Visual Editor in Litmus Builder

Whether you’re an HTML whiz—or have never touched code before—with Litmus Builder, you can build emails the way that you want. 

HTML and CSS whiz? Utilize our classic code editor to build your emails from scratch or via code snippets or partials (or hop over to Design Library to create these reusable shared assets for your team to utilize). 

Not a code expert? No worries! With Visual Editor in Litmus Builder even non-coders can build bulletproof emails. Our codeless visual editor works with any HTML and doesn’t require any lengthy set up or complex, proprietary syntax to learn.

Simply start with a template or an existing email, and then we’ll automatically enable codeless editing of text, images, links, and other content in our visual editor. You can even restrict certain content from being edited, such as your header and footer. It’s ideal for common templated announcements, newsletters, and communications.

Read on for more details on how to get started with Visual Editing in Litmus Builder.

Starting a new email

Starting with a template

There are a number of ways to start a new email:

  • From Home, click Start building
  • From Build, click Start building or Create new 
  • From any folder view, click Create new in the upper right corner

Give your email a name and click Pick a template.

new email

Next, simply click on a template in your library to start building with it.

template selection

If you want to switch the template you’re using in Builder, click on the Templates open in the menu. The template library will open up. Again, simply click on a template to load it into Builder. 

Note: Switching templates will overwrite any work you were previously doing, so make sure to save first in case you want to recover your work.

What if I don’t have a template?

Copy or import an existing email

While templates are the easiest way to get started building in the visual editor, there are a few other options for getting started:

  • Duplicate a previous email: while we encourage using templates instead of copying old emails, if you have an email you want to use as your starting point, you can find it -- either via search or by navigating to it in your folders -- and then use the Duplicate option to create a copy.
  • Paste HTML into the code editor: if you have the HTML you want to work with, you can switch to Code editing mode and paste it in. Then, just switch back to Visual mode to start making edits.
  • Import HTML from cloud storage: you also have the option of importing any .html file stored in your Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive accounts. To access this option, create a new email, give it a name, and then select your storage provider:

Create a template

Want to create a template? Check out this article for more details about the Design Library in Litmus, where you can store, access, and manage all of your team’s templates.

Building your email

To use the visual editor in Litmus Builder, make sure to toggle the editing mode from Code to Visual. Builder will remember this preference in future sessions, so you’ll always start in your preferred editing mode.

The visual editor is organized in a simple, intuitive side-by-side experience: on the left side will be your editing tools. On the right side is the preview pane. Simply click on elements in the preview pane to select them, and use the editor pane on the left to edit content. Read on for more information on how to edit different types of content.

Editing text

To edit text content in your email, click on the content you wish to change in the preview pane, then use the rich text editor on the left to make edits. The rich text editor supports bold and italic formatting, editing font color, as well as the ability to add, update, or remove links from text.

If you're on a Litmus Enterprise plan, you can also define your brand's colors in the Design Library and use them when editing text.

Replacing images

To replace an image, click on the image in the preview pane. Click the Browse button to upload an image from your computer. If the image you want to add is hosted elsewhere, simply paste the image source URL into the Source field and the changes will instantly appear in the preview pane.

To improve the appearance of your email when images are disabled, and for improved accessibility, Litmus recommends including alternative text (“alt text”) with any images in your email. Simply edit the Image Alt Text field to make changes to your alt text.

Note: Litmus auto-resizes your images, maintaining their aspect ratio, to fit the template you're using. To help ensure your email looks great for all recipients, we'll also point out when an image is not optimized for retina (high-density) displays.

Editing background images and colors

The visual editor also supports replacing background images. To replace a background image, select the section of your email containing a background image. Click the Browse button to upload an image from your computer. If the image you want to add is hosted elsewhere, simply paste the image source URL into the Source field and the changes will instantly appear in the preview pane.

To ensure your email looks great even when images are disabled, you can also edit the background color as a fallback option when editing background images.

If you're on a Litmus Enterprise plan, you can also define your brand's colors in the Design Library and use them when editing background colors.

Updating links

To edit links, click on the link text or button element in the preview pane. In the editor pane, you can update the link URL and link text using the input fields.

If you wish to add UTM parameters to the links in your email, use the UTM Manager found in the Tracking menu. For more information on using the Tracking menu, check out this article.

Moving, duplicating, and removing elements

Certain elements in your template can also be moved, duplicated, and removed to customize the design of your email. Whenever you click on content in the preview pane, you will see a handy toolbar with these options.

Note: based on how your template is constructed, some elements may not be eligible for moving, removing, or duplicating. This is by design in order to maintain the integrity of your template and avoid tricky email client rendering issues.

Saving, undoing, and redoing changes

Above the editor pane on the left side, you will see a series of three buttons: undo, redo, and save. Use these features to easily manage your changes as you make edits. 

Each save creates a new version of your email that you can jump back to at any time if you make a mistake. Click on the "Last saved" timestamp to view all past versions and restore an old version if you’ve made a mistake and want to start over. Check out this article for more information about Timeline.

Non-editable content

Some content in your template may not be editable. This is due to the template creator choosing to restrict editing of certain content. When this is the case, you will see a disabled cursor icon when you hover or attempt to select the non-editable content.

Template creators can disable content from being editable by using Partials. Check out this article for more information about Partials.

Finishing up

Done building your email? There are a number of options available for continuing your workflow by testing and proofing your email, as well as exporting your email and image assets to your sending platform. Check out the links below for more helpful tips:


How to preview your email in different email clients

How to run a comprehensive pre-send Checklist

How to send yourself a test email


How to create a Proof for others to review


How to send a test email to others

How to share Previews of your email in different email clients

How to share your final HTML code


How to download your final HTML code and image assets

How to export your email to your sending platform

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