Format for representing rich text documents and changes
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Rich Text OT Type Build Status

An OT Type for rich text documents.

For documentation on the spec this type implements, see ottypes/docs. Rich Text does not implement the optional invert, but does implement normalize, tranformCursor, serialize, and deserialize. Please refer to ottypes/docs for documentation.

Rich Text uses quill-delta on the back end.


Operations are an Array of changes, each operation describing a singular change to a document. They can be an insert, delete or retain. Note operations do not take an index. They always describe the change at the current index. Use retains to "keep" or "skip" certain parts of the document.

Insert Operation

Insert operations have an insert key defined. A String value represents inserting text. Any other type represents inserting an embed (however only one level of object comparison will be performed for equality).

In both cases of text and embeds, an optional attributes key can be defined with an Object to describe additonal formatting information. Formats can be changed by the retain operation.

// Insert a bolded "Text"
{ insert: "Text", attributes: { bold: true } }

// Insert a link
{ insert: "Google", attributes: { href: '' } }

// Insert an embed
  insert: { image: '' },
  attributes: { alt: "Lab Octocat" }

// Insert another embed
  insert: { video: '' },
  attributes: {
    width: 420,
    height: 315

Delete Operation

Delete operations have a Number delete key defined representing the number of characters to delete. All embeds have a length of 1.

// Delete the next 10 characters
{ delete: 10 }

Retain Operation

Retain operations have a Number retain key defined representing the number of characters to keep (other libraries might use the name keep or skip). An optional attributes key can be defined with an Object to describe formatting changes to the character range. A value of null in the attributes Object represents removal of that key.

Note: It is not necessary to retain the last characters of a document as this is implied.

// Keep the next 5 characters
{ retain: 5 }

// Keep and bold the next 5 characters
{ retain: 5, attributes: { bold: true } }

// Keep and unbold the next 5 characters
// More specifically, remove the bold key in the attributes Object
// in the next 5 characters
{ retain: 5, attributes: { bold: null } }


This library was originally implemented as part of a full fledged Google Docs like product called Stypi. Eventually, parts were open sourced--the editor became Quill, the realtime engine became tandem and the document type became tandem-core.

ShareJS was a more established open source realtime collaboration engine, so tandem and tandem-core were deprecated to unify support under one project. tandem-core was rewritten as rich-text, to adhere to ShareJS's OT Type specification.

The needs of a realtime rich text document type was formerly a superset of a generalized rich text document type. As Quill has evolved, the reverse is becoming true. This rich-text library today provides the interface to use with ShareJS, but the underlying type and fuctionality is implemented in quill-delta.