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    0.5.1 • Public • Published

    Content-Kit Editor Build Status

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    Content-Kit (WARNING: alpha!!) is a WYSIWYG editor supporting rich content via cards. Try a demo at

    • It makes limited use of Content Editable, the siren-song of doomed web editor technologies.
    • Content-Kit is designed for rich content. We call these sections of an article "cards", and implementing a new one doesn't require an understanding of Content-Kit internals. Adding a new card takes an afternoon, not several days.
    • Posts are serialized to a JSON payload called Mobiledoc instead of to HTML. Mobiledoc can be rendered for the web, mobile web, or in theory on any platform. Mobiledoc is portable and fast.

    To learn more about Content-Kit in the abstract, read this announcement blog post.

    Content-Kit saves posts to Mobiledoc.


    The ContentKit.Editor class is invoked with an element to render into and optionally a Mobiledoc to load. For example:

    var simpleMobiledoc = {
      version: "0.1",
      sections: [[], [
        [1, "p", [
          [[], 0, "Welcome to Content-Kit"]
    var element = document.querySelector('#editor');
    var options = { mobiledoc: simpleMobiledoc };
    var editor = new ContentKit.Editor(options);

    options is an object which may include the following properties:

    • placeholder - default text to show before a user starts typing.
    • spellcheck - a boolean option enabling spellcheck. Default is true.
    • autofocus - a boolean option for grabbing input focus when an editor is rendered.
    • cards - an object describing available cards.

    Editor API

    • editor.serialize() - serialize the current post for persistence. Returns Mobiledoc.
    • editor.destroy() - teardown the editor event listeners, free memory etc.
    • editor.disableEditing() - stop the user from being able to edit the current post with their cursor. Programmatic edits are still allowed.
    • editor.enableEditing() - allow the user to make direct edits directly to a post's text.
    • editor.editCard(cardSection) - change the card to its edit mode (will change immediately if the card is already rendered, or will ensure that when the card does get rendered it will be rendered in the "edit" state initially)
    • editor.displayCard(cardSection) - same as editCard except in display mode.

    Editor Lifecycle Hooks

    API consumers may want to react to given interaction by the user (or by a programmatic edit of the post). Lifecyle hooks provide notification of change and opportunity to edit the post where appropriate.

    Register a lifecycle hook by calling the hook name on the editor with a callback function. For example:

    editor.didUpdatePost(postEditor => {
      let { offsets } = editor.cursor,
      if (offset.headSection.text === 'add-section-when-i-type-this') {
        let section = editor.builder.createMarkupSection('p');
        cursorSection = section;
      postEditor.schedule(() => {
        if (cursorSection) {
          editor.moveToSection(cursorSection, 0);

    The available lifecycle hooks are:

    • editor.didUpdatePost(postEditor => {}) - An opportunity to use the postEditor and possibly change the post before rendering begins.
    • editor.willRender() - After all post mutation has finished, but before the DOM is updated.
    • editor.didRender() - After the DOM has been updated to match the edited post.
    • editor.cursorDidChange() - When the cursor (or selection) changes as a result of arrow-key movement or clicking in the document.

    Programmatic Post Editing

    A major goal of Content-Kit is to allow complete customization of user interfaces using the editing surface. The programmatic editing API allows the creation of completely custom interfaces for buttons, hot-keys, and other interactions.

    To change the post in code, use the API. For example, the following usage would mark currently selected text as "strong": => {

    It is important that you make changes to posts, sections, and markers through the run and postEditor API. This API allows Content-Kit to conserve and better understand changes being made to the post.

    For more details on the API of postEditor, see the API documentation.

    For more details on the API for the builder, required to create new sections and markers, see the builder API.

    Configuring hot keys

    Content-Kit allows configuring hot keys and text expansions. For instance, the hot-key command-B to make selected text bold, is registered internally as:

    const boldKeyCommand = {
      str: 'META+B',
      run(editor) { => postEditor.toggleMarkup('strong'));

    All key commands must have str and run properties as shown above.

    str describes the key combination to use and may be a single key, or a modifier and a key separated by +.

    Modifiers can be one of CTRL, META or SHIFT.

    The key can be any of the alphanumeric characters on the keyboard, or one of the following special keys:

    • TAB
    • ENTER
    • ESC
    • SPACE
    • PAGEUP
    • END
    • HOME
    • LEFT
    • UP
    • RIGHT
    • DOWN
    • INS
    • DEL

    Overriding built-in keys

    You can override built-in behavior by simply registering a hot key with the same name. For example, to submit a form instead of entering a new line when enter is pressed you could do the following:

    const enterKeyCommand = {
      str: 'enter',
      run(editor) {
        // submit the form

    To fall-back to the default behavior, simply return false from run.

    Configuring text expansions

    Text expansions can also be registered with the editor. These are methods that are run when a text string is entered and then a trigger character is entered. For example, the text "*" followed by a space character triggers a method that turns the current section into a list item. To register a text expansion call editor.registerExpansion with an object that has text, trigger and run properties, e.g.:

    const expansion = {
      trigger: ' ',
      text: 'X',
      run(editor) {
        // use the editor to programmatically change the post


    Fork the repo, write a test, make a change, open a PR.


    Install npm and bower:

    • Node.js is required
    • npm install -g npm && npm install -g bower
    • broccoli, via npm install -g broccoli-cli
    • bower install
    • npm install

    Run tests via the built-in broccoli server:

    • broccoli serve
    • open http://localhost:4200/tests

    Or run headless tests via testem:

    • npm test


    There is a demo app that uses content-kit and ember-content-kit in demo/. To run the demo:

    • cd demo/ && npm install && bower install
    • ember serve (shut down your broccoli server if it is already running on port 4200)
    • visit http://localhost:4200/


    • npm version patch or minor or major
    • npm run build
    • git push <origin> --follow-tags
    • npm publish

    Deploy the demo

    The demo website is hosted at github pages. To publish a new version:

    • npm run build-website - This builds the website into website/ and commits it
    • npm run deploy-website - Pushes the website/ subtree to the gh-pages branch of your origin at github


    Development of Content-Kit was generously funded by Bustle Labs. Bustle Labs is the tech team behind the editorial staff at Bustle, a fantastic and successful feminist and women’s interest site based in NYC.


    npm i content-kit-editor

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