Rich Text Editor rich-text-editor

The Rich Text Editor is a basic building block for inputting textual content into AEM. It forms the basis of various components, including:

  • Text
  • Text Image
  • Table

Rich Text Editor rich-text-editor-1

The WYSIWYG editing dialog provides a wide range of functionality:


The features available can be configured for individual projects, so might vary for your installation.

In-Place Editing in-place-editing

In addition to the dialog based Rich Text Editing mode, AEM also provides the in-place editing mode, which allows direct editing of the text as it is displayed in the layout of the page.

Click twice on a paragraph (a slow double-click) to enter the inplace editing mode (the component border will now be orange).

You will be able to directly edit the text on the page, instead of inside a dialog window. Just make your changes and they will be automatically saved.


If you have the content finder open, a toolbar with the RTE formatting options is shown at the top of the tab (as above).
If the content finder is not open then the toolbar will not be shown.

Currently, the Inplace Editing mode is enabled for page elements generated by the Text and Title components.

The Title component is designed to contain a short text without linebreaks. When editing a title in Inplace Editing Mode, entering a linebreak opens a new Text component below the title.

Features of the Rich Text Editor features-of-the-rich-text-editor

The Rich Text Editor provides a range of featues, these depend on the configuration of the individual component. The features are available for both the touch-optimized and classic UI.

Basic Character Formats basic-character-formats

Character Format toolbar

Here you can apply formatting to characters you have selected (highlighted); some options also have short-cut keys:

  • Bold (Ctrl-B)
  • Italic (Ctrl-I)
  • Underline (Ctrl-U)
  • Subscript
  • Superscript


All operate as a toggle, so reselection will remove the format.

Predefined Styles and Formats predefined-styles-and-formats


Your installation can include predefined styles and formats. These are available with the Style and Format drop-down lists and can be applied to text that you have selected.

A style can be applied to a specific string (a style correlates to CSS):


Whereas a format is applied to the entire text paragraph (a format is HTML-based):


A specific format can only be changed (the default is Paragraph).

A style can be removed; place the cursor within the text to which the style has been applied and click the remove icon:

Do not actually reselect any of the text to which the style has been applied or the icon will be deactivated.

Cut, Copy, Paste cut-copy-paste

Cut, Copy, Paste toolbar

The standard functions of Cut and Copy are available. Several flavors of Paste are provided to cater for differing formats.

  • Cut (Ctrl-X)

  • Copy (Ctrl-C)

  • Paste
    This is the default paste mechanism (Ctrl-V) for the component; when installed out-of-the-box this is configured to be Paste from Word.

  • Paste as Text: Strips all styles and formatting to paste only the plain text.

  • Paste from Word: This pastes the content as HTML (with some necessary reformatting).

Undo, Redo undo-redo

Undo, Redo toolbar

AEM keeps a record of your last 50 actions in the current component, held in chronological order. These actions can be undone (and then redone) in strict order, if necessary.

The history is only held for the current edit session. It is restarted each time you open the component for editing.
Fifty is the default number of tasks. This may be different for your installation.

Alignment alignment

Alignment toolbar

Your text can be either left, center or right aligned.


Indentation indentation

Indentation toolbar

The indentation of a paragraph can be increased, or decreased. The selected paragraph will be indented, any new text entered will retain the current level of indentation.


Lists lists

Lists toolbar

Both bulleted and numbered lists can be created within your text. Either select the list type and start typing or highlight the text to be converted. In both cases a line-feed will start a new list item.

Nested lists can be achieved by indenting one or more list items.

The style of a list can be changed by simply positioning the cursor within the list, then selecting the other style. A sublist can also have a different style to the containing list. This can be applied once the sublist has been created (by indentation).


Links toolbar

A link to a URL (either within your website or an external location) is generated by highlighting the required text then clicking the hyperlink icon:

Hyperlink icon

A dialog will let you specify the target URL; also whether it should be opened in a new window.


You can:

  • Type in a URI directly
  • Use the site map to select a page within your website
  • Enter the URI, then append the target anchor; for example,
  • Enter an anchor only (to reference “the current page”); For example, #anchor
  • Search for a page in the content finder, then drag and drop the page icon into the Hyperlink dialog
The URI can be prepended with any of the protocols configured for your installation. In a standard installation these are https://, ftp://, and mailto:. Protocols not configured for your installation will be rejected and marked as invalid.

To break the link position the cursor anywhere within the link text and click the Unlink icon:

Unlink icon

Anchors anchors

Anchors toolbar

An anchor can be created anywhere within the text by either positioning the cursor, or selecting some text. Then click the Anchor icon to open the dialog box.

Enter the name of the anchor then click OK to save.


The anchor is shown when the component is being edited and can now be used within a target for links.


Find and Replace find-and-replace

Find and Replace toolbar

AEM provides both a Find and a Replace (find and replace) function.

Both have a Find next button to search the open component for the text specified. You can also specify whether you need the case (upper/lower) to be matched.

The search will always start from the current cursor position within the text. When the end of the component is reached a message will inform you that the next search operation will start from the top.


The Replace option lets you Find, then Replace an individual instance with the specified text, or to Replace all instances in the current component.


Images images

Images can be dragged from the content finder to add them to the text.


AEM also offers specialized components for more detailed image configuration. For example, the Image and Text Image components are available.

Spelling Checker spelling-checker

Spell Checker

The spelling checker will check all the text in the current component.

Any incorrect spellings will be highlighted:


The spelling checker will operate in the language of the website by taking either the language property of the subtree or extracting the language from the URL. For example, the en branch will be checked for English and the de branch for German.

Tables tables

Tables are available both:

  • As the Table component

    Table component

  • From within the Text component

    Text toolbar

    note note
    Although tables are available in the RTE, it is recommended to use the Table component when creating tables.

In both the Text and Table components table functionality is available via the context menu (usually the right-mouse-button) clicked within the table; for example:


In the Table component, a specialized toolbar is also available, including various standard rich text editor functions, together with a subset of the table-specific functions.

The table specific functions are:

Table Properties table-properties


The basic properties of the table can be configured, before clicking OK to save:


  • Width: The total width of the table.

  • Height: The total height of the table.

  • Border: The size of the table border.

  • Cell padding: This defines the white space between the cell content and its borders.

  • Cell spacing: This defines the distance between the cells.

A few cell properties, like Width and Height, can be defined as pixels or as percentages.
Adobe recommends that you define a width for your table.

Cell Properties cell-properties


The properties of a specific cell, or series of cells, can be configured:


  • Width
  • Height
  • Horizontal Align - Left, Center or Right
  • Vertical Align - Top, Middle, Bottom or Baseline
  • Cell type- Data or Header
  • Apply to: Single cell, Entire row, Entire column

Add or Delete Rows add-or-delete-rows


Rows can be added either above or below the current row.

The current row can also be deleted.

Add or Delete Columns add-or-delete-columns


Columns can be added either to the left or right of the current column.

The current column can also be deleted.

Selecting Entire Rows or Columns selecting-entire-rows-or-columns


Selects the entire current row or column. Specific actions (for example, merge) are then available.

Merge Cells merge-cells

cq55_rte_cellmerge cq55_rte_cellmerge-1

  • If you have selected a group of cells you can merge these into one.
  • If you have have only one cell selected then you can merge it with the cell to either the right or below.

Split Cells split-cells


Select a single cell to split it:

  • Splitting a cell horizontally will generate a new cell to the right of the current cell, within the current column.
  • Splitting a cell vertically will generate a new cell underneath the current cell, but within the current row.

Creating Nested Tables creating-nested-tables


Creating a nested table creates a self-contained table within the current cell.

Certain additional behavior is browser dependent:
  • Windows IE: Use Ctrl+primary-mouse-button-click (usually left) to select multiple cells.
  • Firefox: Drag the pointer to select a cell range.

Remove Table remove-table


Use the option to remove the table from within the Text component.

Special Characters special-characters

Special characters toolbar

Special characters can be made available to your rich text editor; these might vary according to your installation.


Use mouseover to see a magnified version of the character, then click for it to be included at the current location in your text.

Source Editing Mode source-editing-mode

Source editing mode toolbar

The source editing mode lets you see and edit the underlying HTML of the component.

So the text:


Will looks as follows in source mode (often the source is much longer, so you will have to scroll):


When leaving source mode, AEM makes certain validation checks (for example, ensuring that the text is correctly contained/nested in blocks). This can result in changes to your edits.