Shall I use CKEditor 5 instead of CKEditor 4, is it better?




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    Chris Harris

    We have been using CKEditor 4 for some years, and since support is to be dropped soon, I have just spent several days working on migrating to CKEditor 5. This has been a frustrating experience, and as a result, we will probably be moving to some other alternative instead. 

    My frustrations with CKEditor 5 include:

    1. There are few features by default, and every new feature needs a different plugin, each one needing research and time to add in.

    2. Adding plugins is not a simple download/install. Each one needs editing the main build config file, doing a rebuild, working out the config we want, putting it in the build config file, building again. None of which is difficult, but certainly more hassle than I would expect.

    3. CKeditor 4 had a re-sizeable window, CKEditor 5 doesn't. Adding CSS3 resizeable works, but had some odd effects when changing focus from the editor to the page outside it (the window would resize to its default size). I'm not saying that's the fault of CKEditor 5, but it's another example where bringing it up to 4 level is not simple.

    4. CKeditor 4 used inline element styling for e.g. floating an image left/right. CKEditor 5 doesn't, it adds a class to the element. So the code produced by the editor doesn't work right without additional styling, which adds complication to the deployment of the code it produces.

    My research suggests I'm not the only one who would like a simple download that provided the same functionality as CKEditor 4, but it's not available - by design. And I've come to the conclusion that the design of CKeditor 5 has been driven ideologically, providing something that the creators think developers ought to want - rather than something they really do want.

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    Anit Rai

    Totally agree with all the frustrations about Ckeditor5 by Chris. I have undergone exact same experience and decided to stay with CKEditor4. Although planning to switch to a better alternative. 

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    Ludwika Slowikowska

    Hi Chris and Anit,

    While browsing some content for review, I have come across your feedback - I appreciate you shared your thoughts with us at that time and I am curious whether you had another chance to check CKEditor 5 again.

    Let me start by clarifying that both editors are two different applications with entirely different architectures. CKEditor 5 is not just the next upgrade of CKEditor 4 but it was rather redesigned from scratch, which means that the approach to some concepts changed as well - data model, integration, user interface, API, etc. However, all this has been redesigned to set a foundation for a more modern and highly customizable web-based editor, which many of our clients value a lot and point to it as an important reason for their choice. In fact, the classes mentioned are used by all modern web applications and allow more flexibility than inline styles. And the list of styles available in CKEditor is provided in this article - you just need to use it on the website where the content is created.

    Since CKEditor 5 was created with different goals in mind, the way of adding plugins and creating custom builds has also changed when compared to CKEditor 4. On the other hand, you may find it useful that now we provide an online builder that allows users to create any custom build they want within just a few minutes and a few clicks on the website.

    Since your comment, CKEditor 5 has grown up significantly and has more functionalities that you may find interesting, like advanced lists, enhanced images, table-related features (like table selection or column resize), find and replace, and many more, as well as the premium ones, like export to PDF or Word, pagination, or revision history.

    We also released the General HTML Support plugin that was made with the users migrating from CKEditor 4 to CKEditor 5 in mind to help them make this transition as smooth as possible. When it comes to migration, you may find the migration guide and its plugin compatibility table useful as well.

    We keep working on the CKEditor 5 development and we appreciate any feedback shared by the community and clients. If you have any other insights regarding CKEditor, feel free to share them in our repository so our product team stays aware of the issues and challenges found and can draw conclusions from them.

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