Previews & the Prismic Toolbar


When working in the writing room, you can preview new content on your website without having to publish the document, you can set up one or more websites where the content can be previewed. This allows you to have a production server, staging server, development server, etc.  Discover how to handle multiple environments in Prismic.

The Toolbar allows you to edit your pages. In your website, just click the button, select the part of the page that they want to edit, and you'll be redirected to the appropriate page in the Writing Room.

The preview works by using a preview token: when a user requests a preview from the Writing Room, a temporary and secure ref is generated for the preview session. Your website can then use this temporary ref to query the Prismic API. It will allow your website to display pending changes.

Additionally the Prismic script automatically detects when a user is browsing the website in a preview session, and displays the preview bar.

New Toolbar Activation for Older Repos

The current preview toolbar is enabled by default on all new Prismic repos. However, if you're on an older repo, you might be on older version of the toolbar. If your preview script src url includes new=true, then your preview functionality includes an edit button. If the src does not include new=true and you would like the new preview toolbar, please contact us via the Prismic forum so we can activate it for you.

1. Configure Previews

In your repository, navigate to Settings > Previews. Here you can add the configuration for a new preview, just add:

  • The Site Name: The name of the current site your configuring.
  • Domain URL: You can add the URL of your live website or a localhost domain, such as: http://localhost:8000.
  • Link Resolver (optional) : In order to be taken directly to the page you are previewing instead of the homepage, add a Link Resolver which is an endpoint on your server that takes a Prismic document and returns the url for that document. More details on step 4. Add a Link Resolver endpoint.
Interface for creating a new preview

2. Include the Prismic Toolbar javascript file

You will need to include the Prismic toolbar script on every page of your website including your 404 page.

You can find the correct script in your repository Settings section, under the Previews tab.

Settings > Previews > Script

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<script async defer src="https://static.cdn.prismic.io/prismic.js?new=true&repo=your-repo-name"></script>

Correct repo name

Note: This example script has your-repo-name at the end of the URL, this value needs to be replaced with your repository name. You can find the correct script for in your repository's Settings > Previews > Script.

Shareable Previews & unpublished previews

To guarantee that Shareable Preview links and unpublished document previews work properly you must ensure that these scripts are included on every page of your website, including your 404/Page Not Found page. Otherwise these previews might not work.

3. Use the preview token as ref when available to make your queries

When you preview your website, a preview cookie is generated that contains the preview token. This token can be used as a valid ref to make Prismic API queries. For any query you make on your website, make sure to check for the Preview cookie and use this preview ref in the query options if the preview cookie exists.

Here is an example of how to retrieve the correct ref in Node.js:

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var Cookies = require('cookies');

// Example ref selection for NodeJS with ExpressJS
const cookies = new Cookies(req, res);
const previewRef = cookies.get(Prismic.previewCookie);
const masterRef = api.refs.find(ref => { return ref.isMasterRef === true; });
const ref = previewRef || masterRef.ref;

Then here is an example that shows how to use this ref when constructing your api query:

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https://your-repo-name.cdn.prismic.io/api/v2/documents/search?ref=Your_Ref

4. Add a Link Resolver endpoint

In order to be taken directly to the page you are previewing instead of the homepage, you need to add a Link Resolver endpoint. A typical example of this would be:

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https://example.com/preview

In your preview settings add an endpoint to the optional Link Resolver field as explained in step 1.

Now you need to add the Link Resolver endpoint in your website application.

This is a special URL of your website that Prismic will call to request a preview, passing the preview token in the query string. When requested this endpoint must:

  • Retrieve the preview token from the token parameter in the query string
  • Call the Prismic development kit with this token and the Link Resolver will retrieve the correct URL for the document being previewed
  • Redirect to the given URL

Here's an example of what this would look like if developing a NodeJS website:

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// Example preview endpoint for NodeJS with ExpressJS 
const Prismic = require('prismic-javascript');
const linkResolver = require('./path/to/the/link-resolver.js');
const apiEndpoint = 'https://your-repo-name.cdn.prismic.io/api/v2';
 
app.get('/preview', function (req, res) {
  const token = req.query.token;
 
  Prismic.getApi(apiEndpoint, { req: req })
    .then((api) => api.previewSession(token, linkResolver, '/'))
    .then((url) => {
      res.redirect(302, url);
    });
});

And with that you should have everything in place that you need to begin previewing your content!

5. Troubleshooting

Mistakes happen. So sometimes you might to do a little troubleshooting to figure out where exactly the problem is from, luckily we've created an article for just that.

Deprecated: In-Website Edit Button

Note: The In-Website Edit Button has been deprecated in favor of the Preview Toolbar, which has an edit button built in.