NetWedit: WYSIWYG editing through Web forms

Latest release: 0.2_5 (23 May 2003)


NetWedit is an experimental WYSIWYG editor written as a JavaScript library and is designed to be plugged into Web forms.

The need for such a tool arose for a particular project, an online teaching database for the Theology Faculty at the University of Oxford, where Faculty staff with no knowledge of HTML needed to format various information via Web forms ready to be stored in a database. Staff work on a variety of machines, including Apple Macs. So a cross-platform approach was needed.

Eventually a simple client-side approach was adopted using JavaScript. Although there are plenty of DHTML scripts for IE, at that time there appeared to be nothing comparable for Netscape, at least not for version 4 or 6, which is what many were using. So NetWedit was developed to try and fill the gap. This is still very much a prototype, so comments are most welcome by email to Paul Trafford (address available from Contact page).

System Requirements and License

The system is designed for Netscape4+ and seems to work for such browsers in most setups - Windows, Linux, Mac etc. With little effort, support has been added for IE4+ on Windows, but it doesn't yet work on IE on a Mac. If you are using Opera 8 or above, then you can use version 0.2_4 - the latest version doesn't work properly, but there may be a fix.

NetWedit is provided as open source software under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). This means that you are free to use and modify it, provided that what you derive remains subject to the same license. Details of the license are provided with the distribution. If in doubt, please get in touch.


The latest distribution of NetWedit is version 0.2_5, which can be obtained as a small bundle:

An earlier distribution of NetWedit, version 0.2_4, can be obtained from:


You can see how NetWedit works by trying the demonstration, which also explains how the script is used.

Further information

This tool is an example of what has been called 'Through The Web' (TTW) editing. Another tool has been developed for more recent browsers based on the Gecko Rendering Engine, e.g. Mozilla 1.3+ and also for IE/Win - called RTWedit. It has a similar interface, but also the ability to edit in the box, copy and paste etc.

A list of various tools is provided by Paul Browning at TTW WYSIWYG Editor Widgets. We tried quite a few of these approaches, particularly the Java, and hope to produce a report in due course covering some of our experiences.

Paul Trafford
Last modified: 4 September 2005