I'm using CKEditor 4.2 with D7 and the editor is replacing every space with an HTML non-breaking space. For instance, if I type: This is a paragraph and then either save or view source, I'll get the following:


I don't have any HTML correctors/prettifiers running as filters and I'm banging my head against the wall trying to figure out what's causing this.

Oh, I also have Convert all applicable characters to HTML entities. unchecked, so that's not it.

Has anyone seen this before? Any solutions out there?

  • As far as I know by default it does no such thing, so the question is - how did it started? – Mołot Dec 16 '13 at 7:43
  • Great question. I have not added any plugins to the editor or changed the configuration significantly. I did tweak ckeditor.config.js to set the height, but that's it. This did just start happening, so I'll back that out, but I have a hard time believeing that's it. – DeepFriedBits Dec 16 '13 at 7:54
  • 1
    Backed out my changes to no avail. This is frustrating. – DeepFriedBits Dec 16 '13 at 8:08

I solve this with a text filter

 * Implements hook_filter_info().
function MYMODULE_filter_info() {
  $filters = array();

  $filters['kill_nbsp'] = array(
    'title' => t('Kill Non-Breaking Spaces'),
    'description' => t('Remove non-breaking spaces.'),
    'process callback' => '_MYMODULE_filters_kill_nbsp',
    'tips callback' => '_MYMODULE_filters_kill_nbsp_tips',

  return $filters;

 * Filter callbacks.
function _MYMODULE_filters_kill_nbsp($text, $filter) {
  return preg_replace('/&nbsp;/', ' ', $text);

 * Filter tips.
function _MYMODULE_filters_kill_nbsp_tips($filter, $format, $long = FALSE) {
  if (!$long) {
    // This string will be shown in the content add/edit form.
    return t('Don\'t use non-breaking spaces.  Ever.');
  else {
    // And this one on the "Filter Tips" page.
    return t('Non-breaking spaces are evil and will be eradicated.');

The code simply searches for non-breaking spaces and replaces them with normal spaces.

Stuff this in a custom module, and then assign the filter to the input formats that have WYSIWYG enabled. This does assume that you never want actual non-breaking spaces in your output, which is good for my sites.

  • As it turns out, I had broken CKEditor trying to tweak its event model, so that was causing my spaces issue, but your answer works. Thank you. – DeepFriedBits Dec 17 '13 at 21:01
  • Would this code work for Drupal 8? – MrPaulDriver Jun 24 '19 at 18:37
  • @MrPaulDriver Copy/paste into Drupal 8, no. Filters are now plugins, drupal.org/docs/8/api/filter-api/overview – mpdonadio Jun 24 '19 at 22:08

Try this it will remove leading white spaces for ckeditor

var val = CKEDITOR.instances.[name_of_field].getData();//get data

val = $(val).text().trim();//remove white spaces

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