Blackboard Learn: Content Editor

Wherever you have the option to edit text in Blackboard, you see essentially the same Content Editor.

Screen shot of the new Toolbar

The toolbar is fully responsive and will adapt to the screen size. Functions included in the toolbar are:


screen shot of formatting icons Bold, Italic, Underline and Strikethrough       Align text icons - Align to the left, right, centre and justified.    Indent text icon, superscript and subscript icons

  • Make text bold, italic, underlined or strikethrough. 
  • Align text to the left, centre, right and justified. 
  • Indent text and Superscript or Subscript formatting options. 

Formatting Icons for text size and bullet points   Text colour icon with colour pallet   Highlight text icon with colour pallet

  • Insert bulleted or numbered lists.
  • Change the size or colour of text.
  • Highlight text in a variety of colour options. 

Adding links and materials

Insert link icon      Blackboard Content Editor upload icon     embed icon  Maths editor icon  symbols and emojis icons

  • Insert links to files or to web pages.  When pasting links to websites such as YouTube, the videos are automatically embedded for inline playback.
  • Upload images, audio or video files see Upload Images, Videos and Files for more information.  Please note Stream is the recommend method for sharing videos on Blackboard.
  • Embed content from some third party tools such as MS Forms, Padlet etc, using the embed code from the tools share options.
  • Open a pop up Mathematical and Scientific Editor for writing equations etc.
  • Insert symbols or emojis

Using appropriate formatting can make content more engaging and/or easier to read.  For instance: the use of relevant images to break up pages of text; the use of bulleted lists to present information more clearly.

It is also important for Assistive Technologies. The Accessibility Checker will highlight areas of formatting which could be improved for this reason.

You will find a demonstration video of all the features of the updated Content Editor in this Video.


Expand the toolbar

If you can see only one row of the toolbar, instead of the full three rows, click on the ellipsis on the right to expand it.

Scanned image of the top row of the tool bar with the Expand Toolbar icon highlighted.

Avoid excessive formatting

Please avoid excessive formatting – e.g. the use of multiple fonts – as this can be distracting for users and cause accessibility issues. In general we recommend you do not specify the font of text entered into Blackboard. The default styles applied by Blackboard should be responsive and accessible.

screen shot of the format text options

Remove unwanted formatting

When you paste directly from a webpage or document into the Content Editor using Ctrl+V, you will be asked if you would like to keep or remove the formatting. Even when Remove Formatting is selected some formatting (headings, bold, italics) and links remain.

The toolbar has a tool for removing such formatting  – see Remove formatting.


Inserting Mathematical and Scientific symbols

The Mathematics uses WIRIS MathType. For details please see using the Maths editor icon Math Editor (Blackboard Help page).

The editor also allows you to insert symbols useful for Chemistry – see the Chemistry page on the MathType web site.

Code Sample Tool

The new Code Sample tool allows code snippets to be displayed and properly formatted inline without being processed as actual code and removed for security reasons. There is an extensive list of programme languages that this tool can display:

Select the language you want, type or paste the script into the Code Sample tool and it will display formatted inline.

Line spacing and paragraph breaks

The editor has been improved since it was first launched, and line breaks now display correctly – what you see when using the editor should be the same as what you see once your changes are submitted.

Pressing Enter inserts a double line break and starts a new paragraph.

Screenshot of text when displayed in the course

If you want a single line break, press Shift + Enter rather than Return.

Page last updated on October 15, 2021 by taralehane

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