Textile Editor Helper

The Textile Editor Helper (TEH) is a text formatting toolbar that will be added to all of your text areas that utilize the TEH feature. TEH was developed to provide a more WYSIWYG-ish option for our users when editing pages or creating blog posts. It’s only WYSIWYG-ish because the helper does not provide a preview mechanism built-in. Check out a quick video demo of TEH in action.

Live demo

You’ve seen the video, but maybe you (like us) are too lazy to install the plugin just yet. Well, now you can try out TEH with the live demo.


These are a list of the current features for the Textile Editor Helper v0.2.

  • supports: IE 6 + 7, FF 1.5 + 2, & Safari 2
  • ability to use “simple” vs. “extended” editor
  • supports all block elements in textile except footnote
  • supports all block modifier elements in textile
  • supports simple ordered and unordered lists
  • supports most of the phrase modifiers, very easy to add the missing ones
  • supports multiple-paragraph modification
  • can have multiple “editors” on one page, access key use in this environment is flaky
  • access key support
  • select text to add and remove tags, selection stays highlighted
  • seamlessly change between tags and modifiers
  • doesn’t need to be in the body onload tag
  • can supply your own, custom IDs for the editor to be drawn around (for real, thanks Chris W.)
  • add custom buttons (see directions)

Get the Textile Editor Helper

or download the zipped version if you’re not using Rails.

Using the Textile Editor Helper

Directions to get the helper up and running for your install after you’ve grabbed it:

  1. make sure you have prototype.js linked in your page
  2. run rake textile_editor_helper:install
  3. for the textarea(s) that you want to add the TEH toolbar to replace the text area tag(s) with: <%= textile_editor ‘object’, ‘field’ -%> just like writing a text area tag, same options
  4. at the end of your form put in the following code: <%= textile_editor_initialize -%> Important!
  5. save your view and check it out

Please Note: Prototype is a dependency for TEH. We use it to do the onload.


The Textile Editor Helper was created by Dave Olsen (JavaScript) and Chris Scharf (Ruby/Rails) of West Virginia University Web Services . The JS was inspired by Patrick Woods & Alex King . We also used Silk Icons for the buttons in TEH.