How to install WYSIWYG Editors in Drupal 6

Mon, 2009-07-06 21:54 -- admin

Although Drupal is a powerful content management platform, a base Drupal install does not provide all of the functionality commonly required by content editors or site users. In the next few blog postings I intend to cover those modules which you tend to always install by default with any new Drupal installation. In this post I will deal with installing an easy to use WYSIWYG text editor. 

How to Install a WYSIWYG Text Editor

One of the lacking feautres which is particularly striking for first time users it the lack of an integrated "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSISYG) editor. But this is where Drupal's power as an extensible content management platform, and its strong user community comes to the rescue with a 3rd party module that allows for the easy integration of  a WYSIWYG editor.

To install a WYSIWYG editor you need to complete two steps

  • fist need to install the correct module which can be found here. This module install allows for the user to select from a number of third party AJAX web editors to integrate into Drupal. Download the module, unzip it and then upload the module to the your "sites/all/module" directory. Simply copy the whole "wysiwyg" directory up with you favourite FTP programme. Once that has been done go to your sites admin panel and enable the module under "Site Building=>Modules=>User Interface". Next go to "Sight Building=>WYSIWYG" and you will see a list of available editor that you can choose to download and install. Why not just come with one already bundled you may ask? Well every one has their opinion as to which editor is better and why. Rather than pick one and then have 6 different WYSIIWYG modules, one for each editor, the developers would rather have one API that targets 6 different editors. This way, if later a new editor becomes popular, it can simply be added to the existing list.

Picture of the WYSIWYG installation instruction scren

  • The second step is to pick your preferred editor, download it and install it. I usually prefer to install the FCKEditor. It can be downloaded by clicking on its name in the editor list. Once downloaded you should unzip the file and then upload the folder to "sites/all/modules/wysiwyg". Once this has been done you can go back to "Sight Building=>WYSIWYG" and configure which "input format" should use which editor. This may seem like configuration overkill but this does give you flexibilty.



Drupal a powerful and extensible CMS

WYSIWYG configuration screem

The module to install a WYSIWYG editor for Drupal shows just how powerful Drupal can be. Its well thought out design and superb API make it possible to create powerful add-in modules. However this post also shows the trad-off that comes with this power. To the untrained or uninitiated installing some critical functionality, such as a WYSIWYG editor may seem like a lot of work but if you spend the time necessary to learn Drupal your efforts will be well rewarded.