I am super excited to announce that Kannan Sundararajan, my colleague at Microsoft, has written a Rich Text Editor control using ASP.NET and JavaScript and shared it under the MS-PL license on CodePlex. It has a very rich feature set and Kannan hopes to enhance it further in the future. Since it is a CodePlex project you can report issues and make feature requests.

Here are the highlights:

  • Live demo: If you would like to see the control in action, then check out this live demo that Kannan has put up.
  • Getting the bits
    1. You can download the latest RichTextEditor bits from the Source Code tab of the CodePlex project.
    2. Unzip the files to a local directory and open the solution using Visual Studio.
    3. The RichTextEditor.dll will be located in the bin directory of the RichTextEditor project.
    4. You can also preview the control by opening the Default.aspx page of the SampleWebSite project in a browser.
    5. To add the RichTextEditor to your project simply reference the RichTextEditor binary in your web project and register its assembly and namespace on the page.
  • Documentation: Kannan has a nice Power Point presentation that talks about some of the important features. It is in the Docs folder when you unzip the source.
  • Features: Here are some really compelling features that I would like to call out.
    • Clipboard support: You can copy and paste content from other programs like Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer, Visual Studio into the RichTextEditor and it will persist the formatting. If you copy code from Visual Studio it will preserve the code coloring scheme.

      WordCopyRTE

    • Context sensitive Toolbar: The ToolBar buttons will reflect the properties of that content automatically when you select it or navigate through it using the mouse or keyboard .

      ContextSensitiveRTE

    • Code Block: It allows you to format text as code blocks. Simple select the text and format it by clicking the "Code Block" ToolBar button. CodeBlockRTE
    • Emoticons: You can express yourself better by adding emoticons to your rich text.

      EmoticonsInRTE

    • HtmlView: If you would like to have more control over the look and feel of your text then you can edit it in HtmlView as well.

      HtmlViewRTE

    • Text in multiple languages: The control currently supports several languages. This means that I can type a message to my mom in my native language, Marathi, using the RichTextEditor and send it to her. MarathiInRTE
    • Browser support: The control works well in two of the most widely used browsers Internet Explorer and Firefox.

 

Toolkit and the RichTextEditor

The RichTextEditor is not a part of the AJAX Control Toolkit and does not use the Toolkit infrastructure either. Currently there are no plans of integrating it into the Toolkit. However, as the new Toolkit contribution model states, we would like to share AJAX controls with the community that provide great solutions for important problems that are commonly faced by a lot of our users. Please try it out and give Kannan your feedback by using the Issue Tracker.

 

To richer text!