Track changes and comments - overview
If you prefer a more traditional approach to collaboration with asynchronous document editing, the track changes and comments plugins can be added to CKEditor 5 just like any other plugins. These features are, however, not pre-bundled in any of the editor builds. You need to use the online builder to incorporate them into your build and hold an active subscription.
# Track changes
The standalone track changes plugin for CKEditor 5 allows multiple users to collaborate on the same document in an asynchronous, non-real-time mode.
It enables the track changes mode (also known as the “suggestion mode”) in CKEditor 5 WYSIWYG editor. In this mode, changes done by users are marked in the content and shown as suggestions in the sidebar. Suggestions can be accepted or discarded by the users. The suggestion balloon is then closed and the change is no longer marked.
Track changes do not require real-time collaboration to work (although it can be used together with real-time collaboration, too).
The track changes feature is highly customizable. The customization possibilities include theme, display mode, view templates and custom views.
You can read more about this feature and see the demo on the Track changes product page.
The standalone comments plugin for CKEditor 5 makes it possible to add comments to any part of rich-text content, including text and block elements such as embedded media or images.
Commented content is marked as highlighted and a corresponding comment balloon is displayed in the sidebar or inline. Comments can be added, edited, deleted, and replied to, allowing the users to collaborate on the same document directly in the rich-text editor.
The comments feature can be used together with real-time collaboration or as a standalone plugin where the comments are saved in your application using a custom integration.
A comments-only mode is available, too, if you want to limit the user permissions and only allow them to add comments to the document, but not edit it directly.
You can read more about this feature and see the demos on the Comments product page.
# Trial limitations
Please note that the trial versions of these plugins, while keeping all the functions, only allow for limited use.
When used in the trial mode, the track changes and comments plugins allow conducting about 600 operations within the editor (such as typing, creating a table, etc.) while retaining full functionality. Once this limit is reached, the plugin goes into read-only mode. An error message will then be produced, informing the user that the trial has reached its limit.
If the Context plugin is used with the editor, the trial will instead work for 10 minutes, before turning into read-only mode, producing the same message.
The functionality may be restored by reloading the editor instance (remember to save the content as refreshing will clear all the data).
# Using the Track changes and comments features
Please refer to the Quick start guide for information on how to start using the track changes and comments plugins.