Blackboard: Content Editor

Content Editor

 The Blackboard Content Editor appears nearly everywhere you can input text - discussion boards, assignments, essay questions, journals, blogs, wikis, and email (only Add content (+) is not present for email). 


There are many reasons to like the updated Content Editor. Adding content has been simplified. In addition, the editor is now responsive so it works better on both hand-held devices and larger screens. There are several improvements for accessibility and some new features. Besides some updated tool icons, there are also some changes in behavior to know about.

new content editor preview

Top 5 Changes

Here are the biggest changes in the content editor. Click a panel to read more. 

Previously, when adding an image, video, file, or other content from an integrated tool (“Mashup”), you had to first pick the right tool option for the type of content you were adding, then choose your source (whether from your computer, cloud storage, or tool provider). Now, just select the add button (+) for all sources and options for adding content.

If you select a file, the Content Editor will now automatically recognize what kind of a file it is. You can still edit the display options and properties by right-clicking on the item.

The toolbar is responsive and automatically wraps to show the tools on as many rows necessary for the device. Option menus in the editor now use overlay models rather than opening new windows. This greatly improves accessibility and the mobile experience.

 The new accessibility checker helps authors make content more accessible while they are editing. Alternative text can be added, and formatting issues corrected when reviewing the issues. The editor itself is more accessible with higher contrast buttons and menus along with fewer option tabs and pop-up windows.

Pasting content from Word, Excel, and websites is even better. The "Keep formatting" option retains all formatting from the source. The "Remove formatting" option will remove extra HTML formatting, but will retain basic formatting like bold, italics, and size.  

When pasting links for websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion, the videos are automatically embedded for inline playback. Other sites including The New York Times, WordPress, SlideShare and Facebook will embed summary previews.

More Changes

 Display Computer Code

Authors can now share formatted computer code snippets, super handy for computer science classes and coding clubs.

 Add Multiple Files of Different Types

Adding content used to be a two-step process. You had to choose the right tool for the type of content you were adding and then choose the source. The first step is gone. Pick one or multiple files at once from your computer or the Content Collection. And of course, you can still access files from your favorite cloud storage services.

 Expanded Emoticon Library

The options for emoticons are expanded, grouped into categories, and searchable.

  Find Special Characters More Easily

A larger library of special characters is organized into categories and searchable.

 Expands Automatically

When authoring with many tools such as creating an Item or a Discussion Thread, the authoring area will automatically expand for you. To edit a large amount of content and pin the toolbar to the top, use the full screen mode.

  New Table Options

Creating a table has been simplified with a grid selector instead of a pop-up. When adding tables, column widths default to use percentages rather than fixed widths for greater responsiveness across devices.

  Link Tool is for External Sites

To add links to files in the Content Collection, go the Add Content  menu. The link tool is now only for external links.

 Recording Feedback

The option to record audio/video feedback from your device has moved from the main toolbar to the Add Content  menu.

  Mashups Moved

Third-party tools (“Mashups”) have moved from the main toolbar to the Add Content  menu.

  Spellchecker Updates

The Spellchecker Tool more smartly picks the default language based on course selection and user choice when available. Dictionaries have been updated and expanded. Click the tool to run spellcheck.

 Easier HTML Editing

When authoring or editing HTML, it’ll be easier to find what you’re looking for with line numbers and tag colors.

  Text Formatting, Bullets, List

Options for formatting text, bullets, and lists are now presented in recognizable ways rather than just as text. For example, font choices will appear as those fonts and bullet options will display visually as those bullet types.

 Toolbar Wrapping

The toolbar will show as many tools as it can for the size of your screen before wrapping to the next line. Show and collapse the additional tools with the ellipsis icon.

  Access Full Editor in More Places

When authoring a very complex test question with lots of question and answer options, a limited editor is presented so the page loads faster. You can now expand those into a full editor as needed.

  Search Only Selected Content

When using find and replace, you can now limit your search just to content that’s been selected.

Wherever you can add and format text in your course, you can launch the math editor to create mathematical formulas.

Learn more from Blackboard Help: Math Editor 
  • To improve accessibility and mobile use, windows are now overlay modals instead of new windows. For third-party Building Blocks that use a cancel action to close the window, they may need to update their Building Block to close the modal instead. A Building Block can be compatible with both behaviors at the same time. If a Building Block isn’t updated, a user may have to use the modal close action (x) instead of the cancel button provided in the Mashup.
  • To help maintain academic integrity, the feature to convert links into playable embedded media is disabled during test-taking so helpful resources can’t be viewed in a test if a locked-down browser is being used. Similarly, links can’t be opened when authoring.
  • The editor size will automatically scale on the page to fit the content. To edit a large amount of content and pin the toolbar to the top, use the full screen mode.
  • Due to changes in editor behavior, the following APIs are deprecated and should no longer be used: isUrlLink, rows, and customConfig.

Full Comparison of Tools

To view a detailed comparison of all old vs new tools, see the attached Editor Comparison pdf.


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Article ID: 443
Wed 9/30/20 9:57 AM
Fri 8/26/22 11:18 AM