Now We’re Cooking With Gas

by john on February 15, 2003

I haven’t given up on MT-Textile; to be fair I haven’t given it much of a chance. But when I saw this post on the Movable Type Support Forums I knew I had to try something else. The promise of a WYSIWYG editor in MT? I had to try it.


First impression is this thing rocks.

  1. Download htmlArea
  2. Follow instructions in jpatrick’s post
  3. Make the 2 small changes documented below

First, in the code that is inserted into the head of edit_entry.tmpl, change:

<script src="/htmlarea/editor.js" language="JavaScript1.2"><script>


<script src="<TMPL_VAR NAME=STATIC_URI>htmlarea/editor.js" language="JavaScript1.2"></script>

Second, in the code that is inserted into the body of edit_entry.tmpl, change:

_editor_url = ../htmlarea/";


_editor_url = "<TMPL_VAR NAME=STATIC_URI>htmlarea/";

Custom buttons can be added – I know I’ll want blockquote for sure. I’ll save that one for another night. I’ll also want to add this to the extended entry section (although I think I’ll do that in just a minute).

I think I could get used to this.


Scott Chaffin February 15, 2003 at 11:16 pm

Whoa! That’s not just gas, that’s bloody well rocket fuel! Why in the world would that not be part of the base release??? I bet it won’t work on a Mac, and that’s why.

Of course, it totally shows me up for the piker that I am. I wish I was completely sober and on a decent connection…I’d have it rolling in right now.

Phil Ringnalda February 15, 2003 at 11:47 pm

Wow! That’s some seriously invalid HTML!

john February 15, 2003 at 11:52 pm

lol, I noticed that myself. According to the docs you can associate a style sheet with it, I’ll leave that task for tomorrow…

john February 16, 2003 at 7:37 am

oh, and much of the invalid HTML is coming from my templates – cleaning them up is on the to-do list.

wtf February 16, 2003 at 2:32 pm

Notice guys: Interactive tools is working on a mozilla version that will be platform independent!

Richard Bennett's Omphalos February 16, 2003 at 3:32 pm

WYSIWYG editor for Movable Type

John’s Jottings tells how to install a WYSIWYG edtor for Movable Type. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks February 17, 2003 at 11:27 am

Glad you like htmlArea John. Yes, we’ve got a Mozilla compliant version in development – stay tuned. It won’t be available for IE on the Mac until Microsoft makes contentEditable available on that platform, though.

Fraser Cain

Bob Day February 22, 2003 at 1:12 am

I appreciated your offer over at Ye Olde Movable Type about helping me get htmlarea going on MT, but a short while after I originally posted about htmlarea (an earlier version of it)last August, I built another editor into MT v.2.2.1 that we’ve enjoyed quite a bit.

It has several more features than htmlarea including the handling of tables, divs and spans as well as providing global smilies and dingbats. As I remember, I actually hybred two wysiwyg editors I found at SourceForge that were in their embryonic stages.

I have just setup up a second Movable Type installation on DoveNet using v.2.6.2. For it, I used the more recent version 2 of htmlarea. I felt its simplier interface might be better for most of our bloggers. It works fine, but I think unmodified, it does suffer for lack of some of the features of our other wysiwyg editor.

I never had time to document the setup of the first editor and I don’t know if I’ll have a chance to do one for htmlarea either. If you would like to take a look at the other wysiwyg editor though, I could give you a login on Ye Olde Movable Type (which is currently still on the older MT setup) and let you take a look at it.

If you like it, I’ll try to scrounge up the source and mods I used to get it in MT. The only issue I’ve had with it is that at around 630px in its current configuration, it is a bit wider than would be ideal and I’ve not really had an opportunity to address that.

Interesting, the folks at Interactive Tools have a version of htmlarea for PHP Nuke that is somewhat more feature rich that the standard version is at this time. I used it in a site I’m building for an organization named KASAC (Kentucky Alcohol and Substance Abuse Consortium) It works beautifully with every text editing area in the site (it has bunches of them).


Ye Olde Movable Type February 25, 2003 at 6:19 pm

Update on htmlarea

I thought I would post an update regarding the htmlarea wysiwyg editor by Interactive Tools that some are using with Movable Type. A short while after I originally posted about htmlarea (an earlier version of it)last August, I built

10 Goto 10 February 28, 2003 at 6:40 am

Yet another add-on for MT

Good lord!!! I just read these post on the Movable Type support forum. It is basically the promise of WYSIWYG editing in MT […] woooww… It only took 10 minutes, and I now have a WYSIWYG editor. We’ll see how things…

slouching toward bethlehem March 5, 2003 at 4:21 am

HTML for amnesiacs

John’s Jottings shows off his success with the WYSIWYG HTML editor for Movable Type. More instructions. Pretty picture here….

Fraser Cain - March 6, 2003 at 6:51 pm

Hey John, I’ve heard a rumour that you’ve gone back to Textile. Care to elaborate? If you’re interested, we did come out with the much anticipated Mozilla 1.3 support I was proposing earlier. It’s also working with Pheonix as of last night’s build.

john March 8, 2003 at 7:58 pm

Well, rumors travel fast. 🙂 Yes, I have gone back to Textile but I’ll have another look at your Mozilla product. In a nutshell I found that what I publish is usually very simple and I’m trying to get my pages to validate under XHTML 1.0 Transitional.

Couchblog March 17, 2003 at 6:08 am


Don’t miss this great help on integrating HTMLArea (the online-textfield-HTML-Editor that was mentioned here before) in MT. via >

Fragments March 26, 2003 at 11:03 am

Some Composite hurdles

A while ago there was some talk on the MovableType forums about getting a WYSIWYG (what you see is what…

Sigurđur Hólm Gunnarsson April 2, 2003 at 6:22 am

Hi. Thanks for the info. Could you tell me if this can also work for the “Extended Entry”, textarea? Not just the “Entry Body”.


john April 2, 2003 at 9:54 pm

Siggi – Yes, since each entry box in MT is a seperate text edit box you could place multiple copies within a single page, the only caveat being you need to make sure to name them differently.

Sigurđur Hólm Gunnarsson April 3, 2003 at 10:40 am

Ok, thanks. But could you tell me how I can to that? What exactly should rename?

Another question: Can I use this to add smile buttons? How should I do that?

Thanks again! April 7, 2003 at 1:04 pm


It pays to lurk in the MT Support Forum from

Sigurđur Hólm Gunnarsson April 12, 2003 at 6:51 am

I’ve installed htmlarea into my MT and everything works fine, except I cant asign multiple categories. The “multiple categories” link does not work

Any ideas?

p.s. I posted this queston also on MT support.

An Alcoholic's Diary April 20, 2003 at 3:08 am

Easter Sunday

Well it’s Easter Sunday, and I’ve just worked out that it’s been 31 days since my last drink – having…

Little Yellow Frog April 28, 2003 at 3:41 pm

WYSIWG Posting in MT

I found this article today on how to add HTMLArea support to Movable Type. This is the same WYSIWG HTML editing widget which was recently added to the CVS version of Drupal….

Bossko June 4, 2003 at 1:31 pm

This program needs too many steps to make it work right. If you are Really interested in a great tool to use for posting (just install and choose your blogger and go…), try W.Blogger at It’s the only one you need.

Brian's Blog September 19, 2003 at 5:25 pm

This is cool!

I have to install this…right now!…

Mecandes March 11, 2005 at 6:15 am

I’ve got HTMLArea running nicely in Movable Type, but I’m finding some oddness with how my RSS feeds are being generated: when Movable Type strips the HTML for certain aspects of the feed, it does not introduce a space between paragraphs or HTML tags. For example, HTMLArea seems to generate code that looks like this:

[h4]Heading[/h4][p]This is the first.[/p][p]This is second.[/p]

When Movable Type puts that in the RSS feeds, it becomes:

HeadingThis is the first.This is second.

Any way to fix that up in MT or HTMLArea somewhere?

1st Person Links May 9, 2005 at 11:56 am


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