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How to set up CKEditor for multiple instances with different heights?

I’d like to have multiple instances of CKEditor based on the same config settings, but with different heights. I tried setting up config with the default height, setting up the 1st instance, then overriding the height & setting up the 2nd instance:

var config = {

config.height = '100';

…but I get two CKEditor instances that both have 100px height.

I also tried this:

    height: '100'

.. I got error messages that the instance already existed. I searched around a bit & found someone in a similar situation got advice that you have to destroy() the instance before replace(), but that seems too complicated for just setting a different initial height.

In the end I set up two different configs & copied over the toolbar_Full property:

var config1 = {
        { name: 'clipboard', items : [ 'Cut','Copy','Paste','PasteText','PasteFromWord','-','Undo','Redo' ] },
        { name: 'editing', items : [ 'Find','Replace','-' ] },
        { name: 'basicstyles', items : [ 'Bold','Italic','Underline','Strike','Subscript','Superscript','-','RemoveFormat' ] },
        { name: 'paragraph', items : [ 'NumberedList','BulletedList','-','Outdent','Indent','-','Blockquote','-','JustifyLeft','JustifyCenter','JustifyRight','JustifyBlock','-','BidiLtr','BidiRtl' ] },
        { name: 'links', items : [ 'Link','Unlink','Anchor' ] },
        { name: 'insert', items : [ 'Image','HorizontalRule' ] },
        { name: 'styles', items : [ 'Styles','Format','Font','FontSize' ] },
        { name: 'colors', items : [ 'TextColor','BGColor' ] },
        { name: 'tools', items : [ 'Maximize', 'ShowBlocks' ] },
        { name: 'document', items : [ 'Source' ] }

var config2 = {
config2.toolbar_Full = config1.toolbar_Full;


Is there a better way? Anything I’m missing? There’s this question but they didn’t post quite enough to be useful, & this very similar question hasn’t been answered. Thanks!


This seems to be a timing/config handling quirk of CKEditor — the config is read & applied later (I’m guessing after the editor’s DOM framework has been set up) rather than when the editor is first instantiated.

So, any changes to the config settings made immediately after the 1st editor is instantiated with .ckeditor() are actually applied by the editor at some point in the following several milliseconds. I’d argue this isn’t normal behavior, or logical.

For instance, you can get the expected behavior in my first example (overriding the config.height property after the first editor has been instantiated) to work by delaying the 2nd CKEditor instance with setTimeout(). Firefox needed ~100ms, IE needed 1ms. Wacky & wrong.

CKEditor should read the config settings when each editor is first instantiated. For now, everyone has to work around that quirk.



The easiest way to initialize two editors with custom heights is:

$('#editor1').ckeditor({ height: 100 });
$('#editor2').ckeditor({ height: 200 });

or without jQuery:

CKEDITOR.replace('editor1', { height: 100 });
CKEDITOR.replace('editor2', { height: 200 });

AFAIK it isn’t possible to change editor’s height on the fly.

If these methods weren’t working for you, then you were doing sth else wrong.


Answering to your comment – your question in fact wasn’t about CKEditor, but rather about sharing one object with only two different properties. So you can try like this:

var configShared = {
        // etc.
    config1 =,
    config2 =;
config1.height = 100;
config2.height = 200;

CKEDITOR.replace('editor1', config1);
CKEDITOR.replace('editor2', config2); is a tool that creates new object with prototype set to the passed one. So they share all properties except of these you override later.

Update 2:

This is the update for the “Update” section in the question :).

There’s no quirk in CKEditor’s timing or bug or whatsoever – it’s pure JavaScript and how BOM/DOM and browsers work plus some practical approach.

First thing – 90% of BOM/DOM is synchronous, but there are a couple of things that aren’t. Because of this entire editor has to have asynchronous nature. That’s why it provides so many events.

Second thing – in JS object are passed by reference and as we want CKEditor to initialize very quickly we should avoid unnecessary tasks. One of these is copying config object (without good reason). So to save some msecs (and because of async plugins loading too) CKEditor extends passed config object only by setting its prototype to object containing default options.

Summarizing – I know that this may look like a bug, but it’s how JS/BOM/DOM libs work. I’m pretty sure that many other libs’ async methods are affected by the same issue.

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