5 Useful JCE Features That People Miss

It's no secret that Joomla's default editor TinyMCE lacks quite a few features. We often recommend that people upgrade to Joomla Content Editor (JCE). You can click here to find full instructions on how to install JCE, including a video.

What we're going to cover in this tutorial are 5 really great features of JCE that people often don't realise are there:

1) Cut and Paste Images Into Different Folders

One common complaint about Joomla's default Media Manager is that you can't move images around. Once you've uploaded an image to one location, you'll need to delete it and re-upload it if you want it in a different folder. JCE allows you to do that:

  • Click on the "Image" button in the JCE editor:

    JCE Image Button

  • You'll see a pop-up screen with the title "Image Manager". Select an image and look on the right-hand side for the pair of scissors. Click this button:

    JCE Image Button

  • You can now browse to another folder and click the "Paste" button, also on the right-hand side:

    JCE Image Button

2) Upload Images in Bulk

A second complaint about the Media Manager is that images have to be uploaded one-by-one. JCE offers the ability to upload in bulk.

  • As in Part 1, click on the image button in the JCE Editor.
  • Click on the "upload" button on the middle-right of the screen:

    JCE Bulk Upload

  • Keep clicking "Add" to select more images from your desktop.
  • When you're ready, click "Upload" and all your images will be uploaded.

    JCE Bulk Upload

3) Link Directly to Any File in Your Media Manager

With the basic Joomla editor you're faced with difficult time linking to any documents that you've uploaded. A lot of people find this a problem because they need to allow their visitors to download PDF, Word and other files. With the basic editor you actually need to know the exact location of the file if you want link to it:

Joomla Basic Editor

With JCE, this process is much easier:

  • Select some text in your article. This is likely to be something such as "Click here to download the PDF". The click the link button in JCE:

    Joomla Basic Editor

  • You'll see a pop-up screen with the title "Advanced Link". In the top-right hand corner, you'll see a small button that will allow you to browse all the files inside the /images/stories/ folder:

    Joomla Basic Editor

  • Select the file you want to link to and then click "Insert". JCE will automatically generate a link to that file for you.

4) Different Editing Options for Different Users

The JCE Editor is a very powerful tool with a lot of options. In fact, it can sometimes have too many options. You can easily imagine some non-technical users getting a little intimidated for 4 rows of buttons like this:

JCE Layout Changes

JCE allows you to add or remove these features, depending on what your users need.

  • Go to Components >> JCE Administrator >> Groups.
  • Here you can create different groups and assign varied features to different users. We'll use the existing "Default" group as an example.
  • Click on "Default" and then the "Layout" tab at the top.
  • The top box called "Available Plugins / Buttons" is the list of disabled features. The bottom box called "Current Editor Layout" is the list of active features. You can drag and drop individual features or even entire rows of features between these two boxes:

    JCE Layout Changes

  • We use this to make article submission much easier for our guests. For example, on Alledia.com we give writers these options:

    JCE Layout Changes

  • If you have a user who is really clumsy, you might decide to restrict their options even more :)

    JCE Layout Changes

5) Restricting Users to their Own Upload Folders

An important security feature that many people need is the ability to restrict users to their own upload folder. They don't want John to be able to browse around the site and see all the documents that Jane has uploaded. They don't want one client being able to find files destined for another client. JCE can do that too.

  • Go to Components >> JCE Administrator >> Groups.
  • Again, click on the existing "Default" group as an example.
  • Click the "Editor Parameters" tab and scroll to the bottom where you'll see "File Directory Path".
  • In this field you'll be able to choose the settings for people's folders. Some instructions are available in the yellow pop-up box:

    JCE Layout Changes

  • The setting I often use is images/stories/$username This will automatically create a folder for each person based on their username and they'll only be able to upload to that folder.
  • Finally, this setting only works inside JCE so you 'll need to unpublish the normal Joomla image button. Go to Extensions >> Plugin Manager and disable the plugin called "Editor Button - Image".