Allow empty text fields to be edited in the Webflow Editor.

Currently if text fields (headings, rich text, text blocks, text links etc) are empty, they cannot be edited in the Editor.

For some text elements such as buttons and headings, a pencil icon is visible - but on clicking this icon nothing happens, and lots of errors pop up in the browser developer tools console.

This has been flagged as a bug elsewhere on the forums (link), and I have communicated with Support on this, but they've described this as 'expected behaviour'.

It is surely not a technical limitation, since the empty div remains present in the DOM with all of its Webflow data attributes and styles, so the Webflow Editor should be able to recognise which empty DOM elements can be edited and which can't.

The only workaround is to bind these text fields to the CMS, but this falls down on three main areas:

  • It creates a non-intuitive experience for the client. Some fields are editable from the Editor, others are editable from the CMS.

  • It's very limited in scope - there are limitations on the number of fields, collections and collection list items, so larger sites will quickly run out of CMS capacity if every text field gets bound to a CMS field.

  • It's very time consuming to set up and introduces bloat into the HTML markup.

  • Sam Pilgrim
  • Feb 25 2021
  • Reviewed
  • Ben Relton commented
    2 Jul 08:18am

    I've had this issue a couple of times recently, and the only work around has been to tell the client not to delete all of the text when editing. Makes it look pretty stupid. Glad to see that it's not something I've built incorrectly, hope this gets addressed soon!

  • Tim deSilva commented
    20 Jun 04:06pm

    We've just encountered how serious an issue this is. When a customer accidentally deletes all text in a text box, it becomes uneditable – we don't even see the pencil icon anymore, even when the empty text box has a minimum height and width to appear (invisibly) on screen in editing mode.

  • JuliRose Sullivan commented
    5 Jun 08:04pm

    Not expected behavior. Please fix.

  • Riziki Nielsen commented
    12 Aug, 2021 11:10am

    I agree. This should not be considered expected behaviour.

    Expected behaviour would in my opinion be that edtiors can see empty text fields, paragraphs, rich text fields etc., the same way we can see them in the designer. If the page is then published with any empty text fields, they would be invisible (just as how it works now).

    The current implementation allows an editor to edit themself into a corner where they have to contact a person with access to the designer. This should just not be possible.

  • Marc Tiedemann commented
    12 May, 2021 06:41pm

    Yes, I can confirm this and also don't think that this could or should be considered "expected behaviour". I mean... c'mon when you look at it this way users/clients basically get punished for deleting all text by accident and then not being able to reenter new content!

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