Dinos in the document

Say you need to include exotic, site-specific elements in your documents. These may be handles to other objects in our system (documents, users, etc), domain-specific widgets, or, in the case of this demo, dinosaurs.

ProseMirror allows you to define your own schemas, which includes defining custom document elements. You can use whatever you put in the schema as proper semantic element in your documents.

Remix on Glitch

In this example, we extend the basic schema with a single new node. First, we define a node spec, which describes the node's behavior and its DOM representation.

// The supported types of dinosaurs.
const dinos = ["brontosaurus", "stegosaurus", "triceratops",
               "tyrannosaurus", "pterodactyl"]

const dinoNodeSpec = {
  // Dinosaurs have one attribute, their type, which must be one of
  // the types defined above.
  // Brontosaurs are still the default dino.
  attrs: {type: {default: "brontosaurus"}},
  inline: true,
  group: "inline",
  draggable: true,

  // These nodes are rendered as images with a `dino-type` attribute.
  // There are pictures for all dino types under /img/dino/.
  toDOM: node => ["img", {"dino-type": node.attrs.type,
                          src: "/img/dino/" + node.attrs.type + ".png",
                          title: node.attrs.type,
                          class: "dinosaur"}],
  // When parsing, such an image, if its type matches one of the known
  // types, is converted to a dino node.
  parseDOM: [{
    tag: "img[dino-type]",
    getAttrs: dom => {
      let type = dom.getAttribute("dino-type")
      return dinos.indexOf(type) > -1 ? {type} : false

Then, we create an actual schema that includes this node, and use that to parse a piece of the HTML page into a ProseMirror document.

import {Schema, DOMParser} from "prosemirror-model"
import {schema} from "prosemirror-schema-basic"

const dinoSchema = new Schema({
  nodes: schema.spec.nodes.addBefore("image", "dino", dinoNodeSpec),
  marks: schema.spec.marks

let content = document.querySelector("#content")
let startDoc = DOMParser.fromSchema(dinoSchema).parse(content)

The demo is going to use the example setup module again, to provide the basic plumbing for the editor. But we need new menu items in the insert menu. First, define a command that handles dinosaur insertion.

let dinoType = dinoSchema.nodes.dino

function insertDino(type) {
  return function(state, dispatch) {
    let {$from} = state.selection, index = $from.index()
    if (!$from.parent.canReplaceWith(index, index, dinoType))
      return false
    if (dispatch)
    return true

Next, create menu items that call our command.

import {MenuItem} from "prosemirror-menu"
import {buildMenuItems} from "prosemirror-example-setup"

// Ask example-setup to build its basic menu
let menu = buildMenuItems(dinoSchema)
// Add a dino-inserting item for each type of dino
dinos.forEach(name => menu.insertMenu.content.push(new MenuItem({
  title: "Insert " + name,
  label: name.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + name.slice(1),
  enable(state) { return insertDino(name)(state) },
  run: insertDino(name)

Now all that's left to do is creating an editor state and view with our custom schema and menu.

import {EditorState} from "prosemirror-state"
import {EditorView} from "prosemirror-view"
import {exampleSetup} from "prosemirror-example-setup"

window.view = new EditorView(document.querySelector("#editor"), {
  state: EditorState.create({
    doc: startDoc,
    // Pass exampleSetup our schema and the menu we created
    plugins: exampleSetup({schema: dinoSchema, menuContent: menu.fullMenu})