Previews and 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.

Preview 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 (described in Step 2, below) 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.
Preview configuration window screenshot.
Preview configuration window screenshot.

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

<script async defer src="”></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.

Shearable Previews & unpublished previews

To guarantee that Shearable Preview links and unpublished document previews work properly, you must ensure that these scripts are included on every page of your website, including your 404/Page Not Found page.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

The next step is to make sure that the preview ref is used when you 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.

The following example checks to see if there is a preview cookie. If there is, then it will set the ref variable to the preview ref. If not, it will use the experiment ref (if there is one) and otherwise the normal master ref (default published content).

def api
  @api = Prismic.api('')

def ref
  @ref ||= preview_ref || experiment_ref || api.master_ref.ref

def preview_ref
  if request.cookies.has_key?(Prismic::PREVIEW_COOKIE)

def experiment_ref
  if request.cookies.has_key?(Prismic::EXPERIMENTS_COOKIE)

Then you just need to add the "ref" query option as shown below to ensure that the preview ref is used. Here is an example query:

document = api.getByUID("page", "about-us", { "ref" => ref })

That is all you need to do to gain the basic functionality of the Preview feature! With the basic functionality of the Preview feature, when you click on the preview button, you will be taken to the homepage of your preview domain. From here you can navigate to the page you are trying to preview.

Next we will show you how to add a Link Resolver endpoint so that you will be taken directly to the page you are trying to preview.

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:


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

Using the official Prismic starter project?

If you are using the official Prismic Ruby on Rails starter project, then you should already have all the code in place that you need for Previews and the Prismic Toolbar!

If you are not using this kit to make your queries, then follow the rest of the steps below.

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

The Preview Token

Note that the preview token will be a URL. You DO NOT need to follow this url. All you need to do is pass this token into the preview_session method as shown below

Here is an example preview route:

# Preview
def preview
  api = Prismic.api('')
  preview_token = params[:token]
  redirect_url = api.preview_session(preview_token, link_resolver(), '/')
  cookies[Prismic::PREVIEW_COOKIE] = { value: preview_token, expires: 30.minutes.from_now }
  redirect_to redirect_url

The example above uses a Link Resolver, link_resolver() , to determine the end url to redirect to. To learn more about how to set this up, check out our Link Resolving page.

Once all of these pieces are in place, your previews should be up and running!

5. Troubleshooting

Mistakes happen. Luckily we've created an article for just that.

Was this article helpful?
Not really
Yes, Thanks

Can't find what you're looking for? Get in touch with us on our Community Forum.