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Change the Default Editor to Joomla Content Editor (JCE)

A common complaint for many Joomla users is the editor that comes packaged with Joomla TinyMCE. In general, it’s a great editor, but Joomla Content Editor (JCE) makes it even easier for you to edit/add content with Joomla.

This blog post will show you how to install JCE and set it as the default Editor in Joomla. Also see how to allow different users to use a different editor than the default.

TinyMCE has improved the lives of content editors all over the globe. Joomla Content Editor (JCE) makes it even better.

Let’s get started.

Note: You will need to have a User that is in the Super Administrator or Administrator User Groups in order to install extensions.

JCE has a free version and a Pro/paid version. The free version for many is just fine. The Pro version extends what you can do and if you can afford it, I recommend it. See what is included in Pro. You can also demo it.


Download JCE

First let’s go download JCE.

For today, we’ll download the free version.

  • Scroll down to the Downloads section
  • click on the Editor link

click editor link

click editor core link

  • Scroll down to download the latest installation package for Joomla 3.x and 4.x.

As of today, that version is 2.8.15. It may be different when you are downloading it and that's fine.

  • Click the Download button

download latest version

  • Select Save File - making note of where it is being saved (I save to my desktop.)
  • Click OK.

save package file


Install JCE

  • Login to the backend of your Joomla website
  • Run a backup of your website.

This is best practice before installing extensions. Best practice is that you test that backup to verify it restores properly. See our course How to Maintain a Joomla 3 Site for more on how to backup your website

  • Click on Extensions -> Manage -> Install

extensions manage install

  • Click on the Upload Package File tab if you’re not on it already.

From here you have two choices on how to install:

  1. Drag and drop the file into the gray box
  2. Or browse for file button to navigate to where you saved the downloaded file from JCE

install package

  • Choose one of these and install the file package

You’ll see the Joomla logo working whilst installation is taking place.

package installing

Once you’ve installed JCE, you'll see confirmation on the page and it will appear in the Components drop-down.

jce installed

JCE in components menu

All the settings for JCE and how to use them can all be found on in our course How to use the Joomla Content Editor Extension.


Make JCE the Default Editor for All Users

To make JCE the default editor for all Users,

  • go to System -> Global Configuration

system global config

In the Site tab under the Site Settings heading, you’ll see a field called Default Editor.

  • Click in the field
  • Select Editor – JCE from the drop-down

default editor global config

  • Click Save & Close in the Top Toolbar.

Now, everywhere that an editor displays will display JCE.


How to Set a different User for Specific Users

What if you have a User that doesn’t want to use an editor at all? Perhaps they are HTML gurus and don’t need it. No problem, you can select a different editor for that single user. Here’s how to do it.

  • Go to Users -> Manage

users manage

  • Search for the User that you want to change the editor for
  • Click on that Users name to bring up their User information

In the Basic Settings tab,

  • click on the field for Editor
  • select Editor – None from the drop-down

change editor one user

  • Click Save & Close in the Top Toolbar

Now when that User edits an article or custom module, they will have no editor display. The rest will have the default editor unless their individual Basic Settings force a different editor.


About the author

Jenn has worked with Joomla since 2006 and for clients since 2010. She co-organised the JUG Bay Area for many years and volunteers for the Joomla! Project regularly. Originally from Santa Cruz, CA, she now lives near Austin, TX.