editor also fixes some known annoyances with the old editor:

  • Hyperlinks included in the rich text descriptions are now clickable
  • The right-click spellchecker now works without having to CTRL right-click

Diagram Tool Enhancements

In Spira version 6.11 we introduced the new built-in diagram editor that let customers create their own flowcharts, mind-maps, organization charts and other diagrams directly inside Spira.

As part of the upcoming 6.13 release, we have enhanced this diagram editor to include two new features:

  • Group individual shapes together
  • Swim lane / Kanban diagrams

Grouping Shapes in Diagrams

The new Group option lets you create expandable / collapsible groups that contain diagram / flowchart shapes:

 

Swim Lane / Kanban Diagrams

The new swim lane diagram option lets you create horizontal, vertical or mixed row/column boards. For example, a typical horizontal swim lane diagram might look like:

You can create similar diagrams with vertical swim lanes for use in Kanban diagrams, and for ultimate flexibility you can also create a combined row/column diagram layout:

These new diagram layout / grouping options add more power to the content editing features in Spira.

spotlight roadmap rich text editor ckeditor diagrams swimlanes kanban