Configure the Rich Text Editor

Last update: 2023-05-03
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AEM 6.4 has reached the end of extended support and this documentation is no longer updated. For further details, see our technical support periods. Find the supported versions here.

The Rich Text Editor (RTE) provides authors with a wide range of functionality for editing their text content. Icons, selection boxes, toolbar, and menus are provided for a WYSIWYG text-editing experience.

To know how to use RTE features for authoring, see Use Rich Text Editor for authoring. RTE can be configured to enable, disable, and extend the features available in the authoring components. The following workflow illustrates a recommended order of completing the RTE configuration tasks in Experience Manager.

Typical workflow to configure Rich Text Editor

Figure: Typical workflow to configure Rich Text Editor

Understand Touch-enabled UI and Classic UI

The Touch-enabled UI is the standard UI for AEM. Adobe introduced Touch UI with responsive design for authoring environment, in version 5.6. The Touch UI is designed for touch and desktop devices. The UI differs considerably from the original classic UI.

Rich Text Editor toolbar in Touch-enabled UI

Figure: Rich Text Editor toolbar in Touch-enabled UI

Rich Text Editor toolbar in Classic UI

Figure: Rich Text Editor toolbar in Classic UI

Various modes of editing

Authors can create and edit textual content in AEM using the different modes of components. The toolbar options for authoring and formatting content and the user experience of RTE-enabled components in different editing mode varies based on RTE configurations.

Editing mode Editing area Recommended features to be enabled Touch UI Classic UI
Inline In-place editing for quick, minor edits; Format without opening a dialog box Minimal RTE features Y Y
RTE full screen Covers entire page All the required RTE features Y N
Dialog Dialog box on top of the page content but does not cover the entire page All the required RTE features in Classic UI; judiciously enable features in Touch UI Y Y
Dialog full screen Same as Full screen mode; contains fields of the dialog alongside RTE All the required RTE features Y N

The source-edit feature is not available in inline editing mode in Touch-enabled UI. You cannot drag images in the full screen mode. All other features work in all the modes.

Inline editing

When opened (with a slow double-tap/click) the content can be edited within the page. A compact toolbar with basic options is presented.

Inline editing with basic toolbar in Touch-enabled UI

Figure: Inline editing with basic toolbar in Touch-enabled UI

In Classic UI, a slow double-click on the component allows inline editing and an orange outline highlights the content. If the Content Finder is open, a toolbar with the available RTE formatting options is displayed at the top of the window. If the Content Finder is not open, the formatting options are not displayed and you can do basic text edits only.

Full screen editing

AEM components can be opened in full screen view that hides the page content and occupies the available screen. Consider full screen editing a detailed version of the inline editing as it offers the most editing options. It can be opened by clicking rte_fullscreen, from the compact toolbar when using the inline editing mode.

The dialog full screen mode provides, a detailed RTE toolbar and the options and the components that are available in the dialog mode. It is applicable only for a dialog that contains RTE alongside other components.

The detailed RTE toolbar when editing in full screen mode in Touch-enabled UI

Figure: The detailed RTE toolbar when editing in full screen mode in Touch-enabled UI

Dialog editing

When a component is double-clicked in Classic UI, a dialog box opens for editing the contents. The dialog box opens on top of the existing page. In some specific scenarios, the dialog opens as a pop-up window. For example, when a Text component is part of a column in a multi-column page layout and the area available for the dialog is less.

Dialog editing mode in Touch-enabled UI

Figure: Dialog editing mode in Touch-enabled UI

Dialog box in Classic UI that contains detailed toolbar for editing

Figure: Dialog box in Classic UI that contains detailed toolbar for editing

About RTE plug-ins and the associated features

The functionality is made available via a series of plug-ins, each with:

  • A features property:

    • That is used to activate, or deactivate, basic functionality for that plug-in.
    • That can be configured using a standardized procedure.
  • Where appropriate, more properties and options that require specialized configuration.

Basic features of the RTE are activated, or deactivated, by the value of the features property on a node specific to the appropriate plug-in.

The following table lists the current plug-ins, showing:

  • Plug-in IDs with a link to API documentation. ID is used as the node name when activating a plug-in.
  • Permitted values for the features property.
  • A description of the functionality provided by the plug-in.
Plug-in ID features Description
edit cut copy paste-default paste-plaintext paste-wordhtml Cut, copy and, the three paste modes.
findreplace find replace Find and replace.
format bold italic underline Basic text formatting.
image image Basic image support (drag from content or Content Finder). Depending on the browser, the support has different behaviors for authors
keys To define this value, see tab size.
justify justifyleft justifycenter justifyright Paragraph alignment.
links modifylink unlink anchor Hyperlinks and anchors.
lists ordered unordered indent outdent This plug-in controls both indentation and lists; including nested lists.
misctools specialchars sourceedit Miscellaneous tools allow authors to enter special characters or edit the HTML source. Also, you can add a whole range of special characters if you want to define your own list.
Paraformat paraformat The default paragraph formats are Paragraph, Heading 1, Heading 2, and Heading 3 (<p>, <h1>, <h2>, and <h3>). You can add more paragraph formats or extend the list.
spellcheck checktext Language aware spell checker.
styles styles Support for styling using a CSS class. Add new text styles if you want to add (or extend) your own range of styles for use with text.
subsuperscript subscript superscript Extensions to the basic formats, adding sub- and super-script.
table table removetable insertrow removerow insertcolumn removecolumn cellprops mergecells splitcell selectrow selectcolumns See configure table styles, if you want to add your own styles for either entire tables or individual cells.
undo undo redo History size of undo and redo operations.

The full screen plug-in is not supported in dialog mode. Use of the dialogFullScreen setting to configure the toolbar for full screen mode.

Understand the configuration paths and locations

The mode of RTE editing (and the UI) that you provide for your authors decide the location for the configuration details when you are activating the RTE plug-ins:

Editing mode Location for Touch UI Location for Classic UI
Inline cq:editConfig/cq:inplaceEditing cq:editConfig/cq:inplaceEditing
Full screen cq:editConfig/cq:inplaceEditing Not applicable
Dialog cq:dialog dialog
Full screen dialog cq:dialog Not applicable

Do not name the node under cq:inplaceEditing as config. On cq:inplaceEditing node, define the following properties:

  • Name: configPath
  • Type: String
  • Value: path of the node containing the actual configuration

Do not name the RTE configuration node as config. Otherwise, the RTE configurations take effect for only the administrators and not for the users in the group content-author.

Configure the following properties that apply in Dialog editing mode in Touch UI only:

  • useFixedInlineToolbar: Set this Boolean property defined on the RTE node (one with sling:resourceType= cq/gui/components/authoring/dialog/richtext) to True, to make RTE toolbar fixed instead of floating.

    When this property is true, Richtext editing is, by default, started on the “foundation-contentloaded” event.

    To prevent this, set the property customStart to Trueand trigger the ‘rte-start’ event to start RTE editing. When this property is ‘true’, the default behavior, rte start on click, does not work.

  • customStart: Set this Boolean property defined on the RTE node to True, to control when to start RTE by triggering the event rte-start.

  • rte-start: Trigger this event on the contenteditable-div of RTE, when to start editing RTE. This works only if customStart has been set to true.

When RTE is used in the touch-enabled dialog, setting the property useFixedInlineToolbar to true is mandatory to avoid issues.

Customizing in place editing

You can define on which HTML selector the text editor starts by configuring the following properties:

  • editElementQuery - Defined on cq:InplaceEditingConfig, this property is used to specify a selector of the HTML element on which the inline-editing for the Text Component will be started. If not specified, the inline-editing is directly started on the Text Component HTML.
  • textPropertyName - Defined on cq:InplaceEditingConfig, this property is used to specify the name of the property that will be saved on the content node where the HTML value of the text component will be persisted after inline-editing.

The corresponding property for dialog mode is name.

Enable RTE functionalities by activating plug-ins

RTE functionalities are made available via a series of plug-ins, each with features property. You can configure the features property to enable or disable the various features of each plug-in.

For detailed configurations of the RTE plug-ins, see how to activate and configure the RTE plug-ins.

Download this sample configuration to understand how to configure RTE. In this package all the features are enabled.

Get File


The Core Components text component allows template editors to configure many RTE plug-ins in the user interface as content policies, eliminating the need for technical configuration. Content policies can work with RTE user interface configurations as described. For more information, see the RTE user interface settings and content polices, Create page templates, and the Core Components developer documentation.


For reference purposes, the default Text components (delivered as part of a standard installation) can be found at:

  • /libs/wcm/foundation/components/text
  • /libs/foundation/components/text

To create your own text component, copy the above component instead of editing these components.

Configure RTE toolbar

AEM allows you to configure the UI for the RichText Editor differently for the different editing modes. The default settings are provided below. You can override these defaults based on your requirements.

For best authoring experience:

  • In a floating dialog, enable only those plug-ins that do not have a pop-up, as the floating dialog is smaller in size.
  • In full screen dialog, enable all the required plug-ins, even the plug-ins with larger pop-up, such as the Paste plug-in. Use the dialogFullScreen configuration described below.
<uiSettings jcr:primaryType="nt:unstructured">
  <cui jcr:primaryType="nt:unstructured">
      <popovers jcr:primaryType="nt:unstructured">
      <popovers jcr:primaryType="nt:unstructured">

Different UI settings are used for the inline mode and full screen mode. The toolbar property is used to specify the buttons of the toolbar. For example, if the button is itself a feature (for example, Bold), it is specified as PluginName#FeatureName (for example, links#modifylink). If the button is a popover (containing some features of a plug-in), it is specified as #PluginName (for example, #format). Separators ( | ) between a group of buttons can be specified with ‘-’.

The pop-up node under inline or full-screen mode contains a list of the popovers being used. Each child node under the popovers node is named after the plug-in (for example, format). It has a property items containing a list of features of the plug-in (for example, format#bold).

RTE user interface settings and content policies

Administrators can control the RTE options using content policies, say instead of doing the configuration as described above. Content policies define the design properties of a component when used as part of an editable template. For example, if a text component that uses the RTE is used with an editable template, the content policy can define that the bold option be available and a few paragraph formatting options be available. Content policies are reusable and can be applied across multiple templates.

AEM 6.4 Service Pack 3 onwards, the available options in the RTE flow downstream from the user interface configurations to the content policies.

  • User interface configuration settings define which options are available to the content policies.
  • If the user interface configuration of the RTE removed or doesn’t enable an item, the content policy cannot configure it.
  • An author has access to only such functionality as is made available by the user interface configurations and the content policies.

As an example, you can see the Text Core Component documentation.

Customize mapping between toolbar icons and commands

You can customize the mapping between Coral icons displayed on the RTE toolbar and the available commands. You cannot use any other icons besides Coral icons.

  1. Create a node named icons under uiSettings/cui.

  2. Create nodes for individual icons under it.

  3. On each of the individual icon nodes, specify a Coral icon and a command to map to the icon.

Below is a sample snippet to map the command Bold to the Coral icon named textItalic.

<text jcr:primaryType="nt:unstructured" sling:resourceType="cq/gui/components/authoring/dialog/richtext" name="./text" useFixedInlineToolbar="{Boolean}true">
    <rtePlugins jcr:primaryType="nt:unstructured">
        <format jcr:primaryType="nt:unstructured" features="bold,italic"/>
    <uiSettings jcr:primaryType="nt:unstructured">
        <cui jcr:primaryType="nt:unstructured">
            <inline jcr:primaryType="nt:unstructured"
            <icons jcr:primaryType="nt:unstructured">
                <bold jcr:primaryType="nt:unstructured"

Switch to CoralUI 2 Rich Text Editor

On a page, you can either include CoralUI 2 RTE clientlib or the CoralUI 3 RTE clientlib. By default, Rich Text Editor includes the CoralUI 3 RTE clientlib. To switch to CoralUI 2 RTE, perform the following steps.


Adobe does not recommend the switching as a best practice. Switch to CoralUI 2 RTE as a last resort. Custom plug-ins for CoralUI 2 RTE work with CoralUI 3 RTE if the plug-ins do not depend on RTE internals, such as classes. If you are using custom plug-ins for CoralUI 3 RTE, use rte.coralui3 library.

  1. Overlay the node /libs/cq/gui/components/authoring/editors/clientlibs/core under /apps, and do the following:

    • Replace rte.coralui3 with rte.coralui2 for the dependencies property.
    • Replace cq.authoring.editor.core.inlineediting.rte.coralui3 with cq.authoring.editor.core.inlineediting.rte.coralui2 for the embed property.
    • Replace cq.authoring.rte.coralui3 with cq.authoring.rte.coralui2 for the embed property.
  2. Overlay the nodes /libs/cq/gui/components/authoring/dialog/richtext/clientlibs/rte/coralui3 and /libs/cq/gui/components/authoring/dialog/richtext/clientlibs/rte/coralui2 under /apps.

    Remove category cq.authoring.dialog from /apps/cq/gui/components/authoring/dialog/richtext/clientlibs/rte/coralui3 and add it to /apps/cq/gui/components/authoring/dialog/richtext/clientlibs/rte/coralui2.

  3. Change any other dependency that is getting included on the page from rte.coralui3 to rte.coralui2. For example, after overlaying the node /libs/mcm/campaign/components/touch-ui/clientlibs/rte under /apps, change any dependency on it from rte.coralui3 to rte.coralui2.

  4. Overlay the node cq/ui/widgets under /apps. Replace the dependency cq.rte at the node /apps/cq/ui/widgets with cq.coralui2.rte.


CoralUI 2 RTE uses handlebars templates for plug-in dialogs. Therefore, the CoralUI 2 RTE clientlib had a dependency on the handlebars clientlib. CoralUI 3 RTE does not use handlebars templates and doesn’t have any associated dependency. If your custom plug-ins use handlebars templates, include the handlebars clientlib in your web page.

Further Information

For more information about configuring the RTE, see the AEM Widget API reference.

In particular, to see the plug-ins and related options available:

  • The CQ.form.RichText component provides a form field for editing styled text information (rich text). To know all the parameters available for the rich text form, see the Config Options.

  • The RichText component provides a wide range of functionality using plug-ins listed under CQ.form.rte.plugins.Plugin. For each plug-in:

    • See the Features for details of functionality that can be enabled (or disabled).
    • See the Config Options for all parameters available for detailed configuration of the appropriate plug-in.
  • More information about HTML Rules for links is also available.

The above options can be used to extend and customize your own RTE. For example, to list the anchors available in the page when creating a link you can provide your own implementation of the LinkPlugin.

Known limitations

AEM RTE capability has the following limitations:

  • RTE capabilities are supported only in AEM component dialogs. RTE is not supported on wizards or Foundation-forms like Page Properties and Scaffolding on Touch-enabled UI.

  • AEM does not work on Hybrid devices.

  • Do not name the RTE configuration node config. Otherwise, the RTE configuration takes effect for only the administrators and not for the users in the group content-author.

  • RTE does not support inline frame or iframe to embed content.

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