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10 best WYSIWYG editor features to look for when researching RTE alternatives

Published December 19th, 2019

Following on from our guide about 5 best rich text editor features, here are ten more things to look for when researching and choosing the best WYSIWYG editor features for your needs.

Ben Long

Author at Tiny

Basic WYSIWYG editor features

1. Easy integration with your projects

Your chosen editor needs to integrate seamlessly into your website or app.

So make sure that it can be added with minimal effort with the particular front-end frameworks you’re using. The best editors can integrate effortlessly with a variety of front-end frameworks and platforms. Furthermore, any integration required (by a wrapper, for example), will ideally be provided for you – saving you more time and effort in getting it up and running in your environment.

2. Seamless markup integration

The editor should be coupled with clean, well-structured markup (e.g., HTML) under the hood.

You shouldn’t have to go into the source code and fix incorrect or unnecessary code introduced as a result of poor integration. You want the output to be ready to use in your applications with no (or minimal) post-processing. But, at the same time, there should be an editable source code view for power users and custom code.

3. Predictable editing experience

The default editing experience should operate based on the most common and current trends.

We’re already used to the way common authoring tools work (for example, Microsoft Word and Google Docs). Your users shouldn’t be frustrated by behaviors that are different from those they expect. For example, shortcuts, icons, and dialogs should look and feel much like what we’re used to. And what should happen when you press ‘Enter’ in a list? What about when you press it again… what happens?

4. UI customization

You need the ability to customize the look and feel of the editor.

The best editors come with a range of skins and icon packs that you can choose from. And make sure that the content your users are creating is consistent and on brand. For example, you might decide that you don’t want users to underline words or phrases unless they are links. Or you might want to provide a certain set of colors on the color palette – so you need to have the ability to customize the options available to users.

5. Editing modes

Some people prefer not to have their authoring workspace cluttered by formatting options.

The best editors also provide inline and distraction free modes so formatting options appear only when required and depending on the context. You also want to offer your users the ability to operate the editor in full screen mode, if needed.

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Advanced rich text editor features

6. Advanced paste options

Advanced pasting functionality enables you to paste from a myriad of sources – it clears any unwanted styles, while keeping the formatting you need.

Why is that useful? When creating content, you often paste information from multiple existing resources – like word processors, spreadsheets, websites, and internal wikis. But when you do that, the resulting content usually doesn’t match your desired style – the fonts are different, images go missing, and the formatting is not the same as the original source. So you have to go through and reformat everything yourself by hand, often manually editing the HTML to remove unnecessary markup. Advanced paste options negate the need for manual reformatting.

7. Web accessibility

The best WYSIWYG HTML editors provide content authors with accessibility checking tools based on well-defined accessibility standards such as WCAG and Section 508.

The same level of rigor should be applied to the rich text editors themselves, to ensure that the authoring experience is accessible too. Accessibility checking helps ensure content conforms to web accessibility standards.

8. Collaboration tools

Writing has changed. What used to be a solitary endeavor can now be a collaborative experience. From colleagues working real-time within the same office, to contractors on the other side of the world adding comments asynchronously to your next big idea. Whatever the workflow, collaboration tools are now an expected part of the content creation experience.

9. Enterprise-level spell checking

The most advanced spell checkers are multilingual, and allow you to specify an array of words to add, or ignore, as part of building a custom dictionary.

The customized dictionary also needs to be available globally across your organization, no matter which browser is used.

10. Extensibility

Sometimes your business requirements can be quite unique, and you need the freedom and flexibility to innovate. You should be able to view the editor’s source code and develop your own extensions for custom functionality to meet your requirements.

Preferably, an API makes it easier for you to write custom functionality that fits within the existing framework.

Best WYSIWYG HTML editors features: summary

It should be no surprise that the TinyMCE WYSIWYG editor provides all this functionality, with years of experience behind us, and loads of innovation ahead.

Try the live demo and check out the premium plugins that are helping our users take their editing experience to the next level. Or, contact us for a chat with one of our experienced consultants.

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