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WYSIWYG Shootout: And the winner is...

by Jeff Diecks
October 8, 2010

We held a WYSIWYG Shootout last Saturday at Drupalcamp Atlanta (see presentation slides here, with video of the session forthcoming). The stated purpose of the session:

"Select the best editor, available through the WYSIWYG Module, for common content entry tasks in Drupal."

CKeditor and TinyMCE emerged as the leading contenders following my initial evaluation of a batch of nine candidates. In the session, we asked for other suggested criteria from the attendees in order to declare a final winner.

The list of suggested criteria included:

  • Inline Image Handling
  • Teaser Breaks
  • Insert hr's
  • Cross-browser compatability
  • Treatment of tabs in content
  • Special character handling
  • Insert comments into source code


Due to time constraints, the final evaluations of CKeditor and TinyMCE were made after the conclusion of the session.

The results are now in, and TinyMCE defeated CKeditor by a score of 61 to 51 against the Round 2 criteria.

After overcoming an installation hiccup in Round 1 (see issue here), TinyMCE proved better at handling inline images, cross-browser issues and special characters. It also provides an autosave option that warns users against inadvertently hitting the back button and losing content that was entered.

For inline images, the setup covered by Jen Lampton in a DrupalCon Paris session was installed and configured. CKeditor failed the test, getting lost in the image path it attempted to set. CKeditor's buttons also got mangled a bit by my IE8 browser while TinyMCE's appearance remained consistent. Surprisingly, both editors inserted special characters directly into the source code, rather than using html codes (the things with the ampersands and semicolons). TinyMCE earned an extra point for at least offering the HTML and numeric codes for the special characters in its popup dialogue box.

Though the editors offer similar, robust feature sets and can get the job done, TinyMCE wins by a narrow margin when evaluated against this list of 14 criteria. Thanks to all who attended the session, and please chime in with a comment if you've found a feature that is handled better by a particular editor.

Meet team member, Jeff Diecks

A veteran of the web publishing and sports media industries, Jeff draws on his extensive project management, business analysis, and site building experience to lead professional services and client delivery at Mediacurrent. An active member of the Drupal community, Jeff organizes events for his local Louisiana Drupal Users Group and Drupalcamp New Orleans.

Jeff joined Mediacurrent in 2010 after 11 years with Turner Broadcasting Systems in Atlanta, GA. In his previous position as Director of Operations at Turner Sports New Media, his team managed technical operations for NASCAR.COM and initiated Turner’s adoption of Drupal. Jeff’s other roles at Turner included Director of Editorial Operations, Project Manager and Producer at CNN/Sports Illustrated Interactive. Prior to joining Turner, he served as Website Manager for Major League Soccer in New York, and was responsible for the league site's design, maintenance and content publishing.

Jeff lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with his wife and daughter. On nice-weather days he can be found working from a table in his backyard with his yellow lab, Murray.

Learn more about Jeff >

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