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MediaWiki extensions manualManual:Extensions
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Release status:Extension status beta

ImplementationTemplate:Extension#type Page action, Extended syntax, Beta Feature, Skin
DescriptionTemplate:Extension#description Integrates VisualEditor into MediaWiki for editing pages as rich content
Latest versionTemplate:Extension#version 0.1.0
Compatibility policyCompatibility#mediawiki_extensions release branches
MediaWikiTemplate:Extension#mediawiki 1.29.0-alpha
Database changesTemplate:Extension#needs-updatephp No
LicenseTemplate:Extension#license MIT License
  • $wgVisualEditorPluginModules
  • $wgVisualEditorParsoidURL
  • $wgVisualEditorParsoidPrefix
  • $wgVisualEditorParsoidTimeout
  • $wgVisualEditorNamespaces
  • $wgVisualEditorSupportedSkins
  • $wgVisualEditorUseChangeTagging
  • $wgVisualEditorDisableForAnons
  • $wgVisualEditorShowBetaWelcome
  • $wgVisualEditorTabPosition
  • $wgVisualEditorTabMessages
Hooks usedTemplate:Extension#hook

Translate the VisualEditor extension if it is available at translatewiki.net

Check usage and version matrix.


Open tasks · Report a bug

The VisualEditor project aims to create a reliable rich-text editor for the Web and for MediaWiki. More information can be found on the project page; this page is just about the VisualEditor-MediaWiki extension itself. The extension relies on the separate nodeJS-based Parsoid parser service to be up and running in order to edit pages.

User guide[edit]

See Help:VisualEditor/User guide.


For the General User: If you're using the latest stable version of MediaWiki you will need to download the VisualEditor-MediaWiki extension from the ExtensionDistributor page.

For the Advanced User:

The following download instructions are for use with the latest nightly build of MediaWiki only.

cd extensions
git clone https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/p/mediawiki/extensions/VisualEditor.git
cd VisualEditor
git submodule update --init

Note Note:

  • VisualEditor-MediaWiki's master branch contains the latest code, as used at Wikimedia. This code is potentially slightly buggy or unstable, but is likely to have fewer bugs and more features than old builds.
  • The master branch requires alpha builds of MediaWiki (currently, 1.28-wmf.8) and will not work with the older, official releases of MediaWiki like 1.26.2; for that, use the REL1_26 branch (command: git clone -b REL1_26 https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/p/mediawiki/extensions/VisualEditor.git).
  • The git submodule update --init command is vital, as MediaWiki-VisualEditor needs the core VisualEditor submodule to work. If you do not use this command, VisualEditor will fail to work.

If you cannot use git (e.g. you are in an air-gapped installation), you can download a snapshot of VisualEditor-MediaWiki for master or for a release version of MediaWiki from the ExtensionDistributor page. After you've got the code, save it into the extensions/VisualEditor directory of your wiki.

Skin compatibility[edit]

VisualEditor is known to be compatible with the following skins:

It will not load on other skins, unless they are added to $wgVisualEditorSupportedSkins (see configuration options below).

Other skins are not officially supported, but it should be compatible with any skin that uses the required HTML structure – see VisualEditor/Skin requirements. Some fiddling with skin stylesheets might be necessary to make everything look nice.

Setting VisualEditor up[edit]

Set up a Parsoid service[edit]

Without the Parsoid Node.js service you will not be able to edit existing pages or save pages!

If you want to be able to edit existing pages and save pages with VisualEditor you need a Parsoid service that converts between wikitext and the HTML that VisualEditor displays for editing.

To set up your own Parsoid service follow the Parsoid installation instructions before setting up VisualEditor. Note that it can be particularly complicated to set up Parsoid and Node.js in non-standard systems, like those running Windows or Debian.

Basic configuration for MediaWiki-VisualEditor[edit]

By default, MediaWiki-VisualEditor does not enable itself for users. To make it available, add the following lines to your wiki's LocalSettings.php after you have downloaded the extension:

wfLoadExtension( 'VisualEditor' );

// Enable by default for everybody
$wgDefaultUserOptions['visualeditor-enable'] = 1;

// Optional: Set VisualEditor as the default for anonymous users
// otherwise they will have to switch to VE
// $wgDefaultUserOptions['visualeditor-editor'] = "visualeditor";

// Don't allow users to disable it
$wgHiddenPrefs[] = 'visualeditor-enable';

// OPTIONAL: Enable VisualEditor's experimental code features
#$wgDefaultUserOptions['visualeditor-enable-experimental'] = 1;

Note that you can do this before you have installed the Parsoid node.js service to experiment with VE; this will mean that you can try the editor out in 'create' mode on your own wiki, but you will not be able to save or edit existing pages.

Other extensions which load plugins for VE (e.g. Math) can be loaded before or after VE if you are using MediaWiki 1.25 or later; the plugins should work either way.

Enabling other Namespaces[edit]

Per default, the VisualEditor only works with Namespace 0, i.e. the main article namespace. To change this, adapt the following example that enables namespaces 0 (main), 2 (user) and 102 (some user specific one)

$wgVisualEditorAvailableNamespaces = [
    NS_MAIN => true,
    NS_USER => true,
    102 => true,
    "_merge_strategy" => "array_plus"

An easy way to figure out numbers of your namespaces is to look at the source code of the pulldown menu of Special:AllPages

Linking with Parsoid[edit]

To get VisualEditor to talk to Parsoid, add the following code to your LocalSettings.php to specify your Parsoid instance:

$wgVirtualRestConfig['modules']['parsoid'] = array(
	// URL to the Parsoid instance
	// Use port 8142 if you use the Debian package
	'url' => 'http://localhost:8000',
	// Parsoid "domain", see below (optional)
	'domain' => 'localhost',
	// Parsoid "prefix", see below (optional)
	'prefix' => 'localhost'

A single Parsoid server can handle multiple wikis. The Parsoid domain setting identifies your wiki configuration to Parsoid. By default it is set to the hostname named by $wgCanonicalServer, but you can pick an arbitrary string. Older versions of Parsoid also used a unique "prefix" to identify the server; you may need to list that here as well.

Parsoid must have been configured to match, for example with the following in Parsoid's config.yaml:

        - # This is the only required parameter,
          # the URL of you MediaWiki API endpoint.
          uri: 'http://path/to/my/wiki/api.php'
          domain: 'localhost'

If you are using Parsoid older than 0.6.0, you would use a line in Parsoid's localsettings.js like:

parsoidConfig.setMwApi({ uri: 'http://path/to/my/wiki/api.php', domain: 'localhost', prefix: 'localhost' });

Again, the "domain" property is optional in the Parsoid configuration; it defaults to the hostname used in the uri property if not specified. The "prefix" property can also be omitted unless you are running a very old version of Parsoid.

See Parsoid/Setup#Configuration for more details.

Switching between Wikitext Editing and VisualEditor[edit]
Without the RESTBase Node.js service you will not be able to save changes made in a wikitext editor when you switch to VisualEditor!

VisualEditor allows you to switch back and forth between wikitext editing and VisualEditor. However, without a RESTBase server, when you try to switch from a wikitext editing environment into VisualEditor, your only options are Cancel or Discard my changes and switch; any changes you made will be discarded if you switch.[1] If you want the ability to switch between wikitext editing and VisualEditor and save your changes, you must install a RESTBase server.

To set up your own RESTBase service follow the RESTBase installation instructions. Note that if you were successful setting up the Parsoid service, setting up a RESTBase server is similar because it also runs under Node.js.

For VisualEditor you do not need the configuration section in config.yaml described in the RESTBase configuration section.

Once the RESTBase server is operational, add the following code to your LocalSettings.php:

$wgVisualEditorRestbaseURL = "http://yourRESTBaseserver.com:7231/{domain}/v1/page/html/";
$wgVisualEditorFullRestbaseURL = "http://yourRESTBaseserver.com:7231/{domain}/";

where {domain} is the value of 'domain' you specified in your Parsoid configuration file. Make sure that the port you specify here (e.g. :7231) is the same port as you specified in the RESTBase configuration.

Now when you make changes in a wikitext editor, you are presented with a dialog box with a Switch option instead of Discard my changes and switch.

Servers with multiple virtual sites[edit]

If Apache2 is configured with multiple virtual sites, Parsoid is (in standard configuration) only able to access the default site. To check for this problem, run curl '[http://your-wiki-base-url]/api.php' on the server.

If the response starts with:

<!DOCTYPE html><html lang="en-GB" dir="ltr" class="client-nojs"><head><meta charset="UTF-8" /><title>MediaWiki API help - ['''''Name of your wiki''''']</title>

then you don't have the problem, but if it doesn't, you may need to configure a host alias that Parsoid can use:

Look at the apache2 configuration file for the virtual server hosting the wiki, near the top of the file there should be la line like:

<VirtualHost *:80>

If the '*' is present, then the alias can be to localhost, if there is an IP address replacing the '*' then the alias must be to that IP address.

In the same file add a line:

ServerAlias my_wiki_alias

In the hosts file of the server, add a route for my_wiki_alias, either for (if the apache2 virtual server configuration had the '*' above, else to the IP address from the apache2 virtual server configuration.

Finally, in the Parsoid localsettings.js file, find the parsoidConfig.setMwApi setting, and set it to:

  uri: 'http://my_wiki_alias:80/path-to-my-wiki/api.php',
  domain: '/* my Parsoid "domain" matching the value in LocalSettings.php */',
  prefix: '/* my Parsoid "prefix" matching the value in LocalSettings.php */'

Reload the network config, apache config and Parsoid config, and retest the curl command above.

The same method works for multiple wikis hosted on multiple virtual servers on a host (use a different alias and add a parsoidConfig.setMwApi setting for each wiki).

Linking with Parsoid in private wikis[edit]
Forwarding Cookies to Parsoid[edit]
// This feature requires a non-locking session store. The default session store will not work and
// will cause deadlocks (connection timeouts from Parsoid) when trying to use this feature.
$wgSessionsInObjectCache = true;

// Forward users' Cookie: headers to Parsoid. Required for private wikis (login required to read).
// If the wiki is not private (i.e. $wgGroupPermissions['*']['read'] is true) this configuration
// variable will be ignored.
// WARNING: ONLY enable this on private wikis and ONLY IF you understand the SECURITY IMPLICATIONS
// of sending Cookie headers to Parsoid over HTTP. For security reasons, it is strongly recommended
// that $wgVirtualRestConfig['modules']['parsoid']['url'] be pointed to localhost if this setting is enabled.
$wgVirtualRestConfig['modules']['parsoid']['forwardCookies'] = true;

Warning Warning:ONLY enable this on private wikis and ONLY IF you understand the SECURITY IMPLICATIONS of sending Cookie headers to Parsoid over HTTP! (but see the HTTPS section below)

An alternative to the approach above is explicitely giving read permissions to requests from the parsoid server as mentioned in: explicitly remove restrictions for Parsoid by IP address.

Parsoid over HTTPS[edit]

By default, Parsoid only supports HTTP connections. However, it's easy to provide HTTPS Parsoid by using Stunnel, a utility which offers SSL wrapping for arbitrary sockets. Most Unix distributions have 'stunnel' or 'stunnel4' package available from the repository. The following config file shard (e.g. /etc/stunnel/parsoid.conf) should do the trick:

cert = /etc/ssl/my_certs/parsoid.crt
key = /etc/ssl/my_keys/mykey.key
CAfile = /etc/ssl/my_ca/ca.crt

accept  = 8143
connect = 8142

Where [parsoid] is a new subdomain which is created. Once this is working, you can use the appropriate URL (e.g. 'https://parsoid.mydomain.com:8143') in your MediaWiki configuration for VisualEditor. You can use and existing subdomain (e.g. [wiki] if it's listed in yours .crt file and then the appropriate URL will become: https://wiki.mydomain.com:8143).

You cannot use this type of configuration with Parsoid accessible via 'localhost', because the certificate chain for localhost, which will almost certainly be self-signed, will fail validation. You must use a proper hostname for Parsoid server, with appropriately issued and signed SSL certificate.

Setting up such a configuration allows you to avoid the security implications of transmitting parsoid cookies in cleartext.

Producing and installing SSL certificates is beyond the scope of this document.

Parsoid Authentication Without Forwarding Cookies[edit]

The forwarding of cookies (and the enabling of $wgSessionsInObjectCache and the forwardCookies property) can be avoided by adding a user (which may be called parsoid) to the wiki and then add the NetworkAuth extension to the wiki with the configuration in LocalSettings.php:

require_once "$IP/extensions/NetworkAuth/NetworkAuth.php";

$wgNetworkAuthUsers[] = [
	'iprange' => [ '' ],
	'user'    => 'parsoid'

Where the IP address matches that of the Parsoid server and the user matches the one you added to the wiki. This should of course only be done if the Parsoid server is on a 'trusted' network.

See also:

Note for MediaWiki 1.23 users: For MediaWiki 1.23, as well as the Parsoid nodejs service, you will also need to install the Parsoid PHP extension. Without this, VisualEditor will fail to load (as it supplied key styling code until that was moved in MediaWiki itself in MediaWiki 1.24 onwards).

Note for Parsoid on Windows and other systems: It is particularly complicated and time consuming to set up VisualEditor with Parsoid in non-standard systems, like those running Windows or non-standard Linux - those difficulties might even prevent the successful installation of VisualEditor for some people on some platforms.[1][2][3]

Setting VisualEditor up on shared hosting[edit]

See VisualEditor/Installation on a shared host

Complete list of configuration options[edit]

Each configuration option is shown without the $wgVisualEditor prefix for brevity.

Option Default value Useful for… Documentation
Extension developers Array of ResourceLoader module names (strings) that should be loaded when VisualEditor is loaded. Other extensions that extend VisualEditor should add to this array.
Warning Warning: When removing a module on a production site (e.g. Wikimedia), first remove it from this array, wait for the change to propagate, and only then remove the module code and module registration. Otherwise there may be a period of time during which VisualEditor depends on a module that no/ longer exists.
	"visualeditor-enable-experimental": "ext.visualEditor.experimental"
Extension developers Associative array of ResourceLoader module names (strings) that should be loaded when VisualEditor is loaded if the current user has a preference set. Other extensions that extend VisualEditor should add to this array if they want their addition to be opt-in or opt-out. Keys are preference names, values are ResourceLoader module names.

Remember to also set defaults in $wgDefaultUserOptions!

Sysadmins URL to use to access the main RESTbase call. The page name will be appended directly to this value, so this needs to be set to something like 'https://en.wikipedia.org/api/rest_v1/page/html/' including the trailing slash.

If this is set, the page HTML will be requested from RESTbase. If this is not set, the page HTML will be requested from the API, which will send an HTTP request to Parsoid or to RESTbase if available.

Sysadmins URL to use to access the rest of RESTbase. The page name will be appended directly to this value, so this needs to be set to something like 'https://en.wikipedia.org/api/rest_' excluding the trailing slash.
Sysadmins Serialization cache timeout, in seconds
    "2" => true,
    "_merge_strategy" => "array_plus"
Sysadmins Namespaces in which to enable VisualEditor (mapped from namespace ID to a boolean flag).
Sysadmins Whether to put a change tag on every edit made with VisualEditor.
Sysadmins Whether to use only one edit tab, switching back and forth, or add a dedicated VisualEditor edit tab next to the existing one.

Note that the bi-directional switching functionality requires RESTbase installation rather than talking directly to Parsoid.

Sysadmins From what timestamp to warn existing editors that the installation has switched from two edit tabs to one. In general you should ignore this.
Sysadmins If showing two edit tabs, where to put the VisualEditor edit tab in relation to the system (or WikiEditor) one:
  • 'before': put it right before the old edit tab
  • 'after': put it right after the old edit tab
	"edit": null,
	"editsource": "visualeditor-ca-editsource",
	"create": null,
	"createsource": "visualeditor-ca-createsource",
	"editlocaldescriptionsource": "visualeditor-ca-editlocaldescriptionsource",
	"createlocaldescriptionsource": "visualeditor-ca-createlocaldescriptionsource",
	"editsection": null,
	"editsectionsource": "visualeditor-ca-editsource-section"
Sysadmins Configuration of what messages to use for the various kinds of edit tab users can see, if showing two edit tabs:

'edit' – i18n message key to use for the VisualEditor edit tab; if null, the default edit tab caption will be used; the 'visualeditor-ca-ve-edit' message is available for this.

'editsource' – i18n message key to use for the old edit tab; if null, the tab's caption will not be changed

'create' – i18n message key to use for the VisualEditor create tab; if null, the default create tab caption will be used; the 'visualeditor-ca-ve-create' message is available for this

'createsource' – i18n message key to use for the old create tab; if null, the tab's caption will not be changed

'editlocaldescriptionsource' – i18n message key to use for the old edit tab on pages for files in foreign repos; if null, tab's caption will not be changed

'createlocaldescriptionsource' – i18n message key to use for the old create tab on pages for files in foreign repos; if null, tab's caption will not be changed

'editsection' – i18n message key to use for the VisualEditor section edit link; if null, the default edit section link caption will be used

'editsectionsource' – i18n message key to use for the source section edit link; if null, the link's caption will not be changed

Sysadmins Whether to enable VisualEditor for every new account.

This allows you to keep the 'visualeditor-enable' preference disabled by default, but still have VisualEditor available for new logged-in users (by setting this to true).

Sysadmins Whether to disable VisualEditor for non-logged-in users

This allows you to enable the 'visualeditor-enable' preference by default, but still disable VisualEditor for logged-out users (by setting this to true).

Sysadmins For wikis planning to use the 'visualeditor-betatempdisable' preference to auto-opt-out existing users whilst enabling by default for all existing users, whether to start recording explicit opt-outs against implicit ones.
Sysadmins Whether to show the "welcome to the beta" dialog the first time a user uses VisualEditor
Sysadmins running user analytics Whether to enable VisualEditor for a proportion (Egyptian fraction) of all new accounts based on userID.
Sysadmins Whether to enable the MediaWiki feedback tool inside the help menu of VisualEditor. If enabled, the title of the page at which to point the MediaWiki feedback tool.
Sysadmins If set, the API of the remote wiki at which to point the MediaWiki feedback tool.
Skin developers List of skins VisualEditor integration supports. If the user's skin is not matched, VisualEditor will refuse to load.
Skin developers An array of skin names mapped to pixel values to which to set the toolbar scroll offsets.
	"msie": [
	"android": [
	"firefox": [
	"safari": [
	"opera": [
	"blackberry": null,
	"silk": null
VisualEditor developers List of browsers with which VisualEditor is incompatible. See jquery.Client for specification. If the user's browser is matched, VisualEditor will refuse to load.

Internet Explorer – At or below version 8, there are various incompatibilities in layout and feature support; version 9 has problems but mostly works OK-ish so they're it's greylisted. Versions 10 and 11 should work correctly.

Firefox – There are issues in versions 12 and below (task T52780); and a wikilink corruption ([[./]]) bug in Firefox 14 and below (task T52720) which prevent wider availability.

Safari – Older versions of Safari suffered from corruption issues from various old browser plugins.

Android – 2.x and below "support" CE but don't trigger keyboard input, making it useless for users.

Opera – Below version 12, Opera was untested, and as its user base is almost non-existent anyway it's blocked.

Blackberry and Silk browsers are blacklisted at all versions due to reported issues and no appetite to support.

VisualEditor developers Whether to enable the (currently experimental) Table Of Contents widget

Old configuration parameters[edit]

As above, each configuration option is shown without the $wgVisualEditor prefix for brevity.

Option Default value Documentation
  • REL1_22 (PHP config):
  • REL1_23-REL1_25 (PHP config):
    array_merge( $wgContentNamespaces, array( NS_USER ) )
  • REL1_25 (extension.json):
List of namespaces IDs where is the VisualEditor is activated.

This parameter has been essentially replaced by AvailableNamespaces from REL1_26.


Error loading data from server: HTTP 500. Would you like to retry?
Usually for new installs, this is due to "curl", "php5-curl", or "php7.0-curl" not being installed on your server.
Or perhaps your setMwApi uri is set incorrectly with e.g. https instead of http. Or there is a bad rewrite rule in your apache configuration that would cause API failures.
parsoidserver-http-curl-error: couldn't connect to host.
Parsoid is not running, or $wgVirtualRestConfig['modules']['parsoid']['url'] is not set correctly
parsoidserver-http-curl-error: Failed to connect to ....: Permission denied.
Can be caused by a cURL request on a Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux, like CentOS) to a non standard port like 8000 in the example configuration above, see http://www.akashif.co.uk/php/curl-error-7-failed-to-connect-to-permission-denied and https://www.centos.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=53223&p=225372#p225372
parsoidserver-http-bad-status: 401
Caused by read or edit restrictions. If you've set up a private wiki and don't want to use cookie forwarding, you can explicitly remove restrictions for Parsoid by IP address.
parsoidserver-http-not-found: 404 (or timeout)
Caused by wrong path to MediaWiki API endpoint. Set correct url to the right path to api.php in Parsoid's localsettings.js config file. If you have set up following the recommendations, your API path would be "http://localhost/w/api.php". Add this API path to "localsettings.js" like "parsoidConfig.setMwApi({uri: 'http://localhost/w/api.php' });".
No visible error (Appears to load forever)
Check the parsoid log file, and consult Parsoid/Troubleshooting.