Give your web users a WYSIWYG text editor.

Recently I created a website for one of our clients that archives all of the direct mail, email, and catalog campaigns that we’ve done for them. Our client’s sales reps use this website to get up to speed on any mail campaigns their customers may reference.

The down fall to this nifty website is that every campaign entry has its own custom HTML page. That means that every time we add a new campaign, guess who gets to write the HTML and make the client revisions. Yep, that’s my hand in the air.

The solution to my dilemma was to create an administration page so our account executives can add and modify campaign entries themselves. The problem with this is that account executives are not trained in writing HTML. Enter FCKeditor, “the text editor for Internet.”

FCKeditor is a small JavaScript web application that provides your users with a textbox input field with a WYSIWYG editor anchored to the top of the input box, thus giving your users the ability format their text. Essentially the FCKeditor is generating HTML for your users on the fly. It’s compatible with IE 5.5+, Firefox 1.0+, Mozilla 1.3+, and Netscape 7+. And it has hooks to plug-in into your existing ASP.Net, ASP, PHP, ColdFusion, Java, and Perl web applications. Plus it’s Open Source to boot.

This bad boy is feature packed. You can add custom templates, tables, and form input fields. It has an interface to add special characters, and the ability to upload images, and Flash files. You can even toggle from the formatted view to the raw HTML view.

For my administration page I used the FCKeditor C# wrapper class and simply dropped the FCKeditor into my project as a Control. I then bound the HTML value of the FCKeditor input field to my database and I was up and running. Adding the wrapper class to your ASP.Net project is simple. Just reference your project to the dll. As a bonus the source code for the wrapper is also Open Source, so customizations to the control are possible.

The only problem I’ve had with FCKeditor is getting the image upload feature to work on a remote web server. I blame it on my not investing enough time on the issue.

All in all, I highly recommend the FCKeditor it’s a great way to enhance your users input experience. Now I’m not the only one in the office who knows how to update the campaign information page.

References:
FCKeditor – The text editor for Internet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *