WYSIWYM and XHTML

Users who create text will often want formatted text. XHTML is a great format. This WYSIWYM (What You See Is What You Mean) editor lets users create clean, semantic XHTML using a simple, well-known Windows editing GUI.

Why HTML from End Users?

Text
Many applications support text entry from end users: including wikis, forums, person-to-person communications, and various types of documentation.
Formatted Text
Users often prefer formatted text, instead of only plain text: they want to use paragraphs, lists, and hyperlinks, maybe section titles, and even tables.
XHTML
HTML, and XHTML in particular, is one of the best text formats: because it's standard, portable, well-known, easy to process, and reusable in web pages.

What Is a WYSIWYM Editor?

Most users are familiar with the standard GUI for a text editor.

Sample screenshot

A WYSIWYM (What You See Is What You Mean) editor lets users edit the structure of a document or HTML fragment. The toolbar lets them create different types of element: including paragraphs, headings, lists, and tables.

The visual style of each element is defined using CSS. The CSS used by the control to render the XHTML is usually defined by your application, and not by the end user.

Unlike a WYSIWYG editor, the toolbar supports editing the XHTML structure, not the visual styles. It doesn't create elements which only affect the appearance, for example <font> tags; and it doesn't edit element attributes, for example the style= attribute.

The output from the editor, the resulting document, is clean, semantic XHTML.

Why a WYSIWYM Editor?

There are several other ways to edit HTML:

For many end users and applications, a WYSIWYM editor is better than any alternative:

WYSIWYG editing HTML which has embedded formatting information (for example, <font> tags and style= attributes) can be difficult to reuse: because it conflicts with display styles which are defined by the target page or web site.

The output from some WYSIWYG editors is difficult to process, because it's 'tag soup': the output is only intended to be rendered by a browser, not to be readable using other software. The output from the ModelText HTML editor, on the other hand, is clean XHTML.

Most of the implementations of WYSIWYG editors are either stand-alone ActiveX components, or a standard browser in contenteditable mode with a toolbar and a JavaScript wrapper. In contrast the ModelText HTML editor is 100% Managed Code.

Markdown syntax; and other markup languages Some of these languages aren't as expressive as HTML (for example, BBCode doesn't support headings). For other elements like tables the markup isn't really much easier than raw HTML.

The various markdowns and markups each have their own syntax, which casual and non-expert users may not know.

There's no immediate visual feedback about whether the markup is correct (uness you implement a live preview, synchronized to the user's edits).

Raw HTML End users may not know HTML, or not want to think about it when they're concentrating on writing content.

Raw HTML can easily introduce markup bugs, for example elements without an end tag. Raw HTML can even introduce malicious behaviour, for example if the users types in <script> tags.

ModelText's editor was designed from scratch with WYSIWYM editing in mind:

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News Summary

August 2012
New Product Roadmap.
October 2011
"Finally, a 100% managed .NET code HTML renderer. Only 6 years after I originally wanted it..."
February 2011
New Support and Licensing.
October 2010
Recent comments include:
"nice work. thanks"
"This component works fine."
"this is a fantastic control!"
August 2010
Also released a CSS Parser and Doc to HTML Converter.
June 2010
See Release notes for further updates.
June 2010
Added the Download page.
January 2010
First version of this web site.