The Visual Text Box Editor presents controls for entering and formatting text, equations, and multimedia files. When it is enabled, it appears throughout the system as the default editor when adding text through a text box.
If the Visual Text Box Editor does not appear, first check the list of browsers below to ensure that the current browser is compatible. If it is, check that the Visual Text Box Editor is enabled through Personal Settings. If the Visual Text Box Editor still does not appear, it has most likely been disabled by the System Administrator.
Users who access the system through assistive technologies should use standard text entry options instead of the Visual Text Box Editor. Please see the previous topic, Entering Text, for more information.
The Visual Text Box Editor is compatible with the following browsers on Windows Operating Systems:
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0
Mozilla Firefox 1.0
The Visual Text Box Editor will not work with older versions of these browsers. Instead, the standard options for entering text will appear.
The Visual Text Box Editor is compatible with the following browsers on Macintosh Operating Systems:
When run on Safari, the Visual Text Box Editor Lite Version appears. The Lite Version does not include the button controls for several features because Safari does not yet support those rich-text editing features. Some features that are not accessible from a button in the Lite Version may still be activated using keyboard shortcuts. For example, the cut, copy, and paste functions may still be used through the keyboard shortcuts. Macintosh users may also download and use the free Mozilla Firefox 1.0 (or higher)Web Browser to use all the features of the Text Box Editor.
Firefox users must perform an extra step to enable the cut, copy, and paste functions. The first time an attempt is made to cut, copy, or paste text in the Visual Text Box Editor, a message from Firefox will appear explaining that the action is not allowed. A link is provided for information on how to enable the cut, copy, and paste functions by editing a Firefox configuration file. The link currently points to http://www.mozilla.org/editor/midasdemo/securityprefs.html. Please check with Firefox for the most up-to-date information on using rich-text tools for cut, copy, and paste. Macintosh users may find that this does not fully resolve the problem, particularly because Fireflox does not permit pasting text from Microsoft Office files on Mac. To accomplish this task, paste the text into a basic text editor, such as TextEdit or Notepad and then paste the text into the Visual Text Box Editor.
The Visual Text Box Editor has three collapsible rows of buttons. The tables below define the functions of each button and identifies if the button is available in the Lite Version that runs on the Safari browser.
First row basic actions
Select a style for the text. The options correspond to standard HTML Style types.
Select the size of the text.
Select the font.
Make selected text bold.
Make selected text italics.
Underline the selected text.
Display text with a horizontal line through the characters. For example, strikethrough.
Display text on the same line but slightly above the current text. For example, 7th.
Display text on the same line but slightly below the current text. For example, H20.
Align text to the left.
Align text in the center.
Align text to the right.
Create a numbered list or add a numbered list item.
Create a bulleted list or add a bullet list item.
Move text left.
Move text right.
Second Row Additional Basic Actions
Select the ABC checkmark to open Spell Check.
Cut the selected items.
Copy the selected items.
Paste copied or cut content.
Removes formatting tags that are shown in the Pathfinder at the bottom of the text box. Highlight the formatting tag to delete in the Pathfinder and then click Clear Formatting to remove. This is useful when copying and pasting text from another application yields discrepancies in formatting.
Select the circular arrow pointing to the left to undo the previous action.
Select the circular arrow pointing to the right to redo the previous action.
Add a hyperlink. Types include: file, ftp, gopher, http, https, mailto, news, telnet, and wais. Please keep in mind that when creating a hyperlink, the text that appears on the page is separate from the information about the link. Information on where the link points is stored in a tag that surrounds the text. Therefore, it is possible to change the link without changing the text that is displayed to users. Please be careful when constructing links to ensure that the text is consistent with where users will be taken when they click the link.
Add a table.
Add a line.
Add a highlight color to the selected text.
Specify the color of the text.
Open the WebEQ Equation Editor icon (x) to add an equation. Equations cannot be added to a cell in a table. Instead, create the equation outside the table and then cut and paste the equation into the cell.
Open the MathML Equation Editor icon to add an equation.
Preview the content as it will be seen by end users.
Toggle to view the HTML code that is generated by the Visual Text Box Editor. Users may also edit the HTML in this view. Click HTML view again to toggle back to the standard view.
The following table includes a description of some options specific to each type of file attachment. This row will only appear where it is possible to attach a file or link to a file in the Blackboard Content System.
Third row file attachment actions and special options
Add a file to the text area. The Insert Link to File page will appear.
Browse: select a file from the local machine
Link to Content Collection: select an item or folder from the Content Collection, if Content System integration is allowed.
Specify Source URL: provide a URL where the item is located.
Name of link to file: provide a descriptive name of the content is helpful for the user. This allows the user to read the link in context, rather than simply read the name of the file being linked to.
Launch in New Window: Select whether to open the file in the current window or open a new browser window to display the file.
Add an image to the text area. The Insert Image page appears.
Add MPEG/AVI media content to the text area. The Insert MPEG file page appears.
Add Quick Time
Add Apple QuickTime media to the text area. The Insert QuickTime File page appears.
Add an audio file, such as .mp3, .midi or .wav to the text area. The Insert Audio File page appears.
Add Macromedia Flash or Shockwave media to the text area. The Insert SWF File page appears.
Users have the option of attaching different types of files to the Visual Text Box Editor. Do not copy and paste a file from one text box to another; this will cause errors. More information about the available options when adding a multimedia file can be found in the topic, Insert Multimedia File.
The table below explains which button in the Third Row of the Visual Text Box Editor is used to add different file types.
File attachment types
.doc, .exe, .html, .htm, .pdf, .ppt, .pps, .txt, .wpd, .xls, .zip
.gif, .jif, .jpg, .jpeg, .tiff, .wmf
.avi, .mpg, .mpeg
.aiff, .asf, .moov, .mov, .mp, .wav, .wma, .wmv
The Visual Text Box Editor supports the keyboard shortcuts listed in the table below. Please note that Macintosh users should use the CMD key instead of the CTRL key.
Note: If the shortcut keys that move selected items one character left, right, up, or down are used, the object being moved will be absolutely positioned. An absolutely positioned element is determined by pixels, so moving it up once will move it up one pixel.
Move one character to the right.
Move one character to the left.
Move down one line.
Move up one line.
MAC: CMD+RGT ARROW
Move right one word.
MAC: CMD+LFT ARROW
Move left one word.
Move to the end of the line.
Move to the start of the line.
MAC: CMD+DWN ARROW
Move down one paragraph.
MAC: CMD+UP ARROW
Move up one paragraph.
Move down one page.
Move up one page.
Move to the beginning of the text.
Move to the end of the text.
Extend the selection one character to the right.
Extend the selection one character to the left.
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW
Extend the selection right one word.
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+LEFT ARROW
Extend the selection left one word.
Extend the selection up one line.
Extend the selection down one line.
Extend the selection to the end of the current line.
Extend the selection to the start of the current line.
Extend the selection down one page.
Extend the selection up one page.
Extend the selection to the end of the document.
Extend the selection to the beginning of the document.
Select all elements in the document.
Delete the selection. Or, if there is no selection, delete the character to the left of the cursor.
Delete all of a word to the left of the cursor.
Copy the selection.
Paste cut contents or copied contents.
Cut the selection.
Delete the selection.
Toggle between inserting and overwriting text.
Undo the most recent formatting command.
Re-do the most recent undone command.
Display the context menu. This is the same as a right-click.
Toggle bold formatting.
Toggle italic formatting.
Missing Image Detection functionality is available when a user:
pastes HTML with a broken image into the HTML view of the Visual Text Box Editor
Missing image detection functionality does not apply when a user:
pastes HTML with a broken image into the Visual Text Box Editor
uploads an HTML file with a broken image from the third row of the Visual Text Box Editor
links to an HTML file in the Content Collection with a broken image (either via the third row of the Visual Text Box Editor or as a URL in the Text Box Editor).
Note: Images are stored in HTML using the following syntax: <img scr="http://image_path">. The source location should be inside double of single quotations.
The Text Box Editor and Visual Text Box Editor both allow the entry of formatted text in the Blackboard Academic Suite.
The Text Box Editor allows Plain Text, Smart Text and HTML formatting. The Visual Text Box Editor allows users to modify content in an interface resembling a word processor, and perform basic HTML functions without knowledge of any HTML. These features include creating tables, bulleted lists, hyperlinks, horizontal lines, and more. Users may also format text and paragraphs, and upload multimedia files in the Visual Text Box Editor. Both editors may include WebEQ, MathML and SpellCheck features.
© 2006 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and confidential