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CKEditor 4 & CKEditor 5 logos
CKEditor 4 & CKEditor 5 logos
CKEditor 4 article editor screenshot
CKEditor 4 article editor screenshot
Original author(s) Frederico Caldeira Knabben
Developer(s) CKSource
Stable release(s)
CKEditor 4 4.9.2 / April 17, 2018; 6 months ago (2018-04-17)
CKEditor 5 10.0.0 / April 26, 2018; 6 months ago (2018-04-26)
Preview release(s) [±]
Repository CKEditor 4 GitHub repo CKEditor 5 GitHub repo
Written in JavaScript
Type HTML editor, online rich-text editor
License GPL, LGPL, MPL and commercial[1]

CKEditor (formerly known as FCKeditor) is a WYSIWYG rich text editor which enables writing content directly inside of web pages or online applications. Its core code is written in JavaScript and it is developed by CKSource. CKEditor is available under open source and commercial licenses.

History of CKEditor project

FCKeditor/CKEditor 3

The first version of CKEditor, under the name FCKeditor, was released in March 2003 by Frederico Caldeira Knabben, the creator of the editor and the project's Benevolent Dictator for Life. After reaching more than 3 million downloads, FCKeditor was completely reviewed and redesigned into CKEditor 3, with special attention given to performance, accessibility and a new UI.[citation needed]

CKEditor 4

In December 2012, CKEditor 4 was released with an Inline Editing solution, reformatted source code, enhanced DOM and CSS performance. The server-side implementations were removed.

CKEditor 5

After 5 years, in 2018, CKEditor 5 first stable version was introduced. With its code rewritten from scratch, CKEditor 5 has a custom data model and architecture. The editor implements Operational Transformation for the tree-structured model as well as many other mechanisms which were required to create a real-time collaborative UX.[2]

CKEditor 5 is a JavaScript framework offering a rich API[clarification needed] to develop any editing solution. CKEditor 5 also offers builds, which are ready-to-use editors. Currently, three CKEditor 5 Builds are available to download: Classic, Inline and Balloon.

CKEditor Ecosystem

In October 2017, CKSource launched the CKEditor Ecosystem, which consists of different products, these include:

  • CKEditor 5 Builds and CKEditor 5 Framework.
  • CKEditor Cloud Services, which support collaboration and uploading images.
  • Letters, a software component which makes real-time collaborative editing possible inside any application[citation needed]


CKEditor 4 has features found in desktop word processors such as styles formatting (bold, italic, underline, bulleted and numbered lists), tables, block quoting, web resource linking, safe undo function, image inserting, paste from Word and other common HTML formatting tools. Also CKEditor 4 has built-in spell checker functionality provided as plug-ins by WebSpellChecker LLC. By default, it is available for free with a banner ad.[6] It checks the spelling of the text and marks all errors with a red wavy line and allows the user to choose one of the correct suggestions.

There are currently many plugins available with CKEditor 4 to serve different needs, e.g. CKFinder and Accessibility Checker (the CKSource’s plugins). CKFinder is a file manager for including files and images within content created with the editors. It is compatible with both CKEditor 4 and 5 and is available under commercial license.

Accessibility Checker is available under both Open Source and commercial licenses.

Real-time collaborative editing

CKEditor 5’s architecture and custom data model makes it possible to enable real-time collaborative editing.

A custom collaborative solution can be build by using the CKEditor 5 Framework components and real-time collaborative editing can be enabled by connecting to the CKEditor Cloud Services.

A ready to use, drop-in component based on CKEditor 5 (Letters) offers a complete solution for real-time collaborative writing.[3]

Browser Compatibility

CKEditor 4 is fully compatible with most internet browsers, including latest stable releases from Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Opera and Internet Explorer 10 and 11.[4] In mobile environments, it has close to full support in Safari (iOS6 +) and Chrome(Android)

CKEditor 5 is also compatible with Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge. However, it does not support Internet Explorer 11 yet.


  1. ^ CKEditor licenses page
  2. ^ "CKEditor 5 v10.0.0 – the future of rich text editing looks stable". Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  3. ^ "Bringing collaborative editing to any application". Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  4. ^ "CKEditor Browser Compatibility".

External links

  • CKEditor Official website
  • CKEditor 4 GitHub repository
  • CKEditor 5 GitHub repository
  • CKSource Official Website
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