TinyMCE 4.6 marks a significant update to the world’s most popular WYSIWYG editor since our last major release, and the many minor releases since. Most of our work focused on restructuring the TinyMCE core, as we look to continuous delivery of editor updates, and a mobile future.
We did deliver user-facing updates in 4.6, including a major improvement to the editing experience. You’ll find a new feature in the TinyMCE core that fixes one of the most frustrating aspects of writing with a WYSIWYG editor: editing a link and not knowing whether you’re “inside” or “outside” the link.
We added a Help Plugin, which includes keyboard shortcuts and some other helpful information about the editor instance.
TinyMCE 4.6 is the first official release to drop support for Internet Explorer versions 8, 9 and 10. We are committing 4.5.x to long-term support, and explain this decision in more detail below.
We all love open source and happily support our favorite projects. We added small “Powered by TinyMCE” text to the bottom of the editable area. We hope you’ll keep it in place and show a little love. If not, no problem, we understand. It can easily be disabled. btw, it disappears on a user click and doesn’t get in the way of their content creation experience.
Let’s take a deeper look at the improvements in TinyMCE 4.6.
Rethinking the link with the new Inline Boundary feature
Editing the content inside and around hyperlinks has been a frustrating experience for a very long time. We believe we solved the problem. Introducing a new feature in TinyMCE core we call “Inline Boundary” links.
The issue for content creators is that they often want to edit their content inside the
href element (often without even knowing what a href is). Historically, this involved keyboard gymnastics as they moved the cursor inside the element, added content, deleted newly redundant content, and moved back outside the element to return to normal editing. It’s difficult to appreciate how frustrating this is, unless you have to do it regularly.
To make this easier for users, we added a visual distinction when the cursor is inside the link. The linked content will become highlighted, and editable. Move outside the link, and the familiar editing behavior returns.
You can play with this right now in the demo on the tinymce.com homepage.
For developers, this feature is on by default. It can be deactivated by setting the
inline_boundaries config option to
A quick shout out: this feature was created in collaboration with the WordPress open source project. Thanks to everyone involved in delivering this improvement. It’s a small change, that was complex to solve, and which will greatly improve the content creation experience for the tens of millions of users of WordPress and TinyMCE respectively.
A new Help Plugin
A while ago we had a help plugin. We decided to bring it back. The new Help Plugin includes keyboard shortcuts and some “nice to know” information about TinyMCE, such as which plugins are loaded, the version running, and also a small plug for our Premium Plugin features.
The shortcuts are OS aware, so if you are on a Mac, you get the Mac keyboard version; if you are on PC, you will get the PC version of the shortcuts. This dialog is also fully accessible via shortcuts itself, so a11y dependent users can discover how to more easily navigate the interface.
For developers, because this is a plugin, you need to add
help to the plugin list in your init. The exception is if you’re using the default toolbar, in which case it will show up as a question mark button in the toolbar.
As with many of our plugins, we will make incremental improvements over time. We welcome your comments and feedback in our community forum.
IE 8, 9, 10 out of support
TinyMCE 4.6 sees us drop support for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10. These versions are no longer supported by Microsoft itself, and this has been the case for IE8 over a year.
Two important things to note:
- TinyMCE 4.6 will not load in these versions of Internet Explorer.
- If you use these IE versions, we recommend that you remain on TinyMCE 4.5.7.
If you require IE 8-9-10 support, you should run the 4.5.x version of TinyMCE. This will be under long-term support and any critical fixes will be backported to this version.
So, why did we decide to do this? In short, the 4.6 release is a look to the future of TinyMCE.
We are now able to improve our testing on other platforms. Not only conducting more tests, but more advanced tests. In fact, we ported over 4000 unit tests to a new testing framework, allowing us to do better testing. This will substantially improve editor stability.
A more stable product means we will be able to make use of more advanced browser features, creating a richer user interface (UI) and better user experience (UX).
All of this is in preparation for the delivery of what we believe will be the best mobile support of any rich-text editor in the market. We’re starting with web applications with a vision to delivering native app support. You can expect to hear us talk a lot about mobile in the coming months. We are already a very long way into delivering this functionality. We look forward to sharing more with you soon.
If you have any questions about the TinyMCE 4.6 release, please reach out via the community forum. We look forward connecting.