I have been working on a way to transform Drupal into a terribly simple website management system. I use Drupal for all my clients, most of which are small businesses with 10-15 pages. It works very well for many things, such as content editing, user management, and document uploads.

But where Drupal really lacks in usability is a simple way to manage menus, blocks, forms, and media within the content. (images, flash, links to uploaded files) It seems easy enough for many of us, with Drupal experience, but for a first-time computer-illiterate user, Drupal is quite overwhelming.

So what I've done is created a few modules to simplify these more common tasks. I've created a drag/drop menu manager for primary links (not too different from D6), a drag/drop block manager which focuses on per-page block management rather than complicated filters. The biggest challenge I'm having right now is coming up with a simple way to add media to the content. I've tried IMCE, Asset module, etc..., and while they might make it easier than before to add images, they're still missing the brain-dead simplicity factor. For example, when I choose to add an image with FCK Editor I'm first brought to a screen with confusing options like path, width, height, alignment, etc... Then I can choose "Browse Server", if I have the right module installed, to pick an image from the server.

What I would like to see is a Microsoft Word-like interface. You click on the button to add an image, a dialog box pops up showing a list of images on the server (in your files directory), you select one, and the actual image shows up in the editor. (NOT a token that will be replaced later on)

So what I need from the community is an idea on how to best approach this. For example, I like the model of the Asset module. (treat all media equal) But I prefer the integration of the IMCE module with the text editors. (image must appear in text editor) So where do I start? Does it make sense starting from scratch or just modifying one of the existing modules to serve my purpose?

Any ideas are welcome.



Petuschki’s picture


webchuck’s picture

I would love to see some community discussion on this. I guess the size of the community and forum no longer allows for discussion.


Chuck Crandall
WebChuck Web Development
chuck at webchuckweb dot com

jesseliberty’s picture

I would like an image upload mod that would allow you to upload a zip file and have it turned into a gallery whose name is the name of the zip(or tar, or whatever) and the images with the names of the image files in the zip file.

kasperjames’s picture

or mabey a deadly gas that sends a deadly virus to its pray. haha...isnt that a bit of a set up?
i mean....its a zip. which should be identified as such, not "masked"...i would hope for identifying information such as this "particular" download...prior to an attempt.

much like an image on myspace that sends out a zipfile when clicked allowing major virus spread throughout the world? OMG Y2K is here! lol...

jk. mabey i didnt get your over all idea.

i like that were thinking though. haha.

keep building on these thoughts guys. this is fun.


Thanks for your help and support:

Peter Campbell’s picture

I agree with your comments, and have just set up a site using drupel at http://www.treeswatercarbon.org.

A lot of people (most?) really only need to add text and images to create content on articles, blogs, news etc. There is no easy way to do this in Drupal that I can find that approaches the simplicity of blogger.com. Coding HTML is not really on for many, and the TinyMCE image handling still requires you to specify a full image path url.

The image attach function only allows one thumbnail per node (!!!) and only displays as a thumbnail. Useful in some circumstances, but not really blog or user friendly.

I have looked at and tried several modules and this functionality still eludes me. I await any further comments on options/modules to address with anticipation.

Regards, Peter

jimbop’s picture

I'm using FCKEditor at the moment with upload enabled. It's pretty simple and the user can insert into the edit area easily. Not 100% happy but better than tinymce IMO. Subscribing just in case...

Peter Campbell’s picture

I have spent days looking for modules and solutions for simple handling of images and publishing them inline with content.

I got IMCE working under FCKedit, but then it stopped working properly, it seems flaky.

I have found posts stating that simple image handling is sorely needed, such as:

Simple Images http://groups.drupal.org/node/3227

Handling images (documents, and files) in Drupal http://kzo.net/log/handling-images-documents-and-files-in-drupal

and listened to an online presentation where Dries Buytaert says it is a sorely needed feature in Drupal 6.

I have installed Drupal 6 RC2 - and there is no improvement on image handling in it that I can see.

This is causing me to seriously reconsider using Drupal. If such sorely needed simple functions are so elusive then I am considering looking elsewhere for a CMS.

Regards, Peter

lebisol’s picture

Hey Peter and rest of frustrated gang,
I was there just about few days ago...module after module that depends on that other module but the first module is no longer supported so here is your hack....very frustrating process at least to say. But there is hope :)....hmm I think.
Here is where I decide to plant the flag and call it 'good enough for now and to keep me interested into Drupal'

After days of testing I found that Asset and TinyMCE (http://drupal.org/node/209509) seems to be 'low module count' solution for managing files & media and writing content that is the lest labor intesive for an 'average user/surfer'.

Assets and CCK inegrate (or so the docs say have not tested it) so with use of Views there is room for more development and display and filtering of the content.

I think that half of the battle is forecasting, easier said than done, then the other half is actually testing all the possiblites. As a new user I would love to see some core media/file manger and Views and Taxonomy_access turned into code....

Personally, I would rather go with 'higher learning curve' of Drupal (...here to use cms to help me manage - not inspire to learn PHP) and more "how tos with core" vs. huge collection of 'bastard' modules. Having too many options is great but can backfire and be frightening to someone trying to get the handle of Drupal and 'what it can do'.

...a few notes about Drupal from a newbie.
All the best!

Peter Campbell’s picture

I tried Asset and TinyMCE but the TinyMCE image add box does not display correctly under my install of Firefox. Apparently this could be rectified by setting up a new Firefox profile (current one may be "damaged"), but I wonder how many other Firefox users would have the same issue, and not be prepared to stuff around trying to rectify the Firefox issue?

The add and browse image dialogue boxes display OK under IE, but who wants to use IE?

I agree that file and media management and content display should be core functions, not modules (which vary in scope, function and reliability). Installing a module like TinyMCE is non trivial.

As previously mentioned, the WYSIWYG image handling should be simple to use like Flickr, Blogger etc are.

It seems like image handling (lack of it) has been a major concern over a long period of time, have a look at:




At present I have settled on using http://ufku.com/drupal/bueditor which works for both Firefox and IE, but:

* It is not user friendly (requires some HTML familiarity)
* It is not integrated with the Image module; files you upload using it are not treated as image nodes and cannot be added to standard Galleries

Regards, Peter

webchuck’s picture

I'm glad to see my frustration is shared. After deciding that neither FCKEditor nor TinyMCE was "brain-dead" enough for me, I've actually gone another route. I've purchased the WysiwygPro 3 editor ($60 / site) and am working on a module to integrate it into Drupal. If you check out their website (http://wysiwygpro.com) you'll see that adding images, flash, documents, etc... is all extremely easy. And since the core is written in PHP it integrates very well into Drupal.

I'll share the module within the next few weeks for those interested. I think it's much better than anything Drupal has to offer currently, even if it is commercial software.

Chuck Crandall
WebChuck Web Development
chuck at webchuckweb dot com

Peter Campbell’s picture

I am at the stage where I am prepared to buy a module like this if it does the job, I have wasted too much time on this already. Let me know if I can help with the testing of the module & WysiwygPro, I am happy to use my site http://treewatercarbon.org to try it out. You can contact me direct here: http://treeswatercarbon.org/contact

Regards, Peter

lebisol’s picture

This editor does look good, they don't seem to support drupal out of box so I would worry about lognevity of it with respect to Drupal core. If you guys are working on paid project then price may be good investment on your returns.
I have looked at drupal many times over years and this is my first attemt to "make it work". It really is a shame that drupal is not very 'motivating' and 'attractive' out of a box. Sadly, Druapl still feels as if you go out and get a 'tool-set' then relize you did not get any screwdrivers (editors, file managers for your content....) in it.Not asking for a 'swis army knife' but the 'plastic knife' is not going to cut it if Drupal would like better following.
How can this not be considered a 'core'? Days of text-only on the web are long gone.

But it is what it is.Beggers can not be choosers.

I did finally got TinyMCE working with Assets and Inline images. Unfortunatelly, inline asset/image = requires filtered html content type ...so u can say bye-bye to to html produced by TinyMCE. SO now 98% of editor features are not processed if u want easy media insertion into content.

I got FCKeditor and TinyMCE working cross platform - initially there were some JavaScript errors but it was due to my setup of TinyMCE. If any of you guys want to try out Asset+TinyMCE on my little dev/demo site then just PM me....admin demo will be available for a few days of this post. This is 'as good as it gets' for me since I am working on free-hobby site....I just don't like the feeling of 'defeated and conformed'.

All the best!

gmustuk’s picture

I have used this editor in wordpress for over a year and it is really good and simple to use! I am now setting up a site in drupal and was hoping to find a module for this editor. Glad to see you working in it! I would greatly appreciate a copy when this is completed!


Igorific’s picture

I have recently looked into and bought a site copy of WysiwygPro. I am impressed. It is NOT perfect, but it is leaps and bounds beyond TinyMCE and FCKEditor.

It's the little things like how the spacing works properly that make the difference, and also how you can copy and paste from Word and have it convert better into HTML. It's easily worth the cost when you consider the ongoing frustration you save yourself from (and your computer illiterate editors).

Having said that, there are some dumb bugs that, if fixed, would go a long way for the editor!

For example:
- Some table editing features (like merge cells) only work in IE and not Firefox.
- The full screen mode (which is awesome) worked fine in IE, but in Firefox, other divs were over top of the editor (could be a CSS issue though with my site, but still I don't have time to screw with that)
- Creating a link: If you highlight text (such as "click here"), and make it into a link, you have to retype the text you highlighted - which is totally stupid - they need to fix that.
- There's also a few other UI issues, like the file manager. It's not obvious at first where you click to upload (the small up arrow). Also, if you select multiple images, and click Insert, it only inserts one of them into the editor.
- I couldn't find a way to delete files either after you upload them
- Their way of resizing large images is screwed up and won't work if the image is too big. They claim on their site that you need to up your PHP memory limit, but I've used other PHP scripts that have no problems resizing images with GD, so they need to do something about that.

Anyway, it is still an awesome editor and simply beats TinyMCE/FCKEditor hands down - especially things like the HTML code editing if you need to go there.

I really hope they improve these things because it shows great promise and the money is totally worth it if we're stuck with TinyMCE/FCKEditor.

1kenthomas’s picture

Note that WYSIWYGPRO integration is evidently no longer available due to what seems to be a GPL/licensing violation with their module.

Peter Campbell’s picture

I have raised a feature request against the Image module concerning this here: http://drupal.org/node/218867

I also think a feature request should be submitted for Drupal 7 core.

Regards, Peter

Peter Campbell’s picture

Here is another module revelant to images and other media content (under development) http://drupal.org/project/mmedia