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Could a tool like AngularJS or VueJS or React help in significantly customizing the Craft admin interface? Could it help add additional functionalities?

For instance, let's take the example of adding external links to a post. Vox Media's Chorus lets writers save links in a browser bookmarklet (during their research process), and then pop it on the sidebar in their CMS admin interface when the writer clicks on the bookmarklet. The writer could now just select a phrase in his copy, and then click on a link in the sidebar and have it added to the text automatically. No selecting the text and then clicking on Add link and then copy-pasting the link. Lot of steps reduced.

The above cannot be done on Craft by default and in my research I haven't found a plugin that enables such a functionality.

Could the admin interface in Craft be altered to include such functions that aid in speeding up the editorial workflow?

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There are some ways to customize the Craft Control Panel interface, but probably not to the extent that you are looking for.

The native way to do this would be through the use of the not-at-all documented template hooks similar to this.

You can search through the craft/app/templates folder for {% hook to get a full list of hooks available and the templates they live in.

For a bit more kludgy solution, you could use plugins like CP CSS and CP JS for injecting arbitrary CSS/JS into Control Panel requests.

Also worth noting this from the license agreement when dealing with plugins that modify Control Panel functionality:

You may not write a plugin that breaks or tampers with any of Craft’s built-in functionality, including any restrictions related to license/edition enforcement, its core feature set, or its Premium Features.

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Another solution to this would be to accomplish what you want to accomplish via a custom plugin, or via a custom frontend entry form, in which you'd control the exact experience that the content authors see. c.f.: https://craftcms.com/docs/templating/entry-form

Obviously either of these require additional development work.

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