CKEditor 4 Documentation

Adding File Manager to a Dialog Window

The aim of this article is to explain to plugin authors how to create CKEditor dialog windows that integrate seamlessly with a file manager.

CKEditor can be easily integrated with an external file manager (file browser/uploader) thanks to the File Browser plugin which by default is included in every preset.

To connect a file browser/uploader that is already compatible with CKEditor, refer to the File Manager Integration article. If you want to integrate with CKFinder, check the CKFinder Integration article.

Dialog Windows

Please refer to the CKEditor dialog definition API for general information on how to create a dialog window.

The File Browser Plugin

The File Browser plugin is built-in into CKEditor. Its only purpose is to provide an API inside CKEditor to easily integrate any external file manager and to add file browser/uploader features to various CKEditor components (usually to dialog windows).

Adding the "Browse Server" Button

To assign the File Browser plugin to an element inside a dialog window, set the filebrowser property. For example in the Image plugin dialog window source you can find the following code:

{
    type: 'button',
    id: 'browse',
    // ...
    label: editor.lang.common.browseServer,
    hidden: true,
    filebrowser: 'info:txtUrl'
},

This button will be hidden by default (hidden:true). The File Browser plugin looks for all elements with the filebrowser attribute and unveils them if an appropriate configuration setting is available (filebrowserBrowseUrl/filebrowserUploadUrl).

The action performed by the plugin depends on the element type. For fileButton it is QuickUpload, for other elements the default action is Browse. In the example above, the file manager will be launched (in a popup) when the button is clicked.

The 'info:txtUrl' value instructs the plugin to update an element with the ID of txtUrl inside the info tab when CKEDITOR.tools.callFunction is called (see File Browser API - Creating a Custom File Manager).

Adding "Quick Upload" Support

Again, to see how file uploads can be handled in a dialog window, the following working example from CKEditor will be used. In the Image plugin dialog window source you can find the following definition of the Upload tab:

{
    id: 'Upload',
    hidden: true,
    filebrowser: 'uploadButton',
    label: editor.lang.image.upload,
    elements: [ {
        type: 'file',
        id: 'upload',
        label: editor.lang.image.btnUpload,
        style: 'height:40px',
        size: 38
    },
    {
        type: 'fileButton',
        id: 'uploadButton',
        filebrowser: 'info:txtUrl',
        label: editor.lang.image.btnUpload,
        'for': [ 'Upload', 'upload' ]
    } ]
},

This example is slightly more complicated than the previous one, because:

  • It contains the definition of the entire dialog window tab.
  • Two elements (file and fileButton) are needed to upload a file.

In the example above, the ID of the tab is 'Upload'. The tab is hidden by default (hidden:true). As mentioned above, the File Browser plugin looks for all elements with the filebrowser attribute and unveils them if an appropriate configuration setting is available. In this case, the tab will be shown automatically if a filebrowser setting for 'uploadButton' (because of filebrowser:'uploadButton') will be available (filebrowserUploadUrl).

The file element is just an input element that will store the name of the file that will be uploaded.

The fileButton element is more interesting. The 'info:txtUrl' value instructs the File Browser plugin to update an element with the ID of txtUrl inside the info tab when CKEDITOR.tools.callFunction is called (see File Browser API - Creating a Custom File Manager).

The 'for': [ 'Upload', 'upload' ] line is used to connect fileButton with the file element. It is an instruction for CKEditor to upload the file using the 'file' element with the ID of 'upload' (second value) inside the 'Upload' tab (first value).

Advanced Configuration - Browsing

It is possible to define your own function that will be called when a file is selected/uploaded.

{
    type: 'button',
    hidden: true,
    id: 'id0',
    label: editor.lang.common.browseServer,
    filebrowser: {
        action: 'Browse',
        // target: 'tab1:id1',
        onSelect: function( fileUrl, data ) {
            alert( 'The selected file URL is "' + fileUrl + '"' );

            for ( var _info in data )
                alert( 'data[ "' + _info + '" ]' + ' = ' + data[ _info ] );

            var dialog = this.getDialog();
            dialog.getContentElement( 'tab1', 'id1' ).setValue( data[ 'fileUrl' ] );

            // Do not call the built-in onSelect command.
            return false;
        }
    }
}

In this example the action is set to 'Browse' in order to call the file manager when the button is clicked. Setting 'target' is not required, because the target element will be updated in the custom onSelect function.

As explained in the File Browser API documentation, CKEDITOR.tools.callFunction( funcNum, fileUrl, data ); is called when the user selected a file. The fileUrl and data arguments are passed to the custom onSelect function and can be used to update the target element.

Advanced Configuration - Quick Uploads

In a similar way that a button can be configured to open the file manager, you can also configure the file button.

{
    type: 'file',
    label: editor.lang.common.upload,
    labelLayout: 'vertical',
    id: 'id2'
},
{
    type: 'fileButton',
    label: editor.lang.common.uploadSubmit,
    id: 'id3',
    filebrowser: {
        action: 'QuickUpload',
        params: { type: 'Files', currentFolder: '/folder/' },
        target: 'tab1:id1',
        onSelect: function( fileUrl, errorMessage ) {
            alert( 'The url of uploaded file is: ' + fileUrl + '\nerrorMessage: ' + errorMessage );
            // Do not call the built-in onSelect command.
            // return false;
        }
    },
    'for': [ 'tab1', 'id2' ]
}

Additional arguments to be passed in the query string to the external file manager can be added in the filebrowser.params attribute.

filebrowser.target is the target element to be updated when the file is returned by the server connector (uploader) — you do not need it if you define your own onSelect function (filebrowser.onSelect) and update the target element in this function, just like it was done in the previous example.

Further Reading

For more information on integrating CKEditor with a file manager refer to the following articles:

See also the CKEditor Plugin SDK with tutorials on creating your own plugins with dialog windows.