Migration Guide

This guide provides rough translations of how various basic operations in the CodeMirror 5.x interface work with the new system. To do anything complicated, you'll definitely have to read the guide, but for quick translations of a few simple method calls, this document might be enough.

Module System

The 5.x library was distributed as UMD modules, which could either be loaded directly with <script> tags or bundled as CommonJS modules. The new version exposes only modules, which will require some kind of build step before you can use them.

In addition, the library has been split into a number of separate packages under the @codemirror scope. Depending on how closely you want to configure the editor and how much features you want to load, you could start with the basic setup, or hand-pick the core modules you need from the list provided in the reference manual.

Language support also lives in separate packages. There's a number of languages available in dedicated packages, with names like @codemirror/lang-javascript or @codemirror/lang-rust. Many of the CodeMirror 5 modes have been ported to CodeMirror 6's stream-parser interface and are available in the @codemirror/legacy-modes package.

See the bundling example for a basic example of how to load the library in the browser.

Creating an Editor

EditorView from the view package is roughly the equivalent of the CodeMirror class from 5.x. This is a stateful object that manages the editor's DOM representation and basic user interaction.

import {EditorView} from "@codemirror/view"
let view = new EditorView({parent: document.body})

The parent option makes the editor append itself to a given node in the DOM. We'll just crudely pass document.body there in these examples, but you'll usually pass your custom mount point there. It is also possible not to provide it and, after creating the editor, manually insert view.dom somewhere.

The new editor view comes with a bit less built-in behavior than the old CodeMirror class, though. By default it doesn't provide things like key bindings and an undo history.

To add a history and a default set of key bindings, we must add a few extensions to the editor. Configuration lives in the state, so in order to do that we'll have to create an editor state and provide that to the view.

import {keymap, EditorView} from "@codemirror/view"
import {defaultKeymap, history, historyKeymap} from "@codemirror/commands"

let view = new EditorView({
  extensions: [
    history(),
    keymap.of([...defaultKeymap, ...historyKeymap]),
  ],
  parent: document.body
})

Next, in order to highlight source code, we have to load a language package and a highlight style, and make sure those are enabled.

import {syntaxHighlighting, defaultHighlightStyle} from "@codemirror/language"
import {javascript} from "@codemirror/lang-javascript"

  // Add these extensions
  javascript(),
  syntaxHighlighting(defaultHighlightStyle),

This gives you an editor with JavaScript highlighting and indentation.

A line number gutter is also available as an extension, as are features like rectangular selection and highlighting of non-printing characters.

By default, the view will show the browser's native selection. If you prefer something closer to the old custom-drawn selection, use the drawSelection extension. You can also enable multiple selections.

Positions

Whereas CodeMirror 5 used {line, ch} objects to point at document positions, CodeMirror 6 just uses offsets—the number of characters (UTF16 code units) from the start of the document, counting line breaks as one character. This decision was made because manipulating plain numbers is a lot simpler and more efficient than working with such objects.

To get information about the line that includes a given position, you can call .state.doc.lineAt(pos). The other way around, you can go from a line number to a line object with the line method.

But note: in CodeMirror 6 the first line has number 1, whereas CodeMirror 5 lines started at 0.

So to convert between old-style positions and offsets, you could use functions like these:

function posToOffset(doc, pos) {
  return doc.line(pos.line + 1).from + pos.ch
}
function offsetToPos(doc, offset) {
  let line = doc.lineAt(offset)
  return {line: line.number - 1, ch: offset - line.from}
}

For method equivalents shown in this document, assume that positions used in the new code are always offsets.

Getting the Document and Selection

Your EditorView object has a state property that holds an object representing its current state. This stores things like the document, selection, and configuration.

You can access the current document via .state.doc. That holds an object storing the document as a tree of lines.

cm.getValue() cm.state.doc.toString()

cm.getRange(a, b) cm.state.sliceDoc(a, b)

cm.getLine(n) cm.state.doc.line(n + 1).text

cm.lineCount() cm.state.doc.lines

The selection, like in the previous version, consists of a number of selection ranges, one of which is considered the main selection.

cm.getCursor() cm.state.selection.main.head

cm.listSelections() cm.state.selection.ranges

cm.getSelection() cm.state.sliceDoc(
  cm.state.selection.main.from,
  cm.state.selection.main.to)

cm.getSelections() cm.state.selection.ranges.map(
  r => cm.state.sliceDoc(r.from, r.to))

cm.somethingSelected() cm.state.selection.ranges.some(r => !r.empty)

Making Changes

In the old interface, changes to the editor state were made via direct method calls to the editor object. In version 6, updates are wrapped in transactions and then dispatched to the view up to update it.

This means that different types of update go through a single method, which takes one or more objects describing the changes, and applies them atomically. Document changes are described by the changes property of the transaction specs.

cm.replaceRange(text, from, to) cm.dispatch({
  changes: {from, to, insert: text}
})

cm.setValue(text) cm.dispatch({
  changes: {from: 0, to: cm.state.doc.length, insert: text}
})
// Or, if the entire state (undo history, etc) should be reset
cm.setState(EditorState.create({doc: text, extensions: ...}))

cm.replaceSelection(text) cm.dispatch(cm.state.replaceSelection(text))

The selection is updated with the selection property.

cm.setCursor(pos) cm.dispatch({selection: {anchor: pos}})

cm.setSelection(anchor, head) cm.dispatch({selection: {anchor, head}})

cm.setSelections(ranges) cm.dispatch({
  selection: EditorSelection.create(ranges)
})

cm.extendSelectionsBy(f) cm.dispatch({
  selection: EditorSelection.create(
    cm.state.selection.ranges.map(r => r.extend(f(r))))
})

Situations that would, in the old interface, require the use of operation to group updates together tend to not really come up anymore, since you will just group all your updates into a single transaction.

When making multiple changes at once (changes can also take an array of change objects), all from and to positions refer to the document at the start of the transaction (as opposed to the document created by the changes before it). This makes it a lot easier to apply composite changes.

To create changes based on the selection ranges (along with updated selection ranges), it is recommended to use the changeByRange helper method.

DOM Structure

The new library creates a rather different DOM structure for the editor. If you're writing custom CSS for the editor, you'll probably have to change it a bit. Class names roughly correspond like this:

CodeMirror → cm-editor
CodeMirror-line → cm-line
CodeMirror-scroll → cm-scroller
CodeMirror-sizer → cm-content
CodeMirror-focused → cm-focused
CodeMirror-gutters → cm-gutters
CodeMirror-gutter → cm-gutter
CodeMirror-gutter-elt → cm-gutterElement

Highlighting tokens are no longer assigned stable CSS classes. Rather, a highlight style produces generated class names for specific syntactic structures. To write or port a theme, see the One Dark theme as an example.

cm.focus() cm.focus()

cm.hasFocus() cm.hasFocus

cm.getWrapperElement() cm.dom

cm.getScrollerElement() cm.scrollDOM

// This is always a contentEditable element
cm.getInputField() cm.contentDOM

Configuration

Instead of a set of named options, the new configuration system uses a tree of extension values. Refer to the guide for a description of this system.

This means that instead of setting an option when creating your editor, you just dump the extension value that implements the behavior you want into your set of state extensions. In many cases (such as keymaps), the order of the extensions is relevant—those provided first have a higher precedence than those provided later.

Dynamically changing the configuration is a bit more involved. This requires you put parts of your configuration in compartments, and then later dispatch a transaction that reconfigures that part.

let tabSize = new Compartment

let view = new EditorView({
  extensions: [
    // ...
    tabSize.of(EditorState.tabSize.of(2))
  ],
  // ...
})

function setTabSize(size) {
  view.dispatch({
    effects: tabSize.reconfigure(EditorState.tabSize.of(size))
  })
}

Events

CodeMirror 6 no longer uses an event system. The main reason for this is that that kind of asynchronous notification interface makes it really hard to implement more complex customizations in a robust way, and that events tend to be too fine-grained—a given event handler just tells you about one aspect of what changed, and you need to awkwardly piece together information from multiple events to get a bigger picture of what's happening.

Instead, state updates are represented by transactions, which group all the available information about the update. If you need to maintain state in sync with other parts of the editor state, you'll want to use custom state fields for that. Those are updated for every transaction using a “reducer”—a function that takes the previous state and a transaction, and produces a new state.

On the imperative side, updates to the view are represented by ViewUpdate objects. It is possible to just listen for those with an update listener. But if you need your response to the update to directly affect the editor somehow, you might want to define a view plugin instead.

Changing or filtering updates as they happen (similar to the old "beforeChange" and "beforeSelectionChange" events) can be done with change filters, transaction filters, or transaction extenders.

Commands

The concept of "commands" still exists, but there is no longer a central registry of named commands (getting rid of central registries was one of the goals of the redesign). Commands are simply functions that take an editor instance and, if they can, perform a side effect and return true. The @codemirror/commands package exports a number of basic editing commands (many of which are bound in the default keymap), and other packages may export their own relevant commands (see for example undo and redo in the history package).

Key bindings are defined as objects, and a keymap is simply an array of those. Use the keymap facet to add keymaps to your configuration. When multiple commands are bound to a key, they are executed in order of precedence until one of them returns true.

CodeMirror.fromTextArea

Version 5 has a static fromTextArea method that tries to transparently replace a given <textarea> element with a CodeMirror instance. Unfortunately, this was never very robust (or even transparent), so I've decided not to provide this convenience function in version 6.

Basically, what fromTextArea did was insert the editor as a sibling of the textarea, hide the textarea, and, through various hacks, wire up form submission to sync the content of the editor back to the textarea (automatically syncing on every change gets too expensive for big documents).

In its most minimal form, you can do something like this to get similar behavior:

function editorFromTextArea(textarea, extensions) {
  let view = new EditorView({doc: textarea.value, extensions})
  textarea.parentNode.insertBefore(view.dom, textarea)
  textarea.style.display = "none"
  if (textarea.form) textarea.form.addEventListener("submit", () => {
    textarea.value = view.state.doc.toString()
  })
  return view
}

Marked Text

Marked text (and bookmarks) are called decorations in the new system, and creating them is a bit more difficult (but also a lot less error-prone).

Instead of adding and removing marks through a side effect, decorations are provided by extensions, scoped to their source extension, and only present as long as that extension continues to provide them.

That means you can't just call a method to mark some text, but have to define an extension to manage it. Decorations are kept in a range set, a data structure that associates ranges in the document with some extra data. The extension must map these sets to stay in sync with the document on changes.

This is an example of a simple extension that maintains a set of decorations.

import {StateField, StateEffect} from "@codemirror/state"
import {EditorView, Range, Decoration} from "@codemirror/view"

// Effects can be attached to transactions to communicate with the extension
const addMarks = StateEffect.define(), filterMarks = StateEffect.define()

// This value must be added to the set of extensions to enable this
const markField = StateField.define({
  // Start with an empty set of decorations
  create() { return Decoration.none },
  // This is called whenever the editor updates—it computes the new set
  update(value, tr) {
    // Move the decorations to account for document changes
    value = value.map(tr.changes)
    // If this transaction adds or removes decorations, apply those changes
    for (let effect of tr.effects) {
      if (effect.is(addMarks)) value = value.update({add: effect.value, sort: true})
      else if (effect.is(filterMarks)) value = value.update({filter: effect.value})
    }
    return value
  },
  // Indicate that this field provides a set of decorations
  provide: f => EditorView.decorations.from(f)
})

You could use that extension to mark text like this:

const strikeMark = Decoration.mark({
  attributes: {style: "text-decoration: line-through"}
})
view.dispatch({
  effects: addMarks.of([strikeMark.range(1, 4)])
})

Or to remove all marks between a and b:

function removeMarks(a, b) {
  view.dispatch({
    effects: filterMarks.of((from, to) => to <= a || from >= b)
  })
}

Read the docs for decorations to see how to collapse parts of the document, insert widgets, or style lines.

In cases where there would be a lot of marks (for example to manage code highlighting), this approach, which eagerly calculates and maintains marks for the entire document, may not be ideal. See the zebra stripes example to learn how to write an extension that computes decorations only for visible code.