Undo (command-Z) is Unusable (PG 5.96)

I am so afraid what PG will do when I type command-Z to Undo that it is completely unusable. I just want to undo the very last keystroke, as all other applications do. PG seems to undo chunks of recent work, to what… to the previously saved version? I suppose that can be handy if you try something and it fails completely, you revert to the last saved, but that’s what a “Revert to Last Saved” option is supposed to do, if PG had that feature. After an Undo fail I usually I have to close the file without saving changes as a hack workaround for Undo not working as expected. Also, PG is also saving VAST databases of historical file versions, for what, is anyone actually using all those previous backup versions? I suppose the reason PG is saving so many history versions is because I am constantly saving files to avoid command-Z drama. Back to Undo, it would be nice if Undo was sequential, such as in Photoshop you can go back every single keystroke, step by step, and then Redo forward keystroke by keystroke if you choose. I see others have complained about PG’s handling of Undo before. As a new user, I see this is still a big problem. I usually have the code window open.
(macOS 10.14.6 Mojave/27" iMac)

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I can’t really speak to your problems with undo, only point out some resources.

You can tell what the undo command will perform by looking at the “Combined History” panel, located by default next to the Files and Library panels.

The number of backup copies that Pinegrow stores is controlled from the “Support” -> “Settings…” menu. At the very top you can set for a specific number, or none at all.

Hope this makes using Pinegrow a little easier.

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Thank you for those tips Bob.

whenever use ctrl + z on css code area, it will rollback html code. that’s terrible.

Yeah, you are right. I’m doing a trial of Pinegrow, and I think this might be a deal-breaker. Undo is one of the most basic and essential features of any editor, and Pinegrow’s undo is a complete disaster. It’s seemingly random whether a given edit will appear in that history or just get ignored. And then you hit undo and 5 things get undone instead of 1. What a joke. And judging by old forum posts, this problem has persisted for years. Pinegrow, please fix critical bugs before even dreaming of adding more features.

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It’s one of the reason PG never became a workhorse for my web development. The undo is horrible, the implementation of their “master page” feature is absurdly complicated, and the user-interface is one of those sorts of things that you just have to accept is… different… I mean it works, but it just feels weird in the world of professional software. It’s like it’s not as intuitive or polished as it should be. There are far too many ways to accomplish the same task, and the dumb warning popup messages that appear directly over the workspace and slowly fade away are just childish and annoying. Many, many users have requested a way to disable them, or move them, or just have them relegated to a fixed area that DOESN’T block the workspace, but to my knowledge, nothing has been done.

I used to get excited about upcoming releases of PG, but now I really don’t even care. I use the program a few times every few months. I may not even bother renewing my annual membership when it comes up. I don’t care about Wordpress, which seems to be a huge focus for the devs. I don’t care about CSS Grid or Tailwind. Maybe there are others out there for whom these are the holy grail in Pinegrow, but I bought it to build Bootstrap websites, and the simple fact is, Bootstrap Studio , even without multi-screen support, has a more polished and elegant UI, it feels smoother and faster, it’s much more intuitive and makes far better use of the screen real estate. I can simply build sites faster and easier in BSS than in PG.

PG does have a few minor advantages, and of course I can easily edit client’s existing sites, which is why I do keep it, but stuff like the flaky undo feature, all the endless loading, unloading, refreshing of libraries, the error messages, the unnecessary redundancy, even no-brainer things like being able to clear recently used classes from the add class window (especially if they don’t even exist) makes the program just feel half-baked.

With the right UI, and full revamp from the ground up, and a really well-done user guide, this could be the absolute gold standard in website builders. As it stands now, Webflow could teach them a lot.

Not that it helps with the existing frustrations, but @matjaz spoke a bit regarding “undo / history / cmd-z” and the changes that took place in v5.97 in this other thread.

The following is also from the Release Notes for 5.9.7:

Combined Undo history

Until now it was possible to use separate undo histories for each page and CSS styling by enabling it in Undo options. We removed this option, so that now only, the default, combined history can be used. This lets us remove some complexities from the undo system and that will help with improving it further.

Based upon that verbiage it seems to remain something they are aware of while seeking to address and improve things. So hopefully current frustrations will someday improve for users, perhaps in the next major release when it comes.

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Thank you all for feedback and contribution! Yes, the UNDO is an ongoing concern and area of active development. The ability to work visually and with code is one of the major advantages of Pinegrow. But it increases implementation complexity under the hood and Undo history is one area where side-effects of this are more apparent.

As a workaround in the meantime, if issues with internal code editor are too uncomfortable, you can use any external code editor and edits will get synced on file save. Or, use Atom or VS Code integration. Pinegrow doesn’t try to be all-in-one solution. It is designed to cooperate with other tools in your workflow, so that you have freedom to use the best tool for the task at hand.

@Printninja the setting to disable informational quick messages has been added a while ago, under Settings -> Misc settings:

Thanks for that tip about the ability to disable the messages. I thought I looked over the Settings thoroughly and didn’t see it, but there it is. And it is now checked on my installation. Thank you!!!