WYSIWYG (a.k.a HTML Editor) has become a De facto for quickly formatting and publishing contents from dynamic site like Drupal. This is certainly a time saver and prevents from getting hands dirty with HTML.
In this connection, CKEditor has been a pioneer and around in use and development cycle for a decade (first release was on March 2003, in the name FCKeditor).
This solid and interesting tool plays good with Drupal content publishing system via Wysiwyg module. The recent CKEditor, version 4.2.x brings something more interesting to our desk. I'm talking about
Templates plugin in specific.
Note: As of now this version of CKEditor requires dev version 2.x-dev of Wysiwyg contrib module.
Our project requirements were to create a Newsletters sending site with Drupal as base. (Having admired by Mailchimp, I considered this project as a trimmed version of the same).
- Simplenews for managing newsletter and subscription
- Mandrill for sending out emails via Web services
- Wysiwyg for composing newsletter contents
- and Media for Image handling
Sounds cool! Isn't it?
Simplenews module offers a new content type
newsletter. Essentially the body content of this node type is what sent out as newsletter to subscribers on cron run. The newsletter content to be composed using CKEditor buttons (and plugins). Each newsletter category had its own template (specific layout and Typography).
We initially thought of having dummy newsletter nodes for all templates in place and cloning the same whenever the actual newsletter to be sent. Along the way we noticed the
Templates addition in CKEditor.
We thought it would be cool to have newsletter templates integrated with CKEditor button (like Media module does for Image). On further analysis we found that it would be possible to have our custom templates as well.
From official documentation it was found that adding the below snippet will add custom templates to CKEditor.
(Though the doc page says it is for 3.x but works good for 4.x as well),
The above snippet to be added to
mytemplates.js. In your CKEditor's
config.js file need to mention that template file to use is as
Code for the same is below,
But Wysiwyg module didn't make use of
config.js. However to suggest Wysiwyg to consider
config.js we had to use the below
hook_wysiwyg_editor_settings_alter() implementation in custom module.
As we can see, the above implementation suggests to obey the 'config.js' configuration file found in root folder of ckeditor library.
In addition a call to
But passing from backend offers the following advantages,
- to add dynamic stuffs (tokens for instance to view email in brower, add unsubscribe link, etc.)
- to leverage the Intercepts and Overrides of Drupal framework (preprocess function for instance)
After all these steps the updated
mytemplates.js looks as below,
Now clicking the Templates Button in CKEditor will offer to select custom templates, similar to above snapshot.
Great post, Sivaji. At LevelTen, we've been experimenting with CK Editor and tight integrations with Bootstrap 3. We are using Content Templates and additional widgets for CK Editor including one-click sliders, hero banners, featurettes, tri-folds, etc. Like you, we are finding that page layouts become much faster and you remove many of the frustrations found with Panels.
Keep up the good work!
Great blog post! Though, what I found missing is actual content of theme functions - mymodule_email_template_a and mymodule_email_template_b (some tpl.php content). It would be practical if you add some examples of how you done that for your use case.
Anyway, thanks for sharing.
This Grunt plugin makes creating the templates a bit easier.