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CKEditor 5 v21.0.0 with autolink and export to Word released

We are happy to announce the release of CKEditor 5 v21.0.0 that introduces further additions for the link feature, including the long-awaited autolink. Coupled with the enhanced link text edition, it will make your linking experience like nothing before. New ways to manage image resizing have been added, too. Last but not least, you can now export your document to the Microsoft Word .docx format. Read on for more details!

# New rich text editor features

Following your feedback, in this iteration, we continued our work on the image feature, focusing on introducing a convenient way to resize images. This release also brings several improvements to the link feature, including the much-awaited possibility to automatically create links as you type. In addition to that, we are happy to announce the beta release of our new Export to Word plugin that will allow you to produce .docx documents straight from CKEditor 5 WYSIWYG editor.

As always, we are looking forward to your feedback and are thankful for any comments, recommendations, and bug reports that you are sharing with us. These help us keep going and choose the right direction, so keep them coming!

Go through the list below to learn more about the new rich text editor features and make sure to check out the demos and documentation that accompany them.

Have you ever been bothered by putting a website URL or an email in your document and having to turn it manually into a link? This is no more! Welcome to the long-awaited autolink feature!

Once enabled, this useful functionality will automatically turn any pasted or typed link or email address into a valid live link and all that on the go! Simply keep on typing, press Space (or Enter or even Shift+Enter) and CKEditor 5 will turn the text into an active link.

You can test this optional feature and learn how to install it in the Autolink section of the Link guide.

Turning the links live on the go with the autolink feature of CKEditor 5 WYSIWYG editor.
Turning the links live on the go with the autolink feature of CKEditor 5 WYSIWYG editor.

Autolink complements other productivity-related features of CKEditor 5 WYSIWYG editor such as autoformatting and automatic text transformation (autocorrect), so make sure you check them out to improve your writing experience.

# Enhanced image resizing

Images were one of the most important elements of the World Wide Web already back in the 90s. Nowadays a website or a document without rich media is hard to imagine. We realize this and keep improving the way CKEditor 5 handles images. This release thus introduces new, easier and more convenient ways of dealing with the image size. In addition to the image resize handles everyone is already familiar with, now the editor offers the ability to use handy resize buttons right from the image toolbar. These let the user change the image’s dimensions to predefined sizes.

Depending on the individual needs, the new dimensions may come in percents or pixels. The UI may be additionally configured, too, coming either as a dropdown list and as standalone buttons in the image toolbar. Note that this feature is not enabled by default in any of the editor builds so it is up to you to add it and set it up in any way you want.

Dedicated image resize buttons in CKEditor 5 WYSIWYG editor.
Dedicated image resize buttons in CKEditor 5 WYSIWYG editor.

Managing your images inside the document has never been more convenient than now! Try it for yourself in the expanded Image guide where all the new features come with live demos.

# Export to Word

A new important feature has entered the beta stage. Export to Word allows you to easily print your WYSIWYG editor content to the Microsoft Word .docx format.

In order to create a Word file directly from the editor, work on your document in CKEditor 5 and click the Export to Word button to activate the plugin. It sends the content of your editor together with the styles that are used to display it to the CKEditor Cloud Services HTML to DOCX converter service. The service then generates a Word document that can be downloaded by the user.

Bear in mind this is still in beta stage and not all styles and text features are supported yet. Refer to the Export to Word guide for the details on the feature advancement. We count on your feedback to help us develop it further in a way that would be most useful to you — do not hesitate to contact us and let us know what we should focus on next!

This is a premium feature but during the beta phase, it is free to use for everyone.

Exporting the edited rich text document to Word .docx format from CKEditor 5 WYSIWYG editor.
Exporting the edited rich text document to Word .docx format from CKEditor 5 WYSIWYG editor.

# Other improvements

More changes were introduced in this release to make the editor easier and faster to use. These enhancements include:

# Disabling widget type around

The recently introduced improvements to typing around widgets enable dedicated buttons and fake caret that allow users to insert paragraphs before or after widget elements, in places where it is normally impossible to place the caret due to limitations of the web browsers. Although this feature boosts the productivity and ease of typing, some integrations may not want or need it.

The situation when this comes in handy may include fixed-layout editors where the widgets should never be moved or situations where the feature UI collides with your application. The newly introduced changes to this feature allow turning it off in certain contexts using several approaches. The administrator may, for example, hide the insert paragraph buttons around widgets or disable the feature completely.

Refer to the Deep dive into widget internals guide to learn more.

Widget type around buttons in CKEditor 5 WYSIWYG editor.
Widget type around buttons in CKEditor 5 WYSIWYG editor.

# Breaking changes

This release introduces some major breaking changes. Make sure to check the changelog when upgrading to CKEditor 5 v21.0.0.

# What’s next?

We will continue working on new rich text editing features and improving the existing ones along the way. The next features on our radar are:

  • Further enhancements to images in the form of inserting images via a URL.
  • Plain text paste formatting to inherit the document style.
  • List styling improvements to easily change list markers.
  • The elementToElement conversion API improvements.

Follow the iteration 35 roadmap for the news and to learn more.

# Download

CKEditor 5 builds can be downloaded from the CDN, npm or as zip packages. Read more in the Installation guide.

# License

CKEditor 5 is available under Open Source and Commercial licenses. Full details can be found on our license page.

# Reporting issues and contributing

You can report all issues for any of the CKEditor 5 packages in the CKEditor 5 repository. Read more in the Reporting issues guide.

# Support

The CKEditor 5 documentation is growing and always up to date. Community support is available through Stack Overflow. Read more in the Getting support guide.

Do you work with a multitude of documents on various systems? Are they formal or destined to print? There is a must-have feature for you — Export to PDF, available for CKEditor 4 and 5. Create your content in a WYSIWYG editor and keep all your documents in a portable, final format widely accepted by business and tech; deliver the highest quality experience to your end-users and associates and boost your efficiency!

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