EpicEditor is an embeddable JavaScript Markdown editor with split fullscreen editing, live previewing, automatic draft saving, offline support, and more. For developers, it offers a robust API, can be easily themed, and allows you to swap out the bundled Markdown parser with anything you throw at it.

Code Quality Rank: L2
Monthly Downloads: 0
Programming language: JavaScript
License: MIT License
Tags: Editors     Editor     Markdown     Embeddable    
Latest version: v0.2.3

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An Embeddable JavaScript Markdown Editor

EpicEditor is an embeddable JavaScript Markdown editor with split fullscreen editing, live previewing, automatic draft saving, offline support, and more. For developers, it offers a robust API, can be easily themed, and allows you to swap out the bundled Markdown parser with anything you throw at it.


Because, WYSIWYGs suck. Markdown is quickly becoming the replacement. GitHub, Stackoverflow, and even blogging apps like Posterous are now supporting Markdown. EpicEditor allows you to create a Markdown editor with a single line of JavaScript:

var editor = new EpicEditor().load();

Quick Start

EpicEditor is easy to implement. Add the script and assets to your page, provide a target container and call load().

Step 1: Download

Download the latest release or clone the repo:

$ git clone [email protected]:OscarGodson/EpicEditor

Step 2: Install

Copy EpicEditor/epiceditor/ onto your webserver, for example to /static/lib/epiceditor.

$ scp -r EpicEditor/epiceditor you@webserver:public_html/static/lib/

You can of course customize this step for your directory layout.

Step 3: Create your container element

<div id="epiceditor"></div>

Alternately, wrap an existing textarea to load the contents into the EpicEditor instance.

<div id="epiceditor"><textarea id="my-edit-area"></textarea></div>

Step 4: Add the epiceditor.js file

<script src="/static/lib/epiceditor/js/epiceditor.min.js"></script>

Step 5: Init EpicEditor

EpicEditor needs to know where to find its themes, so it needs to be told its install directory at init.

var editor = new EpicEditor({basePath: '/static/lib/epiceditor'}).load();



The EpicEditor constructor creates a new editor instance. Customize the instance by passing the options parameter. The example below uses all options and their defaults:

var opts = {
  container: 'epiceditor',
  textarea: null,
  basePath: 'epiceditor',
  clientSideStorage: true,
  localStorageName: 'epiceditor',
  useNativeFullscreen: true,
  parser: marked,
  file: {
    name: 'epiceditor',
    defaultContent: '',
    autoSave: 100
  theme: {
    base: '/themes/base/epiceditor.css',
    preview: '/themes/preview/preview-dark.css',
    editor: '/themes/editor/epic-dark.css'
  button: {
    preview: true,
    fullscreen: true,
    bar: "auto"
  focusOnLoad: false,
  shortcut: {
    modifier: 18,
    fullscreen: 70,
    preview: 80
  string: {
    togglePreview: 'Toggle Preview Mode',
    toggleEdit: 'Toggle Edit Mode',
    toggleFullscreen: 'Enter Fullscreen'
  autogrow: false
var editor = new EpicEditor(opts);


Option Description Default container The ID (string) or element (object) of the target container in which you want the editor to appear. epiceditor textarea The ID (string) or element (object) of a textarea you would like to sync the editor's content with. On page load if there is content in the textarea, the editor will use that as its content. basePath The base path of the directory containing the /themes. epiceditor clientSideStorage Setting this to false will disable localStorage. true localStorageName The name to use for the localStorage object. epiceditor useNativeFullscreen Set to false to always use faux fullscreen (the same as what is used for unsupported browsers). true parser Marked is the only parser built into EpicEditor, but you can customize or toggle this by passing a parsing function to this option. For example:parser: MyCustomParser.parse marked focusOnLoad If true, editor will focus on load. false file.name If no file exists with this name a new one will be made, otherwise the existing will be opened. container ID file.defaultContent The content to show if no content exists for a file. NOTE: if the textarea option is used, the textarea's value will take precedence over defaultContent. file.autoSave How often to auto save the file in milliseconds. Set to false to turn it off. 100 theme.base The base styles such as the utility bar with the buttons. themes/base/epiceditor.css theme.editor The theme for the editor which is the area you type into. themes/editor/epic-dark.css theme.preview The theme for the previewer. themes/preview/github.css button If set to false will remove all buttons. All buttons set to true. button.preview If set to false will remove the preview button. true button.fullscreen If set to false will remove the fullscreen button. true button.bar If true or "show", any defined buttons will always be visible. If false or "hide", any defined buttons will never be visible. If "auto", buttons will usually be hidden, but shown if whenever the mouse is moved. "auto" shortcut.modifier The key to hold while holding the other shortcut keys to trigger a key combo. 18 (alt key) shortcut.fullscreen The shortcut to open fullscreen. 70 (f key) shortcut.preview The shortcut to toggle the previewer. 80 (p key) string.togglePreview The tooltip text that appears when hovering the preview icon. Toggle Preview Mode string.toggleEdit The tooltip text that appears when hovering the edit icon. Toggle Edit Mode string.toggleFullscreen The tooltip text that appears when hovering the fullscreen icon. Enter Fullscreen autogrow Whether to autogrow EpicEditor to fit its contents. If autogrow is desired one can either specify true, meaning to use default autogrow settings, or an object to define custom settings false autogrow.minHeight The minimum height (in pixels) that the editor should ever shrink to. This may also take a function that returns the desired minHeight if this is not a constant, or a falsey value if no minimum is desired 80 autogrow.maxHeight The maximum height (in pixels) that the editor should ever grow to. This may also take a function that returns the desired maxHeight if this is not a constant, or a falsey value if no maximum is desired false autogrow.scroll Whether the page should scroll to keep the caret in the same vertical place while autogrowing (recommended for mobile in particular) true


Loads the editor by inserting it into the DOM by creating an iframe. Will trigger the load event, or you can provide a callback.

editor.load(function () {
  console.log("Editor loaded.")


Unloads the editor by removing the iframe. Keeps any options and file contents so you can easily call .load() again. Will trigger the unload event, or you can provide a callback.

editor.unload(function () {
  console.log("Editor unloaded.")


Grabs an editor element for easy DOM manipulation. See the Themes section below for more on the layout of EpicEditor elements.

  • container: The element given at setup in the options.
  • wrapper: The wrapping <div> containing the 2 editor and previewer iframes.
  • wrapperIframe: The iframe containing the wrapper element.
  • editor: The #document of the editor iframe (i.e. you could do editor.getElement('editor').body).
  • editorIframe: The iframe containing the editor element.
  • previewer: The #document of the previewer iframe (i.e. you could do editor.getElement('previewer').body).
  • previewerIframe: The iframe containing the previewer element.
someBtn.onclick = function () {
  console.log(editor.getElement('editor').body.innerHTML); // Returns the editor's content


Returns a boolean for the requested state. Useful when you need to know if the editor is loaded yet for example. Below is a list of supported states:

  • loaded
  • unloaded
  • edit
  • preview
  • fullscreen
fullscreenBtn.onclick = function () {
  if (!editor.is('loaded')) { return; }


Opens a client side storage file into the editor.

Note: This does not open files on your server or machine (yet). This simply looks in localStorage where EpicEditor stores drafts.

openFileBtn.onclick = function () {
  editor.open('some-file'); // Opens a file when the user clicks this button


Imports a string of content into a client side storage file. If the file already exists, it will be overwritten. Useful if you want to inject a bunch of content via AJAX. Will also run .open() after import automatically.

Note: This does not import files on your server or machine (yet). This simply looks in localStorage where EpicEditor stores drafts.

importFileBtn.onclick = function () {
  editor.importFile('some-file',"#Imported markdown\nFancy, huh?"); //Imports a file when the user clicks this button


Returns the plain text of the client side storage file, or if given a type, will return the content in the specified type. If you leave both parameters null it will return the current document's content in plain text. The supported export file types are:

Note: This does not export files to your server or machine (yet). This simply looks in localStorage where EpicEditor stores drafts.

  • text (default)
  • html
  • json (includes metadata)
  • raw (warning: this is browser specific!)
syncWithServerBtn.onclick = function () {
  var theContent = editor.exportFile();
  saveToServerAjaxCall('/save', {data:theContent}, function () {
    console.log('Data was saved to the database.');

rename(oldName, newName)

Renames a client side storage file.

Note: This does not rename files on your server or machine (yet). This simply looks in localStorage where EpicEditor stores drafts.

renameFileBtn.onclick = function () {
  var newName = prompt('What do you want to rename this file to?');
  editor.rename('old-filename.md', newName); //Prompts a user and renames a file on button click


Manually saves a file to client side storage (localStorage by default). EpicEditor will save continuously every 100ms by default, but if you set autoSave in the options to false or to longer intervals it's useful to manually save.

Note: This does not save files to your server or machine (yet). This simply looks in localStorage where EpicEditor stores drafts.

saveFileBtn.onclick = function () {


Deletes a client side storage file.

Note: This does not remove files from your server or machine (yet). This simply looks in localStorage where EpicEditor stores drafts.

removeFileBtn.onclick = function () {

getFiles([name], [excludeContent])

If no name is given it returns an object containing the names and metadata of all client side storage file objects. If a name is specified it will return just the metadata of that single file object. If excludeContent is true, it will remove the content from the returned object. This is useful when you just want a list of files or get some meta data. If excludeContent is false (default), it'll return a content property per file in plain text format.

Note: This does not get files from your server or machine (yet). This simply looks in localStorage where EpicEditor stores drafts.

var files = editor.getFiles();
for (x in files) {
  console.log('File: ' + x); //Returns the name of each file

on(event, handler)

Sets up an event handler (callback) for a specified event. For all event types, see the Events section below.

editor.on('unload', function () {
  console.log('Editor was removed');


Fires an event programatically. Similar to jQuery's .trigger()

editor.emit('unload'); // Triggers the handler provided in the "on" method above

removeListener(event, [handler])

Allows you to remove all listeners for an event, or just the specified one.

editor.removeListener('unload'); //The handler above would no longer fire


Puts the editor into preview mode.

previewBtn.onclick = function () {


Puts the editor into edit mode.

editBtn.onclick = function () {


Puts focus on the editor or previewer (whichever is visible). Works just like doing plain old JavaScript and input focus like someInput.focus(). The benefit of using this method however, is that it handles cross browser issues and also will focus on the visible view (edit or preview).

showEditorBtn.onclick = function () {
  editorWrapper.style.display = 'block'; // switch from being hidden from the user
  editor.focus(); // Focus and allow user to start editing right away


Puts the editor into fullscreen mode. A callback will be fired after the entering fullscreen animation completes. Some browsers will be nearly instant while others, mainly Chrome, take 750ms before this event is fired. If already in fullscreen, the callback will fire immediately.

Note: due to browser security restrictions, calling enterFullscreen programmatically like this will not trigger native fullscreen. Native fullscreen can only be triggered by a user interaction like mousedown or keyup.

enterFullscreenBtn.onclick = function () {
  editor.enterFullscreen(function () {
    console.log('Welcome to fullscreen mode!');


Closes fullscreen mode. A callback will be fired after the exiting fullscreen animation completes. If already not in fullscreen, the callback will fire immediately.

exitFullscreenBtn.onclick = function () {
  editor.exitFullscreen(function () {
    console.log('Finished closing fullscreen!');

reflow([type], [callback])

reflow() allows you to "reflow" the editor in it's container. For example, let's say you increased the height of your wrapping element and want the editor to resize too. You could call reflow and the editor will resize to fit. You can pass it one of two strings as the first parameter to constrain the reflow to either width or height.

It also provides you with a callback parameter if you'd like to do something after the resize is finished. The callback will return the new width and/or height in an object. Additionally, you can also listen for the reflow event. This will also give you back the new size.

Note: If you call reflow() or reflow('width') and you have a fluid width container EpicEditor will no longer be fluid because doing a reflow on the width sets an inline style on the editor.

// For an editor that takes up the whole browser window:
window.onresize = function () {

// Constrain the reflow to just height:
someDiv.resizeHeightHandle = function () {

// Same as the first example, but this has a callback
window.onresize = function () {
  editor.reflow(function (data) {
    console.log('width: ', data.width, ' ', 'height: ', data.height);


You can hook into specific events in EpicEditor with on() such as when a file is created, removed, or updated. Below is a complete list of currently supported events and their description.

Event Name Description create Fires whenever a new file is created. read Fires whenever a file is read. update Fires whenever a file is updated. remove Fires whenever a file is deleted. load Fires when the editor loads via load(). unload Fires whenever the editor is unloaded via unload() preview Fires whenever the previewer is opened (excluding fullscreen) via preview() or the preview button. edit Fires whenever the editor is opened (excluding fullscreen) via edit() or the edit button. fullscreenenter Fires whenever the editor opens in fullscreen via fullscreen() or the fullscreen button. fullscreenexit Fires whenever the editor closes in fullscreen via fullscreen() or the fullscreen button. save Fires whenever save() is called manually, or implicitly by importFile or open. autosave Fires whenever the autoSave interval fires, and the file contents have been updated since the last save. open Fires whenever a file is opened or loads automatically by EpicEditor or when open() is called. reflow Fires whenever reflow() is called. Will return the new dimensions in the callback. Will also fire every time there is a resize from autogrow.


Theming is easy in EpicEditor. There are three different <iframe>s which means styles wont leak between the "chrome" of EpicEditor, previewer, or editor. Each one is like it's own web page. In the themes directory you'll see base, preview, and editor. The base styles are for the "chrome" of the editor which contains elements such as the utility bar containing the icons. The editor is the styles for the contents of editor <iframe> and the preview styles are applied to the preview <iframe>.

The HTML of a generated editor (excluding contents) looks like this:

<div id="container">
  <iframe id="epiceditor-instance-id">
        <link type="text/css" id="" rel="stylesheet" href="epiceditor/themes/base/epiceditor.css" media="screen">
        <div id="epiceditor-wrapper">
          <iframe id="epiceditor-editor-frame">
                <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="epiceditor/themes/editor/epic-dark.css" media="screen">
              <body contenteditable="true">
                <!-- raw content -->
          <iframe id="epiceditor-previewer-frame">
                <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="epiceditor/themes/preview/github.css" media="screen">
                <div id="epiceditor-preview" class="epiceditor-preview">
                  <!-- rendered html -->
          <div id="epiceditor-utilbar">
            <span title="Toggle Preview Mode" class="epiceditor-toggle-btn epiceditor-toggle-preview-btn"></span>
            <span title="Enter Fullscreen" class="epiceditor-fullscreen-btn"></span>

Unlike the "chrome" of base or editor, the theming of the preview is done by CSS class so that you can reuse EpicEditor's theme to make your rendered page match your previewed.

First, include your chosen theme on every page:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="/epiceditor/themes/preview/github.css">

(you may need to adjust the path)

Mark your rendered content with .epiceditor-preview:

<div id="my-content" class="epiceditor-preview"> ... </div>

Custom Parsers

EpicEditor is set up to allow you to use any parser that accepts and returns a string. This means you can use any flavor of Markdown, process Textile, or even create a simple HTML editor/previewer (parser: false). The possibilities are endless. Just make the parser available and pass its parsing function to the EpicEditor setting and you should be all set. You can output plain text or HTML. Here's an example of a parser that could remove "bad words" from the preview:

var editor = new EpicEditor({
  parser: function (str) {
    var blacklist = ['foo', 'bar', 'baz'];
    return str.split(' ').map(function (word) {
      // If the word exists, replace with asterisks
      if (blacklist.indexOf(word) > -1) {
        return '****'
      return word;
    }).join(' ');

Here's a Wiki to HTML parser by Remy Sharp used with EpicEditor:

var editor = new EpicEditor({
  parser: function (str) {
    return str.wiki2html();

For even more customization and optimization you can replace the default built-in processor on build. Running jake build parser=path/to/parser.js will override the default Marked build and replace it with your custom script.


If you're having any problems with EpicEditor feel free to open a new ticket. Go ahead and ask us anything and we'll try to help however we can. You can also see if there's someone available at the #epiceditor IRC channel on irc.freenode.net. If you need a little more help with implementing EpicEditor on your site we've teamed up with CodersClan to offer support:


Contributions are greatly encouraged and appreciated. For more on ways to contribute please check the wiki: Contributing Guide.


EpicEditor relies on Marked to parse markdown and is brought to you in part by Oscar Godson and John Donahue. Special thanks to Adam Bickford for the bug fixes and being the QA for pull requests. Lastly, huge thanks to Sebastian Nitu for the amazing logo and doc styles.