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Telerik RadEditor quirks

The v9 release of RedDot CMS OpenText Web Solutions Management Server has a killer feature: a new text editor based on Telerik RadEditor.Net. And for the most part it rocks. Our authors and editors love it. But there have been a few quirks. Here are the problems we have encountered, and the workarounds.

The curious case of the missing spellcheck button

On most — but not all — of our projects, the spellcheck button wasn’t showing up in the new text editor. The RadEditor toolbar looked like this:

Missing spellcheck button

Missing spellcheck button

It wasn’t the settings for the text elements, because on the same pages the spellcheck still worked in the old text editor. This was a real stumper, and it took OpenText support a while to come up with a solution, but they came through. In SmartTree, under Administer Project Settings » Project » General Settings, the Action Menu has an option to Edit Text Filter Options.


Edit Text Filter Options

For most — but not all — of our projects, we had Remove FONT tags checked. Un-checking this option brought the spellcheck button back to the Telerik RadEditor.


Spellcheck enabled

Which made our editorial staff very happy. Personally I think this is a bug. I checked the documentation, and the description of Remove FONT Tags doesn’t say anything about disabling spellcheck in one text editor (Telerik) but not the other (RedDot classic). OpenText support is aware of the issue (they came up with the work-around) and with any luck this will be fixed in a future release. After all, there is a reason we had Remove FONT Tags checked.

Weird characters on published pages

We also ran into problems with special characters in content pasted from Microsoft Word. With the classic RedDot text editor and the FCKEditor integrated with v7, special characters could be cleaned up with the HTML conversion table. For example, an em-dash would get pasted in a “—” and we updated our HTMLConvertTable.txt file to change that to on publish. With the Telerik RadEditor, our published pages weren’t getting that character conversion. In IE and Safari there was just a blank spot where the special characters should be, and in FireFox we’d see a strange block. Looking at the published files with a programmers’ text editor we discovered that the em-dash was being converted to a multibyte 0xEFBFBD sequence: the utf-8 hex representation of the Unicode replacement character.

Once again, OpenText support came through with a solution. The fix was to switch to utf-8. This meant updating our tidy.config file, and changing the published character set of our projects from “Server” to utf-8. This is done in SmartTree under Administer Project Settings » Language Variants » {variant} » Action Menu » Edit Language Variant.


Language Variant

Once we made these changes and republished the sites, everything looked fine in IE and Safari. But we ran into an issue with FireFox… the published pages looked very bad indeed. In many of our templates we had a content-type meta tag, e.g.,

<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />

Lesson learned: utf-8 content + iso-8859-1 content-type meta tag + FireFox = EPIC FAIL. Switching the content-type meta tag to

<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />

proved the necessary final step to getting special characters handled correctly.

Where’d my JavaScript go?

On some of our pages we include little JavaScript snippets. Using the classic RedDot text editor this was never a problem: switch to source code view, add your JavaScript, switch back to normal view, and save the page. This broke with Telerik RadEditor: it strips JavaScript from a text element whenever it loads the content in WYSIWYG view. We could add JavaScript in source code view and save it, but switching form source view to WYSIWYG view would strip it out again.

For this one OpenText support was less-than-helpful… “We are aware of this issue and have been in contact with our development team to resolve it.” Their solution was to switch back to the classic RedDot text editor, which wasn’t much help. The Telerik support forums, though, were full of people having similar issues with other implementations of Telerik RadEditor. It turns out that by default, RadEditor strips all <script> tags in its content area to reduce the possibility of cross-site scripting and other script-related problems. This page pointed to a simple solution, which worked.

Warning: this requires making a change to an installed RedDot CMS OpenText Web Solutions Management Server source file.

Line 61 of CMS/ASP/RadEditor.Net/RadEditor.aspx contains the ASP.Net statement that instantiates the Telerik RadEditor. You can change it from this:

<rade:radeditor id="editor" Runat="server" Skin="Skin" ToolsWidth="100%"></rade:radeditor>

To this:

<rade:radeditor id="editor" Runat="server" Skin="Skin" ToolsWidth="100%" AllowScripts="true"></rade:radeditor>

Adding the parameter AllowScripts="true" will allow you to work with JavaScript — it instructs RadEditor not to delete <script> tags. Remember that this is an unofficial modification made at your own risk. If you break it, OpenText won’t support you, so make a backup. This change will probably get overwritten the next time you install an update from OpenText. You have been warned.

Special bonus hack: word count

Poking around the RadEditor configuration files we found something else. RadEditor has a built-in word count function that is disabled in the OpenText installation. Again, this is an unauthorized at your own risk modification, but you can enable the word count with a quick edit to one of the configuration files. In the CMS/ASP/RadEditor.Net/Configuration/ folder is a file called ToolsFile.xml. Line 9 of the file looks like this:

<!-- <module name="CharCounter" dockingZone="Bottom" enabled="true" visible="true" dockable="false" ScriptFile="CharCounter.js"/> -->

Simply uncomment that line, i.e.

<module name="CharCounter" dockingZone="Bottom" enabled="true" visible="true" dockable="false" ScriptFile="CharCounter.js"/>

And the counter status line is enabled. In the text editor it looks like this:


Word and character count

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About the author:

Joshua Joshua Ellis is E-Marketing Manager for the Marketing and Communications department of Penn State Outreach. His team handles the technical and creative elements for many of Outreach's interactive marketing efforts, including Web design, e-mail marketing, and analytics support for Penn State's World Campus. Those with nothing better to do can follow Joshua Twitter as @apostate.


14 comments for “Telerik RadEditor quirks”

  1. Good tips. However, I updated our CMS to version 9 but don’t see the Telerik editor on Edit via Form dialogs. Am I missing a setting somewhere?

    Posted by Jim Noellsch | April 16, 2009, 2:57 am
  2. Did you switch the text editor in your project settings?

    And beside that check your Main Menu > User Settings > preferred text editor, this can overwrite the global project setting.

    Posted by Markus Giesen | April 16, 2009, 3:41 am
  3. Never mind…I am dumb. I swear that selection wasn’t available in the General project settings earlier.

    Posted by Jim Noellsch | April 16, 2009, 2:31 pm
  4. The really odd thing is – I believe you. Seems to be some random behaviour which might occur in that normally very reliable and especially predictable system. ;)

    Posted by Markus Giesen | April 17, 2009, 3:32 am
  5. I’ve been doing some RadEditor customizations myself and the JavaScript issue was perplexing me, so thanks for the Tip.

    I put the AllowScripts=”true” in the control tag and it didn’t work. I got some error about ” ‘true’ not valid for a boolean”.

    I had to do this instead:

    public void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e) {
    Page.PreRender += new EventHandler(MyPreRender);

    public void MyPreRender(object sender, EventArgs e) {

    It seemed to work fine only when I did it this way for some reason (completely contrary to what you’d expect from .NET).

    Posted by Christian Burne | April 29, 2009, 11:51 pm
  6. Thanks for the tip, Christian. That seemed to be the other way recommended by the Telerik documentation. Glad you were able to get it working… the technique I outlined only works because OpenText is using an older release of Telerik RadEditor. If OpenText ever upgrades to a newer release of Telerik RadEditor.Net — and fails to provide some way to set this from the server manager — the method you outline will be the only way to do it.

    Posted by Joshua | April 30, 2009, 1:59 pm
  7. I’ve not had the chance to test the v9 Telerik editor, only the one that comes with v10.

    How does the v9 version deal with the enter key when typing in content? Version 10’s Telerik editor creates linebreaks rather than the expected paragraphs.

    Just wondering if that has always been the case, or if it’s a new “feature”.

    Posted by Paul Smith | July 20, 2009, 11:14 am
  8. That seems to be a new “feature” of v10, and I hope there is some way to correct that behavior. In RedDot OpenText Web Solutions Management Server v9, hitting the [Enter] (or [Return]) key creates a new paragraph.

    Posted by Joshua | July 20, 2009, 2:37 pm
  9. We’re implementing RedDot at the moment and have a couple of questions about RadEditor usage in v9!

    Has anyone come up with a way to display the editor content in a font other than Times New Roman? We use Arial for our sites so have disabled the font selection option.

    Also, has anybody been able to add ‘table styles’ into the table wizard?

    Thanks in advance.

    Posted by AntonyG | July 23, 2009, 1:27 pm
  10. This text editor inserts <p> Tags only if you enter two or more paragraphs, but not if you enter one :-(

    Any solutions for that? We can’t put a script around every text field in every template now that checks for these tags, as we need them to get semantic code.

    <p>ONE paragraph IS STILL a paragraph…</p>

    Posted by Stefan Buchali | July 27, 2009, 4:52 pm
  11. We’re having problems with a lot of extra, unnecessary spaces being inserted into most pages after being edited. Does anyone know of a way to get the editor to display formatting characters such as spaces, tabs, line breaks etc in the way that Microsoft Word does?

    Posted by AntonyG | November 13, 2009, 9:59 am
  12. Hey,
    Did anyone find a workaround for Stefan Buchali question about the single paragraph of text with no p tags? we’re in the same boat here… i’ll go check the telerik forums and see if that helps.

    Posted by morgan ritchings | January 29, 2010, 1:52 am
  13. This might help… i’ll give this a try when i get the chance and will report back… http://www.telerik.com/community/forums/aspnet-ajax/editor/radeditor-single-paragraph-problem.aspx

    Posted by morgan ritchings | January 29, 2010, 1:55 am
  14. hi,

    Iam new to open text CMS and Live server.

    Actually in a project, “Telerik RadEditor” was used and meta title, description and keywork are given as Text placeholder.

    And I have updated the value in the page using “Edit element content”.

    When i view source the page, the content for the meta title, keyword and description are displaying with spaces in front and back of the text. Trying to get the extra spaces out of each line.

    Please help to get the extra spaces out of each line.

    Posted by Karthikeyan P S | October 28, 2010, 4:14 pm

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