Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Xopus: browser based WYSIWYG editor

Category: RichTextWidget

<p>Xopus is a browser based WYSIWYG editor that allows you to copy and paste from a Microsoft Word (or Open Office) document into the HTML page.

This demo shows it in action.

IE is the only browser supported in 3.1, but we have been promised that Firefox support is in the lab, and will be available shortly.


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Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:35 am

3.4 rating from 44 votes


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That is amazing.

Who would have thought you could cook a Christmas Ham in 3 minutes.

Comment by Adam Jimenez — January 24, 2007

Xopus is back… and still only for IE. They’ve promised to port it (back) to Mozilla for several years now. What’s this news for?

Comment by Maarten Manders — January 24, 2007

That’s right – they’ve been promising Mozilla support for some time. Might as well re-title this post “Xopus: IE based WYSIWYG editor”

Comment by Bryan — January 24, 2007

yeah, no Firefox support, no WAY! I’ll stick with TinyMCE :-)

Comment by Andrew — January 24, 2007

Hey, an IE WYSIWYG editor… time to party like it’s 1999 — back when I built an editor that you could paste into from an Office document. wooo.

Comment by Jonathan Snook — January 24, 2007

I’ve met the developers of Xopus a few times and they’re great guys.

There even used to be an open source version of the editor that we integrated with Midgard CMS, but Q42 discontinued it.

Maybe the code is still lying around somewhere…

Comment by Henri Bergius — January 24, 2007

hey guys, I suppose you know the difference between xml and html?

Comment by janke — January 24, 2007

Xopus is an XML editor, not an HTML editor. Xopus transforms the XML to HTML output using XSL and lets you edit through the XSL output while keeping the XML valid according to your XSD. So if you only need an HTML editor, there are better (cheaper) alternatives.

It is quite an achievement that Xopus can paste from an Office document since it converts the pasted content to your XML format.

We’re working on FireFox support. We only recently hired enough people to be able to support both browsers. Expect an update in a few months!

Comment by Laurens van den Oever — January 24, 2007

I have to admit that I didn’t take the time to click through to check out the site and seeing the screencast as well as finding out that it’s XML-based is definitely impressive.

Comment by Jonathan Snook — January 24, 2007

Among the free alternatives, FCKEditor is just perfect for my customers needs. ( )

Comment by Alexandre Plennevaux — January 24, 2007

Isn’t WYSIWYG XML editing a misnomer? Also, if the Xopus developers are such great guys, why are they leaving Mac users out in the cold? Firefox is not the editor of choice on Mac OS X, and you’d know why if you spent some time on a Mac. Be sure to put WebKit/Safari on the list of browsers to be supported, and maybe your news will get a higher rating here the next time.

Comment by Leland Scott — January 24, 2007

I don’t why people is struggling to reinvent the wheel … And it’s not even a complete wheel …

Comment by pcpbslack — January 25, 2007

Once Firefox is working, you can be certain we’ll also look at Safari (and Opera too). More than half of the Xopus developers are using Macs!

Comment by Sjoerd Visscher — January 25, 2007

I don’t understand the significance of saying that you can paste stuff from MS Word. I mean, can’t you paste stuff from Word into any browser-based rich-text editor? The transformation is performed entirely by the browser anyway.

Comment by Jordan — January 25, 2007

> I don’t understand the significance of saying that you can paste stuff
> from MS Word.

Stuff in Word is unstructured (bold, list, table) like HTML. Xopus is an XML editor in which information is structured and semantic (note, ingredient, preparationTime). Xopus uses an XML Schema and a configuration to automatically convert the pasted unstructured stuff to structured, semantic and valid XML.
XML obviously has many benefits above HTML, like being able to re-use your content across several media.

Comment by Laurens van den Oever — January 25, 2007

Remember, Xopus isn’t a html editor. The main goal of Xopus is editing xml without any technical knowledge.

Xopus uses a xsl transformation to convert the xml document to a html document. This html document is shown in the editor. When a user chances the html document, Xopus chances the underlying xml document. The xml document can be found here:

Here’s the stylesheet:

It’s getting interesting, isn’t it? But what about data integrity? Xml documents are often validated using a w3c xml schema. Xopus is able to use a xml schema to ensure that the underlying xml document is valid at anytime. For example, according to the xml schema only plain text is allowed inside a history element. After placing the caret in the history text section rich text options like bold and italic are automatically disabled. You can see the difference by placing the caret inside the tips section where rich text is allowed.

The xml schema can be found here:

Take a look at and I’m sure you will be impressed.

Comment by Henk Erik van der Hoek — January 25, 2007

How does Xopus support the editing of elements rendered as widgets in the internet browser? For example, I could have a choice box with a number of items… how would I add/remove/edit the items in the choice box? Radio buttons?

Xopus seems very impressive, and we’re considering it for use in our forthcoming app, but can it address these issues?

Comment by Nathan — January 25, 2007

> For example, I could have a choice box with a number of items…
> how would I add/remove/edit the items in the choice box? Radio
> buttons?

If you want to edit a choice box, you will have to show it in an editable way since Xopus is a WYSIWYG editor and will show a choice box.
In this case I would just show a list of items while editing. You can use the standard Xopus interface to manipulate that list, or you can add editing components to the editing view specifically to edit this list (radio buttons for instance).
You can add the original XSL as an extra view in Xopus to preview the final result. Or you can show the choice box next to the list to directly see the results of your list editing.

Comment by Laurens van den Oever — January 26, 2007

When the Firefox support?
Cross-browsing is a wall in the develop web based!

Comment by Giovambattista Fazioli — March 13, 2007

Guys – I have rarely read such mis informed poorly argured rubbish in a long time.

Xopus is an excellent editor and improved greatly on every release
XML editing is miles ahead of HTML
cust and paste from Word to XML has its place
HTML rich text editors are severely limited and can only be used if the output you want is valid containing the HTML you paste. With XML you can transfor to anything.
Xopus can allow you to edit the options in a control
Factonomy allows you to edit form in Xopus and then render then with EXT or other JS Libraries for rich client side functionality.

If you don’t understand something then please do not contribute without first learning.

Rant over – thank you

Comment by Graeme — September 10, 2007

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