question

Amazon Customer avatar image
Amazon Customer asked

Formatting in Card?

Is there any way to do any formatting in the Card object? The only documented card type is "Simple", and it doesn't seem to support any HTML markup, or even newline characters. Even just some basic formatting would be really, really welcome. Any advice?
alexa skills kitdebugging
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R. Labanca avatar image
R. Labanca answered
No, sadly nothing good yet! Just plain text.
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The Stig avatar image
The Stig answered
Currently cards only support text. Feel free to add your request to this thread though: https://forums.developer.amazon.com/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=16275㾓 Hopefully if enough of us request the feature Amazon will make it happen.
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P. Greborio avatar image
P. Greborio answered
+1. Basic HTML (styling) and images
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J. Karbowski avatar image
J. Karbowski answered
Even without links, it would just be nice to have some form of formatting/markup support
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jjaquinta avatar image
jjaquinta answered
In the eight months since this thread was started they've added one element of formatting: you can add new lines.
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Galactoise avatar image
Galactoise answered
We haven't actually announced this anywhere, but one of our newer pieces of data in CompliBot actually does some ascii art. See if you can find it! In all seriousness, though, it was a huge headache to do. That's one of the reasons I asked Dave Isbitski if we could have a dev chat with the team that builds the companion apps, and he's queuing that up.
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Sanyu avatar image
Sanyu answered
Home Cards Can Now Display an Image. Find out more here: https://forums.developer.amazon.com/forums/ann.jspa?annID=103
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J. Karbowski avatar image
J. Karbowski answered
Whoah, this is pretty awesome! ^^ jjquinta I noticed the newlines within an hour of posting that actually :p Images is a huge improvement! I'm glad we now have that option. Unfortunately, they seem to be limited to being at the beginning/top of the card, This prevents us from inlining images in cards, or using them as skill icons on the cards unless we try to get creative and include parts of our card text in the images(a shifty business in the world of responsive design)
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jjaquinta avatar image
jjaquinta answered
I'm OK with text on images. You could then add boldface, colors, fonts, and so forth. My first use for images was going to be dynamically generated ones, with graphs. However, once I read their specs, the endpoint that serves up the images needs to be under SSL restrictions. They don't look as heavy as for Alexa endpoints, but it's enough to put me off doing dynamic images for now. The more I look at this, the more it looks like one of the "big names" they solicited (Warner Bros, Disney) put their foot down and insisted they could include branding in their skill. Amazon did the minimum for that, and as a sop, made it public for others to use. I really think if they were designing this from the ground up for general use they would have done it differently.
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AslansServant avatar image
AslansServant answered

I have pitched Alexa to our business (large insurance company). They are hesitant to move forward for three reasons:

  1. We cannot format the cards. The cards that we produce do not look 'professional'. The business likes the cards that native Alexa apps like Yelp return, but they are frustrated that we cannot produce similarly professional results.
  2. There is no option for Wildcard slots. Therefore we cannot implement a complete search of all of our information because the current interface requires us to predict every possible user query. This has the added negative of not being able to capture user requests that we cannot fulfill. This would be extremely useful in deciding upon new features to add to our Alexa Skill.
  3. There is no ability to put a live URL link in the card. We cannot easily send the user a link to areas of our site for further interaction such as a claim form or a long informational document, or the location of an authorized service provider.

With these three features, I believe our executives would be eager to participate in the Alexa world. I have been instructed to research Google Home to see if it allows us to more easily interact with our customers and the public.

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