Firefox 3 to support web page contents editing

Firefox globeRecent Firefox 3 nightlies now includes support for HTML contentEditable property.This property allows a user to edit sections marked with contentEditable = “true” of the local copy of a web page to better suit his needs. Other browsers including Safari and Internet Explorer already support this feature but I verified that Firefox provides more editing capabilities.

I created a simple web page with a couple of paragraphs, a table and some pictures embedded to play with. While Safari and Internet Explorer allowed me to edit the title and other text areas, images were not draggable in the case of Internet Explorer while Safari made copies instead of moving it around. In addition Firefox let me easily add, delete and resize table rows and columns.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.mozillalinks.org//swf/contenteditable.swf" height="362" width="462" /]

One obvious conclusion is that contenEditable implementation is terribly different among different web browsers so I think it will take a long while before editable content becomes a common feature web developers can rely on.

Firefox’s implementation has some problems of its own: at some moments scrolling the web page seemed to confuse it and row and column action icons (to delete and add ros or columns) were not overlayed properly leading to some odd behavior. This is a between-alphas implementation so it’s no surprise.

Gran Paradiso Alpha 6 is expected for today. We’ll see if it makes it on time or gets a bit delayed like Alpha 5.

6 Comments

  1. Ace_NoOne June 30, 2007 3:55 am 

    I don’t quite see the benefit in this; could anyone enlighten me?

  2. Percy July 3, 2007 6:22 pm 

    Ace_NoOne, I think it’s definitely not obvious what the benefit could be. I imagine for example easier interfaces where you can organize photos, notes or documents just dragging them around. Or to remove content you don’t want to see when printing (a la Aardvark).

    However since as I’ve mentioned, the implementation of contentEditable varies significantly from browser to browser I think it will be years before we see actual applications using this.

  3. Andrew Shumate July 11, 2007 1:42 am 

    It doesn’t work for me. The only thing I can edit is the header.

  4. Marioz May 11, 2008 3:13 pm 

    Setting a DIV with contentEditable makes the content really editable, but the execCommand does not seem to work anymore !
    Added a document.execCommand(“bold”, false, null) to the page and nothing happens.

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