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Blackboard Help

Work With Text

Copy and paste text to prevent loss

While you add text to your course, you can protect against loss of work if an internet connection loss or software error occurs. You can type in an offline simple text editor, such as Notepad or TextEdit, and then copy and paste your work into your course.

Or, before you submit or save, you can copy all of the text you want to add. Select the text and right-click to copy it. You can also use key combinations to copy and paste:

  • Windows: Ctrl + A to select all the text, Ctrl + C to copy, and Ctrl + V to paste.
  • Mac: Command + A to select all the text, Command + C to copy, and Command + V to paste.

Can I paste text from Microsoft® Word?

You will have the best results if you type your text directly in the editor and format it with the available options.

You may see issues when you copy and paste text from a Word document directly into the editor. Your original formatting may not appear as you want. You also may not be able to remove or add formatting after you paste the text into the editor. To avoid the formatting issues, you can remove the formatting and reformat it with the functions in the editor.

To remove the Word formatting after you paste the text in the editor, select all the text and select the Remove Formatting icon. Only use this option if you understand that all formatting will be removed. All bullets, numbered lists, indentations, line spacing, centered text, and font formatting and sizing will be removed.

Or, before you add your text in the editor, you can paste it into an offline simple text editor, such as Notepad or TextEdit, and clear the formatting. Then, you can paste the text into the editor and format it as you want.


Add text

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about adding text.

The editor appears wherever you can add and format text, such as in assignments, tests, discussions, blogs, and journals.

You can also use the functions in the editor to attach files, embed multimedia, and insert equations, links, and tables. You have creative control over how your content appears and the flexibility to change the order and appearance.

The default view is WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). You can select the HTML Code View icon and edit or add code.

You can also right-click text to access commonly-used functions. The menu changes based on the location of the cursor and whether or not you have selected text.

To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press Alt + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. The focus is placed on the first icon on the left in the top row. Use the right and left arrow keys to move forward and backward. The up and down arrows don't work to navigate to different rows. Use the arrow keys to move to the end of one row and then up or down to the next available row.


Watch a video about formatting text

This video explains how to format text and add tables, images, and links to your content.

Video: Using the content editor


Adjust line spacing

You can change a CSS setting to adjust the amount of spacing between the lines of text in the editor. You can also use this method to space bullet and number list items.

  1. Select the text you want to add line spacing to.
  2. Select the Edit CSS Style icon to open a separate window.

  3. For Line Height, you can make settings in two menus:
    • In the second menu, select an option, such as ems.
    • In the first menu, select (value) and type a value. For our example, type "2," which will display text as double spaced when used in combination with ems.
  4. Select Update. Your new line spacing shows in the editor.
  5. Select Submit.


Work with lists

In the editor, you can add bullet and number lists to your text.

  • Number List: Choose from the available list options:
    • Default: Numerals
    • Alphabetic
    • Roman numerals
    • Greek symbols
  • Bullet List: Choose from filled circle, open circle, disc, or square.

Adjust spacing between bullet and number items

You can adjust spacing between bullet and number items with the Edit CSS Style function. Or, you can increase the amount of space between bullet and number items in the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) view or HTML code view.

By default, bullet and number lists have the same spacing as lines in a paragraph. Each item in the list uses the <li> tag to create each bulleted or numbered item.

Adjust spacing in WYSIWYG view

In WYSIWYG view, after you create your list, place your mouse pointer at the end of each bulleted or numbered line and press Shift + Enter. You're adding a line space between each list item. If you continue to press the key combination, additional line spaces are added. In code view, you'll see <br /><br /> for each line space. This code appears inside each bulleted or numbered item's closing tag (</li>).

Adjust spacing in code view

If you want to control the amount of spacing between list items, you need to work in code view. Select the HTML Code View icon to open the code window. You can add an amount to each list item's tag. For example, where you see <li>, replace each with <li style="margin-bottom: 8px;">. For the 8px, you can add the amount you need. The spacing is added to the bottom of each bulleted or numbered item, creating space between the list items.

You can adjust paragraph spacing with the same methods.


Insert lines and horizontal rules

You can add lines and horizontal rules to content you add in the content editor.

Select the Line icon to add a thin horizontal line to the current mouse pointer position, spanning the entire width of the text area.

Select the Horizontal Rule icon to add a thin centered line. You can set these options:

  • Width in pixels or as a percentage of the total available width of the text area
  • Height of the line relative to the current position
  • Shadow or not—default is with shadow

Use the Width menu to choose pixels or percentage. Use the Height menu to choose Normal or a height increment from 1 to 5. Select Insert to add the line.


Check your spelling

Your institution controls if this option is available.

Select the Toggle Spell Checker icon to turn the automatic spell checker function on or off. You can change the language's dictionary from the menu. Institutions and instructors can disable spell check. Your institution chooses which spelling dictionaries are loaded in.

You will see wavy, red underlining for words detected as potentially misspelled or not found in the loaded dictionary. If you resume typing text, the spell checker function switches off.

Right-click an underlined word to view a menu:

  • See a list of suggested correction.
  • Ignore the single instance.
  • Ignore all occurrences of the indicated word.

Add links

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about adding links.

You can specify a link to a website, a file from your computer, or the course's file repository, such as the Content Collection if your institution has access to it.

Select text or an object, and select the Insert/Edit Link icon to add a new link or edit an existing link. To remove a link, select the link and select the Remove Link icon. You can also link and remove links with the right-click menu. You must use the http:// protocol when you type or paste an address for the link.

Unless you select text or an object, the Insert/Edit Link and Remove Link icons are grayed out and unavailable.

In the Target menu, choose where to open the link, such as in a new window.

Type an optional title for the window or frame displayed when users select the link. Optionally, select a link class. If no other choices are available, the menu may only show Not Set.


Find and replace text

Select the Find icon to search for matching text and, optionally, replace it with other text.

Find text

In the pop-up window, select the Find tab and type the text to find.

For Direction, choose whether to search up or down from the current mouse pointer position. Select the Match Case check box to match upper and lower case. Clear the check box to ignore case. If the text is located, it appears highlighted in the box.

Select Find Next to locate the next match or Close to close the window.

You can also select the Replace tab to switch to the replace text function.

Replace text

In the Replace with box, type the text to replace the located text with and choose an action:

  • Replace: Replace the next instance found.
  • Replace All: Replace every matched instance.
  • Find Next: Find the next match and highlight it, but don't change the text.

You can also select the Find tab to switch to the search-only function.


ULTRA: Add text

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about adding text.

The editor appears wherever you can format text, such as in assignments, tests, and discussions. Your work automatically saves as you type!

You can add bullet and numbered lists, and bold and italicized text. Use the Formats menu to add headings.

You can also launch the math editor to embed mathematical formulas in your text. The WIRIS editor opens in a new window.

To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a numbered list.


ULTRA: Add links

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about adding links.

You can add links to your text as you work in the content editor. To add a link, select Insert/edit link, represented by a chain link icon. Type the URL and Link Text. You must use the http:// protocol when you type or paste an address for the link. Select OK to insert the link.

You can also add a link to text you've already typed. Highlight the text and select Insert/edit link. The Link Text is automatically added based on the text you have highlighted in the editor.

To remove a link, edit the link and delete the URL. Select OK.