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Handle asynchronous image uploads

How to manage asynchronous image uploads with jQuery, CORS.

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TinyMCE uploads edited images with the image uploader. This complements TinyMCE’s image editing functionality. Local images added through other means can also be uploaded using this functionality. For example, drag and drop using the paste_data_images configuration property or using the PowerPaste plugin.

TinyMCE automatically updates the <image> src attribute with the new path to the remote image.

Local images are uploaded to TinyMCE using the editor.uploadImages() function. This functionality makes it possible for users to save their content before all images have completed uploading. No server path to the remote image is available if this occurs and the images will be stored as Base64.

Note: Execute the editor.uploadImages() function before submitting the editor contents to the server to avoid storing the images as Base64. Use a success callback to execute code once all the images are uploaded. This success callback can save the editor’s content to the server through a POST.

Review the examples below:

Using uploadImages and then posting a form

tinymce.activeEditor.uploadImages(function(success) {

Using uploadImages with jQuery

tinymce.activeEditor.uploadImages(function(success) {
  $.post('ajax/post.php', tinymce.activeEditor.getContent()).done(function() {
	console.log("Uploaded images and posted content as an ajax request.");

Image Uploader requirements

A server-side upload handler script uploads local images to a remote server. The script must:

  • accepts the images on the server
  • stores images appropriately
  • returns a JSON object containing the image’s upload location

An example PHP upload handler implementation is available here.

Images are sent to the Image Uploader via HTTP POST with each post containing a single image. The image handler at the URL referenced in the images_upload_url must “store” the image in the application. Some examples include:

  • Store the item in a folder on the web server
  • Store the item on a CDN server
  • Store the item in a database
  • Store the item in an asset management system

Use a standardized name in the post (e.g. blobid0, blobid1, imagetools0, imagetools1) when the image is uploaded.

Note: Ensure that your upload handler script generates a unique name for each uploaded file before storing the image. A common method is to append the current time in milliseconds to the end of the file name. This creates file names such as blobid0-1458428901092.png or blobid0-1460405299-0114.png.

Warning: The files will be overwritten if the file names are not unique.

This server-side upload handler script must return a JSON object containing a “location” property. This property represents the remote location and/or filename of the newly uploaded image.

{ location : '/uploaded/image/path/image.png' }

Image Uploader options

The operation of this feature is affected by the following configuration options.

Note: The images_upload_url or images_upload_handler options must be set for image uploads to function correctly.

Image Upload Handling Option Description
images_upload_url Specifies a URL where images are uploaded when editor.uploadImages is called.
images_upload_base_path Specifies a basepath to prepend to urls returned from the configured images_upload_url page.
images_upload_credentials Specifies if calls to the configured images_upload_url passes along credentials cross domain, like cookies. This is disabled by default.
images_upload_handler This option replaces the editor.uploadImages API method with custom logic, such as a PHP script. The upload handler function takes three arguments: blobInfo, success callback, and failure callback. When this option is not set, TinyMCE utilizes an XMLHttpRequest to upload images one at a time to the server, and calls the success callback with the location of the remote image.

The following example is a typical setup:

	selector: 'textarea',  // change this value according to your HTML
	images_upload_url: 'postAcceptor.php',
	images_upload_base_path: '/some/basepath',
	images_upload_credentials: true

Rolling your image handler

Use the images_upload_handler configuration property to change TinyMCE’s default image upload logic.

Note: No other image uploader options are necessary while using this option

Use the success callback defined in the image_upload_handler function with the returned JSON object’s location property to replace the <image> tag’s src attribute with the remote location.

The following example is a typical setup:

  selector: 'textarea',  // change this value according to your HTML
  images_upload_handler: function (blobInfo, success, failure) {
	var xhr, formData;

	xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();
	xhr.withCredentials = false;'POST', 'postAcceptor.php');

	xhr.onload = function() {
	  var json;

	  if (xhr.status < 200 || xhr.status >= 300) {
		failure('HTTP Error: ' + xhr.status);

	  json = JSON.parse(xhr.responseText);

	  if (!json || typeof json.location != 'string') {
		failure('Invalid JSON: ' + xhr.responseText);


	formData = new FormData();
	formData.append('file', blobInfo.blob(), fileName(blobInfo));


CORS considerations

Configure Cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) to upload image data to a separate domain and to comply with JavaScript “same origin” restrictions.

CORS maintains stringent rules about what constitutes a cross-origin request. The browser can require CORS headers when uploading to the same server the editor is hosted on. For example:

  • A different port on the same domain name
  • Using the host IP address instead of the domain name
  • Swapping between HTTP and HTTPS for the page and the upload script

The upload script URL origin must exactly match the origin of the URL in the address bar, or the browser will require CORS headers to access it. Use a relative URL to specify the script address instead of an absolute one to guarantee this.

All supported browsers print messages to the JavaScript console if there is a CORS error.

The PHP Upload Handler Script provided here configures CORS in the $accepted_origins variable. Configure CORS at the web application layer or the HTTP server layer.

Further reading on CORS

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Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 License, and code samples are licensed under the Apache 2.0 License.