Formatting Text in Blackboard

For some assignments, such as discussion board posts or short-answer questions, Blackboard offers the option for students to type their responses directly into text boxes. Although it is convenient, this option has one key limitation: work may be lost if a student’s internet connection is disrupted, or if a software error occurs. Many users also prefer to compose their posts in a word processing application, such as Notepad or Word, while they are logged out of Blackboard.

To avoid formatting issues when adding text into Blackboard, there are several recommendations to keep in mind.

Using a text editor

To avoid issues related to internet connectivity or formatting, it is recommended that students draft their responses in a simple offline text editor, such as Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac). Once completed, work can be copied and pasted directly into a Blackboard course assignment.

Clearing formatting

Although simple text editors such as Notepad or TextEdit are recommended, some students may prefer to use Word. In most cases, the text from a Word document does not carry over into Blackboard correctly, which can cause issues with the text’s format after the post is submitted. Students can use the following key combinations to remove formatting when they copy and paste text into Blackboard:

  • Windows: use the key combination Ctrl+Shift+V to clear formatting when pasting
  • Mac: use the key combination Command+Shift+V to clear formatting when pasting

As an alternative, text can be pasted into a Blackboard text field using the standard Ctrl+V for Windows and Command+V for Mac. Selecting all pasted text and clicking Blackboard’s Remove Formatting icon will remove all formatting from the text.

Remove formatting icon

If the Remove Formatting icon is not visible, make sure that Blackboard’s toolbar is fully expanded. This can be done by clicking on the double chevron icon, or by clicking on ALT+F10 (PC) or ALT+FN+F10 (Mac).

Expand toolbar icon

Once any formatting has been removed, the buttons in Blackboard’s text editor can be used to underline, italicize, edit font style, add bullets and numbering, or otherwise change the appearance of the text.