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CKEditor vs TinyMCE

How do TinyMCE and CKEditor compare, and which rich text editor is right for you?

Why TinyMCE is the Best CKEditor Alternative

TinyMCE WYSIWYG
Rich Text Editor


TinyMCE is a feature-rich, customizable rich text editor available through either a free and permissive MIT open source license or a paid commercial license.

TinyMCE is built and maintained by Tiny Technologies — a team of 80+ people with over two decades of rich text editor building experience. 

CKEditor (4 & 5)


CKEditor is a rich text editor available through either a free, somewhat restrictive open source license, or paid/free commercial licenses.

It is built and maintained by CKSource – a team of 50+ people focused on building content management tools.

CKEditor vs TinyMCE rich text editor

Over the past two decades, both CKEditor and TinyMCE have pioneered rich text editing. They jointly deserve credit for shaping the industry into what it is today.

Both editors are considered enterprise-grade, are available under an open source license and have stellar engineering teams that stand behind their products.

So what’s the difference between CKEditor and TinyMCE?

Two things often come up: licensing and upgrades.


LICENSING

CKEditor and TinyMCE both offer open source licenses. However:

CKEditor 5 is available under a copyleft GPL license, which requires you to share your source code with the community (not ideal for proprietary software).

CKEditor also offers a free commercial license, which does not require you to release your code to the public, but there are some restrictions. You can only use the free commercial license for an app that has a maximum of five active users and two developers working on it. So, if you have more than five customers or a team of more than two developers, you must pay to use CKEditor.

TinyMCE’s free open source MIT license has no limits on usage, users or developers, and no requirement to publicly share your source code. The MIT license is known as the "gold standard" among the open source community for its flexibility.


UPGRADES

This is another area where the two rich text editors differ.

With the release of CKEditor 5, the community reported difficulties moving from Version 4 to 5. In fact, CKSource openly states it isn’t a simple upgrade, but a full migration.

As a developer-first company, TinyMCE puts careful thought into the developer experience and effort involved in upgrading between versions. For the move from Version 4 to 5, a simple 4-step plan was released to ensure the upgrade process was as smooth as possible.

Devs can count on TinyMCE upgrades to have minimal disruption – not just when upgrading to a newer version, but also when switching plans (for example, from open source to premium).

License and Support

TinyMCECKEditor 4 & 5
Open source licenseMIT - not required to share source codeGPL - must share source code
Community support
Professional support (paid plans)
Phone support available (paid plans)

Pros and Cons TinyMCE vs CKEditor 4 & 5

The CKEditor vs TinyMCE comparison is updated twice-annually
(January and July)

The Basics

TinyMCECKEditor 4CKEditor 5
Cost Free

Premium features from $348 per year
Free

Premium features from $444 per year
Free

Premium features from $444 per year
Open Source
License
 
MITGPL, LGPL or MPLGPL
Commercial License 
Self-hosted Deployment
Cloud Deployment 
Users UnlimitedFrom 5 UsersFrom 5 Users
Developers UnlimitedFrom 2 DevelopersFrom 2 Developers

Customization and Integration

TinyMCECKEditor 4CKEditor 5
API 
Framework Integrations Angular, AngularJS, Blazor, Bootstrap, Django, jQuery, Laravel, Node.js + Express, Rails, React, Svelte, Swing, Vue, Web ComponentsAngular, jQuery, React, Vue, WebpackAngular, jQuery, React, Vue
Customizable UI 
Skins and Icon Packs 
Language Translations 37399

Check out a detailed comparison of Vue rich text editors

Check out a detailed comparison of React integrations


Docs & Support

TinyMCECKEditor 4CKEditor 5
Extensive documentation
Community Support 
Professional Support 
Support SLAs 
Number of support tickets per month 2+2+2+
Dedicated Account Manager 
Phone Support Available

Core Editing Features

TinyMCECKEditor 4CKEditor 5
Basic Formatting 
Ordered / Unordered Lists
Tables 
Image Insert
Emoticons / Emoji Picker
Templates 

Advanced Editing Features

TinyMCECKEditor 4CKEditor 5
Code Editor 
Image Editing 
Enhanced Media Embed 
File Management 
Content Filtering 
Format Painter 
Permanent Pen 
Case Change
Checklists
Export PDF
Markdown

Check out a detailed comparison of format painter features


Clean Copy and Paste

Functionality that processes and cleans up pasted content from apps, ensuring compliant and easy-to-edit HTML

TinyMCECKEditor 4CKEditor 5
MS Word
MS Excel
Google Docs

Note: Faded check marks indicate partial functionality

Check out a detailed comparison of clean copy and paste features


Compliance

TinyMCECKEditor 4CKEditor 5
Customizable Spell Checker
Accessibility Checker 
Broken Link Checker

Check out a detailed comparison of spell checking features

Check out a detailed comparison of accessibility features


Collaboration

TinyMCECKEditor 4CKEditor 5
Real-time Collaboration 
Refer to TinyMCE Real-time Collaboration (RTC) documentation for a full list of functionality available in RTC
Mentions 
Comments 

Check out a detailed comparison of comments features

Check out a detailed comparison of @mentions features


Security

TinyMCECKEditor 4CKEditor 5
Asymmetric JWT Signing 
Real-time Collaboration End-to-end Encryption 

See a mistake? Let us know.

All data in the table above (and supporting pages) was pulled from projects’ public websites on December 6, 2021.

Features listed vary by plan (open-source, free or paid). If information on a specific feature or topic cannot be found on the editor’s website, it is not included. Only features released by the editor author are listed.

Migrating from CKEditor 4 or 5 to TinyMCE?

It’s easy to migrate from CKEditor to TinyMCE, with minimal disruption:

1.


Read our quick guide on How to migrate from CKEditor to TinyMCE

Easy integration with 12 + frameworks and hundreds of other tools

The TinyMCE code is totally customizable and works with the framework of your choice

Help when and where you need it

Enterprise-Grade Support

Responsive, in-house support to help you implement, customize and troubleshoot.

Learn more →

Community

Thousands of questions and answers updated daily on StackOverflow and Github.

Browse questions →

Documentation

Tutorials, quickstarts, code samples and videos to help you deploy faster.

Explore Docs →

Trusted by the hottest startups and biggest brands

“TinyMCE satisfied our needs at a competitive cost, and we were able to integrate it without restructuring our product.”

Chris Burd | Vice President of policyIQ

“TinyMCE should be at the top of any list if you’re looking for a visual text editor. It’s flexible, integrates well with different systems and is extremely stable.”

Rob Wells | Vice President of policyIQ

“We’re very satisfied with TinyMCE’s features, functionality, ease of integration, and the impeccable support team.”

Paul Alexandrescu | Technical Director

Chris Burd | Vice President, policyIQ

Rob Wells | CEO

Paul Alexandrescu | Technical Director

Some Tiny stats

350M+


downloads every single year

100M+


products powered by TinyMCE

35M+


hits on our CDN per day

23,000+


commits on GitHub

1.5M


developers worldwide use TinyMCE

400+


APIs

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