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Sakai 21 - Rich-Text Editor (CKEditor): How does auto-save for the Rich-Text Editor work?


How does auto-save for the Rich-Text Editor work?

The rich-text editor’s auto-save feature, described in detail below, is turned on by default. To enable or disable this feature as a user preference at any time, refer to the article, How do I enable or disable auto-save for the Rich-Text Editor?

The details below describe characteristics and constraints pertaining to this auto-save feature. Further below are details about how auto-save events display in the rich-text editor and how auto-saved content is detected and retrieved.

Auto-save Characteristics & Constraints

Whether or not the auto-save feature is enabled, we recommend composing and saving your work elsewhere (e.g., in MS Word, Google Docs), especially if your work will take more than a few minutes to compose. You can then paste your work into Sakai’s rich-text editor to format and post it to Sakai.

With that said, the rich-text editor’s auto-save feature, if enabled in your preferences, can serve as a helpful fall back measure to retrieve your work that may otherwise be lost. This auto-save feature bears a number of characteristics and constraints worth noting: 

  • The auto-save feature only stores content contained in the Sakai rich-text editor. In other words, other input text fields outside the editor on a Sakai page (e.g., the title for a forum post in the Forums tool) will not be saved by this feature.

  • Auto-saved content is stored in a specific browser on a specific device. When the auto-saved feature is enabled, auto-saved content from the editor is only stored locally within the particular browser you are using (e.g., Firefox, Chrome, etc.) and on the particular device you are using (e.g., desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or phone). In other words, if you have auto-saved content stored on Firefox, you cannot retrieve that content from a different browser like Chrome. Furthermore, if you switch to using a different device, you cannot retrieve that auto-saved content saved on other devices despite having used the same browser across devices.

  • Auto-saved content may be retrievable up to 72 hours since the last auto-save.

  • On shared devices such as on-campus computers in classrooms and labs, take the precautions normally used to protect your account and data by logging out of the operating system (Windows/Mac). Such measures are pertinent for auto-saved content which is locally stored in the browser on such devices. Assuming you have logged out of the operating system, this will secure your auto-saved content. For other shared devices, you might consider temporarily disabling the auto-save feature as another measure to secure your data. When disabling auto-save in Sakai, any prior auto-saved content of yours stored on that browser and device will be removed.

  • Incognito (Chrome) or private (Firefox, Safari) browsing sessions will not retain auto-saved content after that browser is closed.

  • There are a few places in Sakai where rich-text content cannot be auto-saved:

    • When entering comments on a Lessons page by way of the Comments tool.

    • Anywhere in the Profile tool. E.g., the “Personal Summary” text area under “Basic Information”.

    • Rare instances where students are taking an assessment from Tests & Quizzes where only the assessment is displayed without the Sakai site tabs, tool menu, and other normal navigation in the Sakai user interface. Instances like this only occur when an instructor shares with students the “Published Assessment URL” that originates from the published assessment’s settings.

How auto-save events display in the editor

The editor will auto-save content approximately 5 to 10 seconds after new content in the editor is detected. When an auto-save event occurs, a boldface indicator stating Auto Saved will display for a few seconds in the center of the horizontal grey bar at the bottom of the editor as highlighted below. 

Auto Saved indicator

How auto-saved content is detected and retrieved

When you visit a page in Sakai that contains the rich-text editor and if the latest of your auto-saved content for that page (assuming any exists) has been detected in the browser and if that auto-saved content differs from the content currently stored by Sakai, a popup window from the browser will display, stating the date and time of the detected auto-saved content and asking if you would like to compare the content versions. This popup window varies by browser type. 



Auto Save detected in Chrome
Auto Save detected in Firefox

To view the auto-saved content and compare versions, click OK. Note that clicking Cancel (or in some browsers navigating to a different browser tab) will permanently delete the auto-saved content for that Sakai page.

If you click OK, another popup window will depict the content differences between the “loaded content” currently saved in Sakai and the “auto-saved” content stored in the browser. 

Auto-Save Inline View

By default you will see Inline view comparisons displaying text differences in proximity to one another. The “loaded content” stored currently by Sakai will be in light red and the auto-saved content from the browser will be in light green. A simple example of the inline view is displayed below. 

Auto Save Inline view

Note however that this inline view has limitations regarding the kinds of text formatting and other media it can depict. It can depict boldface, colored text and text with background colors, for example. Other text formatting such as headings, italics, and hyperlinks it cannot depict. Details regarding the content that the inline view can and cannot accurately depict is summarized in the table below.

Omissions in the Auto-save Inline View 

Content accurately formatted / depicted

Content displayed as plain text or not accurately depicted

  • Bold text

  • Text color & background color

  • Bulleted lists

  • Font type

  • Font size

  • Text alignment

  • Images

  • Special characters

  • Equations

  • Horizontal lines

  • YouTube players

  • Headings 

  • Italicized text

  • Numbered lists (depicted instead as bulleted list)

  • Hyperlinks (detected only by mouse cursor hovering)

  • Block quotes

  • Underlined text

  • Strikethrough text

  • Tables (no borders displayed)

  • Video players*

  • Audio players*

  • Audio recordings*


* In Chrome these media players are not depicted. In Firefox these media players are depicted with full controls. In Safari these media players are depicted without full controls (play / pause only). 

Auto-Save Side by Side View

To see differences not visible in Inline view, click the radio button labeled Side by side view in the top right of the window. Although content comparisons in the side by side view are rendered solely as HTML, this side by side view may highlight specific areas of content that have changed that the inline view does not. A simple example of the side by side view is below.

Auto Save Side by Side view

Choosing Auto-Saved Content

If you want the auto-saved content to replace the current loaded content, click Yes, load auto-saved content. Note that clicking either No or the X in the top right corner of the window to close this window will permanently delete your auto-saved content stored for this Sakai page.

Also, note that if you select Yes, load auto-saved content, doing so will only load that content into the editor. That content, which you can then edit further, will not be stored in Sakai until you click the appropriate button within whichever Sakai tool you are working for posting your work to Sakai.

Keywordsautosave automatically save lost work sakai12 sakai21   Doc ID116991
OwnerMyles C.GroupPacific Lutheran Univ
Created2022-02-25 11:28:57Updated2023-10-09 14:26:43
SitesPacific Lutheran University
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