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Introduction

Service Pack 10 (SP10) has significantly updated Blackboard Learn’s content editor. Along with a new layout and features, this Service Pack includes the much-requested HTML editor for legacy content.

The content editor allows you to add and format text, insert equations and hyperlinks, tables, and attach different types of files to content. The editor appears throughout the system as the default editor. This WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor is based on the industry standard TinyMCE platform. TinyMCE is a javascript-based WYSIWYG content editor.

Info:
The WebEQ equation editor has been replaced with a new mathML equation editor (WIRIS).

On this page

Simple Mode and Advanced mode

The content editor has two view modes: Simple Mode and Advanced Mode.

Simple Mode

The Simple Mode is the default editor mode and contains a minimal set of the most used text formatting functions. Select the show more Show More button function - represented by two arrows pointing down - to access more editor functions.

Advanced Mode

The Advanced Mode includes every available formatting and object attachment function. Click the show less Show Less button function - represented by two arrows pointing up - to view only one row of functions.

Note:
Functions not currently available appear greyed out. For example, the functions to apply or remove a hyperlink are available only when you select text.

Adding and Editing Content

By default, Blackboard Learn formats text to 12-point, left-justified Arial. Use the content editor functions to apply other formatting. With the mouse pointer positioned in the text box, you can use four methods for adding, formatting, and editing text and objects:

  1. Content editor functions
  2. Right-click contextual menu
  3. Keyboard shortcuts
  4. Direct editing of the HTML code

Content Editor Functions

Simple Mode Functions

The Simple Mode functions are detailed in the table below:

Function

Description

Bold the selected text.

Italicise the selected text.

Underline the selected text. Note: Underlined text may confuse users. They may think it is a web link. Add emphasis using Bold - sparingly.

Select the font face for the text. Select the down arrow next to the displayed current font to select from a list of all available fonts. *Note: Not all fonts will work in all browsers. They will instead revert to a default font such as Arial or Times New Roman.

Select the size of the text. Select the down arrow next to the displayed current font size to select from a list of all available font sizes.

Set the text color. Select the down arrow to select a different text color.

Create a bulleted list. Select the down arrow to select a different bullet style.

Create a numbered list. Select the down arrow to select a numbered list style.

Begin the automatic spell check. Select the down arrow to select a different language. Note: This defaults to US English.

Add a new or edit an existing hyperlink.

Remove a hyperlink from the selected text or object.

Opens a preview window showing how the content will appear after submitting.

Open the context editor help information pop-up display.

Expand the content editor window to fill the entire browser frame.

Access the advanced content editor features.

Advanced Mode Functions

In the content editor's Advanced Mode, you see three rows of functions. The following tables describe each function by row.

Row 1 Functions

Row 1 Functions

Bold the selected text.

Italicise the selected text.

Underline the selected text. Note: Underlined text may confuse users who think it is a web link. Add emphasis using Bold - sparingly.

Select the font face for the text. Select the down arrow next to the displayed current font to select from a list of all available fonts.

Select a paragraph style for the text. Select the down arrow next to the displayed current style to select from a list of all available styles.

Select the size of the text. Select the down arrow next to the displayed current font size to select from a list of all available font sizes.

Create a bulleted list. Select the down arrow to select a different bullet style.

Create a numbered list. Select the down arrow to select a numbered list style.

Set the text color. Select the down arrow to select a different text color.

Set the text highlight (background) color. Select the down arrow to select a different highlight color.

Remove all formatting, leaving only the plain text.

Opens a preview window showing how the content will appear after submitting.

Opens the context editor help window.

Expand the content editor window to fill the entire browser frame.

Hide Advanced content editor features.

Row 2 Functions

Description

Cut the selected items.

Copy the selected items.

Paste the most recently copied or cut items.

Search for and replace text.

Undo the previous action

Redo the previous action - only available only if an action has been undone.

Align text to the left margin - recommended for readability.

Align text in the center.

Align text to the right.

Align text to both the left and right margins. Note: this option can create unusual spacing between words and should be avoided.

Move the text or object to the right (indent). Select again to indent further.

Move the text or object to the left (outdent). Select again to outdent further. Note: You cannot outdent text beyond the left margin.

Make the text into a superscript.

Make the text into a subscript.

Add a new or edit an existing hyperlink.

Remove a hyperlink from the selected text or object.

Enter text to the right of the current mouse pointer location (default).

Enter text to the left of the current mouse pointer location.

Add a thin horizontal line to the current mouse pointer position, spanning the entire width of the text area.

Add a thin centered line, setting width, height relative to the current mouse pointer position, and whether to use.

Insert a nonbreaking space character at the current mouse pointer position.

Begin the automatic spell check. Click the down arrow to select a different language. Note: This defaults to US English.

Row 3 Functions

Description

Add a link to a file in the text box. The Insert Content Link window appears. You can link to the following file types: DOC, DOCX, EXE, HTML, HTM, PDF, PPT, PPTX, PPS, PPSX, TXT, WPD, .XLS, XLSX, and ZIP. You can link to a file from your computer, from Course Files or the Content Collection, or a URL.

Embed an image in the text box or edit an existing selected image. The Insert/Edit Image window appears. You can add the following file types: GIF, JPG, JPEG, BMP, PNG, and TIF. You can add images from your computer, from Course Files or the Content Collection, or a URL.

Embed a media clip in the text box or edit an existing selected media object. The Insert/Edit Media window appears. From the Type drop-down list, select the type of media you want to add: Flash (default), HTML 5 video, QuickTime, Shockwave, Windows Media, Real Media, lframe, and Embedded Audio. You can add media files from your computer, from Course Files or the Content Collection, or a URL.

Opens the WIRIS Formula Editor page - the visual math equation editor page.

Add a Mashup to the text box. Click to display a drop-down list and select Flickr Photo, SlideShare presentation or YouTube Video Content.

Select to show all nonprinting characters. Select again to hide them from view.

Format the text as a blockquote.

Opens the Select Special Character window. Select a symbol to insert at the current mouse pointer position.

Opens the Insert Emoticon window. Select the emoticon to insert at the current mouse pointer position.

Position the mouse pointer where you want the anchor to appear and click to open the Insert/Edit Anchor window. Use anchors to position (anchor) other items and objects, such as images.

Opens a preview window so you can see how the content will appear after publishing.

Select to open the Insert/Edit Table window.

Select to open the Table Row Properties window.

Select to open the Table Cell Properties window.

Insert a blank row in the table above the current mouse pointer position.

Insert a blank row in the table after the current mouse pointer position.

Delete the current row from the table. If you select multiple rows, all are deleted.

Insert a blank column in the table to the left of the current mouse pointer position.

Insert a blank column in the table to the right of the current mouse pointer position.

Delete the current column from the table. If you select multiple columns, all are deleted.

Merge two or more selected table cells into a single cell.

Split previously merged table cells. If the cell or cells are not ones that were merged, nothing happens.

Select to open the HTML Code View window. Then, you can directly edit the content HTML code. This feature is intended for experienced web developers.

Edit the cascading style sheet (CSS). This feature is included for experienced web developers.

Right-click contextual menu

In the content editor, you can place your mouse pointer in the text area and right-click to access a contextual menu. The menu includes the editor's most commonly used functions.

Right-click contextual menu

Keyboard shortcuts

The content editor supports the keyboard shortcuts listed in the following table. Please note that Mac users use the COMMAND key instead of the CTRL key. In the table, these are indicated by "MAC:" and COMMAND is abbreviated as CMD.

Note:
If you use the shortcut keys that move selected items one character left, right, up, or down, the object you are moving is absolutely positioned. An absolutely positioned element is determined by pixels so moving it up once moves it up one pixel.

Keyboard Shortcut

Description

RIGHT ARROW

Move one character to the right.

LEFT ARROW

Move one character to the left.

DOWN ARROW

Move down one line.

UP ARROW

Move up one line.

CTRL+RIGHT ARROW
MAC: CMD+RIGHT ARROW

Move right one word.

END

Move to the end of the line.

HOME

Move to the start of the line.

CTRL+DOWN ARROW
MAC: CMD+DOWN ARROW

Move down one paragraph.

CTRL+UP ARROW
MAC: CMD+UP ARROW

Move up one paragraph.

PAGE DOWN

Move down one page.

PAGE UP

Move up one page.

CTRL+HOME
MAC: CMD+HOME

Move to the beginning of the text.

CTRL+END
MAC: CMD+END

Move to the end of the text.

Selection

Description

SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW

Extend the selection one character to the right.

SHIFT+LEFT ARROW

Extend the selection one character to the left.

CTRL+SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW

Extend the selection right one word.

CTRL+SHIFT+LEFT ARROW
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+LEFT ARROW

Extend the selection left one word.

SHIFT+UP ARROW

Extend the selection up one line.

SHIFT+DOWN ARROW

Extend the selection down one line.

SHIFT+END

Extend the selection to the end of the current line.

SHIFT+HOME

Extend the selection to the start of the current line.

SHIFT+PAGE DOWN

Extend the selection down one page.

SHIFT+PAGE UP

Extend the selection up one page.

CTRL+SHIFT+END

Extend the selection to the end of the document.

CTRL+SHIFT+HOME
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+HOME

Extend the selection to the beginning of the document.

CTRL+A
MAC: CMD+A

Select all elements in the document.

Editing

Description

BACKSPACE

Delete the selection. Or, if you make no selection, delete the character to the left of the mouse pointer.

CTRL+BACKSPACE
MAC: CMD+BACKSPACE

Delete all of a word to the left of the mouse pointer.

CTRL+C
MAC: CMD+C

Copy the selection.

CTRL+V
MAC: CMD+V

Paste cut contents or copied contents.

CTRL+X
MAC: CMD+X

Cut the selection.

DELETE

Delete the selection.

INSERT

Toggle between inserting and overwriting text.

CTRL+Z
MAC: CMD+Z

Undo the most recent formatting command.

CTRL+Y
MAC: CMD+Y

Redo the most recent undone command.

CTRL+F
MAC: CMD+F

Find text.

SHIFT+F10

Display the contextual menu. This is the same as a right-click.

Formatting

Description

CTRL+B
MAC: CMD+B

Select or clear bold formatting.

CTRL+I
MAC: CMD+I

Select or clear italic formatting.

CTRL+U
MAC: CMD+U

Select or clear underlining.

Copying and Pasting Text to Prevent Loss

To protect against losing work if an internet connection loss or software error occurs, you may choose to type in an offline simple text editor, such as Notepad or TextEdit, and copy and paste your work into Blackboard Learn.

Alternately, before submitting or saving, you can select and copy all of the text typed in Blackboard Learn. Select the text and right-click to copy it. You may also use key combinations for copying and pasting:

  1. Windows: Ctrl+A to select all the text, CTRL+C to copy, and CTRL+V to paste.
  2. Mac: COMMAND+A to select all the text, COMMAND+C to copy, and COMMAND+V to paste.

Direct Editing of the HTML Code

This feature is intended for experienced web developers. If you are confident with editing HTML content this option will give you a degree of control over the content not possible through the standard content editor.

To access the HTML Code view:

  1. Select the HTML Code View button .
  2. This will open the HTML Code View.



  3. When you finish editing the HTML select the Update button to apply your changes and return to the Content Editor.
  4. Be sure to select the Submit button to save your changes.

Editing HTML Legacy content

The majority of the content migrated from WebCT Vista consists of HTML files. Prior to Service Pack 10, the process of editing and updating this legacy content was over-complicated and involved downloading the files locally, making changes in a third party tool and then uploading the files again to Blackboard.

A much requested function was the ability to edit this content within Blackboard. The new Content editor now makes this possible with the Edit in Blackboard option.

To edit legacy content:

  1. With Edit mode ON.
  2. Rollover the content item your wish to edit, a contextual menu - indicated by a triangle icon- will become available.

    Item Contextual Menu

  3. Select the triangle icon - a menu will appear.



  4. Select the Edit in Blackboard option. If this option is not available then this item is not a HTML file.
  5. The Edit in Blackboard window will open.

    Edit in Blackboard window

  6. You will now be able to edit the HTML just as you would any other content item.
  7. If you are comfortable working with HTML select the HTML Code View button from the content editor menus HTML Code View Button to edit the raw HTML.