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Best Standalone Javascript WYSIWYG HTML Layout Editor?
September 4, 2007 3:16 PM   Subscribe

In legacy code land, noone can hear you scream. I'm a web developer and I need a standalone, drop in wysiwyg html editor, preferably something all in JS (like Dojo's Rich Text Editor, but for actual layout with tables etc.)

The background is: I need to provide a client with a reasonably featured wysiwyg HTML editor.
I want something LIKE the wysiwyg editor for pages/posts in WordPress BUT the solution needs to be standalone.
We have an existing home-brew system content system, and we're only giving control of the index over to the client, so this shouldn't do anything other than edit a single doc / record etc. How we get the data to and from is irrelevant, I'll hook up the editor whatever what is necessary.

Basically, what is the best (preferably FREE) drop in javascript HTML editor. Something that we can just post the result as a form (again like the way Dojo hijacks a TEXTAREA).

As you can imagine, I looked into Dojo, but only found TEXT editors. If someone knows of a Dojo Rich Layout Editor, that would sure work too!

TIA all.
posted by judge.mentok.the.mindtaker to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Have you looked at Tiny MCE? I think it might do what you want.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 3:29 PM on September 4, 2007


No Safari support yet, but FCKeditor is pretty flexible and straightforward.
posted by letourneau at 3:36 PM on September 4, 2007


Would FCKeditor work? (They are calling it a text editor but it outputs xhtml 1.0 and has the ability to edit and insert tables.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:37 PM on September 4, 2007


FCKeditor is horrible, imo. Creates spaghetti code. Tiny MCE is much, much better.
posted by elle.jeezy at 4:07 PM on September 4, 2007


Tiny MCE is the way you want to go.
posted by Jairus at 6:12 PM on September 4, 2007


I tried a few of them, and ended up liking WidgEditor the most
posted by zavulon at 8:20 PM on September 4, 2007


Thirding TinyMCE, but be wary that it has (had) huge problems with embed code (think youtube). It at least used to completely screw it up, making things difficult for users if that was the only editting method (as it often is).
posted by datacenter refugee at 8:26 PM on September 4, 2007


TinyMCE and FCKedit are going to be the suggestions that come up over, and over, but these are not answers to the question you're asking. They both suck, though TinyMCE sucks a little bit less, and after 8 (yikes!) years of following the In-Browser Rich Text Editor market, I don't think we'll ever see a good solution. And n.b. these are only text editors, despite what the recommendations above say -- you won't be able to do layout with them.

I work with the Movable Type team, and our rich text editor (which is also used on Vox) does a little bit more of the layout stuff you want, as well as the rich text editing, and is open source but not very well documented for normal people to use.

Honestly? Use a blogging tool like MT as your site's publishing system, pick a client tool like Dreamweaver or (ideally) Contribute that lets your users do WYSIWYG editing of layouts, and then hook the two together. You won't find an in-browser layout tool that's worth a damn without people having to eventually knuckle down and edit ugly machine-generated HTML.
posted by anildash at 9:47 PM on September 4, 2007


I'm not sure I get what you're after - you want them to be able to freely create any layout? Dreamweaver has a hard enough time doing that and isn't considered good enough by many developers, as it's forcing HTML/CSS to be a visual thing.

There are probably editors that allow manipulation of certain layouts, and simple stuff could be hacked together using tables in many rich text editors, but the results are likely to be nasty.
You need to either just give them a textarea to paste markup into (from Dreamweaver or a developer), or set up a proper template with multiple areas that can be edited/toggled. You also need to consider how images etc. will be handled.
posted by malevolent at 11:55 PM on September 4, 2007


You could try something like the Xinha! here plugin for firefox. Would allow your client to turn any textarea into a simple wysiwyg editor.
posted by twistedonion at 4:44 AM on September 5, 2007


I'd say Tiny MCE as well. We use it at work in our content management system, and it's pretty good. It can do table editing, and converts an element (usually a textarea, but can do other elements as well) to an editor. You can customize which function buttons are shown, and it generates valid (x)html. Oh, and it's free (beer and speech).
posted by cameleon at 6:00 AM on September 5, 2007


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