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CKEditor 5 editing engine

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The CKEditor 5 editing engine implements a flexible MVC-based architecture for creating rich text editing features.

Architecture overview

  • Custom data model. CKEditor 5 implements a tree-structured custom data model, designed to fit multiple requirements such as enabling real-time collaboration and complex editing features (like tables or nested blocks).
  • Virtual DOM. CKEditor 5's editing engine features a custom, editing-oriented virtual DOM implementation that aims to hide browser quirks from your sight. No more contentEditable nightmares!
  • Real-time collaborative editing. The editor implements Operational Transformation for the tree-structured model as well as many other mechanisms which were required to create a seamless collaborative UX. Additionally, we provide cloud infrastructure and plugins enabling real-time collaborative editing in your application! Check the collaboration demo.
  • Extensible. The entire editor architecture was designed for maximum flexibility. The code is event-based and highly decoupled, allowing you to plug in or replace selected pieces. Features do not directly depend on each other and communicate in standardized ways.
  • Schema-less core. The core makes minimal assumptions and can be controlled through the schema. This leaves all decisions to plugins and to you.
  • Modular architecture. Not only can the core modules be reused and recomposed but even the features were implemented in a highly granular way. Feel like running a headless CKEditor 5 with a couple of features in Node.js? Not a problem!
  • Framework for building rich-text editors. Every use case is different and every editor needs to fulfill different goals. Therefore, we give you the freedom to create your own editors with custom-tailored features and UI.
  • Heavily tested from day one. CKEditor 5 comes with 3x more tests than React itself. All packages have 100% code coverage.
  • 8+ years of support. It is not yet another framework to be gone next year or a hyped proof-of-concept to fail in a real-life scenario. We have over 15 years of experience in creating rich text editors and invested over 4 years in designing and building your next future-proof rich text editor of choice.


For a general introduction see the Overview of CKEditor 5 Framework guide and then the Editing engine architecture guide.

Additionally, refer to the @ckeditor/ckeditor5-engine package page in CKEditor 5 documentation for even more information.


npm install ckeditor5


Licensed under the terms of GNU General Public License Version 2 or later. For full details about the license, please check the LICENSE.md file or https://ckeditor.com/legal/ckeditor-oss-license.

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