Writing and managing content in Ghost, an advanced guide

A full overview of all the features built into the Ghost editor, including powerful workflow automations to speed up your creative process.

Jamie Larson

Jamie Larson

Ghost comes with a best-in-class editor which does its very best to get out of the way, and let you focus on your content. Don't let its minimal looks fool you, though, beneath the surface lies a powerful editing toolset designed to accommodate the extensive needs of modern creators.

For many, the base canvas of the Ghost editor will feel familiar. You can start writing as you would expect, highlight content to access the toolbar you would expect, and generally use all of the keyboard shortcuts you would expect.

Our main focus in building the Ghost editor is to try and make as many things that you hope/expect might work: actually work.

  • You can copy and paste raw content from web pages, and Ghost will do its best to correctly preserve the formatting.
  • Pasting an image from your clipboard will upload inline.
  • Pasting a social media URL will automatically create an embed.
  • Highlight a word in the editor and paste a URL from your clipboard on top: Ghost will turn it into a link.
  • You can also paste (or write!) Markdown and Ghost will usually be able to auto-convert it into fully editable, formatted content.

ghost editor mobile

The goal, as much as possible, is for things to work so that you don't have to think so much about the editor. You won't find any disastrous "block builders" here, where you have to open 6 submenus and choose from 18 different but identical alignment options. That's not what Ghost is about.

What you will find though, is dynamic cards which allow you to embed rich media into your posts and create beautifully laid out stories.

Using cards

You can insert dynamic cards inside post content using the + button, which appears on new lines, or by typing / on a new line to trigger the card menu. Many of the choices are simple and intuitive, like bookmark cards, which allow you to create rich links with embedded structured data:

ghost editor mobile

or embed cards which make it easy to insert content you want to share with your audience, from external services:

But, dig a little deeper, and you'll also find more advanced cards, like one that only shows up in email newsletters (great for personalized introductions) and a comprehensive set of specialized cards for different types of images and galleries.

Once you  start mixing text and image cards creatively, the whole narrative of the story changes. Suddenly, you're working in a new format.

ghost editor mobile

As it turns out, sometimes pictures and a thousand words go together really well. Telling people a great story often has much more impact if they can feel, even for a moment, as though they were right there with you.

ghost editor mobile

Galleries and image cards can be combined in so many different ways — the only limit is your imagination.

Build workflows with snippets

One of the most powerful features of the Ghost editor is the ability to create and re-use content snippets. If you've ever used an email client with a concept of saved replies then this will be immediately intuitive.

To create a snippet, select a piece of content in the editor that you'd like to re-use in future, then click on the snippet icon in the toolbar. Give your snippet a name, and you're all done. Now your snippet will be available from within the card menu, or you can search for it directly using the / command.

This works really well for saving images you might want to use often, like a company logo or team photo, links to resources you find yourself often linking to, or introductions and passages that you want to remember.

ghost editor mobile

You can even build entire post templates or outlines to create a quick, re-usable workflow for publishing over time. Or build custom design elements for your post with an HTML card, and use a snippet to insert it.

Once you get a few useful snippets set up, it's difficult to go back to the old way of diving through media libraries and trawling for that one thing you know you used somewhere that one time.

Publishing and newsletters the easy way

When you're ready to publish, Ghost makes it as simple as possible to deliver your new post to all your existing members. Just hit the Preview link and you'll get a chance to see what your content looks like on Web, Mobile, Email and Social.

ghost editor mobile

You can send yourself a test newsletter to make sure everything looks good in your email client, and then hit the Publish button to decide who to deliver it to.

Ghost comes with a streamlined, optimized email newsletter template that has settings built-in for you to customize the colors and typography. We've spent countless hours refining the template to make sure it works great across all email clients, and performs well for email deliverability.

So, you don't need to fight the awful process of building a custom email template from scratch. It's all done already!

The Ghost editor is powerful enough to do whatever you want it to do. With a little exploration, you'll be up and running in no time.

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The new Ghost editor - Ghost Changelog

ghost editor mobile

Faster and more robust than ever before, we just shipped a complete rewrite of the Ghost editor. This is our third major iteration of the Ghost editor, packed with new features, including:

  • Native image editing - so you can adjust photos on the fly
  • Post history - so you can see who edited what, when, and restore old versions
  • Landing page cards - so you can build beautiful custom experiences
  • Bookmarking - so you can collect links from around the web for your posts

And some fixes for longstanding issues with our previous editor, like:

  • Faster overall performance - things just feel more snappy
  • Improved handling of very large posts - which, in the past, was... painful
  • Better undo/redo chaining - a smoother experience when fixing mistakes
  • Much improved mobile editing - so you can write on the go in iOS / Android
  • More keyboard shortcuts - find the full list in the post settings menu

The new editor is now available across all Ghost installs. Ghost(Pro) users can log into their sites to give it a try. If you're a developer, self-hosting Ghost, you'll need to update to the latest version to get access to everything that's new.

Developer changes

Keep reading below if you're curious about the technical details behind the new editor, and what it means if you're building API integrations with Ghost.

ghost editor mobile

As we worked on this new editor, one of our main goals was to keep things the same. We made a few visual tweaks here and there, but for the most part it's still the same editor you know and love... it just works better than it did before.

Under the hood, though, the technical changes we've made to the editor unlock exciting possibilities for the future.

Ghost's editor, called Koenig, was previously built in Ember.js on an open JSON-based document storage format called MobileDoc . We loved how it worked, but MobileDoc never became widely adopted, so the technology underpinning our editor became a bit stagnant. This limited our ability to build new features, or solve frustrating core bugs (like better mobile support).

Koenig has now been rebuilt on a new stack: React.js and Lexical — both of which are open source frameworks developed by Meta. So, Ghost is now using the same underlying technology that powers every single editor, comment box, or user input for billions of users across Facebook and Instagram.

ghost editor mobile

Ghost is the first independent company outside of Meta to build a full-scale dynamic editor on top of Lexical, and we worked directly with the Lexical core team to make it happen. Today's announcement reflects over a year of quiet, dedicated work by both teams to get to where we are now.

We have lots of plans for continuing to improve Ghost's editing experience, and this shift in architecture has opened a lot of new doors for what's possible next.

For developers building integrations with Ghost, check out our updated API docs, which cover how to interact with Lexical content stored in the database:

ghost editor mobile

What’s happening to posts created in the old editor? Are they being automatically converted, or still editable in the old editor or…?

:smile:

A bit disappointed to see that the editor/ghost is still missing these basic features:

  • Internal link building: Streamline the process of linking relevant keywords to other pages with a simple click, similar to WordPress
  • Comprehensive Internal Search Engine (including text and HTML)
  • Media Library Management: Implement a user-friendly media library where images can be managed and deleted without resorting to FTP
  • Convenient Updates from the Ghost Backoffice (Not Limited to CLI for Self-Hosting)
  • Nofollow and Noopener Toggle Options for Links, Product Widgets, and Other Widgets
  • Inclusion of Alt Text for Product Widget Images
  • Support for Child Themes
  • Integrated HTML Editor
  • Advanced SEO Tools: Built-in SEO utilities that prompt users to include alt tags, assess keyword density, and provide optimization recommendations
  • Newsletter Customization: Options to send newsletter excerpts instead of full articles, encouraging recipients to visit the website for complete content
  • Schema Integration: Enhanced integration with schema.org markup (e.g., Reviews) to boost search engine visibility
  • Comprehensive Review Widget: A versatile review widget featuring both star ratings and bar graphs for evaluating products, with a visually appealing design

Am I asking too much? This stuff is on Wordpress since decades.

These are all great suggestions, but keep in mind that the main goal behind this wasn’t Wordpress parity, but to put the editor on a new technical platform that is future proof.

As laid out above, the underlying technology became stagnant – so it was vital for any future development to put the editor on a new foundation – to potentially enable all the things you mentioned (at least the ones that are within the scope of the editor).

:slightly_smiling_face:

What’s the incentive for me to go through with this update? It doesn’t introduce any novel or improved aspects that benefit me, nor does it implement the changes I desire. I have no use for a faster platform since it’s already a hundred times faster than WordPress or any other alternatives. I write thousands and thousands words articles with 50 high-res photos or more and it never crashed. What I truly require are those minor enhancements that would make it flawless. Hence, I eagerly anticipate updating as soon as these desired features become available, assuming they are ever incorporated. But for now I’m staying with the good, old, Ghost 5.9something.

Has the problem with unbroken spaces been fixed?

Can someone try to insert a text with non-breaking spaces into the editor. Will they be saved or will they be replaced by normal spaces as before.

I like it! Think the bookmark feature is great - wish it worked on Safari.

the post history is AMAZING as are the landing page cards and all the other features rolled out in beta.

I am a little kid: when there is an update I am happy.

  • i agree that the internal linking feature is kinda important and urgent
  • media library management is important (expecially for the “privacy” thing) → but i ve seen something is moving

I also love the other features @block asked for, but some of them deviates the positioning ghost has.

I prefer not to come across as “the villain” who constantly highlights what’s lacking. Hey, Ghost is excellent, and I utilize it daily! I use Obsidian as my text editor, and it works wonderfully. Is there a method to “mirror” my Ghost website in order to display its structure in Obsidian or should I do this manually?

I’m having major issues with this update, putting things on a new line (doing a shift+enter to cut down on spacing) is carrying over the formatting on each line. So basically, my entire list is becoming ONE long link.

I can get around it by adding a space, removing formatting on that space and THEN doing a shift+enter… but it’s SO much extra work and continually breaks.

I have to say sorry to the ghost developers. Even if the new Ghost doesn’t have what I actually wanted, I have to say that after upgrading to node 18 and Ghost 5.71 it is now even faster compared to previous versions. Now I’m playing with the new features, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

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COMMENTS

  1. The new Ghost editor

    Ghost's editor, called Koenig, was previously built in Ember.js on an open JSON-based document storage format called MobileDoc. We loved how it worked, but MobileDoc never became widely adopted, so the technology underpinning our editor became a bit stagnant.

  2. Better mobile support of Ghost editor

    Everyone knows, that post editor in the Ghost is not working completely in mobile phone (there is a warning). That’s why I usually did a trick: I create a few markdown blocks, then I edit my post from mobile phone in any time at any place.

  3. Writing and managing content in Ghost, an advanced guide

    Pasting a social media URL will automatically create an embed. Highlight a word in the editor and paste a URL from your clipboard on top: Ghost will turn it into a link. You can also paste (or write!) Markdown and Ghost will usually be able to auto-convert it into fully editable, formatted content. The Ghost editor.

  4. Ghost Publisher: An iOS App for Ghost

    Have you, like me, been wishing you could edit your blog on the go, but the ghost editor says mobile editing isn’t supported? Well if you have an iOS device (sorry, I’m not an Android developer), you’re in luck! Today I published the first version of my Ghost Publisher app.

  5. The new Ghost editor

    Ghost's editor, called Koenig, was previously built in Ember.js on an open JSON-based document storage format called MobileDoc. We loved how it worked, but MobileDoc never became widely adopted, so the technology underpinning our editor became a bit stagnant.

  6. Ghost on Twitter: "The new Ghost editor (beta) is here! The

    The new Ghost editor (beta) is here! The same editor you know and love, now also with: 🎨 Image editing 📝 Post history & version control 🔗 A brand new bookmarker extension ...and this is just the beginning!👇. 06 Jun 2023 15:37:04