Introducing Redactor II: Superior in Every Way

Oct 12, 2015

For the past few months we’ve been analyzing and re-thinking all that we get to know about text editing on the Web since we began working on Redactor 7 years ago. We made a bunch of challenging conclusions and came up with what we believe to be the most sophisticated Rich Text Editor to date. We call it Redactor II.

Redactor II is based on three main ideas: limitation, minimalism and purpose. They all intertwine within the concepts and paradigms that Redactor now follows, and it all finds the way into code and functionality.

Text Toolbar

We re-evaluated the toolbar and made it completely textual. We leapt towards superior flexibility, usability and overall convenience. Not only any plugin’s buttons and their purpose would be intuitively clear to all users, developers are now able to do wonderful interactive things with the toolbar, buttons and dropdowns. Redactor II offer exclusive API methods for easy toolbar manipulation and interaction; we will extend and expand the realm of possible even further in future updates.

Ultimate inline editing

Smart initialization over divs and newly re-introduced Air mode present the ultimate inline editing tool. Redactor doesn’t impose any styles upon your content or code, and also doesn’t intervene with the looks of your editable area. It is so simple.

Paste plain text

Every time a user pastes a text, Redactor performs complete code cleanup, and removes all tags and only leaves pure plain text with simple anchor tags. Pasted HTML becomes plain text; it is extremely predictable and very intuitive. Every time, same result, regardless of the pasted code. Not only it simplifies all further code manipulations, it also takes security on a new level. Updated: this has changed in 1.2 update.

Code mode

We retired the HTML code mode completely. We strive to make the best visual text editor in the world, so that people don’t have to edit raw HTML every again. It is quite challenging for us, but we know how to help you accomplish your tasks easier than before, without the need to edit HTML code.

If you absolutely have to offer access to source code to your users, here's a Source Code plugin and a code highlighting CodeMirror plugin, that you can use "as is" or customize according to your needs.

Font size, color, family

The fight is over — common sense, taste, style and design had won. 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. It doesn’t mean that there’s no way to add beautiful and meaningful semantic accents to the text, quite the opposite: with the new Style plugin it is wonderfully simple to apply semantic HTML tags to texts.

Less is more, again

The new Redactor II is now 30% smaller, but at the same time more reliable, versatile and functional. We evolved Redactor’s intelligence quite a bit with improved video and image URL parsing, new inline editing, smart click-to-edit and smart initialization. There’re new advanced API methods available for inline and block level formatting and an absolutely exclusive Custom Toolbar, that can become, well, literally anything. New global settings allow to set multiple editors on a page simultaneously.

These changes speak for minimalism and limitations, which we strongly believe to be superior than adding multitude of various controversial functions. There’s also this: WYSIWYGs serve certain purpose, which is often dissolved or buried under layers and layers of non-essential features. We deliberately limited Redactor’s functionality and purposefully delegated much of the work to the systems surrounding Redactor — your systems — to let us deal with the Rich Text while you improve your great products.

Redactor II is a paid update. We will keep updating, supporting and fixing issues in old Redactor until March 2016 (no updates after this date), and we will completely phase out old Redactor by October 2016 (no support and no updates after this date). To take full advantage of the latest technologies, techniques and approaches, please purchase Redactor II license.

Kube 5

Kube, our popular CSS Framework, got a long due facelift as well. We always targeted Kube to the markup and design professionals. It means that Kube must only provide essentials, things that are required by professionals to proceed, but have no excessive or redundant styles, functions, features, plugins and such.

At some point in the past, be moved away from our ideals of minimalism, and tried to bloat Kube with plugins and extra features. Clearly, it was a mistake, and now we are going back to basics. Yet again Kube becomes a very minimalistic, simple yet thought-through, flexible and cutting-edge modern. It is based on flexbox grid and 8px-step vertical rhythm.

As before, typography is the beating heart of Kube; we thoughtfully went through and refined all the details, all possible proportions and rhythms, both horizontal and vertical, and unique and unified styles. Without needless efforts and boring routine, Kube helps to set a solid basis for any website project, making it simple to create beautiful designs with ease.

As before, Kube is free to all and MIT-compatible open-source.