cogs - at the heart of working systems!  Photo credit: Dan HoltonRTWedit...

Home : Development : WYSIWYG editing through Web forms

Latest version: 0.3.4 (19 December 2005)


RTWedit is not under active development and may become unavailable soon! If you have experience of JavaScript development and are actively using the widget, then please consider whether you'd like to take it on as a project. Feel free to get in touch (contact info in the About page): I'd be especially glad if this went onto SourceForge...

If this site does disappear, then you should be able to retrieve an archive of the widget from


RTWedit is a WYSIWYG (X)HTML pop-up editor written as a JavaScript library and is designed to be plugged into Web forms. It has a familiar word processor-style visual interface that allows users to mark up text in textarea boxes without having to know about tags. It has the following features:

System Requirements and License

RTWedit deploys rich text editing via DesignMode as supported by Mozilla 1.3+ and Netscape 7.1+ via Midas API and Internet Explorer 5+ (MS Windows only). It is an enhancement of IEWedit, which it supersedes as that was developed for IE only. If you need to support earlier versions of Mozilla and Netscape, then you can make use of NetWedit, which is another tool with a similar interface, but much less functionality.

RTWedit is essentially just a single JavaScript file - rtwedit.js. It 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.


Some further info and development notes are available alongside the JavaScript file, which can be obtained as a small bundle:

Previous releases:

You can keep in touch with the latest updates via news syndication from my blog - choose between RSS, RDF and Atom.


As from version 0.3.4 onwards, there are three demonstration pages:

Future Development

The next 0.3.x versions, aimed for early 2006, should provide more options for linking and inline help.

There may also be some samples to illustrate customisation, especially for visual enhancements - nice looking buttons, ideally just using CSS, as a single file is very portable! As there is now an easy install option, there is less need for a package including a wizard page builder, but it is still a possibility.

What else would be useful?

Further information

This tool is an example of what has been called 'Through The Web' (TTW) editing. A list of various tools is provided by Paul Browning at TTW WYSIWYG Editor Widgets, originally compiled whilst he was at Bristol University, and also by As you can see the whole business of WYSIWYG markup editing has become quite sophisticated and there are various approaches, but generally there is a tradeoff for wider platform support in terms of ease of use and resources required.

Paul Trafford
Last modified: 29 September 2009