Announcing SkrivLet

We've just released our latest package for Umbraco, SkrivLet. This module gives you a new rich text editing experience, that also groups your content into blocks. We created it to give you more options over the build in rich text editor and Block List. But why do we need another editor?

If someone feels the need to use an editor, like Word, outside of the CMS, then we've failed in making our CMS UI work for our users

For years on the Gibe site we've been using Umbraco's Grid or Block List to author our blog posts, this gives us great flexibility but it's not the nicest editor experience. You often have to fit your content around the CMS. Take a look at this editor experience and you'll see it's quite fiddly to work with:

Blog Editor in blocks

I'd physically hunch my shoulders when typing into this box, it feels confined and fiddly to use. Yes, it gives you a lot of control, but it doesn't really work when you want to sit down and write some content.

To get around this people will often type their content in Word and copy and paste it in. Jeffrey Shoemaker did a talk on AI at Codegarden and was suggesting an AI tool that would take a Word document and turn it into Umbraco content. In my opinion if someone feels the need to use an editor, like Word, outside of the CMS, then we've failed in making our CMS UI work for our users. It should be comfortable to write something in the CMS. How could we achieve that?

What we want is an editor experience that feels as clean and as easy to use as Word, but inside the CMS. We want the UI for the editor stay out of the way until we need it. Let me concentrate on writing and not feel boxed in.

We basically want to mirror the open style of working in Word but have that in the CMS itself. In this way we can have something that feels more comfortable to work in and feels less restrictive. Let us apply the styling later or drop images, quotes or code in later if we want.

This is where SkrivLet comes in, it's based around the EditorJS experience. But it integrates it into Umbraco, incorporating media pickers and link pickers when needed. We've given it a very minimal UI so it doesn't get in the way. You can move, insert and reorder blocks as you need and it all feels much more natural to enter content. Skrivlet looks more like this:

Skrivlet Demo

We've also implemented a basic templating system allowing you to override the built in templates on your own site if needed. You can find more information in our SkrivLet documentation.

Please give it a try and let us know if there are areas we can improve. This is an early version and we've got big plans to make this the best editing experience in Umbraco for text based content such as blog posts and news articles.

About the Author

Steve Temple, Technical Director and co-founder of Gibe

Steve is Gibe's technical director and super brain behind the development of our major projects. With over 28 years of commercial experience, Steve is an expert in .NET, Umbraco and Microsoft technologies. Steve is also an Umbraco Certified Master and Microsoft MCSD