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When you configure a table in $TCA and add a field of the type "text" which is edited by a <textarea>, you can choose to use a Rich Text Editor (RTE) instead of the simple form field. A RTE enables the users to use visual formatting aids to create bold, italic, paragraphs, tables, etc.

A RTE in the TYPO3 BE

The rtehtmlarea RTE activated in the TYPO3 backend

For full details about setting up a field to use a RTE, please refer to the chapter labeled 'special-configuration-options' in older versions of the TCA Reference.

The short story is that it's enough to set the key enableRichtext to true.

'poem' => array(
    'exclude' => 0,
   'label' => 'LLL:EXT:examples/locallang_db.xml:tx_examples_haiku.poem',
   'config' => array(
      'type' => 'text',
      'cols' => 40,
      'rows' => 6,
      'enableRichtext' => true

This works for FlexForms too.


Don't forget to enable Rich Text Editor in the back end, in User Settings -> Edit and Advanced functions, check "Enable Rich Text Editor", if not already done.