Online rich-text editor

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An online rich text editor presents a "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" interface for editing rich text within web browsers. The aim is to reduce the learning curve associated with users trying to express their formatting directly as valid HTML markup.

Though very early browsers could display rich text, user data entry was limited to text boxes with a single font and style (implemented with the <TEXTAREA> HTML element). Internet Explorer was the first to add a special "designMode" which allowed formatted parts of a document to be edited by the user using a cursor. Mozilla followed suit in version 1.3,[1] and most major browsers now implement this informal standard in some capacity.[2]

The technical capabilities needed to implement an online rich text editor are still not covered by the W3C specifications for HTML4. Nevertheless, popular services like Gmail and WordPress rely on rich text editing as their main user interface. For HTML5, some standardization is being made on a DOM property called "contentEditable"—which resembles Internet Explorer's extension.[3] Many of the Online office suites tend to provide online text editing and formating functionality.


Design challenges

The most popular editors used for creating the rich text component of web pages have the following design objectives:

  • The editing view matches the final appearance of published content with respect to fonts, headings, layout, lists, tables, images and structure
  • The buttons, controls and key strokes deliver the same behaviour as the word processor or text editor that the user is most familiar with.
  • The HTML code that is generated is compliant with web standards (such as W3C) and the browser on which the content will be viewed.

Examples of online rich-text editors

  • CKeditor — open source XHTML editor.
  • TinyMCE — web based Javascript HTML WYSIWYG editor control released as Open Source under LGPL.
  • WYMeditor — Open Source XHTML editor focusing on semantic markup
  • jQRTE - Open Source JQuery WYSIWYG Rich Text Editor
  • Nice Edit - Free and lightweight rich text editor

Widget Toolkit Editors


External links

Personal tools

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