Table of contents
- What is a Text Editor?
- Basic and advanced features of a Text Editor
- Importance of using a Text Editor in 2022
- 1. It improves user experience by going beyond regular text editing
- 2. It has a place on most websites and web apps
- 3. It allows non-technical users to build pages or make content with little or no coding
- Benefits of third-party Text Editors
A text editor is one of the most popular and relevant pieces of software. And that still applies today, because making software nowadays involves using plenty of tools that increase efficiency and product quality. Test automation software, APIs, and frameworks are among these helpful tools. Each one has its own uses and benefits, and having a combination of them in your development can be beneficial. But today, we’ll be talking about text editors and why they’re still important in 2022. Before we get to that, though, let’s define what a text editor is.
What is a Text Editor?
A text editor is a software application that, like its name suggests, lets users edit text. They’ve been around for decades and have been improved and changed drastically throughout the years. Text editors may refer to pure text editors or WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editors. However, they can often be used interchangeably.
The former allows for the creation and modification of code and provides syntax highlighting, keyboard shortcuts, toolbars, and other features that revolve around making coding easier. It’s recommended for more experienced developers and those who prefer coding first then reloading a page to see any changes in code.
On the other hand, WYSIWYG HTML editors show users what a page will look like through an editing interface. That is, they allow users to see changes in code as they will appear in a rendered browser page. They also require little to no coding. This makes them a solid choice for new developers or those with little time to code but plenty to do.
In this article, we will focus more on WYSIWYG HTML editors, so whenever you read “text editor”, you’ll know we’re referring to them. To determine the importance of using text editors, we need to review their features.
Basic and advanced features of a Text Editor
Every text editor has unique characteristics, but all of them have common editing features. These help developers process text and layouts (like in word applications), add/edit images and other files, collaborate, and more. The ideal HTML editor features consist of the following:
- Basic rich text editing features (font and paragraph styling and formatting, highlighting, undo/redo, etc.)
- Adding and handling tables
- Math equation support
- Word and character count
- Spelling and grammar checker
- Seamless copy/paste (with or without preserving format) or drag and drop into editor
- Uploading and processing (crop, rotate, flip, etc.) images and other files
- Markdown and HTML support
- Multiple language support
- Accessibility features
- Real-time editing and mentions
- Tracking changes in editor content
- Exporting as PDF
- Quick insert
Having all or many of these features in your text editor will greatly enhance the user experience of your application. This means that your users will be capable of doing more with the editor, which leads to better enjoyment and trust.
Now that you have seen the features you can find in the best text editors, we can discuss how text editors impact the success of software applications in 2022.
Importance of using a Text Editor in 2022
Just how important is an HTML text editor in 2022? The fact that you can see them almost anywhere on the internet tells us that they’re very important and relevant. Here are some of the reasons why you need a text editor in your application in 2022.
1. It improves user experience by going beyond regular text editing
Do your users need to write and publish content, make comments, send emails, or message others within a single application? Then you might need a text editor. These editors are mostly used for content creation and editing, and offer far more benefits than regular text components.
For example, in social media, text editors are used for posting content, adding comments, and sending messages (3 features that one component can handle!). They usually allow users to not only send text data to the platform but also control how text is displayed. Users can even add links, emojis, GIFs, images, and other files, and edit media files before uploading the post. This holds true for posts, comments, and messages alike.
You can always use regular text components such as basic text input and textarea fields, but can you imagine using a social media site with just those? It would bore and tire users with all the repetitive reading they would do. What’s even worse is that you would have to have a separate element for uploading files, which is not user-friendly and would be hard to maintain.
By giving your users a text editor with plenty of features, you’ll give them the freedom to be creative with what they share. Furthermore, users will be delighted that they can make multiple things (write, upload images, add emojis, etc.) using just one component. This also makes your application a lot more user-friendly and enjoyable to use, helping you retain your users and attract new ones.
2. It has a place on most websites and web apps
As I’ve said earlier, text editors are everywhere on the internet. This means that they are applicable to different types of websites and applications. Because of the content-centric nature of text editors, developers implement them whenever they need a way for users to post content. So whatever your project is, as long as you allow your users to create and share content, you can always include a text editor in it.
You will often find text editors in the following platforms:
- Social media
- CMS (Content Management Systems)
- Website builders
- LMS (Learning Management Systems)
- Email software
- Online collaboration and productivity tools (including online word processors)
- Other content-heavy apps
Text editors empower your users to share their thoughts and ideas (which you should regulate for your community through strong policies, of course). And in this day and age, users appreciate platforms that let them express themselves.
3. It allows non-technical users to build pages or make content with little or no coding
Finally, what makes text editors so important in 2022 is that they make web content creation, publishing, and editing widely available. The start of the pandemic in 2020 made things difficult for most businesses, especially smaller ones. At the same time, many new businesses across various industries emerged. For these small and new businesses, setting up or building a web presence, especially a website, is important. Fortunately, they can use text editors for this.
Non-technical users can make use of third-party text editors integrated into an application (e.g., website builders and CMS) to build the website that they envision and need. This will take them considerably shorter time compared to studying web development and coding from scratch. By using website creation tools with built-in text editors, non-technical business owners, or those looking to save time, can quickly establish their presence online. On the other hand, developers and technical business owners can implement their own text editors in their content-heavy applications for others to use.
Text editors make sure that as many people as possible can create their own web content and websites without a lot of effort. Because of this, they have become an integral part of the new normal and will continue to do so for many years to come.
From what we discussed, we can now see the importance and popularity of text editors today. And with that, you should know that there’s an easier way to implement a text editor within your application. This refers to the use of ready-made or third-party text editors.
Benefits of third-party Text Editors
Third-party text editors are carefully designed and complete solutions for HTML editing. Some are open-source while others are paid (some of them offer a free trial or free plan, though), but all of them are worth exploring. Here are some of the ways third-party text editors can help:
- They save you a lot of time – Since third-party text editors already have all the features your users need, there’s no need for you to go reinventing the wheel. Instead, you only have to install or load the editor of your choice, make customizations and adjustments, and you’re good to go. After that, you can focus on your application’s primary features.
- You don’t have to maintain them – Third-party text editors are automatically updated and continually tested, reducing the number of things you have to maintain.
- They come with language and accessibility features – Third-party text editors usually support plenty of languages and offer accessibility, making sure that your app will cater to as many users as possible. It will also be easier to comply with regulations such as WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0) when you include an editor that’s already compliant.
In this article, we tackled the importance of using a text editor for applications in 2022. Text editors are highly important tools in software development. That’s why they’re still relevant. They increase the quality of software and make users happy. So why not use one the next time you need content editing in your website or application?
Aaron Dumona former writer for Froala, showcased exceptional talent and dedication during their tenure with the company.