Current Release: 1.0.0-beta.6 (2017-02-12)


Substance provides building blocks for realizing custom text editors and web-based publishing systems.

  • Custom document models: Define a custom document schema, with your own set of content types.
  • HTML/XML import and export: Substance interacts well with HTML/XML content. You can import a whole XML document or insert HTML fragments from the clipboard.
  • Custom HTML rendering: Have full control over the markup of editable content, by implementing components.
  • Server and client-side execution: Substance runs in the browser and in server-side environments, such as Node.js.
  • Collaborative editing: Substance documents are manipulated through operations that can be undone, redone and transformed to support concurrent collaborative editing.

Look at the examples for feature demos and Texture for a complete editor.


Being around for six years, Substance has been used in a variety of projects. Here is a short selection of software built with Substance.


Stencila is a platform for creating documents that are driven by data. Stencila Stencils are much like traditional templates for embedding data analysis and presentation code but designed to also play friendly with WYSIWYG editing - think RMarkdown meets Jade meets Google Docs. Stencila Sheets are much like traditional spreadsheets but with cells that are expressions in the host language (i.e. R or Python or ...) and with a bunch of other characteristics that make them fit in with modern software practices - think R meets Google Sheets meets git.


Together with eLife, Substance is developing Lens, an open source toolkit around scientific content. In June 2013 eLife launched the original Lens Reader, which provides a novel way of looking at content on the web.


Archivist is a new platform used by researchers at International Society Memorial. They are creating an archive of interview transcriptions related to the topic of Ost-Arbeiters and WWII POWs. Using Archivist they associate words and passages with an ontology of subject terms, locations, persons and definitions. Later they are able to examine that data and find relevant text passages easily.


Here is a collection of timely pieces, related to Substance and digital publishing in general.

Michael Aufreiter on July 24 2017
Michael Aufreiter on February 2 2017
Michael Aufreiter on January 23 2017
Michael Aufreiter on January 22 2016
Daniel Beilinson on September 15 2015
Michael Aufreiter on September 4 2015
Michael Aufreiter on April 14 2015
Michael Aufreiter on March 17 2014

About us

Substance is being developed as an open source project since 2010. In 2014 Substance Software GmbH was founded to provide consulting and support.

Michael Aufreiter Co-Founder and Co-CEO
Michael is the initiator of Substance. He coordinates the project and leads UI/UX development. He is a passionate open source commiter since many years. Notable projects include Prose, a visual interface for managing content on GitHub, eLife Lens and of course Substance. Find him on Twitter and Github.
Oliver Buchtala Co-Founder and Co-CEO
Oliver has worked in various fields of Computer Science. He loves and masters code generation, parsers and lately, Javascript. Back in 2010, he helped with the initial design of the Substance Document Model. Today he's involved in every aspect of development, with a focus on infrastructure and system architecture. Find him on Twitter and Github.

Work with us

As experts in web-based publishing we are offering custom integrations of the Substance platform. These can either be scoped prototyping projects or long-term contracts including a fixed monthly time-budget for custom development. You are invited to join the Substance Consortium, which we created to coordinate community efforts. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Partners and supporters