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guideIntegrate CKEditor 5 with Next.js

Next.js is a React meta-framework that helps create full-stack web applications. It offers different rendering strategies like server-side rendering (SSR), client-side rendering (CSR), or static site generation (SSG). Additionally, it provides file-based routing, automatic code splitting, and other handy features out of the box.

Next.js 13 introduced a new App Router as an alternative to the previous Pages Router. App Router supports server components and is more server-centric than Pages Router, which is client-side oriented.

CKEditor 5 does not support server-side rendering yet, but you can integrate it with the Next.js framework. In this guide, you will add the editor to a Next.js project using both routing paradigms. For this purpose, you will need Next.js CLI, and the official CKEditor 5 React component.

# Using CKEditor 5 Builder

The easiest way to use CKEditor 5 in your Next.js application is configuring it with CKEditor 5 Builder and integrating it with your project. Builder offers an easy-to-use user interface to help you configure, preview, and download the editor suited to your needs. You can easily select:

  • the features you need,
  • the preferred framework (React, Angular, Vue or Vanilla JS),
  • the preferred distribution method.

You get ready-to-use code tailored to your needs! You can take the output from the builder, specifically the npm React snippet, and follow the npm path below. Just replace the content of the components/custom-editor.js file. The snippet may contain client-side hooks, so don’t forget about adding the 'use client' directive in the case of the App Router.

# Setting up the project

This guide assumes you already have a Next project. To create such a project, you can use CLI like create-next-app. Refer to the Next.js documentation to learn more.

# Installing from npm

First, install the CKEditor 5 packages:

  • ckeditor5 – package with open-source plugins and features.
  • ckeditor5-premium-features – package with premium plugins and features.

Depending on your configuration and chosen plugins, you may need to install the first or both packages.

npm install ckeditor5 ckeditor5-premium-features

Next.js is based on React, so install the CKEditor 5 WYSIWYG editor component for React, too:

npm install @ckeditor/ckeditor5-react

Next, you will use the installed dependencies in a React component. Create a new component in the components directory, for example, components/custom-editor.js. Inside the component file, import all necessary dependencies. Then, create a functional component that returns the CKEditor 5 React component. The below example shows how to use the component with open-source and premium plugins.

App Router, by default, uses server components. It means you need to mark a component as client-side explicitly. You can achieve that by using the 'use client' directive at the top of a file, above your imports. You do not need the directive if you use the Pages Router.

// components/custom-editor.js
'use client' // only in App Router

import { CKEditor } from '@ckeditor/ckeditor5-react';
import { ClassicEditor, Bold, Essentials, Italic, Mention, Paragraph, Undo } from 'ckeditor5';
import { SlashCommand } from 'ckeditor5-premium-features';

import 'ckeditor5/ckeditor5.css';
import 'ckeditor5-premium-features/ckeditor5-premium-features.css';

function CustomEditor() {
    return (
            editor={ ClassicEditor }
            config={ {
                toolbar: {
                    items: [ 'undo', 'redo', '|', 'bold', 'italic' ],
                plugins: [
                    Bold, Essentials, Italic, Mention, Paragraph, SlashCommand, Undo
                licenseKey: '<YOUR_LICENSE_KEY>',
                mention: { 
                    // Mention configuration
                initialData: '<p>Hello from CKEditor 5 in React!</p>'
            } }

export default CustomEditor;

The CustomEditor component is ready to be used inside a page. The page’s directory will differ depending on the chosen routing strategy.

CKEditor 5 is a client-side text editor and relies on the browser APIs, so you need to disable server-side rendering for our custom component. You can lazily load the component using the dynamic() function built into Next.js.

// app/page.js (App Router)
// pages/index.js (Pages Router)

import dynamic from 'next/dynamic';

const CustomEditor = dynamic( () => import( '@/components/custom-editor' ), { ssr: false } );

function Home() {
  return (
    <CustomEditor />

export default Home;

You can run your project now. If you chose create-next-app, type npm run dev to see your application in the browser.

If you have trouble seeing the editor, remember that the Next.js project ships with CSS files that can interfere with the editor. You can remove them or add your styling.

Also, pay attention to the import path - this guide uses the default import alias (@). If you did not configure it, change the path appropriately.