Ckeditor integration gem for rails
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CKEditor is a WYSIWYG text editor designed to simplify web content creation. It brings common word processing features directly to your web pages. Enhance your website experience with our community maintained editor.


  • CKEditor version 4.7.1 full (28 Jun 2017)
  • Rails 5.0.x, 5.1.x, 4.2.x integration
  • Files browser
  • HTML5 file uploader
  • Hooks for formtastic and simple_form forms generators
  • Integrated with authorization framework CanCan and Pundit


For basic usage just include the ckeditor gem:

gem 'ckeditor'

or if you'd like to use the latest version from Github:

gem 'ckeditor', github: 'galetahub/ckeditor'

The last version works with Rails 3.2.x is 4.1.3

gem 'ckeditor', '4.1.3'

Include this inside your config/initializers/assets.rb:

Rails.application.config.assets.precompile += %w( ckeditor/*)

For file upload support, you must generate the necessary file storage models. The currently supported backends are:

  • ActiveRecord (paperclip, carrierwave, dragonfly, refile)
  • Mongoid (paperclip, carrierwave, dragonfly)

How to generate models to store uploaded files

ActiveRecord + paperclip

To use the active_record orm with paperclip (i.e. the default settings):

gem 'paperclip'

rails generate ckeditor:install --orm=active_record --backend=paperclip

ActiveRecord + carrierwave

gem 'carrierwave'
gem 'mini_magick'

rails generate ckeditor:install --orm=active_record --backend=carrierwave

ActiveRecord + refile

gem 'refile', require: "refile/rails"
gem 'refile-mini_magick'

rails generate ckeditor:install --orm=active_record --backend=refile

ActiveRecord + dragonfly

Requires Dragonfly 1.0 or greater.

gem 'dragonfly'

rails generate ckeditor:install --orm=active_record --backend=dragonfly

Mongoid + paperclip

gem 'mongoid-paperclip', require: 'mongoid_paperclip'

rails generate ckeditor:install --orm=mongoid --backend=paperclip

Mongoid + carrierwave

gem 'carrierwave-mongoid', require: 'carrierwave/mongoid'
gem 'mini_magick'

rails generate ckeditor:install --orm=mongoid --backend=carrierwave

Load generated models

All ckeditor models will be generated in the app/models/ckeditor directory. Models are autoloaded in Rails 4. For earlier Rails versions, you need to add them to the autoload path (in application.rb):

config.autoload_paths += %w(#{config.root}/app/models/ckeditor)

Mount the Ckeditor::Engine in your routes (config/routes.rb):

mount Ckeditor::Engine => '/ckeditor'


Load editor from gem vendor

Include ckeditor javascripts in your app/assets/javascripts/application.js:

//= require ckeditor/init

Make sure that you put it before:

//= require_tree .

Load editor via CKEditor CDN

Setup editor version to load (more info here

# in config/initializers/ckeditor.rb

Ckeditor.setup do |config|
  # //<version.number>/<distribution>/ckeditor.js
  config.cdn_url = "//"

In view template include ckeditor CDN:

= javascript_include_tag Ckeditor.cdn_url

Precompile ckeditor/config.js:

# in config/initializers/assets.rb

Rails.application.config.assets.precompile += %w(ckeditor/config.js)

Form helpers

= form_for @page do |form|
  = form.cktext_area :notes, class: 'someclass', ckeditor: { language: 'uk'}
  = form.cktext_area :content, value: 'Default value', id: 'sometext'
  = cktext_area :page, :info, cols: 40, ckeditor: { uiColor: '#AADC6E', toolbar: 'mini' }

It also works with bootstrap-form

= bootstrap_form_for resource do |form|
  = form.cktext_area :text, ckeditor: { language: 'uk'}

Customize ckeditor

All ckeditor options can be found here

In order to configure the ckeditor default options, create the following files:



Custom toolbars example

Adding a custom toolbar:

# in app/assets/javascripts/ckeditor/config.js

CKEDITOR.editorConfig = function (config) {
  // ... other configuration ...

  config.toolbar_mini = [
    ["Bold",  "Italic",  "Underline",  "Strike",  "-",  "Subscript",  "Superscript"],
  config.toolbar = "mini";

  // ... rest of the original config.js  ...

When overriding the default config.js file, you must set all configuration options yourself as the bundled config.js will not be loaded. To see the default configuration, run bundle open ckeditor, copy app/assets/javascripts/ckeditor/config.js into your project and customize it to your needs.

Install additional plugins

You should download necessary plugins with all dependencies and extract them in app/assets/javascripts/ckeditor/plugins/. After that you can include your plugins in app/assets/javascripts/ckeditor/config.js in this way:

CKEDITOR.editorConfig = function (config) {
  config.extraPlugins = 'eqneditor,autosave,';

Deployment (only if you use ckeditor from gem vendor)

For Rails 4 and 5, add the following to config/initializers/assets.rb:

Rails.application.config.assets.precompile += %w( ckeditor/* )

As of version 4.1.0, non-digested assets of Ckeditor will simply be copied after digested assets were compiled. For older versions, use gem non-stupid-digest-assets, to copy non digest assets.

To reduce the asset precompilation time, you can limit plugins and/or languages to those you need:

# in config/initializers/ckeditor.rb

Ckeditor.setup do |config|
  config.assets_languages = ['en', 'fr']
  config.assets_plugins = ['image', 'smiley']

Note that you have to list your plugins, including all their dependencies.

Include customized CKEDITOR_BASEPATH setting

Add your app/assets/javascripts/ckeditor/basepath.js.erb like

  base_path = ''
  if ENV['PROJECT'] =~ /editor/i
    base_path << "/#{Rails.root.basename.to_s}/"
  base_path << Rails.application.config.assets.prefix
  base_path << '/ckeditor/'
var CKEDITOR_BASEPATH = '<%= base_path %>';


jQuery sample:

<script type='text/javascript' charset='UTF-8'>
    $('form[data-remote]').bind('ajax:before', function(){
      for (instance in CKEDITOR.instances){

Formtastic integration

= form.input :content, as: :ckeditor
= form.input :content, as: :ckeditor, input_html: { ckeditor: { height: 400 } }

SimpleForm integration

Note that the toolbar option should match the case specified in the config. If the config is not found it defaults to all available toolbar items.

i.e. config.toolbar_mini becomes {toolbar: 'mini'} in the form.

= form.input :content, as: :ckeditor, input_html: { ckeditor: { toolbar: 'Full' } }

Turbolink integration

Create a file app/assets/javascripts/

ready = ->
  $('.ckeditor').each ->
    CKEDITOR.replace $(this).attr('id')

$(document).on('page:load', ready)

Make sure the file is loaded from your app/assets/javascripts/application.js

CanCan integration

To use cancan with Ckeditor, add this to an initializer:

# in config/initializers/ckeditor.rb

Ckeditor.setup do |config|
  config.authorize_with :cancan

At this point, all authorization will fail and no one will be able to access the filebrowser pages. To grant access, add this to Ability#initialize:

# Always performed
can :access, :ckeditor   # needed to access Ckeditor filebrowser

# Performed checks for actions:
can [:read, :create, :destroy], Ckeditor::Picture
can [:read, :create, :destroy], Ckeditor::AttachmentFile

Pundit integration

Just like CanCan, you can write this code in your config/initializers/ckeditor.rb file:

Ckeditor.setup do |config|
  config.authorize_with :pundit

Then, generate the policy files for model Picture and AttachmentFile

$ rails g ckeditor:pundit_policy

By this command, you will got two files:

app/policies/ckeditor/picture_policy.rb app/policies/ckeditor/attachment_file_policy.rb

By default, only the user that logged in can access the models (with actions index and create) and only the owner of the asset can destroy the resource.

You can customize these two policy files as you like.

Engine configuration

  • To override the default CKEditor routes create a config.js file within the host application at app/assets/javascripts/ckeditor/config.js
  • To override the default parent controller
# in config/initializers/ckeditor.rb

Ckeditor.setup do |config|
  config.parent_controller = 'MyController'


    page_title: 'CKEditor Files Manager'
    confirm_delete: 'Delete file?'
      cancel: 'Cancel'
      upload: 'Upload'
      delete: 'Delete'
      next: 'Next'


$> rake test CKEDITOR_BACKEND=paperclip
$> rake test CKEDITOR_BACKEND=carrierwave
$> rake test CKEDITOR_BACKEND=refile
$> rake test CKEDITOR_BACKEND=dragonfly
$> rake test CKEDITOR_ORM=mongoid

$> rake test:controllers
$> rake test:generators
$> rake test:integration
$> rake test:models

This project rocks and uses the MIT-LICENSE.