I’m finishing off a project I’ve been working on for my old hospital, and find myself evaluating rich HTML text editors — those little dealieboppers that let someone enter text into a web page and make it bold, underlined, in list format, whatever. (Given my druthers, I wouldn’t integrate one into the project since I’m much more comfortable coding text formatting by hand, but the intended users of the app want and need to be able to use the button-based editing interface.) I’ve come across a few, and am interested in any opinions people have as to benefits or drawbacks of any one of them (or any others that they might have seen while meandering the web).

The few that I’ve played with, either by downloading and installing or using an online demo, are: Kevin Roth’s Cross-Browser Rich Text Editor, Editlet, pinEdit, TwistText Rich Text Editor, and Elktron’s eWebEditPro. Out of those five, the first is the clear victor — it’s free, works in most browsers (not Safari, oddly), has no license that limits use, puts out decent code, and is easy to integrate into a project. The rest of them either cost a bundle, try to do way too much, or don’t work in some of the large-share browsers, making it hard to see how they would actually add to the application.



I’ve been following The List for years:


There’s some amazing efforts there, along with a lot of suckage that just thinly wraps around IE’s built-in editor.

• Posted by: Anil Dash on Oct 7, 2004, 11:19 PM

Alex King has something very simple that works very well, JS Quick Tags. It isn’t a WYSIWYG editor, but it does make it very easy to add the common tags to text. It took me less than half an hour to add to a very simple CMS.

• Posted by: Tim on Oct 8, 2004, 12:45 AM

Anil, that link was exactly what I was looking for. It turned me on to a few that I hadn’t found, too — Epoz (interesting full-page editing), KTML (commercial and non XHTML-compliant, but really nice feature set), and HardCore Web Control (interesting only in the fact that anyone would tolerate the ridiculous interface!).

• Posted by: Jason on Oct 8, 2004, 11:22 AM

And for those who are still following this, there are two more that have caught my eye in the past half hour: TinyMCE and FCKeditor. Both open-source, both seem to be quite adept; I’ll have to plug ‘em both into my app and see how they do!

• Posted by: Jason on Oct 8, 2004, 1:40 PM

Two notable ones missing:

Kupu is a ‘document-centric’ open source client-side editor for Mozilla, Netscape and Internet Explorer. Inspired by Maik Jablonski’s Epoz editor:

Bitflux Editor is a browser based Wysiwyg XML Editor and that changes everything! You can edit now your content semantically and at the same time display it to your users and editors in its final form.

• Posted by: Jean Jordaan on Oct 13, 2004, 4:01 AM

I have had very good experiences using an ActiveX product from -


They are currently developing a version for Mozilla, as well.

It generates xhtml strict code. You can hook up your own style sheet param to it so that any styles you define are available within the ActiveX’s dropdown. It is definately worth looking into.

• Posted by: Andrew Barker on Oct 13, 2004, 1:25 PM
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