Updates to Blackboard’s Content Editor

On November 5, 2020, Blackboard released an updated version of its content editor tool. Although the content editor’s primary functions remain the same, this upgrade introduced several new features that should improve accessibility and simplify workflows.

Content Editor

NOTE: If you do not see all the rows of toolbar buttons shown above, click on the ellipsis button (three dots) that is the rightmost button on the first row.

Improvements to Copying and Pasting

Following the upgrade, copying and pasting from external sources—such as Microsoft Word, Excel, or webpages—is more seamless than with previous versions of the editor. When content is pasted from an external source into the content editor, a window will now appear containing two options: Keep Formatting or Remove Formatting:

Formatting Options

  • Keep Formatting will preserve as many formatting elements as possible from the original text. Design elements such as background colors, custom fonts, embedded links, and more will be left in their original format.
  • Remove Formatting will provide a simplified version of the text that is more closely aligned with Blackboard’s default fonts and styles. This option is recommended to maintain a consistent look and feel in your course’s written content. Keep in mind that any formatting that is handled by basic HTML, such as bold, italics, underline, and strikethrough, will be preserved if this option is selected.

Simplified Options for Images, Videos, and External Web Links

There are now several ways to insert images into the content you create. The simplest option is to copy the image from an external source and paste it into Blackboard’s content editor.

Alternatively, an image can be added by placing the cursor anywhere within the content editor’s textbox, then selecting the Add Content (+) icon.

Add Content

To insert an image file from your local computer, select Insert Local Files:

Insert Local Files

Once the image is created, click and drag an image’s corners or sides to modify its size. You can also edit an image by right-clicking on it, and selecting Image… from the menu that appears. A pop-up window will appear where you can manually modify the image’s size in pixels or add an image description.

To add a link to a video or an external website, paste the link directly into the text box and press enter. Blackboard will update the link to add a preview of the content. When links to YouTube and other video website are pasted into the text editor, the video will be automatically embedded:

Embedded video

Streamlined Workflow for File Attachments

To add a file into your written content, select the Add Content (+) icon and choose from the “Common Tools” or “Additional Tools” available. From the options available, select Insert Local Files to attach a file from your local computer, then open the file that you would like to use. This will create a link to the file within the text editor.

Additional Tools

A variety of new tools and features have been added to the content editor. Examples are included below:

Additional Tools

1. A built-in accessibility checker allows users to quickly scan their text for any common accessibility issues.
2. A new code tool allows users to format snippets of text as code within the editor. The tool can accommodate HTML, XML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP, Ruby, Python, Java, C, C#, or C++. Once added, the code displays with typical code formatting and will be separated from the other content within the same text field.
3. A preview option is now available directly within the content editor. Click on the eye icon for a preview of how the content will look when it is posted.

If you have questions about Blackboard’s new content editor or any of its features, please reach out to the LeBow Instructional Technology Team.