How to change your Joomla WYSIWYG editor

With your standard Joomla! installation, you get a WYSIWYG editor called TinyMCE. A WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) editor basically enables you to edit content items in your browser just like editing a document in a word processor without needing to know how to write HTML code.

For most people, TinyMCE will serve their needs adequately. However, you might prefer to use a different editor. If so, this article will teach you how to install a new editor and make it your default editor.

Other Editors

At the Joomla! Extensions Directory, there is a long list of available WYSIWYG editors for use with your Joomla! website. I personally prefer not to use a WYSIWYG editor so that I can have complete control over the HTML that is output, so I cannot recommend an editor based on personal experience. However, the editor's pick in the directory is JCE, so you might try that one first.

Step 1: Installing Your Editor

For Joomla!, WYSIWYG editors are installable as Mambots (or Plugins, as they will be called in Joomla! 1.5). To install your new editor, follow these steps:

  1. Download the editor you wish to install.
  2. Log in to your administrator panel.
  3. Click Installers->Mambots.
  4. Click the "Browse" button, and browse to the location of your editor's Mmabot installation file.
  5. Click the "Upload File & Install" button.
  6. Now that your editor Mambot is installed, you must publish it.
  7. Click on Mambots->Site Mambots from the menu.
  8. Find your editor mambot in the list and publish it.

Step 2: Changing Your Default WYSIWYG Editor

The WYSIWYG editor is set in two different places. There is the default WYSIWYG editor, which every user sees, and there is the user-specific WYSIWYG editor, which can be defined for each user. Here is how you set the default editor:

  1. Log in to your administrator panel.
  2. Click Site->Global Configuration.
  3. Under the first tab ("Site"), find the parameter labelled "Default WYSIWYG Editor:".
  4. Select your default editor from the drop-down list.
  5. Click the "Save" button in the toolbar.

Step 3: Changing a WYSIWYG Editor for a Specific User

Different users have different preferences. For instance, I do not like using WYSIWYG editors, another author might like to use TinyMCE, while yet another author might prefer JCE. Joomla! allows for all of these preferences. Here's how you can change it per user preferences from the administrator panel:

  1. Log in to your administrator panel.
  2. Click on Site->User Manager.
  3. Click the name of the user for which you want to set the editor.
  4. On the right side of the page, you will see the parameter labelled "User Editor".
  5. In the drop-down list, select the editor for that user.
  6. For me, you would selece "No WYSIWYG Editor".
  7. For someone who wants to use the default editor, you would simply selct "- Select Editor -".
  8. Otherwise, you would select a specfic editor from the list.

NOTE: A user can change this parameter from the front end user details screen if they are able to access it and if you enable front end user parameters in your global configuration.

About the author

Steve is the CEO of Joomlashack. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve has been involved with Joomla since 2006.