Installing TinyMCE WYSIWYG Editor on Drupal


Despite several variants of helpful text on the net, I couldn’t quite sort out the very first steps of installation, especially specifically what the folder tree looks like, so I ended up with modules\tinymce\tinymce\tinymce. I knew something was wrong without complaints in red from the Admin screen. With a bit more furtling, I succeeded, so here’s my offering. I hope it helps you.

My confusion was partly supported by there being *two* zip files called tinymce, and the instructions did not clarify which one unzips to where.

I was using Drupal 5.

  • You get the *big* zip file directly from This is the generic package which can be used in a variety of CMSes, not just Drupal; I had;
  • You also need to get a *small* zip file which is just for Drupal. I had tinymce-5.x-1.9.tar.gz

Remember that both these files have been correctly packed with "tinymce" as their root folder. So when you unpack them, at least with WinZip, whatever folder you nominate as a destination, the "tinymce" folder will get made there, then the contents underneath.

  • Unzip *big* zip file, extract it to your-root/modules/tinymce This means it will create your-root/modules/tinymce/tinymce (yes that's tinymce twice). And hence you get folders of:
    • \modules\tinymce\tinymce\docs
    • \modules\tinymce\tinymce\examples
    • \modules\tinymce\tinymce\jscripts
  • Unzip *small* zip file, extract it to your-root/modules, without specifying the "tinymce". And hence you get folders of:
    • \modules\tinymce\plugins
    • \modules\tinymce\po, as well as
    • \modules\tinymce\tinymce etc from the previous *big* unzip.

Tree of folders after TinyMCE installed on Drupal

After that, the existing instructions about roles are all quite satisfactory. To repeat the substance of them:

  • If you are on a completely new installation, then go to Administer > User management > Roles and create roles such as admin, owner, editor and so on. You'll probably need these roles anyway, not just for using TinyMCE
  • Go to Administer > Site Buidling > Modules, scroll down to see the panel "Other" containing a row for "TinyMCE". Tick the box to enable it and click "Save configuration" button.
  • Click Administer again, and look across right to click "By Module". Scroll down to the TinyMCE section. Click TinyMce and create a User Profile, via Basic Setup with a name, click the role(s) and probably choose "Default state: enabled". This should suffice to get TinyMCE working. Later you can revisit this page, to fine-tune the other options, principally which buttons you want displayed. The defaults are pretty sensible.
  • Go to Administer > User management > Access control ["Roles" in Drupal 6]. You will see columns, (one for each Role), and rows (one for each aspect of control). Scroll down to see a panel for the tinymce module, and two permissions: access tinymce and administer tinymce. Tick whatever check boxes suit your purpose. In my case as admin, I want my client ("owner") to be able to use ("access") TinyMCE, but not to fiddle with its setup. I keep that privilege safely with me, where it belongs.
  • Don't forget to click the "Save permissions" button at the bottom.

Permissions for TinyMCE on Drupal

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