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The TinyMCE WYSIWYG editor is free forever

Ben Long

July 15th, 2020

Written by

Ben Long


Open Source

Whether you’re developing a new application or upgrading an existing solution, the TinyMCE WYSIWYG HTML editor enables developers to provide the best content creation experience possible. It’s powerful, scalable, fast, reliable...and extremely flexible, so you can customize it to suit your application and the needs of your users.

TinyMCE editor with text
TinyMCE WYSIWYG editor with a default configuration.

Is TinyMCE free?


The TinyMCE core editor is free to use for commercial and noncommercial purposes. Read more about TinyMCE licensing and terms of service below.

Get started with our free WYSIWYG editor using Tiny Cloud

The quickest way to get started with our core, open source editor is to run it from Tiny Cloud. This way, you don’t need to download anything, and you’ll always be up to date with the latest version and features. Add it to your applications with just 6 lines of code.

Get an API key to begin - we have an article that guides you through how to get your Tiny Cloud API key set up in 5 minutes. You can also check out our self-hosting options.

Once you’re ready to use TinyMCE, it’s super easy to integrate with your favorite frameworks and applications. There’s a comprehensive guide to integrations in our docs, but we also have these blog articles to help you get started:

When I get an API key, what happens at the end of the trial period? Does it expire?

When you sign up for an API key, you also get a 14-day trial of the premium plugins. After the 14 days, you can still use the core TinyMCE editor for free - the API key never expires. However, if you’d like to continue using any of the premium features, consider one of our plans.

What does the free TinyMCE editor include?

The TinyMCE core editor includes all your standard text formatting options plus 44 plugins that you can add or remove as needed to further enhance the editing experience.

These plugins provide a most comprehensive toolkit enabling you to create rich authoring experiences that far surpass other free editors, and in some cases paid editors too.

The plugins include features like:

  • Styling - to match editor content with published styles for the full WYSIWYG experience
  • Content options - anchors, links, images, media, emoticons, code snippets, tables, …
  • Document options - print, table of contents, save/autosave, page break, find and replace, word count, ...
  • Templates - so users can insert repeated content with the click of a button
  • Code view - for more advanced users that want to see the HTML under the hood
  • Integrated image/asset management - with Tiny Drive
  • And lots more - scroll down to the Core Plugins on our Plugins Directory page to view the full list and read more about each one

Here’s a demo of TinyMCE configured with all of the core plugins switched on. Open the toolbar drawer to see more options. Of course, if you only need one or two or five or ten of these options, and you don’t want the menu bar, that’s all configurable.

Can you change the way TinyMCE looks?

Absolutely! We recommend starting with this overview of how to customize the TinyMCE toolbar. But you should also familiarize yourself with the toolbar sections in the documentation under user interface options.

There’s also the TinyMCE 5 Skin Tool, as well as a range of Premium Skins and Icon Packs.

TinyMCE with custom skin and icons, and toolbar options grouped on the bottom.

Are tiered packages available for premium features?

The more you are trying to do with editing, the more likely a paid version of TinyMCE will suit you. For example:

  • Provide additional productivity, compliance, or collaboration tools like PowerPaste, Spell Checker Pro, Comments, and other Tiny premium plugins
  • Access additional support, usage, or licensing options, for example, to access our commercial agreement options allowing you to utilize TinyMCE outside of our open source license
  • Apply custom skins and icons to better match the rest of your product

We have two packages available online - Cloud Essential and Cloud Professional - of increasing value depending on your requirements, plus custom plans available through our sales team. A comprehensive overview is available on our pricing page.

A graphical representation of available TinyMCE packages and their increasing value.

More on TinyMCE licensing and terms of service

If you are self-hosting, you use TinyMCE under the terms of the LGPL open source license. More details about the LGPL are discussed below.

If you are using Tiny Cloud, its terms of service apply.

Note, if you use TinyMCE for free, we require that you include the Powered by Tiny branding and we don’t include support. To remove branding, get support, or add a premium plugin, you need a paid subscription.

What open source license is TinyMCE Community released under?

GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1, available here.

Under this license, you can:

  • Use it for commercial purposes
  • Modify the software and create derivative works
  • Distribute the original or modified versions

You cannot:

  • Hold us liable for any damages
  • Sublicense TinyMCE under a different license (unless that license is GPL). Each user that receives TinyMCE from you has the same rights as you do

You must:

  • Include the copyright notices
  • Include the full text of the LGPL v2.1
  • State and share any changes you have made to TinyMCE
  • Abide by our “powered by TinyMCE” product attribution requirements

More info about the LGPL can be found at tl;drLegal. If these terms are too onerous, our commercial terms remove many of these restrictions.

What next?

Before you go, check out how to configure TinyMCE quickbars to emulate the Medium editor or otherwise create a more modern, distraction free approach to content authoring.

TinyMCE editor configured with quickbars.
TinyMCEOpen Source
byBen Long

Computer scientist, storyteller, teacher, and an advocate of TinyMCE. Reminisces about programming on the MicroBee. Writes picture books for kids. Also the wearer of rad shoes. “Science isn’t finished until you share the story.”

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