10 Best WYSIWYG Text and HTML Editors for Your Next Project


Allowing users, and clients to format their text without delving into code has long been on developers’ priority lists, but these days, providing this usability is far easier than it once was. Here are 10 WYSIWYG editors that are commonly used, and are worth a look in if its something you need for a project.

1. NicEdit

Demo | Download


NicEdit is an alternative to some of the larger, more complex WYSIWYG editors out there, with its small download size. It boasts many of the expected editor features and easily integrates into your site.

2. TinyMCE

Demo | Download


TinyMCE is an open-source JavaScript HTML WYSIWYG editor. It’s easy to integrate, and is highly customisable with themes and plugins. TinyMCE is one of the more “complete” editors out there, offering an experience similar to MSWord.

3. CKEditor

Demo | Download


CKeditor is the new FCKEditor that proved to be the market leader previously. It builds from that, and aims to fix what FCKEditor got wrong. The result is a high performance WYSIWYG editor that offers editing features comparable to MSWord and Open Office.

4. YUI Rich Text Editor


YUI Rich Text Editor

The YUI Rich Text Editor is a UI control from Yahoo that turns textarea’s into fully functioning WYSIWYG editors. It comes in several different versions of varying features and complexity, but still manages to achieve a great user experience without a plethora of buttons crowding the interface.

5. MarkItUp!

Demo | Download


Markitup is a jQuery plugin that allows you to turn the text areas into markup editors in any markup you wish. HTML, Wiki syntax, and BBcode are just a few that are supported. Markitup is not a WYSIWYG editor, but that doesn’t hold it back from offering all the basic features you’d expect, and a lightweight download that works well.

6. FreeTextBox

Demo | Download

Free Text Box

FreeTextBox  is an HTML editor specifically for ASP.NET. The look and feel of the editor is the most like Microsoft Word that you are likely to get. The free version does lack a couple further features, but has more than enough to get you going.

7. MooEditable

Demo | Download


WYSIWYG editors have become common as plugins for the popular jQuery library, but not so common on Mootools. MooEditable though, fills that void, by providing a simple, but effective user experience to the user, by building on top of  a well written JavaScript library. If you’re a Mootools fan, then you’ll have no problems with this.

8. OpenWysiwyg

Demo | Download


OpenWYSIWYG is a cross browser rich text editor with almost every editing capability you could want. It features a sleek user interface including drop-downs and buttons. High on its features is its capacity to handle tables well, with different borders and colours. However, Chrome is still not supported.

9. Spaw Editor

Demo | Download

SPAW Editor

Spaw Editor is a web-based in-browser WYSIWYG editor control that enables web site developers to replace a standard text area HTML control with full-featured, fully customizable, multilingual, skinable web-based WYSIWYG editor.

10. jHtmlArea

Demo | Download


jHtmlArea is another WYSIWYG text editor built as a plugin for the popular jQuery library.  It’s purpose is to be simple and lightweight, and it serves this well, with only the most needed options included in the plugin. It allows itself to be easily customised from the looks to the functions down to the language.

Further Discussion?

If you have used one of these before, or have used another web-based Rich Text editor that you think deserves a mention, then go ahead and add them in the comments area below. We’d love to hear from you on the subject!



    • visitor

      Does anyone know how to bypass Latex to create text which includes mathematics? Is there anything more recent and which does not force the author to mess up the input with incomprehensible garbage? For example, Maple lets you create text files that can include equations and that you can save in different formats including pdf. Also, how does one generate those nice new animated pdf slides?

  1. led strip

    Hmm it appears like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess Ill just sum it up what I wrote and say, Im thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but Im still new to everything. Do you have any suggestions for inexperienced blog writers? Id really appreciate it.

  2. Mark

    I just replaced TinyMCE with CKEditor and I am very impressed! The features and ease of use are great (both installing and as a wysiwyg). It also works well in all browsers. I’d highly recommend it. This coming from someone who had switched from FCKeditor to TinyMCE a couple years ago…

  3. JC Johnston

    Thanks for the great list. I have heard of some these. I need to check out some these and see what ones will work best for me when I am not using Dreamweaver.

  4. Emily McAuliffe

    For those who need to look outside an open source solution, please consider EditLive!. It is embedded in the leading content management systems and includes enterprise class support. One of the best loved features of EditLive! is the ability to copy and paste content from Word and produce clean, compliant XHTML. Try it – we have advanced features like track changes and commenting in our online demo.

  5. OIK2

    I want to integrate custom tags(for things like a standard image display with captions, functional tags from within my CMS, etc) with some user input into the WYSIWYG editor. Any tips on what editor would be best for doing this?

    • Matt Corner

      MarkitUp! seems to have to the ability to cater for custom tags. It might be what you’re looking for =)

      • Raman

        Hey Matt, Do you know if there is one WYSIWYG editor that can input math equations? thanks

        • Matt Corner

          I’m not aware of one I’m afraid. Out of curiosity, in what circumstance would you use such a feature?

  6. Ben Margetts

    I’m struggling to find a wysiwig that will allow me to simultaneously see and edit the html and wysiwig windows. All that i can find is editors that require me to toggle.

    Any suggestions?

  7. Zac

    Do any of these strip off the ridiculous formatting/inlined-styling that happens when content editors (the clients) end up simply copying and pasting from MS Word? I’m yet to find a good solution to that problem.

    • Matt Corner

      I’m haven’t tested that to be fair. Would it not be easier to copy and paste as plain text and then style it using the wysiwyg editor itself?

    • TinyMCE and CKEditor for sure do this! You can see the button for it in the screenshots. The one for Tiny MCE is in the 2nd row, 5th button from the left. The strip for CKEditor is in the top row, 8th button over.

      It will popup and have you paste the text it…and then it auto strips it. If that fails, paste into Notepad, and then copy and paste again into the wysiwyg.

  8. Martin Hruška

    All these editors are outdated. They are all based on clumsy contentEditable parameter, which don’t work the same in different browsers and all these editors do are very ugly hacks.
    But there’s different approach to browser wysiwyg editor problem! Javascript is now fast so we can emulate everything with DOM methods. Did you see latest Google Docs? Yes – no contentEditable, all with DOM. Even the blinking cursor is just styled DIV!
    I’m really waiting when this approach comes to open source world!

  9. Andy

    My choice – WYMeditor…
    because of the simplicity of the interface and because the client can’t make a mess of the XHTML we’ve strived so hard to develop. Styles, typography and layout should be left for the branding/styleguide of the master CSS, not inline by a user who fanices themselves as a designer.

    “WYMeditor has been created to generate perfectly structured XHTML strict code, to conform to the W3C XHTML specifications and to facilitate further processing by modern applications. With WYMeditor, the code can’t be contaminated by visual informations like font styles and weights, borders, colors, …
    The end-user defines content meaning, which will determine its aspect by the use of style sheets. The result is easy and quick maintenance of information.”

    • Nick

      Hey Alan… the Squarespace editor is based on the YUI editor mentioned in this post.

  10. Albert Lie

    I was once used TinyMCE, but now I use Adobe Dreamweaver for html editor. Nice share!

    • Matt Corner

      These aren’t to be used as html editors as such. They’re to be used for posting content to your site with basic styling like posting an article for example.

  11. ESN

    I have recently used CKeditor for a project and I must say it’s a huge improvement over the old FCKEditor.

  12. Doesn’t WordPress use TinyMCE? I’ve found TinyMCE to be really easy to use and will definitely look to use it on my next project. I don’t know how it is to integrate into a website but it’s definitely easy to use.

    • Saad Bassi

      Yeah, Jared WP use TinyMice. I will suggest you to take a look on CKEditor. I love it and its really very comprehensive solution.:)