Building a Rich Text Editor in Power BI


In this article, we will learn how to build a Rich-Text Editor custom visual that supports rich text, images, links, and some nuanced features from word processing apps. 


Rich text editors have become integral in the way we interact with web applications especially when it comes to content generation. Rich text editors enable you to control the appearance of the text and provide a creative way to build visually appealing reports in Power BI!


  • This tutorial assumes that you have a working knowledge of React.
  • Ensure that you have Node, Yarn, or npm installed on your machine. You can follow the links for instructions on how to install them if you have not installed them already.
  • An environment ready for developing a Power BI visual. Set up your environment for developing a Power BI visual.

Getting Started

Let us first create a simple custom visual by opening the command prompt and navigating to the folder you want to create your project in.

1. Enter the following command

 pbiviz new RichTextEditor

2. Navigate to the project’s folder and enter the below command

 cd RichTextEditor

4. Clear out all the code present in the constructor and the update method. The file should now look something like this.

export class Visual implements IVisual {

constructor(options: VisualConstructorOptions) {

public update(options: VisualUpdateOptions) {


Set up react in your project.

In order to run libraries in React.js within your custom visual framework, you will have to Install React and its corresponding type definitions by following the type steps here.

Install additional dependencies

Install additional dependencies Now that the visual is in place let us integrate the react-draft-wysiwyg library into the custom visual framework by following the below steps.

1. Install the rich text editor library by running the following command into your terminal

npm i react-draft-wysiwyg

2. Now install draft JS for getting editor types by running the following command

 npm i draft-js

Setup Editor

  1. Navigate to src folder and create a new folder called as components. We will be placing all our react components into this folder.
  2. Create a new file called TextEditor.tsx. This will be used as a class component to initialize our text editor.
  3. Create a new class called TextEditor and initialize the state of the editor in the constructor. The editor component uses the default Draft.js editor without any styling. The Draft.js editor is built as a controlled ContentEditable component that is based on React’s controlled input API. EditorState provides a snapshot of the editor state. This includes the undo/redo history, contents, and cursor.

We will start with an empty state created using the createEmpty method of EditorState.

constructor(props) {
    this.state = {
        editorState: EditorState.createEmpty(),

4. Add Styling to the TextEditor by importing them to the class.

import "react-draft-wysiwyg/dist/react-draft-wysiwyg.css";

5. A controlled editor is achieved using EditorState (the top-level state object for the editor.) If we want to create a controlled editor, we will pass it the following props:

  1. editorState — Prop to update editor state in a controlled way
  2. onEditorStateChange — A function called when there is a change in editor state that takes an object argument of type EditorState

6. After adding these, to our editor component, it will look like this

 render() {
const { editorState } = this.state;

const onEditorStateChange = (editorState: EditorState) => {
editorState: editorState,

return (
<div className="editor">
handlePastedText={() => false}
options: ["inline", "textAlign", "colorPicker", "fontFamily", "list", "link"],
inline: { inDropdown: true },
list: { inDropdown: true },
textAlign: { inDropdown: false },
link: { inDropdown: true },

9. Import this component into the visual.ts file as below.

import * as React from "react";
import * as ReactDOM from "react-dom";
import { TextEditor } from "./components/TextEditor";

export class Visual implements IVisual {
  private target: HTMLElement;
  private reactRoot: React.ComponentElement<any, any>;

  constructor(options: VisualConstructorOptions) {
    this.reactRoot = React.createElement(TextEditor, {}); = options.element;

10. Start the visual by running the command.

 pbiviz start

Your visual is now running while being hosted on your computer and should look like this.


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