Many times when developing a custom website, a clients needs to be given the ability to edit the text directly from an administration section. As many people don’t know the nuts and bolts of html, they have to use a simple editor to create their markup. This article discuses the pros/cons of the most used online text editors.
TinyMCE is one of the most used text editor on the web, at least in a lot of custom applications, and it’s my text editor of choice. It features a lot of useful plugins like image insertion, text alignment, even css styling — basically all you need to make adjustments to html code or even templates. There are two more commercial plugins from the makers of TinyMCE, MCFileManager, a PHP file browser and MCImageManager, an image upload utility to upload / delete of photos. If you don’t want to pay for a commercial image upload utility, there is also a plugin called iBrowser for photo upload. TinyMCE has a lot of implementations, even with AJAX callbacks for saving files, which makes it a very solid structure to build your next killer app.
FCKeditor is another often used text editor on the web. It features many functions, and it’s especially light-weight, when compared to tinyMCE. It also supports multiple languages for the toolbars and comes with plenty of languages, which makes it pretty useful. One of the advantages of the FCKeditor is its built-in file manager in conjunction with a PHP script on the server, and its included spell checker. It’s the best lightweight editor when you need a fast and clean development cycle.
3. Yahoo Rich Text Editor
Actually a component of Yahoo’s YUI Library, the Rich Text Editor is a very impressive, feature filled editor, even if it doesn’t provide as much functionality and plugins as the above editors. A big advantage to this online editor is that it can be used on mobile A-grade browsers, so when you need to build a mobile app, this editor is the best choice.
WIMeditor is an xhtml editor with special focus on clean markup and Strict XHTML. The advantage of this editor is that it doesn’t use fonts, text formatting, or color. It instead focuses on CSS markup. This is actually a very good editor for beginners and clients that may produce poorly written html, because it only uses CSS rules which are already created. It is skinnable and supports custom menus / commands.
FreeRichTextEditor is another go for an online text editor. This editor has a sleek Microsoft Office 2002 skin, and looks and feels like Microsoft Office! It is also feature packed, having a lot of basic functionality. It has three mode views: Design, Code, and Preview — which feels quite similar to Dreamweaver.
Xinha is a fantastic editor with a very large community in its wing. What makes this online editor unique is the formula editor, which supports MathML tags, essential for any math blog or website. Xinha also has additional plugins that extend its functionality.
rtePad is a powerful editor, similar in functionality to tinyMCE. One important tool present in rtePad is the Word import tool. It costs $149.
8. SPAW Editor
SPAW Editor is another powerful commercial editor with great tools for editing tables, and a great color picker tool. It has a cool metal skin and costs $45 per domain.
If I have forgotten one, and I’m sure I have, please let us know via the comments.