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Content formatting options

These settings change the way the editor handles the input and output of content. This will help you to create clean, maintainable and readable content.

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formats

This option is used to override default TinyMCE formats or add custom formats to the editor.

TinyMCE is equipped with a formatting engine that allows you to register a set of styles and attributes as a named format. For example, the bold format is the style that is applied to text when the bold button is clicked.

Check out the custom formats example for a demonstration of this option.

The formats configuration option takes an object of format name and format specification pairs. Each format specification must be defined as an object where the value is either an object of format options or an array of such objects.

If a format is specified with an array of variants, when the format is applied only the first item in the array will be used. However, when trying to match the format to remove or update the UI, the other variants in the array will be considered as well. So the first format is a kind of primary format, and the rest are secondary formats.

The following is an example of an array of format specification that contains three variants:

bold: [
     { inline: 'strong', remove: 'all' },
     { inline: 'span', styles: { fontWeight: 'bold' } },
     { inline: 'b', remove: 'all' }
   ],

Style merging

Similar elements and styles are merged by default to reduce the output HTML size. So for example, if a font size and font face are selected for a word, it merges these two styles into one span element instead of one span for each format type.

Built-in formats

TinyMCE has some built in formats that can be overridden. These are:

  • alignleft
  • aligncenter
  • alignright
  • alignjustify
  • bold
  • italic
  • underline
  • strikethrough
  • forecolor
  • hilitecolor
  • fontname
  • fontsize
  • blockquote
  • removeformat
  • p
  • h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6
  • div
  • address
  • pre
  • div
  • code
  • dt, dd
  • samp

Some built-in formats fontsize, fontname, forecolor, hilitecolor use a variable in their definition named %value. This gets replaced with the user selected item such as a color value. Check the variable substitution section below for details.

Format Type

There are three types of formats:

  • Block format
  • Inline format
  • Selector format

All three format types can be used with the formats configuration option. They can also be used to specify a new format item in the style_formats configuration option. However, a format that is specified using formats is then registered with the editor, and can be referred to by name in style_formats rather than needing to specify the format again.

For example, these two configurations are equivalent:

tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',
  formats: {
    // Changes the default format for h1 to have a class of heading
    h1: { block: 'h1', classes: 'heading' }
  },
  style_formats: [
    // Adds the h1 format defined above to style_formats
    { title: 'My heading', format: 'h1' }
  ]
});
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',
  style_formats: [
    // Adds a h1 format to style_formats that applies a class of heading
    { title: 'My heading', block: 'h1', classes: 'heading' }
  ]
});

A registered format can also be used by name with the built-in formatter methods. See /configure/content-formatting/#usingcustomformats for an example.

block

Tag name of the block element to use as a wrapper, for example, h1. Existing block elements within the selection are replaced with this block element.

Type: String

Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',
  formats: {
    // Changes the default format for h1 to have a class of heading
    h1: { block: 'h1', classes: 'heading' }
  }
});

inline

Tag name of the inline element to use as a wrapper, for example, span is used to wrap the current selection.

Type: String

Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',
  formats: {
    // Changes the default format for the bold button to produce a span with a bold class
    bold: { inline: 'span', classes: 'bold' }
  }
});

selector

CSS3 selector pattern that is used to find elements within the selection. It can be used to apply classes to specific elements only, for example only to odd rows in a table.

Type: String

Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',
  formats: {
    // Changes the alignment buttons to add a class to each of the matching selector elements
    alignleft: { selector: 'p,h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6,td,th,div,ul,ol,li,table,img', classes: 'left' },
    aligncenter: { selector: 'p,h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6,td,th,div,ul,ol,li,table,img', classes: 'center' },
    alignright: { selector: 'p,h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6,td,th,div,ul,ol,li,table,img', classes: 'right' },
    alignjustify: { selector: 'p,h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6,td,th,div,ul,ol,li,table,img', classes: 'full' }
  }
});

Format parameters

For each format some additional parameters can be specified:

classes

Space-separated list of classes that are applied to the selected or newly created inline/block element.

Type: String

Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',
  formats: {
    // Changes the default format for the bold button to produce a span with a bold class
    bold: { inline: 'span', classes: 'bold' }
  }
});

styles

Key/value object with CSS styles to apply to the selected or newly created inline/block element (e.g. color, backgroundColor, textDecoration, etc).

Type: Object

Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',
  formats: {
    // Changes the default format for the bold button to produce a span with style with font-width: bold
    bold: { inline: 'span', styles: { 'font-weight': 'bold' } }
  }
});

attributes

Key/value object with attributes to apply to the selected or newly created inline/block element.

Type: Object

Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',
  formats: {
    // Changes the default format for the bold button to produce a strong with data-style attribute
    bold: { inline: 'strong', attributes: { 'data-style': 'bold' } }
  }
});

exact

Makes sure that the format is not merged with other wrappers having the same format. We use it to avoid conflicts between text-decorations for underline and strikethrough formats.

Type: Boolean

Default: false

Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',
  formats: {
    // Changes the default format for the underline button to produce a span with a class and not merge that underline into parent spans
    underline: { inline: 'span', styles: { 'text-decoration': 'underline' }, exact: true },
    strikethrough: { inline: 'span', styles: { 'text-decoration': 'line-through' }, exact: true }
  }
});

wrapper

States that the format is a container format for block elements. For example, a div wrapper or blockquote.

Type: Boolean

Default: false

Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',
  formats: {
    // A custom format that wraps blocks into a div with the specified wrapper class
    'custom-wrapper': { block: 'div', classes: 'wrapper', wrapper: true }
  }
});

remove

Specifies what the remove behavior of the element should be when the format is removed.

Type: String

Default: none for Selector formats and empty for all other format types.

This can be set to three different modes:

  • none: Only styles, classes or attributes are removed from the element the element is never removed.
  • empty: If the element has no styles, classes, or attributes then the element is removed.
  • all: Removes the element regardless of its styles, classes, and or attributes.
Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',
  extended_valid_elements: 'span[*]', // Needed to retain spans without attributes these are removed by default
  formats: {
    removeformat: [
      // Configures `clear formatting` to remove specified elements regardless of it's attributes
      { selector: 'b,strong,em,i,font,u,strike', remove: 'all' },

      // Configures `clear formatting` to remove the class red from spans and if the element then becomes empty i.e has no attributes it gets removed
      { selector: 'span', classes: 'red', remove: 'empty' },

      // Configures `clear formatting` to remove the class green from spans and if the element then becomes empty it's left intact
      { selector: 'span', classes: 'green', remove: 'none' }
    ]
  }
});

block_expand

This option controls if the selection should expand upwards to the closest matching block element. This can be useful when configuring removeformat to remove block elements. So if the selection start is at the beginning of a matching block, then that matching block will be included as well. If the end of the selection is at the end of a matching block element then that parent element will be included as well.

So if the selection is from a to b in this html contents <h1><b>[a</b></h1><p>b]</p> then the h1 will be removed even if it’s not part of the actual selection.

Type: Boolean

Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',
  formats: {
    removeformat: [
      {
        selector: 'h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6',
        remove: 'all',
        split: false,
        expand: false,
        block_expand: true,
        deep: true
      },
      {
        selector: 'a,b,strong,em,i,font,u,strike,sub,sup,dfn,code,samp,kbd,var,cite,mark,q,del,ins',
        remove: 'all',
        split: true,
        expand: false,
        deep: true
      },
      { selector: 'span', attributes: ['style', 'class'], remove: 'empty', split: true, expand: false, deep: true },
      { selector: '*', attributes: ['style', 'class'], split: false, expand: false, deep: true }
    ]
  }
});

deep

Enables control for removing the child elements of the matching format. This is set to false by default on selector formats. As a result, when a class is removed from a selected table class, disabling deep retains the class in the child elements within the other nested tables.

Type: Boolean

Default: false for selector formats

Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',
  formats: {
    // A custom format that wraps blocks into a div with the specified wrapper class
    'custom-deep': { inline: 'span', classes: 'myclass', deep: false }
  }
});

Example of usage of the formats option

This example overrides some of the built-in formats and tells TinyMCE to apply classes instead of inline styles. It also includes a custom format that produced h1 elements with a title attribute and a red CSS style.

Type: Object

Example
// Output elements in HTML style
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',  // change this value according to your html
  formats: {
    alignleft: { selector: 'p,h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6,td,th,div,ul,ol,li,table,img', classes: 'left' },
    aligncenter: { selector: 'p,h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6,td,th,div,ul,ol,li,table,img', classes: 'center' },
    alignright: { selector: 'p,h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6,td,th,div,ul,ol,li,table,img', classes: 'right' },
    alignjustify: { selector: 'p,h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6,td,th,div,ul,ol,li,table,img', classes: 'full' },
    bold: { inline: 'span', classes: 'bold' },
    italic: { inline: 'span', classes: 'italic' },
    underline: { inline: 'span', classes: 'underline', exact: true },
    strikethrough: { inline: 'del' },
    forecolor: { inline: 'span', classes: 'forecolor', styles: { color: '%value' } },
    hilitecolor: { inline: 'span', classes: 'hilitecolor', styles: { backgroundColor: '%value' } },
    custom_format: { block: 'h1', attributes: { title: 'Header' }, styles: { color: 'red' } }
  }
});

Using custom formats

Custom formats can be handled through the TinyMCE API. Here is a basic example of usage for the custom format defined above.

// Applying the specified format
tinymce.activeEditor.formatter.apply('custom_format');

// Removing the specified format
tinymce.activeEditor.formatter.remove('custom_format');

Variable substitution

Variables can be used in the format definition. These variables are then replaced with the ones specified in the call to the apply function. Here is an example of how to use variables within formats.

// Registering the special format with a variable
tinymce.activeEditor.formatter.register('custom_format', { inline: 'span', styles: { color: '%value' } });

// Applying the specified format with the variable specified
tinymce.activeEditor.formatter.apply('custom_format', { value: 'red' });

Removing a format

Use the removeformat option to specify how the clear formatting feature should work in the editor.

Type: Array

Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',  // change this value according to your HTML
  formats: {
    removeformat: [
      {
        selector: 'b,strong,em,i,font,u,strike,sub,sup,dfn,code,samp,kbd,var,cite,mark,q,del,ins',
        remove: 'all',
        split: true,
        block_expand: true,
        expand: false,
        deep: true
      },
      { selector: 'span', attributes: ['style', 'class'], remove: 'empty', split: true, expand: false, deep: true },
      { selector: '*', attributes: ['style', 'class'], split: false, expand: false, deep: true }
    ]
  }
});

indentation

The indentation option allows specification of the indentation level for indent/outdent buttons in the UI.

The indentation option defaults to 30px but can be any value.

Type: String

Default Value: 30px

Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',  // change this value according to your HTML
  indentation : '20pt'
});

indent_use_margin

The indent_use_margin option is set if the editor should use margin instead of padding when indenting content.

Type: Boolean

Default Value: false

Example
tinymce.init({
  selector: 'textarea',  // change this value according to your HTML
  indentation : '20pt',
  indent_use_margin: true
});

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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.