Text editor

In this article, we're going to explore the Text Editor. The text editor is one of the major parts of the content editor page and is probably where the majority of your time in EasyContent will be spent into. We have a separate article for the content editor page if you want to learn more about that, but here, we're going to focus on the text editor.

If you've used any web-based text editor before, especially like the classic WordPress editor or Joomla's TinyMCE text editor, then you'll easily get the hang of ours. Both WordPress's and Joomla's text editors we mentioned as well as our text editor are all based on TinyMCE.

However, there are some differences between our editor and others even though they're all based on TinyMCE, so it's still recommended that you skim through this guide to have an understanding of what's the same and what's not between our editor and others.

Let's get started!

The text editor has six major parts:

  1. Menu bar
  2. Formatting toolbar
  3. Standard toolbar
  4. Text area
  5. Element status bar
  6. Word count 

Menu Bar

The menu bar has the tools you can use to manage your content. From previewing how your content looks when it gets published to viewing its HTML source code, you have everything you need to edit and preview your content.

Currently, the menu bar holds the following menu items: File, Edit, Insert, View, Format, Table, and Tools. We're going to look at each of these in the following sections.

Note: In the screenshots, you will notice that there's a corresponding shortcut key for some tools. You can use these keys to directly access them without having to use your mouse, resulting in fewer clicks and faster workflow. For example, in the next section, you'll see that the Print tool has a corresponding shortcut key Ctrl+P.

File

The file menu contains two tools: New document and Print.

  • New document - clears the entire text area. You can use undo or Ctrl+Z on your keyboard if you accidentally clicked this while working on an assignment.
  • Print - prints the content of the text area.

Edit

The edit menu has the tools for copying, pasting, and selecting elements in the text area.

  • Undo - undo the latest change you made.
  • Redo - redo the latest change you made.
  • Cut - cuts the selected element(s) in the text area.
  • Copy - copies the content of the selected element(s) in the text area to your clipboard.
  • Paste - pastes the content of your clipboard to the text area. If you captured a screenshot of your desktop using the "print screen" feature of your computer, you can paste it directly to the text area using the shortcut key Ctrl+V. Your screenshot gets uploaded instantly without having to explicitly use the upload tool, however, keep in mind that its filename will be in the format similar to this: screenshot_date-random_number_identifier.png, which can be an issue if you wish you use descriptive filenames.
  • Paste as text - this is a toggle. If turned on, any rich text (i.e. text from a rich text editor like Microsoft Word or text from an external website) you copy will be pasted as plain text (removes all formatting from the source) to the text editor.
  • Select all - selects the entire content of the text editor.
  • Find and replace - you can use this tool to find all instances of a string of text and optionally replace it with something else.

Insert

The insert menu has the tools that allow you to add certain elements to the text editor. You can use this to add links, videos, images, special characters, etc.

  • Insert/edit video - allows you to add a video from an external URL or a video embed code to your content.
  • Link - allows you to add hyperlinks.
  • Insert/edit image - lets you add images from an external URL or from the attached files.
  • Special character - this tool brings up a table containing various special characters that you can select to insert to the text area.

  • Table of Contents - creates a table of contents element based on your content's headings. An example would be this article's table of contents near the beginning.
  • Horizontal line - adds a horizontal line to wherever the text cursor is currently at.

View

The view menu contains options for changing how the text editor displays its content.

  • Show blocks - this option displays the boundaries between element blocks (i.e. paragraphs, images, headings, etc.). Refer to the gif below.

  • Visual aids -  visual aid for borderless tables. If the border of a table is set to "0", then TinyMCE adds a dotted line around the table by default.
  • Fullscreen - this option puts the text editor in fullscreen mode (a.k.a distraction-free mode).
  • Preview - shows a preview of how your content looks if it's published on the web.

Format

The format menu contains tools that allow you to manipulate a selected text's (and other elements' such as tables and images) formatting.

When you activate an option without a selected text (for example the bold formatting), the subsequent text you type will follow the option you've just selected, i.e., in our example, all text you type from now on will be in bold.

Available formatting options, which should be pretty self-explanatory, are the following:

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underline
  • Strikethrough
  • Superscript
  • Subscript
  • Formats
    • Headings
      • Heading 1
      • Heading 2
      • Heading 3
      • Heading 4
      • Heading 5
      • Heading 6
    • Inline
      • Bold
      • Italic
      • Underline
      • Strikethrough
      • Superscript
      • Subscript
      • Code
    • Blocks
      • Paragraph
      • Blockquote
      • Div
      • Pre
    • Alignment
      • Left
      • Center
      • Right
      • Justify
  • Clear formatting

Table

The table menu contains tools for building and formatting tables.

  • Table - used to define a table with Column * Row dimensions that'll be inserted into wherever the text cursor currently is in the text area.

  • Table properties - only available when your text cursor is on a table. It contains options for adjusting its width, height, cell spacing, cell padding, border, etc.
  • Delete table - completely deletes the currently selected table or whatever table your text cursor is currently pointing at.
  • Cell - options for editing a single specific cell. It has options for editing the width, height, border color, etc.
  • Row - contains options for inserting and manipulating rows. Options include, but not limited to, inserting a row before or after the currently selected area, editing a row's properties such as border color, row height, row type, etc.
  • Column - contains options for inserting and deleting columns. Available options are: Insert column beforeInsert column after, and Delete column.

Tools

As of the moment, the tools menu only contains the Source code editor tool. This lets you view and edit your content as HTML code.

Formatting Toolbar

The formatting toolbar contains shortcut icons for the most commonly used formatting tools so you don't have to dig deep into the menu bar to find them.

It contains the following:

  • Undo and redo
  • Text formatting dropdown selection
  • Text alignment
    • Left, Center, Right alignments
  • Inline text formatting options
    • Bold
    • Italic
    • Underline
    • Text color
    • Background color
    • Clear formatting
  • Bullet list
  • Numbered list
  • Decrease indent
  • Increase indent

Standard Toolbar

The standard toolbar contains shortcut icons to formatting items that don't fit in other categories.

From left to right, we have:

  1. Insert/edit link
  2. Remove link
  3. Insert/edit image
  4. Insert/edit video
  5. Table (used for quickly inserting a table or editing an existing one)
  6. Source code (for viewing and editing your text's HTML code)
  7. Create annotation
  8. Delete annotation
  9. Hide annotations
  10. Fullscreen (puts the text editor into fullscreen mode, aka distraction-free editing)

Text area

The text area is where you type and edit your article's content. Despite what we call it, it's not restricted to text elements only. You can add multimedia elements such as video files, images, video embeds, etc. using the tools from the different menus discussed above.

Right-clicking anywhere within the text area brings out a context menu that gives quick access to tools for creating tables and inserting links.

To insert a link using the context menu:

  1. Select the text you want to add a link to or put your text cursor to the area where you want your link to appear.
  2. Right-click, then select the link option.
  3. The Insert Link window will appear.

  4. Put your link's URL in the Url field and optionally, if you're adding a new link from scratch (i.e. there's no selected text), the anchor text you want for your link in the Text to display field.
    • You can define a title in the Title field. This will appear as a tooltip when a user hovers their mouse on the link.
    • You can also choose to have the link open in a new window when clicked by setting the option in the Target field.
    • You can link to any of the attached files in your article by clicking the magnifying glass icon in the URL field. You can use this, for example, to let users download a file.
  5. Once you're done, click OK to save your changes.

Note: If you have the Grammarly browser extension installed and the option "Show definitions and synonyms via double click (all sites)" is enabled, it can conflict with the text editor's context menu. We recommend that you disable this option while working on the text editor at the moment. We're looking for ways to improve this and we'll notify you once we figured out how to fix this.

Element Status Bar

The element status bar displays what HTML element an item in the text area uses. You can click on it to highlight the said item in the text area.

Word Count

Displays your article's current word count.