Craft News

Running Redactor “I” in Craft 2.5

Dec 7, 2015 in Announcements

Craft 2.5 includes “Redactor II”, a major update to Imperavi’s editor that powers Rich Text fields in Craft. More than anything, this update is about trimming the fat. Some features have been removed completely, and others have been moved to separate plugins.

As part of that effort, Imperavi has taken a strong stance against author-defined inline styles:

We completely retired font color, font family and font size plugins. We strongly believe that all texts on the Web should be beautiful and otherwise perfect, there’s no place for pointless particolored words and randomly larger or smaller letters. We developed Redactor II with this in mind; website design should be unified, and there should be a single style for each website and web app.

We think this was a great decision. We’ve always maintained that any custom HTML should be defined by your templates, not directly in the content. We think that a Matrix field that mixes Rich Text and other block types is a much better long-term solution, because your content can adapt. You don’t have to worry about finding/replacing a bunch of HTML each time the site design changes, let alone the need to render the same content in multiple formats simultaneously for different types of devices/contexts with adaptive design techniques. And after all, we chose Redactor for its simplicity in the first place, and have felt that more demanding WYSIWYG needs could be addressed with a third party plugin, such as one powered by CKEditor.

That said, we realize that many people will not view these Redactor changes as improvements – especially for existing websites where content workflows are already well-established – and would prefer to continue using the old version of Redactor, at least for the time being, while still benefitting from the rest of the new features in Craft 2.5. For them, we have just released a new Redactor I plugin, which adds a new Rich Text field type that is powered by “Redactor I”.

This is obviously not a long-term solution; Imperavi have stated they will only continue supporting and maintaining the old version of Redactor until March 2016. But the codebase is already very solid, so we expect this plugin to operate smoothly well beyond that point. Our expectation is that it will work well for people much longer than it needs to, as Redactor II matures and as additional WYSIWYG editors make their way into Craft plugins.