Posted August 16, 2023 by Rohith and Anusha ‐ 3 min read

In the world of modern web development, creating rich and interactive text editors is a common requirement. Whether you're building a blogging platform, a collaborative writing tool, or a content management system, having a powerful and versatile text editor is crucial. Draft.js, developed and maintained by Facebook, has emerged as one of the most popular libraries for building custom text editors in React-based applications.

Understanding Draft.js

  • Draft.js is an open-source JavaScript library that provides a framework for building rich text editors in React applications.

  • Unlike traditional HTML-based text editors, Draft.js operates on a ContentState, which is an immutable representation of the editor’s content.

  • This approach allows for more precise control over content manipulation, rendering, and collaboration features.

Key Features

Immutable Content State

  • Draft.js employs an immutable data structure for representing the editor’s content.

  • This means that any changes made to the content result in a new ContentState object, preserving the previous state.

  • This immutability facilitates undo/redo functionality and simplifies content management.

Customization and Extensibility

  • Draft.js provides a powerful and flexible framework for creating custom editors.

  • Developers can easily customize the editor’s behavior, appearance, and features by composing various building blocks provided by the library.

Rich Text Formatting

  • Draft.js supports a wide range of text formatting options, such as bold, italic, underline, headings, lists, and more.

  • This is achieved through the use of decorators and style attributes applied to content blocks.

Entity Management

  • Draft.js introduces the concept of entities, which are used to represent complex data within the text.

  • Entities can be used to create links, mentions, media embeds, and more.

  • This makes it possible to create dynamic and interactive content within the editor.

Collaboration and Versioning

  • The immutability of ContentState makes Draft.js well-suited for collaborative editing scenarios.

  • Developers can implement real-time collaboration features by synchronizing content changes among multiple users.

Performance Optimization

  • Draft.js is designed to handle large documents efficiently.

  • It employs strategies like lazy rendering and block-level re-rendering to ensure smooth performance, even with extensive content.

Benefits of Using Draft.js


  • Draft.js follows a modular architecture, allowing developers to pick and choose the components they need for their specific use case.

  • This modularity enhances code maintainability and keeps the bundle size in check.

React Integration

  • Since Draft.js is built on top of React, it seamlessly integrates with React-based applications.

  • Developers can leverage their existing React knowledge to work with Draft.js.

Community and Support

  • With Facebook’s backing and a thriving open-source community, Draft.js benefits from continuous improvements, bug fixes, and community-contributed extensions.

Getting Started with Draft.js

To start using Draft.js, follow these steps

Install Dependencies

Begin by installing the required packages using npm or yarn:

npm install draft-js react react-dom

Create an Editor Component

  • Import the necessary components and create your custom editor component.

Manage Content State

  • Utilize the ContentState API to manage and manipulate the editor’s content.

Implement Text Formatting

  • Incorporate decorators and inline styles to enable text formatting options.

Enhance with Entities

  • Explore the concept of entities to add links, mentions, and other interactive elements.

Handle Collaboration

  • To implement collaboration features, integrate with real-time communication libraries like WebSocket.


  • Draft.js stands as a versatile and powerful tool for building rich text editors in React applications.

  • Its focus on immutability, customization, and extensibility makes it suitable for a wide range of applications requiring advanced text editing capabilities.

  • As you embark on your journey to create sophisticated text editors, Draft.js offers an excellent foundation to bring your ideas to life.

  • So, whether you’re building a collaborative writing platform or enhancing the content creation experience, Draft.js has the tools you need to craft a seamless and feature-rich text editor.

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