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Add a custom autocompleter to TinyMCE 5.

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An autocompleter enables users to quickly find and select from a pre-populated list of values as they type, leveraging searching and filtering. It provides suggestions to insert while the user is typing into the content. For example, with the charmap plugin enabled, typing :amp should show the ampersand item in the menu. Pressing esc should close the autocomplete menu.

How to create custom autocompleters

The method for adding a custom autocompleter is in the UI Registry part of the editor API editor.ui.registry:

  • editor.ui.registry.addAutocompleter(name, configuration)

The two arguments this method take are:

  • name - A unique name for the autocompleter.
  • configuration - An object containing the user’s configuration.

Configuration options

Name Value Requirement Description
ch string Required The character to trigger the autocompleter.
fetch (pattern: string, maxResults: number, fetchOptions: Record<string, any>) => Promise<AutocompleterItem[]> Required A function that is passed the current matched text pattern, the maximum number of expected results and any additional fetch options. The function should return a promise containing matching results.
onAction (api, rng: Range, value: string) => void Required A function invoked when a fetched item is selected.
columns number or ‘auto’ Optional default: auto - The number of columns to show. If set to 1 column, then icons and text are displayed, otherwise only icons are displayed.
matches (rng: Range, text: string, pattern: string) => boolean Optional default: isStartOfWord - A predicate function that takes a range, the current text node content and the matched text content and returns a boolean indicating if the autocompleter should trigger.
maxResults number Optional default: 10 - The maximum number of results that should be fetched.
minChars number Optional default: 1 - The minimum number of characters that must be typed before the autocompleter will trigger (excluding the trigger char).

The fetch function is called whenever the trigger char is pressed and the matches predicate returns true. It is a function that takes the matched text pattern and returns a promise containing matching results. This allows for asynchronous fetching of the autocompleter items. The fetchOptions passed to the fetch function is by default an empty object, however using the reload API additional options can be passed to fetch a different set of results.

The fetch results should be a list of objects with the following details:

  • value: Value of the item. This will be passed to the onAction callback when selected.
  • text: Text to display for the item.
  • icon: Name of the icon to be displayed. Must be a single unicode character or correspond to an icon in the icon pack.

Note: If two or more autocompleters use the same trigger character, then the fetched results will be merged together before being displayed.


Name Value Description
hide () => void Hides the autocompleter menu.
reload (fetchOptions: Record<string, any>) => void Hides the autocompleter menu and fetches new menu items. The fetchOptions will be passed to the autocompleter fetch callback.

Interactive example

This example shows how the charmap plugin adds the standard autocompleter. The autocompleter will show whenever a : character is typed plus at least one additional character.

var specialChars = [
  { text: 'exclamation mark', value: '!' },
  { text: 'at', value: '@' },
  { text: 'hash', value: '#' },
  { text: 'dollars', value: '$' },
  { text: 'percent sign', value: '%' },
  { text: 'caret', value: '^' },
  { text: 'ampersand', value: '&' },
  { text: 'asterisk', value: '*' }

  selector: 'textarea#autocompleter',
  height: 250,
  setup: function (editor) {
    /* An autocompleter that allows you to insert special characters */
    editor.ui.registry.addAutocompleter('specialchars', {
      ch: ':',
      minChars: 1,
      columns: 'auto',
      fetch: function (pattern) {
        var matchedChars = specialChars.filter(function (char) {
          return char.text.indexOf(pattern) !== -1;

        return new tinymce.util.Promise(function (resolve) {
          var results = (char) {
            return {
              value: char.value,
              text: char.text,
              icon: char.value
      onAction: function (autocompleteApi, rng, value) {
  content_style: 'body { font-family:Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px }'

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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.