CKEditor 4 Documentation

API Changes in CKEditor 4


  1. Overview
  2. Changes

This article describes CKEditor API changes between version 3 and version 4.


CKEditor 4 is almost totally backward compatible with CKEditor 3 (v3) in terms of the JavaScript API. Upgrading should generally be hassle-free, although some API elements have changed. They will mostly impact custom plugins that extensively used the CKEditor 3 API.

This page lists the most relevant changes and the proper way to port them to CKEditor 4.

Please note that this list was created before the CKEditor 4.0 release and is not updated anymore. For further API changes see the CKEditor changelog.

Changes now returns false if the event was canceled (in v3 it returns true).

The listener function sent to CKEDITOR.event.on can now return the Boolean false to cancel the event.

CKEDITOR.config.corePlugins is not needed anymore. The "core plugins" are now really part of the core, although their API signatures are left untouched:

  • plugins/selection/plugin.js => core/selection.js. The "Select All" feature originally provided by the selection plugin is now a standalone Select All plugin.
  • plugins/styles/plugin.js => core/style.js
  • plugins/styles/styles/default.js => core/styles.js
  • plugins/domiterator/plugin.js => core/dom/iterator.js
  • plugins/htmldataprocessor/plugin.js => core/htmldataprocessor.js

The editor will now support only one single skin per page (all editors will use the same skin).

Because of the above, the following skin-related properties were moved global or deleted:

The skin definition file (skin.js) was simplified as follows:

  • It no longer specifies the stylesheet file for the skin part. The editor will now expect the CSS file name to be the same as the part name, e.g. the dialog part will be requiring the dialog.css file in the skin directory.
  • It no longer defines theme-related properties, e.g. dialog margins, combo grouping.

The "theme" concept is removed, the DOM structure of the editor is now defined by creators or plugins individually, thus the CKEDITOR.themes namespace is removed.

CKEDITOR.editor.setMode and CKEDITOR.editor#getMode are features provided by the themedui creator only, which is not available in an instance created by the inline creator, where CKEDITOR.editor.mode property will be always 'wysiwyg'.

CKEDITOR.config.editingBlock was removed, with the editingBlock being renewed as editable.

CKEDITOR.focusManager is now managing the overall "active" state of the entire editor instead of just the editing block, so all editor UI parts (toolbar, dialog, panel) that receive DOM focus will turn CKEDITOR.focusManager.hasFocus to true.

Because of the above, CKEDITOR.editable.hasFocus should now be used instead for CKEDITOR.focusManager.hasFocus to check the focus state of the editing block.

The CKEDITOR.focusManager#forceBlur method was removed.

CKEDITOR.config.toolbar_Basic and CKEDITOR.config.toolbar_Full were removed. Custom toolbar layout can be easily managed with CKEDITOR.config.toolbarGroups.

The "additional CSS" feature provided by CKEDITOR.editor#addCss is now moved to the global CKEDITOR.addCss, with specified style rules applied document wide.

Thus the proper way for a plugin to style its editable content is to call CKEDITOR.addCss inside of the plugin's onLoad function, rather than its init function in v3.

CKEDITOR.env.version now reflects the "document mode" in IE browsers. The following properties are deprecated:

If you wanted to check for old IEs before IE9, instead of checking for each of the above properties as in v3:

if ( CKEDITOR.ie6Compat || CKEDITOR.ie7Compat || CKEDITOR.ie8Compat )

You should check in the following simpler way in v4:

if ( CKEDITOR.env.version < 9 )

In plugin language files the usual CKEDITOR.plugins.setLang call now enforces a namespace in the format of editor.lang.pluginName, which contains the provided language entries.

So, in v3 you had:

CKEDITOR.plugins.setLang( 'myplugin', 'en', {
    myplugin: {
        title: 'My Plugin'
} );

In v4 it should be changed to:

CKEDITOR.plugins.setLang( 'myplugin', 'en', {
    title: 'My Plugin'
} );

In this way the entry will be available under editor.lang.myplugin.title.

The CKEDITOR.editor constructor now receives two additional optional parameters (besides the configuration object) to simplify creator implementation:

CKEDITOR.editor( config,
    /** @type {CKEDITOR.dom.element} */ element,
    /** @type {Number} */ elementMode );

CKEDITOR creators (CKEDITOR.replace, CKEDITOR.replace and CKEDITOR.appendTo) are no longer available within ckeditor_basic.js and are now provided by core/creators/themedui.js.

The iconOffset property used in button definitions must now point to the exact offset position of the image in the icon file, instead of its logical order.

For example, in v3 its value could be set to 2. Now, in that same case, it should be set to -32 (2 x -16).

The default value for CKEDITOR.config.toolbarCanCollapse was changed to false.

The default value for CKEDITOR.config.docType is now '<!DOCTYPE html>', the HTML5 doctype.

The CKEDITOR.editor#getThemeSpace method was moved to CKEDITOR.editor#space.

The CKEDITOR.editor#themeSpace event was replaced with CKEDITOR.editor#uiSpace.

The CKEDITOR.htmlParser.fragment.fromHtml( fragmentHtml, fixForBody, /** @type {CKEDITOR.htmlParser.element} */ contextNode ) method changed signature to CKEDITOR.htmlParser.fragment.fromHtml( fragmentHtml, /** @type {CKEDITOR.htmlParser.element/String} */ parent, fixForBody ).

In the CKEDITOR.editor.paste event, the and properties are not available anymore. They were replaced with and to help identify the data type.

The CKEDITOR.replaceByClassEnabled option is not available anymore. It is now enough to set CKEDITOR.replaceClass to empty/null to disable the auto-replace.

CKEDITOR.dtd.$captionBlock was removed. In order to check if one element can appear inside a table caption, use the DTD check instead:

assert.isTrue( !!CKEDITOR.dtd.caption[ element.getName() ] );