TinyMCE editor

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.8. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: TinyMCE editor.

The TinyMCE text editor is an editor plugin in Moodle which can be enabled, disabled or set as default from Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Text editors > Manage editors.

Users may also select the TinyMCE editor (in preference to the default editor Atto) from Administration > My profile settings > Edit profile.

Collapsing and expanding the editor

The TinyMCE editor first appears with just one row of buttons. Clicking the icon top left will expand it to three rows.

Collapsed view
Expanded view

Toolbar buttons

For those who are not familiar with the tool bar, here are the buttons as grouped in their rows. Remember that the site administrator can edit or provide additional buttons.

Row 1

26tinymcerow1.png
1:Expand 2.Formatting 3.Bold 4.Italic
5.Bulleted list 6.Numbered list 7.Add link 8.Unlink
9.Stop auto linking 10.Add image 11.Add emoticon 12.Add media
13.Manage embedded files

Row 2

26tinymcerow2.png
1:Undo 2.Redo 3.Underline 4.Strikethrough
5.Subscript 6.Superscript 7.Align left 8.Align centre
9.Align right 10.Decrease indent 11.Increase indent 12.Text colour
13.Background colour 14.Left to Right 15.Right to Left

Row 3

26tinymcerow3.png
1:Font family 2.Font size 3.Edit HTML 4.Find
5.Find/replace 6.Insert non-breaking space 7.Insert special character 8.Insert table
9.Clean up messy code 10.Remove formatting 11.Paste as plain text 12.Paste from MS Word
13.Toggle full screen

Colour pickers

  • 26colourpickers.png

There are four levels of selecting a font or background colour,

  • A quick pick 5x8 matrix of colours
  • "More colours" that links to Picker, Pallet and Named tabs

Insert table

To add borders to a table

Cell borders are crucial for helping readers to follow the rows across the screen. If they aren’t showing already you can add them as follows:

  1. In the Wiki page containing your table, click its Edit tab
  2. Carefully select all the cells of the table
  3. Then right click (Macs: Command+click or Ctrl+Click) over any part of your selection to get a context menu; from it select Cell > Table Cell Properties; the cell properties dialog box then loads.
  4. Click on its Advanced tab, set Border Color to black (for instance), then click Apply, and then click Update.
  5. Click Save; the Wiki page containing your table will then load displaying its borders.

TinyMCE editor settings

The TinyMCE HTML editor has its own settings page Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Text editors > TinyMCE HTML editor > General settings with the following options:

Plugins

  • Buttons for equations, emoticons,images, media, automatic linking, and legacy spell-checking may be enabled, disabled or uninstall here by clicking on their eye.
  • Additionally the equation, emoticon and spell check buttons have links to their Settings screens.
"The TinyMCE editor plugins screen"
The TinyMCE editor plugins screen
Manage embedded files

This plugin allows users to add, delete or override files embedded in the current text area, for example in a label or topic summary. (It complements the Embedded files repository)

The Manage files button
Managing embedded files from within TinyMCE
Insert equation

Accessed from Administration>Site administration > Plugins > Text editors > TinyMCE HTML editor > Edit equation, this allows you to enable or disable the TeX filter in the editor context and thereby display the Dragmath button. If you have a global custom TeX filter, then disable this setting.

Insert emoticon

Accessed from Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Text editors > TinyMCE HTML editor > Insert emoticon, this allows you to enable or disable the emoticon filter in the editor context and thereby display the emoticon button.

Legacy spell checker

The legacy spell checker is visible in IE9 and lower only, but not in other browsers. If you want to disable it and and rely on browser spell checker functionality instead, you can do this by disabling the legacy spellchecker plugin by clicking its eye in Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Text editors > TinyMCE HTML editor > General settings

To spell-check via your browser, type your word (which if incorrectly spelt will have red lines under it) and press right click + CTRL

Right-click+CTRL for browser spellcheck

NOTE: While the default spell engine is Google spell which can be changed in Administration>Site administration>Plugins>Text editors>TinyMCE HTML editor, this is no longer supported by Google and will not work. (Note that it is only visible in IE9 and lower) It is due to be removed. See MDL-38867. In browser spell check is recommended.

If PSpell is selected then aspell 0.50 or later must be installed on your server and the path to aspell set in Administration > Site administration > Server > System Paths.

You can select a different spell engine from Administration> Site administration > Plugins > Text editors > TinyMCE HTML editor>Check spelling.


Choosing a different spell engine

According to: http://php.net/manual/en/book.pspell.php

"As of php 5.3. Pspell is no longer supported/bundled. Instead you can use the enchant which is bundled by default in 5.3."

If PSpell is selected then aspell 0.50 or later must be installed on your server and the path to aspell set in Administration > Site administration > Server > System Paths.

Customising the editor toolbar

An administrator can remove or add buttons to the TinyMCE editor toolbar by altering the Editor toolbar box in Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Text editors > TinyMCE HTML editor > General settings as demonstrated in the screencast Customise the text editor in 2.4.

The Editor toolbar box
Example of toolbar with added horizontal rule button


Available fonts list

In addition to the default fonts, a site administrator can add extra fonts by typing their name and string in the box in Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Text editors > TinyMCE HTML editor > General settings as demonstrated in the screencast How to add extra fonts.

Example of custom font

Custom configuration

A setting in Administration>Site administration>Plugins>Text editors>TinyMCE HTML editor>General settings provides a box in which an administrator can apply custom formats. See MDL-37186 for more details with examples, and see also the TinyMCE configuration page

Example 1:Toolbar at the bottom
Example 2: Custom styles
  • Example: Moving the toolbar to the bottom:

Add the following:

{"theme_advanced_toolbar_location" : "bottom"}
  • Example: Adding your own custom styles.

(This might be useful for example if you want a "house style" for important notes, key points or similar) In the editor toolbar, enter "styleselect" and then in the custom box add the following code, changing it to suit your purposes:

{"style_formats" : [
 {"title" : "Bold text", "inline" : "b"},
 {"title" : "Red text", "inline" : "span", "styles" : {"color" : "#ff0000"}},
 {"title" : "Red header", "block" : "h1", "styles" : {"color" : "#ff0000"}} ]}

The following will let you use bootstrap CSS classes if you use a bootstrap based theme:

   {"style_formats" : [
       {"title" : "Well", "block" : "div", "classes" : "well"},
       {"title" : "Label", "inline" : "span", "classes" : "label"},
       {"title" : "Label - success", "inline" : "span", "classes" : "label label-success"},
       {"title" : "Label - warning", "inline" : "span", "classes" : "label label-warning"},
       {"title" : "Label - important", "inline" : "span", "classes" : "label label-important"},
       {"title" : "Label - info", "inline" : "span", "classes" : "label label-info"},
       {"title" : "Label - inverse", "inline" : "span", "classes" : "label label-inverse"},
       {"title" : "Button", "inline" : "a", "classes" : "btn btn"},
       {"title" : "Button - primary", "inline" : "a", "classes" : "btn btn-primary"},
       {"title" : "Button - info", "inline" : "a", "classes" : "btn btn-info"},
       {"title" : "Button - success", "inline" : "a", "classes" : "btn btn-success"},
       {"title" : "Button - warning", "inline" : "a", "classes" : "btn btn-warning"},
       {"title" : "Button - danger", "inline" : "a", "classes" : "btn btn-danger"},
       {"title" : "Button - inverse", "inline" : "a", "classes" : "btn btn-inverse"}
   ]}
  • Example: Enabling copy of rich content with styles from MS Word (tm) and paste into TineMCE without removing important styles:
{"paste_retain_style_properties" : "margin, padding, width, height, font-size, 
  font-weight, font-family, color, text-align, ul, ol, li, 
  text-decoration, border, background, float, display"}

Speed of TinyMCE in Firefox and Chrome

Some users have complained about the unreasonably slow loading of TinyMCE; for example, https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=232089 and https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=223125. Apparently, TinyMCE takes longer to load in Firefox (10-20 seconds) than in Chrome (a couple of seconds).

To speed up TinyMCE you can try disabling ALL the plugins in the TinyMCE editor settings from your admin account: <moodle site address>/admin/settings.php?section=editorsettingstinymce . Then the editor loaded quickly. This has taken out a couple of minor functions, such as inserting emoticons, but loading speed is far more important for some users than the ability to insert emoticons.

Screencasts

TinyMCE text editor improvements.

TinyMCE additional plugins

In Moodle 2.4 and later, the TinyMCE editor can be extended and replaced by new plugins available in the Moodle plugins database. Some of these plugins are: