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An Embeddable JavaScript Markdown Editor

EpicEditor is an embeddable JavaScript Markdown editor with split fullscreen editing, live previewing, automatic draft saving, offline support, and more. For developers, it offers a robust API, can be easily themed, and allows you to swap out the bundled Markdown parser with anything you throw at it.


Because, WYSIWYGs suck. Markdown is quickly becoming the replacement. GitHub, Stackoverflow, and even blogging apps like Posterous are now supporting Markdown. EpicEditor allows you to create a Markdown editor with a single line of JavaScript:

var editor = new EpicEditor().load();

Quick Start

EpicEditor is easy to implement. Add the script and assets to your page, provide a target container and call load().

Step 1: Download

Download the latest release or clone the repo:

$ git clone

Step 2: Create your container element

<div id="epiceditor"></div>

Step 3: Add the epiceditor.js file

<script src="epiceditor.min.js"></script>

Step 4: Init EpicEditor

var editor = new EpicEditor().load();



The EpicEditor constructor creates a new editor instance. Customize the instance by passing the options parameter. The example below uses all options and their defaults:

var opts = {
  container: 'epiceditor',
  textarea: null,
  basePath: 'epiceditor',
  clientSideStorage: true,
  localStorageName: 'epiceditor',
  useNativeFullsreen: true,
  parser: marked,
  file: {
    name: 'epiceditor',
    defaultContent: '',
    autoSave: 100
  theme: {
    base: '/themes/base/epiceditor.css',
    preview: '/themes/preview/preview-dark.css',
    editor: '/themes/editor/epic-dark.css'
  button: {
    preview: true,
    fullscreen: true
  focusOnLoad: false,
  shortcut: {
    modifier: 18,
    fullscreen: 70,
    preview: 80
  string: {
    togglePreview: 'Toggle Preview Mode',
    toggleEdit: 'Toggle Edit Mode',
    toggleFullscreen: 'Enter Fullscreen'
var editor = new EpicEditor(opts);


Option Description Default
container The ID (string) or element (object) of the target container in which you want the editor to appear. epiceditor
textarea The ID (string) or element (object) of a textarea you would like to sync the editor's content with. On page load if there is content in the textarea, the editor will use that as it's content.
basePath The base path of the directory containing the /themes, /images, etc. epiceditor
clientSideStorage Setting this to false will disable localStorage. true
localStorageName The name to use for the localStorage object. epiceditor
useNativeFullscreen Set to false to always use faux fullscreen (the same as what is used for unsupported browsers). true
parser [Marked]( is the only parser built into EpicEditor, but you can customize or toggle this by passing a parsing function to this option. For example:
parser: MyCustomParser.parse
focusOnLoad If true, editor will focus on load. false If no file exists with this name a new one will be made, otherwise the existing will be opened. container ID
file.defaultContent The content to show if no content exists for a file. NOTE: if the textarea option is used, the textarea's value will take precedence over defaultContent.
file.autoSave How often to auto save the file in milliseconds. Set to false to turn it off. 100
theme.base The base styles such as the utility bar with the buttons. themes/base/epiceditor.css
theme.editor The theme for the editor which is the area you type into. themes/editor/epic-dark.css
theme.preview The theme for the previewer. themes/preview/github.css
button If set to false will remove all buttons. All buttons set to true.
button.preview If set to false will remove the preview button. true
button.fullscreen If set to false will remove the fullscreen button. true
shortcut.modifier The key to hold while holding the other shortcut keys to trigger a key combo. 18 (alt key)
shortcut.fullscreen The shortcut to open fullscreen. 70 (f key)
shortcut.preview The shortcut to toggle the previewer. 80 (p key)
string.togglePreview The tooltip text that appears when hovering the preview icon. Toggle Preview Mode
string.toggleEdit The tooltip text that appears when hovering the edit icon. Toggle Edit Mode
string.toggleFullscreen The tooltip text that appears when hovering the fullscreen icon. Enter Fullscreen


Loads the editor by inserting it into the DOM by creating an iframe. Will trigger the load event, or you can provide a callback.

editor.load(function () {
  console.log("Editor loaded.")


Unloads the editor by removing the iframe. Keeps any options and file contents so you can easily call .load() again. Will trigger the unload event, or you can provide a callback.

editor.unload(function () {
  console.log("Editor unloaded.")


Grabs an editor element for easy DOM manipulation. See the Themes section below for more on the layout of EpicEditor elements.

  • container: The element given at setup in the options.
  • wrapper: The wrapping <div> containing the 2 editor and previewer iframes.
  • wrapperIframe: The iframe containing the wrapper element.
  • editor: The #document of the editor iframe (i.e. you could do editor.getElement('editor').body).
  • editorIframe: The iframe containing the editor element.
  • previewer: The #document of the previewer iframe (i.e. you could do editor.getElement('previewer').body).
  • previewerIframe: The iframe containing the previewer element.
someBtn.onclick = function () {
  console.log(editor.getElement('editor').body.innerHTML); // Returns the editor's content 


Returns a boolean for the requested state. Useful when you need to know if the editor is loaded yet for example. Below is a list of supported states:

  • loaded
  • unloaded
  • edit
  • preview
  • fullscreen
fullscreenBtn.onclick = function () {
  if (!'loaded')) { return; }


Opens a file into the editor.

openFileBtn.onclick = function () {'some-file'); // Opens a file when the user clicks this button 


Imports a string of content into a file. If the file already exists, it will be overwritten. Useful if you want to inject a bunch of content via AJAX. Will also run .open() after import automatically.

importFileBtn.onclick = function () {
  editor.importFile('some-file',"#Imported markdown\nFancy, huh?"); //Imports a file when the user clicks this button 


Returns the raw content of the file by default, or if given a type will return the content converted into that type. If you leave both parameters null it will return the current document's raw content.

syncWithServerBtn.onclick = function () {
  var theContent = editor.exportFile();
  saveToServerAjaxCall('/save', {data:theContent}, function () {
    console.log('Data was saved to the database.');

rename(oldName, newName)

Renames a file.

renameFileBtn.onclick = function () {
  var newName = prompt('What do you want to rename this file to?');
  editor.rename('', newName); //Prompts a user and renames a file on button click 


Manually saves a file. EpicEditor will save continuously every 100ms by default, but if you set autoSave in the options to false or to longer intervals it's useful to manually save.

saveFileBtn.onclick = function () {;


Deletes a file.

removeFileBtn.onclick = function () {


If no name is given it returns an object containing all the file objects. If a name is specified it will return just that single file object.

var files = editor.getFiles();
for (in files) {
  console.log('File: ' + x); //Returns the name of each file 

on(event, handler)

Sets up an event handler (callback) for a specified event. For all event types, see the Events section below.

editor.on('unload', function () {
  console.log('Editor was removed');


Fires an event programatically. Similar to jQuery's .trigger()

editor.emit('unload'); // Triggers the handler provided in the "on" method above 

removeListener(event, [handler])

Allows you to remove all listeners for an event, or just the specified one.

editor.removeListener('unload'); //The handler above would no longer fire 


Puts the editor into preview mode.

previewBtn.onclick = function () {


Puts the editor into edit mode.

editBtn.onclick = function () {


Puts the editor into fullscreen mode.

Note: due to browser security restrictions, calling enterFullscreen programmatically like this will not trigger native fullscreen. Native fullscreen can only be triggered by a user interaction like mousedown or keyup.

enterFullscreenBtn.onclick = function () {


Closes fullscreen mode.

exitFullscreenBtn.onclick = function () {

reflow([type], [callback])

reflow() allows you to "reflow" the editor in it's container. For example, let's say you increased the height of your wrapping element and want the editor to resize too. You could call reflow and the editor will resize to fit. You can pass it one of two strings as the first parameter to constrain the reflow to either width or height.

It also provides you with a callback parameter if you'd like to do something after the resize is finished. The callback will return the new width and/or height in an object. Additionally, you can also listen for the reflow event. This will also give you back the new size.

Note: If you call reflow() or reflow('width') and you have a fluid width container EpicEditor will no longer be fluid because doing a reflow on the width sets an inline style on the editor.

// For an editor that takes up the whole browser window: 
window.onresize = function () {
// Constrain the reflow to just height: 
someDiv.resizeHeightHandle = function () {
// Same as the first example, but this has a callback 
window.onresize = function () {
  editor.reflow(function (data) {
    console.log('width: ', data.width, ' ', 'height: ', data.height);


You can hook into specific events in EpicEditor with on() such as when a file is created, removed, or updated. Below is a complete list of currently supported events and their description.

Event Name Description
create Fires whenever a new file is created.
read Fires whenever a file is read.
update Fires whenever a file is updated.
remove Fires whenever a file is deleted.
load Fires when the editor loads via load().
unload Fires whenever the editor is unloaded via unload()
preview Fires whenever the previewer is opened (excluding fullscreen) via preview() or the preview button.
edit Fires whenever the editor is opened (excluding fullscreen) via edit() or the edit button.
fullscreenenter Fires whenever the editor opens in fullscreen via fullscreen() or the fullscreen button.
fullscreenexit Fires whenever the editor closes in fullscreen via fullscreen() or the fullscreen button.
save Fires whenever the file is saved whether by EpicEditor automatically or when save() is called.
open Fires whenever a file is opened or loads automatically by EpicEditor or when open() is called.
reflow Fires whenever reflow() is called. Will return the new dimensions in the callback.


Theming is easy in EpicEditor. There are three different <iframe>s which means styles wont leak between the "chrome" of EpicEditor, previewer, or editor. Each one is like it's own web page. In the themes directory you'll see base, preview, and editor. The base styles are for the "chrome" of the editor which contains elements such as the utility bar containing the icons. The editor is the styles for the contents of editor <iframe> and the preview styles are applied to the preview <iframe>.

The HTML of a generated editor (excluding contents) looks like this:

<div id="container">
  <iframe id="epiceditor-instance-id">
        <link type="text/css" id="" rel="stylesheet" href="epiceditor/themes/base/epiceditor.css" media="screen">
        <div id="epiceditor-wrapper">
          <iframe id="epiceditor-editor-frame">
                <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="epiceditor/themes/editor/epic-dark.css" media="screen">
              <body contenteditable="true">
                <!-- raw content -->
          <iframe id="epiceditor-previewer-frame">
                <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="epiceditor/themes/preview/github.css" media="screen">
                <div id="epiceditor-preview">
                  <!-- rendered html -->
          <div id="epiceditor-utilbar">
            <img width="16" src="epiceditor/images/preview.png" class="epiceditor-toggle-btn">
            <img width="16" src="epiceditor/images/fullscreen.png" class="epiceditor-fullscreen-btn">

Custom Parsers

EpicEditor is set up to allow you to use any parser that accepts and returns a string. This means you can use any flavor of Markdown, process Textile, or even create a simple HTML editor/previewer (parser: false). The possibilities are endless. Just make the parser available and pass its parsing function to the EpicEditor setting and you should be all set.

For even more customization/optimization you can replace the default built-in processor on build. Running jake build parser=path/to/parser.js will override the default Marked build and replace it with your custom script.

See the custom parsers wiki page for more.


Contributions are greatly encouraged and appreciated. For more on ways to contribute please check the wiki: Contributing Guide.


EpicEditor relies on Marked to parse markdown and is brought to you in part by Oscar Godson and John Donahue. Special thanks to Adam Bickford for the bug fixes and being the QA for pull requests. Lastly, huge thanks to Sebastian Nitu for the amazing logo and doc styles.