CKEditor plugins - BloomReach Experience - Open Source CMS

This article covers a Hippo CMS version 10. There's an updated version available that covers our most recent release.


CKEditor plugins

The core of CKEditor can be extended with many plugins. Each plugin has a unique all-lowercase name that is used to reference the plugin in the CKEditor configuration.

Table of contents

Available plugins

The following CKEditor plugins ship with Hippo CMS by default:

Plugin Description Used by default in Formatted Text Fields Used by default in Rich Text Fields Available from release
a11yhelp Accessibility Help No Yes 10.0
about About CKEditor No No 10.0
basicstyles Basic Styles Yes Yes 10.0
bidi BiDi (Text Direction) No No 10.0
blockquote Blockquote No No 10.0
button UI Button Yes Yes 10.0
clipboard Clipboard Yes Yes 10.0
codemirror CodeMirror (Source) Syntax Highlighting No Yes 10.0
codesnippet Code Snippet No No 10.0
colorbutton Color Button No No 10.0
colordialog Color Dialog No No 10.0
contextmenu Context Menu Yes Yes 10.0
dialog Dialog Yes Yes 10.0
dialogadvtab Advanced Tab for Dialogs No Yes 10.0
dialogui Dialog User Interface Yes Yes 10.0
div Div Container Manager No No 10.0
divarea Div Editing Area Yes Yes 10.0
elementspath Elements Path No Yes 10.0
enterkey Enter Key Yes Yes 10.0
entities Escape HTML Entities Yes Yes 10.0
fakeobjects Fake Objects No No 10.0
filebrowser File Browser No No 10.0
find Find / Replace No No 10.0
floatingspace Floating Space Yes Yes 10.0
floatpanel Floating Panel Yes Yes 10.0
font Font Size and Family No No 10.0
format Format No No 10.0
forms Form Elements No No 10.0
hippoautosave Hippo auto save Yes Yes 10.0
hippopicker Hippo pickers for images and internal links No Yes 10.0
horizontalrule Horizontal Rule No No 10.0
htmlwriter HTML Output Writer Yes Yes 10.0
iframe IFrame Dialog No No 10.0
image Image No No 10.0
image2 Enhanced Image No No 10.0
indent Indent / Outdent No Yes 10.0
indentblock Indent Block No Yes 10.0
indentlist Indent List No Yes 10.0
justify Justify No Yes 10.0
language Language No No 10.0
link Link No Yes 10.0
list List No Yes 10.0
listblock List Block Yes Yes 10.0
liststyle List Style No Yes 10.0
magicline Magic Line Yes Yes 10.0
mathjax Mathematical Formulas No No 10.0
maximize Maximize No Yes 10.0
menu Menu Yes Yes 10.0
menubutton Menu Button Yes Yes 10.0
notification Notification No No 10.2
pagebreak Page Break No No 10.0
panel Panel Yes Yes 10.0
panelbutton Panel Button Yes Yes 10.0
pastefromword Paste from Word No Yes 10.0
pastetext Paste as Plain Text No Yes 10.0
placeholder Placeholder No No 10.0
popup Popup No Yes 10.0
removeformat Remove Format Yes Yes 10.0
resize Editor Resize No Yes 10.0
richcombo Rich Combo Yes Yes 10.0
selectall Select All No No 10.0
showblocks Show Blocks No Yes 10.0
showborders Show Table Borders No Yes 10.0
smiley Insert Smiley No No 10.0
sourcearea Source Editing Area No No 10.0
specialchar Special Characters No Yes 10.0
stylescombo Styles Combo Yes Yes 10.0
tab Tab Key Handling Yes Yes 10.0
table Table No Yes 10.0
tableresize Table Resize No Yes 10.0
tabletools Table Tools No Yes 10.0
templates Content Templates No No 10.0
textselection Keep TextSelection No Yes 10.0
toolbar Editor Toolbar Yes Yes 10.0
undo Undo Yes Yes 10.0
widget Widget No No 10.0
wordcount Word Count and Character Count No No 10.0
wysiwygarea IFrame Editing Area No No 10.0
youtube Youtube Plugin No Yes 10.0

Runtime debugging

The names of all available plugins can also be retrieved at runtime:

  1. Login to Hippo CMS using Chrome or Firefox
  2. Edit a document type that contains an HTML field
  3. Open the Chrome dev tools or Firebug
  4. Execute the following JavaScript one-liner:

Similarly, it is possible to retrieve the list of plugins used by a specific editor instance:

  1. Print the map of all CKEditor instances to find the name of the editor instance to inspect:
  2. List all plugins in a specific instance, for example 'editor123':

Add an existing CKEditor plugin

To add a CKEditor plugin that is already available in Hippo CMS, use the CKEditor configuration property ' extraPlugins'. For example, to add the 'About' plugin:


  extraPlugins: 'about'

A plugin may add one or more buttons to toolbar groups that are not shown by default. In that case, also add these toolbar groups. For example, to show the 'About' button in rich text fields, also add the following configuration:


  toolbarGroups: [
    { name: 'about' }

Remove an existing CKEditor plugin

To remove a CKEditor plugin that is included by default, use the CKEditor configuration property ' removePlugins'. For example, to remove the 'styles' combo box, add the following configuration:


  removePlugins: 'stylescombo'

Add a custom CKEditor plugin

Custom CKEditor plugins can be located in any .jar file that is packaged with the 'cms' application in your project. The easiest way to include them is to add them to the 'cms' artifact itself.

The source code of all custom CKEditor plugins must be placed under:


Each plugin has its own sub-directory. The name of the sub-directory is the name by which the plugin is referred to in the CKEditor configuration. Each plugin consist of main 'plugin.js' file that is loaded by CKEditor, and optionally more files and icons.

In production, the CMS uses an 'optimized' version of the CKEditor sources (i.e. minified, concatenated, one big sprint with all icons, etc.). These optimized sources are loaded from the directory src/main/resources/ckeditor/optimized. Custom plugins should therefore also generate a version of their source code that is put in the subdirectory 'optimized' and used together with the optimized CKEditor sources. Optimizing a few small custom plugins usually does not gain much performance, so the easiest way is to simply copy the sources with the Maven resources plugin (see the example below).

In Wicket development mode, the CMS uses the plain sources of CKEditor and custom plugins. In Wicket production mode, the 'optimized' sources are used. Developing a custom CKEditor plugin is therefore best done in Wicket development mode together with something like JRebel to hot-deploy you changes.
To learn how to develop a CKEditor plugin, read the CKEditor plugin SDK documention. If your plugin adds HTML elements to the content, don't forget to adjust the HTML cleaning configuration: take care of the advanced content filter integration and add the element/attributes to the server-side HTML cleaner configuration if needed.

Example: timestamp plugin

The CKEditor developer's guide describes an example CKEditor plugin called 'timestamp'. Perform the following steps to add this timestamp plugin to the archetype-created project:

  1. Download the source code and unzip it in the directory cms/src/main/resources/ckeditor/plugins. The final file structure should be as follows:
  2. To use a copy of the sources as an optimized version, add the following to the build/plugins section in the file cms/pom.xml:
  3. Build the project and start it:
    mvn clean install
  4. Login to the CMS as 'admin' and edit the 'newsdocument' type in the document type editor (To The Documents > Configuration > myhippoproject > newsdocument > Edit)

  5. Select the 'Body' field and add the 'timestamp' plugin to the overlayed CKEditor configuration:


      extraPlugins: 'timestamp'

The 'timestamp' icon should now be visible in toolbar of the editor for the 'Body' field.

Follow the Simple CKEditor Plugin Tutorial to learn more about creating CKEditor plugins.

CKEditor plugin that opens a Wicket dialog

A custom CKEditor plugin can also open a Wicket dialog in Hippo CMS. Such a plugin requires two things:

  1. a CKEditor plugin for the client-side logic and UI.
  2. a custom CKEditorNodePlugin Java class that creates a CKEditorPanel class with an additional CKEditorPanelExtension.

A good example of such a plugin is the 'hippopicker' plugin in the CMS. This plugin adds the 'image' and 'internal link' buttons that open the Hippo image picker and Hippo document picker, respectively (which are both Wicket dialogs). Each CKEditor field is rendered by the CKEditorPanel class. The server-side Wicket behavior for the hippopicker plugin is added by default to the CKEditorPanel by the CKEditorNodePlugin. To get your own server-side behavior in there too, create your own class that extends CKEditorNodePlugin. First add the following dependency to your cms pom.xml (or the pom.xml of another artifact that will be included in the cms war file):


The custom plugin class should override the createEditPanel method and add an extra CKEditorPanelExtension to the returned CKEditorPanel. For example:

public class MyCKEditorNodePlugin extends CKEditorNodePlugin {

    protected CKEditorPanel createEditPanel(String id, String editorConfigJson) {
        CKEditorPanel panel = super.createEditPanel(id, editorConfigJson);
        panel.addExtension(new MyCKEditorPanelExtension(...));
        return panel;

The MyCKEditorPanelExtension can then add the necessary Wicket behaviors that open your picker, and add the Ajax URL to open this picker to the editorConfig JSON object that will be provided to the client-side code. The client-side can then POST the Ajax URL to open the server-side picker. Vice-versa, the server-side can render some JavaScript that invokes a CKEditor command when the picker is closed (see the existing code for details).

The last thing to do is to use your own plugin class instead of the default one:

- plugin.class = org.example.MyCKEditorNodePlugin



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