Line breaks instead of Paragraphs in TinyMCE (by default)

Most people who have grown up on the web, and have used Wysiwyg utilities online, or newer text editors/word processing applications are used to having a simple 'return' create a new paragraph, with (on average) one extra line of empty space between the new paragraph and the one before it.

However, a lot of people like having the 'return' key just go down one line. There are a few ways this is possible in most Wysiwygs:

  • You can change the block style from 'Paragraph' (which creates <p> tags around new lines of text) to 'div' (which creates <div> tags around new lines of text).
  • You can press Shift + Return when you want to just go down one line (using a <br /> tag instead of a <p> tag).

I use the second method when I'm using a Wysiwyg, as I like using paragraphs (which are semantic for text, and which allow for better CSS styling than a monolithic block of text with linebreaks). I also rarely use a Wysiwyg editor, so it's not really an issue for me anyways ;-)

But, some people ask me if they can set up TinyMCE to use line breaks instead of paragraph returns by default, so they don't have to hit Shift + Return all the time (instead, they hit 'Enter Enter'... more keystrokes, but whatever floats their boat!).

Well, as it turns out, TinyMCE does have a setting for this, called forced_root_block. And Drupal's Wysiwyg module allows you to pass along this setting to TinyMCE when TinyMCE is loaded on a page, using hook_wysiwyg_editor_settings_alter() like so (in a custom module):

 * Implements hook_wysiwyg_editor_settings_alter().
 * Sets defaults for TinyMCE editor on startup.
function custom_wysiwyg_editor_settings_alter(&$settings, $context) {
  if (
$context['profile']->editor == 'tinymce') {
// Force linebreaks instead of paragraph returns.
$settings['forced_root_block'] = FALSE;