dijit/Editor

Authors: Becky Gibson
Bill Keese
Nikolai Onken
Marcus Reimann
Jared Jurkiewicz
Developers:Liu Cougar, Bill Keese, Douglas Hays, Becky Gibson, Jared Jurkiewicz
since:V1.0

Dijit's Rich Text editor, dijit/Editor, is a text box on steroids, designed to look and work like a word processor. The editor features a toolbar, HTML output, and a plugin architecture that supports new commands, new buttons and other new features.

Features

  • Provides Rich Text (word processor-like), editing of HTML documents.
  • Extensible toolbar with a default set of icons for common actions (bold, italic, underline, indent, and so on)
  • Cross-browser support. The RTE capabilities of browsers vary in what they provide and how they are set up. The dijit.Editor abstracts this away and provides a single way to create a rich-text editing field in your pages.
  • Built-in filtering support. The editor provides hooks to register HTML and DOM filters with the editor, to pre and post process data going in, or coming out of, the document being edited.
  • Pluggable architecture. The editor's functionality can be extended by implementing and registering plugins with the editor. In fact, all the base commands of editor are effectively plugins. The plugin architecture makes it relatively easy to add new buttons and actions to the toolbar, to being 'headless', where it simply registers filters or augments existing actions.

Limitations

  • Dijit/Editor uses an iframe to separate the document being edited from the rest of the content of your page. This helps protect your main page from being corrupted by editor content and vice-versa. But because of it being iframe isolated, the editor initializes asynchronously. To avoid any actions firing too early against editor content, you should make use of the 'onLoadDeferred' object of the editor. For example, see the following example that changes the content after init completes:
require(["dojo/parser", "dijit/Editor",  "dojo/domReady!"], function(parser){
    parser.parse();
    myEditor.onLoadDeferred.then(function(){
    myEditor.set("value", "<b>This is new content.</b>");
    });
});
<div data-dojo-type="dijit/Editor" id="myEditor">
    <p>This is the initial content.</p>
</div>
  • The editor cannot be created on a hidden div. This is in large part due to the frames and similar. You will get odd browser errors should you attempt to create an editor on a hidden div.
  • All browsers implement some of the underlying commands differently and may generate different markup, so do not expect identical markup out of each browser. All markup generated by any browser should render 'equivalently'.

Examples

Declarative example

require(["dojo/parser", "dijit/Editor"]);
<div data-dojo-type="dijit/Editor" id="editor1" data-dojo-props="onChange:function(){console.log('editor1 onChange handler: ' + arguments[0])}">
    <p>This instance is created from a div directly with default toolbar and plugins</p>
</div>

Programmatic example

Of course, the editor can be created programmatically in addition to declaratively:

require(["dijit/Editor", "dijit/_editor/plugins/AlwaysShowToolbar", "dojo/dom", "dojo/query", "dojo/domReady!"],
function(Editor, AlwaysShowToolbar, dom, query){
    this.createEditor = function(){
        var myEditor = new Editor({
            height: '',
            extraPlugins: [AlwaysShowToolbar]
        }, dom.byId('programmatic2'));
        myEditor.startup();
        query('#create2').orphan();
    }
});
<div id="programmatic2">This div will become an auto-expanding editor.</div>
<button id="create2" onclick="createEditor();">
    create expanding editor
</button>

Declarative example: Custom Toolbar

Of course the toolbar can be reordered and customized to suit your layout needs.

require(["dojo/parser", "dijit/Editor"]);
<div data-dojo-type="dijit/Editor" id="editor1" data-dojo-props="onChange:function(){console.log('editor1 onChange handler: ' + arguments[0])},
    plugins:['cut','copy','paste','|','bold','italic','underline','strikethrough','subscript','superscript','|', 'indent', 'outdent', 'justifyLeft', 'justifyCenter', 'justifyRight']">
    <p>This instance is created with a subset of functions enabled in the order we want</p>
</div>

Plugins

A plugin (a.k.a. extension) is something that adds a function to the editor, or changes it's behavior. Dojo includes a number of editor plugins, and developers can write additional plugins on their own.

Most plugins have an associated toolbar button(s), such as the FontChoice plugin (which has a drop down list for fonts), but some plugins (like AlwaysShowToolbar) just affect the Editor's behavior without changing the toolbar.

The "plugins" parameter controls which plugins are available, and also controls which builtin editor commands are available. It can also be used to re-arrange the default ordering of the buttons.

The basic plugins which are enabled by default are: undo, redo, cut, copy, paste, bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, insertOrderedList, insertUnorderedList, indent, outdent, justifyLeft, justifyRight, justifyCenter, justifyFull, dijit._editor.plugins.EnterKeyHandling

If you want to just add plugins above and beyond the standard configuration, then you should use the "extraPlugins" parameter.

Both the "plugins" parameter and the "extraPlugins" parameter are arrays, where each element in the array can be a simple string or an object (if you need to set options on a plugin).

This example adds the text color, background color, and font selection plugins to the editor by setting extraPlugins. (Technically, the FontChoice plugin provides two commands, foreground-color and highlight-color.)

require([
    "dojo/parser",
    "dijit/Editor",
    "dijit/_editor/plugins/FontChoice", // 'fontName','fontSize','formatBlock'
    "dijit/_editor/plugins/TextColor"
]);
<div data-dojo-type="dijit/Editor" id="editor2"
        data-dojo-props="extraPlugins:['foreColor','hiliteColor',{name:'dijit/_editor/plugins/FontChoice', command:'fontName', generic:true}],
  onChange:function(){console.log('editor2 onChange handler: ' + arguments[0])}">
  <p>This instance is created with additional toolbar/ plugins</p>
</div>

This example starts from scratch, thus removing some items from the toolbar (as compared to the default), like underline, and adding other features, namely the LinkDialog:

require(["dojo/parser", "dijit/Editor", "dijit/_editor/plugins/LinkDialog"]);
<div data-dojo-type="dijit/Editor" id="editor3"
      data-dojo-props="plugins:['bold','italic','|','createLink'],
      onChange:function(){console.log('editor3 onChange handler: ' + arguments[0])}">
  <p>This instance is created with customized toolbar/ plugins</p>
</div>

Builtin Commands

This is a list of the default commands (plugins) supported by the editor as built-in capabilities. They can be specified in the plugins parameter (in addition to actual editor plugins in the editor/plugins directory or other places):

Command/Plugin Description
undo Undo the last operation on the editor contents.
redo Redo the last operation that was 'undone' on the editor contents
cut Remove the currently selected text and put it on the clipboard. Please note that some browsers, such as FireFox, do not allow direct access to the clipboard by default (for security purposes). The editor, therefore, cannot use its own events to access and past content there. In those cases, the editor will warn you it cannot and tell you what native hotkey sequence to use to perform the operation.
copy Copy the currently selected text and put it on the clipboard. Please note that some browsers, such as FireFox, do not allow direct access to the clipboard by default (for security purposes). The editor, therefore, cannot use its own events to access and past content there. In those cases, the editor will warn you it cannot and tell you what native hotkey sequence to use to perform the operation.
paste Paste content currently in the clipboard to the editor. Please note that some browsers, such as FireFox, do not allow direct access to the clipboard by default (for security purposes). The editor, therefore, cannot use its own events to access and past content there. In those cases, the editor will warn you it cannot and tell you what native hotkey sequence to use to perform the operation.
selectAll Select all the content in the editor.
bold Bold the currently selected text.
italic Italic the currently selected text.
underline Underline the currently selected text.
strikethrough Strike through the currently selected text.
subscript Make the currently selected text subscript.
superscript Make the currently selected text superscript.
removeFormat Remove formatting on current block.
insertOrderedList Insert an ordered list (1, 2, 3, etc.)
insertUnorderedList Insert an unordered list (bullets)
insertHorizontalRule Insert a horizontal line.
indent Indent the current text block or list item
outdent 'Unindent' the current text block or list item.
justifyLeft Justify the current text block/selected text to the left.
justifyRight Justify the current text block/selected text to the right.
justifyCenter Center the current text block/selected text.
justifyFull Full-justify the current text block/selected text.
createLink Create a hyperlink. Works best when using the dijit._editor.plugins.LinkDialog <dijit/_editor/plugins/LinkDialog> plugin.
unlink Unlink the current hyperlink under the cursor/selected text.
delete Delete the currently selected text.

Additional Editor Plugins

There are several additional editor plugins provided by dijit and are listed on the page: dijit._editor.plugins. These plugins add very useful functionality above and beyond the basics of editor, such as setting text color or printing. Please note that several of the plugins actually provide multiple capabilities.

DojoX (Dojo eXtensions) contains even more plugins for improving the capabilities of dijit.Editor. These are functions that were deemed 'less common' requirements and were therefore put in the extensions namespace. Please refer to the dojox.editor.plugins page for more information about them.

Auto-expanding editor

Typically an editor has a constant height, and if there's a lot of content it gets a scrollbar. This is in addition to the main scrollbar for the page.

Editor also has a mode like dijit.form.Textarea where the more a user types, the more the text box expands.

However, that's a bit tricky because if implemented naively the toolbar would eventually scroll off the top of the page.

The AlwaysShowToolbar plugin prevents that. It's used along with setting height="" parameter setting.

require(["dojo/parser", "dijit/Editor", "dijit/_editor/plugins/AlwaysShowToolbar"]);
    <div data-dojo-type="dijit/Editor" id="editor5"
               data-dojo-props="extraPlugins:['dijit/_editor/plugins/AlwaysShowToolbar']"  height="100px">
        <p>
            This editor is created from a div with AlwaysShowToolbar plugin (do not forget to set height="").
        </p>
</div>

Accessibility (1.0 and later versions)

Keyboard for Editor

Action Key
Move focus to the next widget in the tab order. Tab (must press tab twice in some situations - see Known Issues below)
Move focus to the prior widget in the tab order (the editor toolbar) Shift+Tab (must press shift-tab twice in some situations - see Known Issues below)

Keyboard for Editor Toolbar

Action Key
Move focus to the next enabled button in the toolbar. Arrow right in left to right locales, arrow left in right to left locales
Move focus to the previous widget in the toolbar Arrow left in left to right locales; arrow right in right to left locales.

The arrow keys will not work within any optional drop down lists such as ComboBox or FilteringSelect in the editor toolbar until the drop down list of choices has been activated. Use the backspace or escape key to clear the current selection in the textbox associated with the drop down. When the list of choices is not activated, the arrow keys will move between toolbar buttons rather than within the combobox or select.

Screen Reader Issues

In order for the screen reader to announce a label for the editor, the developer must include a label element that is associated with the editor using the for attribute. When the editor is created, Dojo will create a title element for the HTML document within the editor that contains the label text. The screen reader will announce that title when the editor component gets focus.

Known Issues

  • On Firefox, the user must press the Tab key twice before keyboard focus moves to the next widget. This is a permanent restriction on Firefox 2. The reason for this is because Firefox implements usage of the tab key within the editor to indent text and shift-tab to outdent text. There is no keyboard mechanism in Firefox to move focus out of the editor. So, the dijit editor traps the tab key in the editor and sets focus to the editor iframe. From there pressing tab again will move to the next focusable item after the editor. When shift-tab is pressed within the editor, focus is set to the toolbar associated with the editor (currently there is always a toolbar defined for a dijit editor). Even though Firefox 3 now supports the use of the contentEditable attribute to create the editor using a div element, the dijit editor is still implemented using an iframe in Firefox 3 and this tabbing issue remains. Some people are unhappy with the loss of the tab key functionality within the editor. Version 1.2 includes a plug-in option to allow the use of tab and shift-tab within the editor to indent and outdent text. The tabbing issue has been updated for Dojo 1.4. Two tab key presses are no longer required to interact with the editor in the supported browsers.