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TinyMCE and Movable Type In Perfect Harmony

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I’ve been a Movable Type user for a few years now and prior to the release of 3.3 I was considering making the switch to WordPress. This was primarily for the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor which meant I would no longer have to type in raw HTML when I wanted to insert a picture or a table. When 3.3 came out I realised that they hadn’t added one so I thought I’d have a look on the net and see if there was another way to do it. And then I came across TinyMCE (which is what WordPress uses incidentally).

TinyMCE is an open source javascript control that can turn any text area on a web page into a rich text editor with only a couple of lines of code. Since it’s pretty easy to write transformer plugins for Movable Type to change its appearance it was very straightforward to embed TinyMCE in the editor window like so (it looks like it should always be there):

TinyMCE in Movable Type

All of a sudden I don’t need to worry about HTML tags, previewing what the entries will look like, spell checking (it uses the Google spell checking API), creating tables and a whole host of other things I shouldn’t even think about in the year 2006. It makes me wonder why SixApart don’t include TinyMCE as standard…

Of course Movable Type, WordPress and their brethren don’t just have to be for blogs. The ‘My Software‘ section of this site also lives within Movable Type, was really easy to set up and trivial to make changes to.

When people ask me why I give away John’s Background Switcher for free I just need to look at software like TinyMCE, see the amount of work that’s gone into creating something so incredibly useful that’s given away for nothing and think that I’m doing the right thing!

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

3 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. As you know, I use WordPress and hence TinyMCE, but I still find it impossible to write a post entirely using WYSIWYG view. I just can’t bring myself to trust it 100% and there’s usually something that I need to do like adding a title attribute to something or writing an acronym tag.

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  2. Adding a title to a link you can do with TinyMCE and if you switch to MT I’ll write you a plug-in that supports acronyms! 😉

    WordPress uses a cut-down version of TinyMCE so the big brother that I use has a lot more options and buttons you can add, plus the ability to write your own!

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