Installing and configuring JCE Editor

JCE Editor is a superior replacement for the default TinyMCE editor that ships with Joomla.

The following refers to JCE Editor 1.5.7 on Joomla 1.5 and JCE 2.0.21 on Joomla 2.5.4, and were last updated 19 April 2012.

As with any extension, back up your site before installing JCE.

Download the latest stable “JCE Installation Package” for your version of Joomla. If users will be using it in a language other than English, download language packs as needed. Paid subscribers may also download desired plugins.

Install JCE and any plugins in the usual way. Language packs will be installed later as described below.

Go to Extensions – Plugin Manager and insure that the plugin “Editor – JCE” is enabled. It is a good idea to disable all other editors unless they will be used.

Go to Site – Global Configuration – Site – Site Settings and set “Default WYSIWYG Editor” to JCE. Press Save.

You may have to explicitly enable JCE for individual users. In Joomla 1.5, go to Site – User Manager; in 2.5 go to Users – User Manager. Select the user, and in Basic Configuration – User Editor, select JCE.

If you have language packs to install, go to Components – JCE Administration – Install Add-Ons. Here, install your language packs in the normal way. Confirm in Components – JCE Administration – Install Add-Ons – Languages that all desired languages have been installed.

Go to Components – JCE Administration – Global Configuration and configure as desired. Non-default settings I usually set include:

  • Cleanup and exit: Enable cleanup HTML
  • Format and visualization: Use Template CSS File; set Container Element and Newlines to paragraph
  • Compression Options: Enable JavaScript, CSS, and GZip compression

From here how I proceed depends upon the version of JCE being used:

JCE 1.5 (e.g. for Joomla 1.5)
Go to Components – JCE Administration – Plugins. I usually disable the following: Font Size Select, Style Select, StrikeThrough, Justify (Full, Center, Left), HTML, Code Cleanup, New Document, Justify (Right), Bold, Italic, Underline, Font Select, Anchor, Font Back Colour, Link, Font Fore Colour, Visual Aid, Horizontal Rule, Safari Browser Support, Paste, Directionality, Emotions, Fullscreen, Preview, Print, Layers, Styles, XHTML Xtras, Image Manager. The more you disable the faster it will load for the end user.

Apropos the above, I have observed despite its name, even unsophisticated users prefer the “advanced link” plugin over the basic one (named simply “link”). Conversely, even power users find the simple image plugin (“Image”) to be more intuitive than the advanced “Image Manager”.

Go to Components – JCE Administration – Groups and open the Default group. If Joomla Estate Agency (JEA) is installed, then in Setup – Restrictions – Types, make sure Jea Agent is selected. If you changed this setting, press Apply. In Plugin Parameters – Spell Checker – Languages, the default setting is “English=en”. If you want users to be able to spell check other languages, append to it (without any space and without quote marks) “,Español=es” or as appropriate for the desired language. Press Save.

I like to configure two user groups for JCE. The existing default group I configure for unsophisticated users, removing most buttons to provide an uncomplicated experience and to disallow manual styling that might override the template’s styling. Then I create a new group for administrators, adding those buttons that I or another administrator would find useful (e.g. Advanced Code Editor, Styles).

You may wish to change the layout of the remaining, enabled plugins. In Components – JCE Administration – Groups, click on Default and choose Layout. In the group layout editor there are five rows for components; empty rows must be at the bottom or JCE will not display. Have a second browser tab open showing a JCE edit window open, and refresh it as you make your changes to the JCE component layout.

If you notice a button available that no one will need, disable the corresponding plugin (Components – JCE Administration – Plugins) so that JCE will load faster for the end user.

A layout that worked well for one client is consciously modeled on the toolbar layout of LibreOffice:

Row 1
Spell checker, clipboard actions, undo, redo, advanced link, unlink, search replace, indent, outdent, numbered list, bullet list, subscript, superscript, character map, spacer, remove format, advanced code editor (administrative group only), spacer, visual characters, help

Row 2
Format select, tables, spacer, non-breaking, article breaks, spacer, image manager (simple)

Add the JCE news feed to your preferred feed reader or Joomla’s control panel, and from there monitor security updates.

JCE 2.0 (e.g. for Joomla 2.5)
TODO: Finish this section.

JCE Editor is free software and depends upon voluntary subscriptions from users to sustain the project. If you find it useful, please consider subscribing.

JCE Editor project site
There are many extensions for JCE
If JCE doesn’t meet your needs, there are alternatives


About Warren Post

So far: Customer support guy, jungle guide, IT consultant, beach bum, entrepreneur, teacher, diplomat, over-enthusiastic cyclist. Tomorrow: who knows?
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24 Responses to Installing and configuring JCE Editor

  1. anonymous says:

    Newby Frank writes:thank you for your comments here. i however have a problem with finding the layer button in jce 1.5.6. it is installed and enabled as a jce plugin…what could be wrong?

  2. wpost says:

    I have never used the layer button so I have no experience with this particular problem. Off the top of my head, the only thing that occurs to me is to (1) make sure JavaScript is enabled in your browser, and (2) try different browsers. When you try Firefox, disable any add-on you might have installed. Good luck, and when you find a solution please post it here for the benefit of others.

  3. anonymous says:

    LindaP writes:Thank you…. this solved my problem!!!

  4. wpost says:

    Glad to hear it — happy to help.

  5. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:Thanks for a great, clear article Warren! I couldn't get JCE working and you solved it for me, well done.Brian

  6. wpost says:

    Glad to help, Brian!

  7. anonymous says:

    Andrés Calvo ( writes:Great post! Very detailed and useful for all of us who somehow enjoy working andplaying with joomla!Good vibes and keep up the knowledge spreading!Peace.

  8. wpost says:

    My pleasure, Andrés!

  9. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:This was an awesome helpful post. Do you have some suggestions as to how to make the Link Browser work? Have been looking all over the net :(

  10. wpost says:

    The Link Browser (in the Link tab of the Advanced Link window) works fine for me in Firefox 4.0.1. All I can suggest is temporarily disabling any script or popup blockers you may have, or trying a different browser. Good luck, and please report the solution here once you find it.

  11. anonymous says:

    Olayemi writes:This article was very useful Buddy.I did installed it but could't find where to enable it and disable the tinymce.Thanks a bunch

  12. wpost says:

    Glad to help!

  13. anonymous says:

    javierdmc writes:Hi, I wonder if there are ways to access JEA articles from the JCE link plugin. tkx

  14. wpost says:

    javierdmc, that would be handy, but I don't know. Perhaps someone in the JEA forums can help? If you find a solution, please share it here — I for one would find that useful.

  15. anonymous says:

    Анонимно writes:JCE 2.015 dont work in Opera 11.51 – JS enabled, Editor enabled… JCE 2.015 work to Firefox, Chrome & IE

  16. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:Hi Guys,Am trying JCE 2.0.16 on Joomla 1.5 is not working.Please an anyone help me on what to do.

  17. wpost says:

    Since you're using Joomla 1.5, try JCE 1. I'm not sure, but I think JCE 2 is for Joomla 1.7.

  18. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:any idea how to fix not saving article in opera? its ok while i EDIT in [view html code] but while switching to normal mode it does not save!

  19. anonymous says:

    supTweet writes:I think this article is complete and really helpful to a Joomla user on the learning curve. I read at on using a Twitter widget as a module with code pasting in and JCE as the go-to-editor. Thanks

  20. anonymous says:

    Kyra A. Asic writes:Thank you very much for your instructions. They have been very helpful.

  21. wpost says:

    Glad they worked for you, Kyra.

  22. Pingback: Linking to internal content in Joomla | Warren's tech notes

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