Storing formatted data.

I'd like some suggestions/thoughts/discussions on this. I've implemented similar projects before with various results, and wonder if there is a better way.

I'm building a small knowledge base for a small company where policies, procedures, etc. can be stored. The content will be entered by clerical staff with no HTML experience, and I want to keep training needs as low as possible.

Each record will have the usual fields, including the title (the question), datestamp, various levels of classification, etc. The body of the question (the answer), will be a field of text type (I'm using MS SQL) for easy searching and indexing using Verity. I'm using ColdFusion for all administration and viewing pages.

But that body content needs to be formatted. I don't want to ask the staff to learn HTML so they can write the document using basic HTML tags (p, br, b, i, etc.) and I don't want to have the content be so bare that I just save plain text and then process it before displaying it on the page. I don't want messy HTML pasted in from Word or the like...
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It sounds like you're in need of a WYSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get) -- it allows easy-to-use page formatting for text that builds the HTML for the user. I personally use HTMLArea3, but unfortunately, support for it is dying. There is a really nice directory of editors at the following URL:

If you want HTMLArea3, you can still get it here:


This is a nice tag:

Free and creates a text area that looks a lot like Microsoft Word - so if you users can use that they should be able to use this.

They have a demo (caution the demo loads very slowly on their site) - it doesn't run that slow on actual pages and once you customize it:
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