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Issues with the FCKeditor

Editor won't load - get an error or a plain text box but no toolbar

If the FCKeditor cannot be loaded for some reason then it will display the error: "The browser you are using doesn't support Rich Text Editor, Please use a supported browser" or it may just show up as a normal text box, without the usual FCKeditor toolbars.

The usual three culprits are:

  • The ServerURL is wrong (see Wrong URL).
  • FCKeditor doesn't recognise your browser. In LAMS 2.0.x, you could only use Internet Explorer or Firefox. In LAMS 2.1 you can use Safari and Opera as well. Other browsers may not work.
  • Some other javascript on the page has failed, stopping the FCKEditor stuff initialising. If neither of the first two apply, then have a look for other Javascript errors on the page and get them fixed.

Security error when uploading image to fckeditor

When trying to upload an image inside the fckeditor, a javascript popup says 'Security error. You probably don't have enough permissions to upload. Please check your server.' (e.g. thumbnail below)
  Image Added

It probably means your $JBOSS_HOME/server/default/deploy/lams.ear/lams-www.war/secure directory is not writable by the user that jboss is running as. Check your directory permissions. Would also be worth checking the repository, dump and temp dirs as set in the lams_configuration table, as these must be writable by the jboss server as well.

Strange link behaviour with Safari


  • If you want to create a link using the link button, you must type in the link's name, highlight the text and then click the link button. If you just click the link button and enter a URL, it will not create the link. (FCKeditor Bug Report)

Word text paste warning only appears sometimes

If you paste text from Word into an FCKEditor, if you use IE then you get a warning "The text you want to paste seems to be copied from Word. Do you want to clean it before posting?". If you accept the prompt, it opens the Word paste dialogue window.

If you paste the same text into Firefox, the prompt does not appear. So when you use Firefox you have to remember to use the special Word paste button.

Wiki Markup
<\!\--\[lams:xxxx\]-\-> appears in text pasted from Word

Wiki Markup
The effect of pasting text from Word is different depending on whether you use Firefox or IE. If you are pasting text into the HTML Editor in Firefox from Word and the text is part of a list, you might get <\!\--\[lams:if \!supportLists\]-\-> in the text. But it is only seen on the screen in IE (not in Firefox), so it probably won't be discovered till a learner goes in in IE. This was discovered while entering question text in the survey tool.

It has to do with differences between IE and Firefox - for a full explanation see

To avoid the problem:

  • If you want to paste into the FCKEditor from Word then do it into IE as it does a better job of cleaning up the horrible HTML that Word uses. Particularly if you are using any of the Word list formats (bullet points, numbered lists).
  • If you want to use Firefox then don't try to copy any lists (or parts of lists) from Word into the FCKEditor or if you do then after pasting from Word you should go to source, clear out any of the HTML that has come from Word and then use FCKEditor's buttons to reformat your text.

Previously Upload Image doesn't appear in FCKEditor