Rich-Text Editors for 2010 and Beyond

Rich-Text Editors, inline content editors, WYSIWYG editors – or whatever you want to call them – are web applications that enable users to enter, edit and manipulate alphanumeric characters while visiting your website. Wherever you have a <textarea> form input on your site, chances are good that its usability could be improved with a Rich-Text Editor.

For example, your comment form is a great place to provide users with the ability to customize their responses with a few clicks of the mouse. RTEs help your visitors format and edit their web-based content by transforming an ordinary input field into a fully functional HTML editor.

Rich-Text Editors for 2010 and Beyond

By making it easy to markup and format content, Rich Text Editors provide an excellent way to improve the usability and "coolness" factor of your website. Even better is the fact that there are many RTEs available, each with their own features, strengths and weaknesses.

To help you sort through the many choices, here are 22 of the best Rich-Text Editors for 2010 and beyond.

1. TinyMCE


TinyMCE is a free, open-source Rich Text Editor (RTE) from Moxiecode Systems AB. It is lightweight and easy to customize via themes, plugins, and its own API. As a platform-independent web-based WYSIWYG editor, TinyMCE is easy to integrate into virtually any Content Management System.

Bottom line: TinyMCE is browser-friendly, lightweight, highly customizable and features tons of great community support.

2. FCKEditor


FCKeditor is a free, open-source RTE that has been around forever. It features image uploading, layout templates, valid code, Adobe AIR, custom styles, and much more. FCKeditor is perfect for table creation and can even clean up text pasted from Microsoft Word.

Bottom line: FCKeditor is highly customizable, fully accessible, well supported and very popular.

3. YUI Editor

YUI Editor

The YUI Editor is included as part of the extensive Yahoo User-Interface Library (YUI). YUI Editor features valid XHTML, a growing number of plugins, decent documentation, great support for mobile devices, and even drag-n-drop inclusion and sizing of images. Plus, the YUI Editor’s toolbar is easily extensible for advanced and highly customized implementations.

Bottom line: the perfect RTE solution if you are already using the YUI Library.

4. NicEdit


NicEdit is a lightweight, cross-platform Inline Content Editor (ICE) that focuses on usability and simplicity. The file size is extremely small, less than 10KB compressed, and can be served directly from the NicEdit website. Although the code may need some scrubbing to validate, the sheer compactness and ease of NicEdit makes it perfect for smaller projects and simple implementations.

Bottom line: NicEdit is a lightweight, good-looking RTE that makes it easy to convert any <textarea> or <div> into a robust Inline Content Editor.

5. Kupu


Kupu is an open-source RTE provided by OSCOM. Designed for easy integration into CMSs such as Silva and Plone, Kupu features Ajax content saving, clean cross-browser XHTML code, easy customization, and good extensibility. Unfortunately, the Kupu site seems to be down at the moment so we’ve linked to its Wikipedia page, but will hopefully be back online soon.

Bottom line: if you’re looking for a good "document-centric" RTE for your next project, Kupu may be the ideal choice.

6. Free Rich Text Editor

Free Rich Text Editor

Free Rich Text Editor is a JavaScript-based HTML WYSIWYG editor that provides robust rich-text editing, enabling users to format, preview and publish text, code, tables, images, and more. Free Rich Text Editor is ridiculously easy to use, requiring only three lines of code to integrate into any CMS or web application. Free Rich Text Editor enjoys a growing number of users and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 General License.

Bottom line: if you’re looking for drop-dead easy implementation, compliant (X)HTML source-code, and plenty of robust features, Free Rich Text Editor is an excellent choice.

7. WebWiz RichTextEditor

WebWiz RichTextEditor

WebWiz RichTextEditor is a "try-before-you-buy" RTE that’s written in ASP, JavaScript, and DHTML. Despite its commercial aspect, WebWiz RichTextEditor has a lot going for it, including image/file uploading, built-in file browser, source-code editing, custom skins, and easy implementation.

Bottom line: if you’re running a Windows server and need a heavy-duty WYSIWYG editor with all the trimmings, WebWiz RichTextEditor may be well worth the price.

8. XStandard


XStandard focuses on generation of squeaky-clean XHTML and delivers the goods via clean separation of structure, behavior, and presentation. Features of XStandard include great accessibility support, drag-&-drop file uploads, spell-checking, customizable image library, and much more. There are two versions available: XStandard Lite is free for commercial use, and XStandard Pro ranges in price but is available as a 30-day trial. Available in 21 different languages.

Bottom line: if you’re looking for a clean, standards-compliant RTE, check out XStandard.

9. Damn Small Rich Text Editor

Damn Small Rich Text Editor

Damn Small Rich Text Editor is a jQuery-based RTE with a PHP backend. This free, lightweight text-editor features Ajax-powered image-uploading functionality, automatic HTML-cleanup, and robust extensibility via plugins and add-ons.

Bottom line: Damn Small Rich Text Editor is extremely small (~18KB), but manages to include tons of great features, making it an excellent choice for your next project.

10. WidgEditor


WidgEditor is an open-source RTE by the Man in Blue, Cameron Adams. WidgEditor is a clean and simple RTE that degrades gracefully when JavaScript is not available on the browsing device. This means that your <textarea> will remain useful and beautiful for users without JavaScript.

Bottom line: if you’re looking for a simple, standards-based RTE for your web application or web page, WidgEditor may be just the ticket.

11. Kevin Roth’s Cross Browser Rich Text Editor

Kevin Roth’s Cross Browser Rich Text Editor

Cross Browser Rich Text Editor is a free yet basic RTE that offers a few skinning choices and features XHTML-compliant code. Features include table support and good cross-browser compatibility. The "compressed-code" version of Cross Browser Rich Text Editor is released under a Creative Commons License, and the uncompressed source code is available for around $40.

Bottom line: styling this RTE has been reported to be a bit of a pain, but otherwise a solid RTE that is worth checking out.



OpenWYSIWYG is a free, open-source RTE that comes equipped with many awesome features, including robust HTML content-editing, user-friendly table creation, and great cross-browser compatibility. OpenWYSIWYG is easy to implement, loads extremely fast, and requires no server-side code.

Bottom line: OpenWYSIWYG is an excellent choice for many CMS-based applications. Highly recommended.

13. CodePlex Rich Text Editor

CodePlex Rich Text Editor

CodePlex Rich Text Editor is an ASP.NET-based RTE that is designed to simplify and consolidate the implementation process as much as possible, requiring the developer to simply place a single dll file into the bin directory. Even though the code output is far from standards-compliant, CodePlex is cross-browser compatible and features numerous styles, commands, text-views, and multiple language support.

Bottom line: the UI is a little funky and only supports Internet Explorer and Firefox, but even so, the CodePlex RTE seems like a good choice for simple, pain-free ASP.NET-based implementations.

14. FreeTextBox


FreeTextBox is a highly popular ASP.NET-based RTE that is packed with great features, including a robust, easily customized JavaScript API, integrated image gallery, spell-checking, and complete control over the creation of tables, lists and other complex markup elements.

Bottom line: for ASP.NET projects, it just doesn’t get any better than FreeTextBox.

15. Silverlight Rich Text Editor

Silverlight Rich Text Editor

Silverlight Rich Text Editor is a highly useful RTE designed to work with Microsoft’s Silverlight. Although the project is currently orphaned by the original developer, Silverlight Rich Text Editor provides many excellent features, including <sup>/<sub> formatting, homogeneous underlining of multi-font-selections, blockquotes, unordered lists, block alignment, insertion of custom framework elements, secure content serialization, find-&-replace with regular expressions, clipboard support for formatted text, integrated scroll viewer, custom design, macros and much more.

Bottom line: if you’re using Silverlight and need a robust RTE, look no further!

16. BXE (Bitflux Editor)

BXE (Bitflux Editor)

BXE (Bitflux Editor) is an open-source (since 2002!) XML-based WYSIWYG that enables users to edit entire web pages. BXE is strongly supported by a loyal community of designers and developers who help make BXE one of the best content editors available on the Web. BXE uses XML, XSLT, and CSS for rendering, and features support for tables, lists, images, special characters, clipboard, undo/redo, and more. Note that the BXE site provides several "demo" links, but none seem to be working at this time – hopefully this will be resolved soon.

Bottom line: reportedly one of the finest WYSIWYG editors available – definitely worth checking out.

17. MarkItUp!


markItUp! is a free, open-source RTE built on the jQuery JavaScript library. markItUp! makes it easy to transform any (X)HTML <textarea> into a robust, fully-functional WYSIWYG content editor. Features include lightweight file size, keyboard shortcuts, Ajax-powered live-preview, standards-based code output, and great cross-browser compatibility. Supports many different markup systems, including HTML, Textile, Wiki Syntax, Markdown, BBcode or even your own custom markup system.

Bottom line: markItUp! is a lightweight, customizable, and flexible universal markup editor that is perfect for blogs, CMSs, forums, websites, and just about everything in-between.

18. Dijit Editor for Dojo

Dijit Editor for Dojo

Dojo’s Dijit Editor is a robust, full-featured RTE built on the popular Dojo JavaScript framework. Referred to as a "text box on steroids," the Dijit Editor is designed to look and function like a typical word processor. The Dijit Editor features a toolbar, clean HTML output, plugin architecture, fresh buttons, and plenty of other great features.

Bottom line: with all of the other Rich-Text Editors available these days, the Dijit Editor may not be enough to justify adoption of Dojo, but for those already using it, the Dijit Editor should be at the top of your list.

19. EditArea


EditArea is a free, open-source code editor that makes it easy for your users to share and format virtually any type of code from within the comfort of your website’s submission form. Features include easy integration, clean source-code output, real-time syntax highlighting, auto-indentation, multilanguage support, multiple instances, full-screen mode, and much more.

Bottom line: EditArea is easy to implement and customize and provides all you need for beautiful, well-formatted source code.

20. WYMeditor


WYMeditor is a free, open-source, web-based (X)HTML WYSIWYM editor that boasts strong adherence of Web Standards and valid markup. Everything outputted by WYMeditor is clean and valid (X)HTML Strict, so you can be rest assured that your source code is squeaky clean. As it says on the website, "WYMeditor’s main concept is to leave details of the document’s visual layout, and to concentrate on its structure and meaning, while trying to give the user as much comfort as possible (at least as WYSIWYG editors)."

Bottom line: WYMeditor is widely supported, easy to use, and the best solution for "perfectly structured" (X)HTML source code.

21. Whizzywig


Whizzywig is another free, open-source, JavaScript-based RTE that features easy implementation and configuration, multiple languages, text-color modification, customized user-interface, and much more. Features include cross-browser support, web-safe color picker, table support, image support, MS-Word clean-up, code editor, spell-checker, plus tons more.

Bottom line: Whizzywig is a lightweight yet powerful RTE that looks decent in just about any browser.

22. Xinha


Last but not least, Xinha is a free, community-developed open-source HTML editor available under BSD license. Built with JavaScript, Xinha is easy to implement, feature-rich, and highly extensible. Xinha functions properly in all modern browsers and its extensibility makes it perfectly suited for virtually any project.

Bottom line: if you’re looking for a solid, community-supported RTE that is highly flexible and extensible, Xinha is an excellent choice.

What’s your favorite RTE?

With so many excellent Rich-Text Editors available on the Web today, designers and developers have everything they need to setup the best possible RTE for virtually any project. There are indeed many to choose from, but you can help others by sharing your experiences and opinions about the various RTEs reviewed in the article. Which one is your favorite? Any bad or good experiences with any particular RTE? Know of any good editors that weren’t mentioned in the article? Chime in!

Related Content

About the Author

Jeff Starr is a web-developing, graphic-designing alien from the distant planet Perishable Press. When he’s not flying through hyperspace, Jeff uses his alien powers to write amazing stuff about WordPress and design awesome websites for humans. Jeff comes in peace, so don’t be afraid to follow him on Twitter.

This was published on Feb 2, 2010


Michael Feb 02 2010

Great article. Very nice list!

TinyMCE is my favorite with FCKEditor as a close 2nd.
I’ve tried some of the others on the list.
To me, TinyMCE and FCKEditor it the choice when a need for quick integration+customization an editor to something comes up.

Some of the editors are completely new to me and will be investigated later.


Rahul Chowdhury Feb 02 2010

Nice, these are all Handy! Thanks Man!

Jonas Feb 02 2010

I was just searching for a decent RTE for the page I’m working on. Great article, with amazing timing. Thanks for this. :)

Currently I’m using CKeditor with CKfinder and it’s working fine. Does anyone think there’s a better filemanager than CKfinder?

Didier Feb 02 2010

On the markItUp website : “markItUp! is not a WYSIWYG editor, and it never will be”.

Princi Agência Web Feb 02 2010

CKEditor is the best web-based editor! Unfortunately, CKEditor is only free for personal and educational use.

I did a article about rich-text editors too. I would like to share with you:

Fannar Freyr Jónsson Feb 02 2010

I have been using InnovaStudio WYSIWYG Editor,

Not free but has nice feature set.

Richard Feb 02 2010

Good list of some available editors – I use TinyMCE mainly, but have found FCKeditor to be good also. Cheers

Amos Vryhof Feb 02 2010

I have been customizing Free Rich Text Editor (#6) for awhile, and customizing it to do things it doesn’t do. I like that it is very lightweight, and easy to add features to. The only drawback that ever makes me use different Rich Text Editors is when I need more than one on a page.

Peter Martin Feb 02 2010

For Joomla websites I’d recommend JCE Editor (Joomla Content Editor). It’s a WYSIWYG editor based on the excellent Moxiecode’s TinyMCE.

I like the free JCE version + free Utility plugin for lightbox effects even better then the TinyMCE version that is shipped by default with Joomla 1.5.

Furthermore JCE has some excellent (commercial, but only for a small fee) plugins for file/image/media file handling. E.g. autoresize & thumbnail creation of images.

More info at the developers homepage:

Matthias Feb 02 2010

Have you actually tried OpenWYSIWYG or did you only copy their marketing blurb? You write it comes with ‘great cross-browser compatibility’ and is ‘highly recommended’. But it doesn’t work in Safari, it will fail with alert ‘openWYSIWYG does not support your browser.’.
Not a great option, looks like it hasn’t been updated in years.

Slobodan Kustrimovic Feb 02 2010

Made a similar article few months ago (but it was with 14, not 22).

In my opinion CKEditor is the best one, very flexible and the easiest to implement.

Chauncey Feb 02 2010

“Rich-Text Editors, inline content editors, WYSIWYG editors – or whatever you want to call them – are web applications…”

Examples of rich text editors that are not “web applications”: MS Word, Outlook composition, Thunderbird composition, Scintilla based editors, and QT Rich Text based editors.

BigM75 Feb 02 2010

TinyMCE is the better way for use

Jordan Walker Feb 02 2010

Those are great packages to allow users to edit their own content. Null is the day when developers have to make all the changes manually.

Chris Feb 02 2010

I’ve used FCKEditor for years…absolutely love it!

Brian Cragun Feb 02 2010

Which of these are accessible? CKEdit is the only one I’m familiar with that is totally keyboard and screen reader accessible.

Basch Feb 02 2010

I prefect CKeditor since it changed from FCKedtor. They managed to speed up the performance (a lot!) and it really feels very intuitive. TinyMCE is a good second.

Doug S. Feb 02 2010

Ironically the only one of these I will now use is not a WYSIWYG. As Didier said MarkItUp is a WYSIWYM editor.

However, it’s the only one without the myriad of problems. It doesn’t do inline styles, if you copy and paste from another source no extra nonsense comes along with it… It’s just pure, clean XHTML that’s produced.

Too many of the other ones have broken my sites. Never again.

DesignFellow Feb 02 2010

Nice list…
Thanks :)

Matthew Heidenreich Feb 02 2010

great list. I’ve always used FCKEditor when i need to. Thanks for the share.

izulcybercafe Feb 02 2010

TinyMCEPUK is The Best…

Don’t use 6. Free Rich Text Editor, it have lots of bugs and missing support and the developer does not work on it anymore. TinyMCE ftw.

David Jacob Jarquin Feb 02 2010

Excellent API, lightweight, customizable, etc. I think CKEditor is the best choice, however the commercial license royalty free, is a little expensive in Mexico ($1450 usd aprox)

Thaninrat Feb 02 2010

I’ve used FCKEditor for two years now. cheer.

writer2010 Feb 02 2010

Thank you. For something similar but for the Arabic language, there is an amazing innovative editor called Yamli

Wow FCK Editor looks a million times better than it used to.

Ha, great timing! I’ve just been tasked with selecting a WYSIWYG editor for the Ning platform. The one we’re currently using isn’t awesome.

Which RTEs don’t use iFrames? Any of them? And which ones are under more free licenses, like MIT?

Bisnis UKM Feb 02 2010

I never think that there are so many rich text editor

Thank you
I need the lightweight and fast text editor..

ardianz Feb 02 2010

yeah, what a great post, bro. but unfortunately, i’m never using web based programming anymore

As a developer, I vote for wysihat:

FCK….all the way.

Abdel Feb 03 2010

Superb post! This is very good collection of web based text editors and very helpful.

TinyMCE works best for heavy duty WYSIWYG-ing, hands down.

And if you want something even simpler than TinyMCE, check out PunyMCE also made by Moxiecode, its a super-light-weight editor for things such as comments etc.

TomTom Feb 03 2010

Please, don’t call it FCKEditor anymore. This makes your article outdated.
FCKEditor is dead, long live CKEditor !

Thank you,

I think this one is interesting also:


Tyler Feb 03 2010

I would take the F from CK editor as its not the same.

CK Editor is blazing fast to load and I prefer it over all others. Very customizable as well.

Efdee Feb 03 2010

Thanks for this list, bookmarked for future reference. Seems like you left out a great free ASP.NET-based editor though… Check out for Jiffy Editor!

Matej Kolesár Feb 03 2010

Try Texyla editor with Texy syntax:

BEBEN Feb 03 2010

awesome…thanks a lot…:)

Gabriel Hurley Feb 03 2010

My team recently switched from TinyMCE to WYMEditor and we couldn’t be happier. Though our non-technical clients occasionally look at it and go “huh?”, once they get the picture we *all* like not having to muck around with the stylistic nightmare that TinyMCE and most other WYSIWYG editors turn into.

gerald Feb 03 2010

I had tried TinyMCE and FCKEditor before both of which are still using Transitional DocType. I had been writing Strict 1.0 standards and had been manually editing the stored markup on the DB afterwards just to ensure that everything will pass W3C validation.

Aside from XStandards, is there anything else you knew of that generates XHTML Strict 1.0/1.1 markup RTE?


Jonathan Hedley Feb 05 2010

Great list, thanks.

If you are going to allow users to submit HTML comments using a rich text editor, please be careful that you do a server-side scrub of the HTML provided; otherwise the form will be a cross-site scripting attack vector.

These editors all allow the dev to limit what HTML they generate, but that’s done on the client side only. A malicious user can send in arbitrary HTML to your app, and so you need to scrub the input HTML of scripts, css links, iframes etc.

For some of the things to look out for see:

There are a number of tools to clean HTML, depending on what language you program in. For Ruby, there’s Sanitize: . For Java, I’ve just released a new open source HTML parser & cleaner: jsoup — or search Stack Overflow for other options.

Please use a real HTML parser and not some regular expressions as it is very easy to accidentally let something through.

Stewart Feb 08 2010

We use RadEditor –

Looking at these other options, I’m actually surprised at the limited functionality they have. RadEditor (and probably any other half-decent RTE that uses a server-side technology) can do things these other can’t.

For example with RadEditor the image diaglog box includes a directory containing all the images in use on the site. You can upload images, preview images and create new folders. Same goes for videos and documents such as pdfs.

I realize this kind of functionality is not what you would give an end user, but for a content management system is has proven essential for our clients

Andrew Roberts Apr 20 2010

Our editor, EditLive!, has a different architecture that means it can be a better choice for CMS-type scenarios:

A lot of the commercial CMS vendors OEM it for their CMS – IBM, Oracle, Vignette, Percussion, CrownPeak, etc.

Brian Morearty Apr 30 2010

Thanks for the good roundup. I’ve been using CKEditor for six months and like it a lot. It loads super-fast–much faster than FCKEditor did.

And please do follow Jonathan Hedley’s advice to use a whitelist-based sanitizer. Hackers will go around your editor and submit unsafe HTML, so you need server-side cleanup. When I use Ruby I like Sanitize, but for now I’m on a Java project so I’m his JSoup a try.

P.S. Jonathan is also the author of my all-time favorite blog post on website performance (

Alan Smith May 12 2010

Ive been trying to implemtent freerte text editor. Now it states that its dead easy to implement. Is there a tutorial for this? as theres very little information on the website?

Mürsel Fan Jun 27 2010

Nice, thanx.

AminGhaderi Jul 02 2010

Thank you For Search And Hoarding All Of The Text Editors.

Amin Ghaderi
.Net Programmer.
From Iran-Mashhad City.

Mikael Byström Aug 11 2010

Quite useful, but a clearer distinction of what editors can edit and output valid HTML (as opposed to XHTML only) and to what extent and with what ease the UI can be adjusted (limited mostly), would have been helpful.

Why anyone need or can put up with inline CSS and HTML transitional in this day and age is not something I can fully understand.

For now, I’ll check out Wymeditor, one of the tow mentioned WYSIWYM (What You See Is What You Mean) editors for my current project.

Innova Aug 15 2010

TinyMCE has been proven very useful for us on more than one occasion. We used it on some of our CMS solutions.

I am playing with the Nic Edit.

Here is what I would like to know, do any of the other editors out support editing inline?

For example my client would like the edit an article directly in the page so that they can see exactly what it will look like.

All of the other editors seem to require some sort textarea to play in. NicEdit goes right on a div if needed and its perfect but I want to make sure that I am not missing something else. Plus I get the impression teh nicedit is not being updated by the developer.

Andy Brown Jan 28 2011

Can’t believe this article exists – have previously spent days scouring NET for good text editors. We’ve been using FreeTextBox in ASP.NET for some time now: very easy to install and use, although the version I’m on doesn’t support tables.

Andy Brown Jan 28 2011

PS Sorry – misspelt our own website! Please correct … thanks.

Users want their WYSYWYG to work like outlook. and Tiny MCE has too many gotchas. Must use X browser. Hit enter and shift at the same time. Dont copy and paste unless using X browser and using your Left hand. close your eyes and cross your fingers.

TinyMCE gave me so many headaches when trying to integrate this for a customer.
It did not copy and paste with consistent behaviour.
Making the line breaks work the way the user thought it would – whether they hit ENTER or they copy and pasted it from another source was another nightmare.
I lost so many project hours trying to make this work in a reliable way.
Make the font match from what you pasted, configure the style to have fonts that match usual RTE font sizes for usual users (10pt.. WTF is Size 2?)

Geeks keep forgetting KISS – keep it simple, stupid.

There is so much user support and forum, because everyone has the same problems. its like a mess of something that probably started simple and nice, and is now a complicated mess.. like enterprise software..

javi rom Mar 12 2011

el tinyCME tiene problemas y no deja insertar embebidos para colocar videos y presentaciones desde el front end, si se le da privilegios de publicador o editor a un usuario.
alguien sabe como se soluciona ese problema?. Desde el back end si deja insertar el embevido, pero si realmente se quieren colocar publicadores, el tiny CME tiene muchos problemas
recibo ayuda en [email removed for privacy]

Jacob Gube Mar 13 2011

Google Translate of javi rom’s comment above:

the tinyCME have problems and no place left to insert embedded videos and presentations from the front end, if given the publisher or editor privileges to a user.
anyone know how to fix this problem?. From the back end if you fail to insert the embevido, but if publishers really want to put the tiny CME has many problems

pradeep Mar 18 2011

hi guys,
i need an open source simple text editor which can fit into mobile web applications using jqtouch ,jquery.


Larry Gerndt May 26 2011

Beware of YUI’s Rich Text Editor: it does not work in Safari. And since YUI2 is now dead in favor of YUI3, beware of YUI 3’s Rich Text Editor because it isn’t one. Not yet anyway, it’s just a base component with no GUI, making it useless at this point.

thanks a lot, I should try and test which one is the best for me

Rui Mendes Oct 25 2011

I made a new RTE in javascript. Only 34kb, enjoy

Hi guys, a little question here: can I use the Free Rich Text Editor (No. 6) which, as the above mentioned text mentions, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 General License, for integration in my webdesignscript that I want to sell? I.E. I want to sell my webdesignscript (in development) which will hopefully include the FRTE-script, BUT may I do this according to the CCA 2.5 General License ? What should I mention in my own script when I use the FRTE-script? Hope to get some answers, thanx!

Prashanth Nov 14 2011

Hi guyz… is there any wysiwig editors that support multi languages (unicode)

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