New Text Editor in Blackboard (for faculty)

Dec. 7, 2021

Blackboard’s Content/Text Editor has been streamlined to simplify adding content and to make it compatible with both a wider variety of hand-held devices and larger screens. The list below details improvements for accessibility and new features. Besides some updated tool icons, there are also some changes in behavior to know about.

This video shows the new Blackboard text editor in action. 

Or, feel free to read a summary of the new features below. Each of the icons accompanying the entries in the list below correspond to their icons in the new content editor image/map below, for ease of reference.


The Power of Plus
Located on the far right, bottom row of text editor icons, the Plus icon provides one easy menu for adding content from your computer, cloud storage, or vendor-supplied tools integrated into Blackboard. The Content Editor will automatically recognize the kinds of files you add.

Better for All Devices
The editor is better suited for all devices – small screen or big. Pop-ups are gone for a better mobile experience.

Improved Accessibility
The editor is more accessible, with a new accessibility checker to make authors’ content more accessible.

Better Copy and Paste
Pasting content from Word, Excel, and websites is even better. You can choose to remove extra HTML or retain basic formatting.

Simple Embed
When pasting links to websites such as YouTube and Vimeo, the videos are automatically embedded for inline playback. A lengthy HTML embed code is no longer needed. Other sites including The New York Times, WordPress, SlideShare and Facebook will embed summary previews.

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. Select one or multiple files at once from your computer, the Content Collection or 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 already added to the Content Collection of your course files on Blackboard, go the Add Content menu. The link tool  is now only for links to external websites. Dropbox is still a good way to host large files (and YouTube for videos) so you can avoid reaching the file size limit for your course. 

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

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 and 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.

If you have any questions about any of the new text editor features or if you need support, feel free to reach out to us.

Find more resources and tips for faculty from the Office of Online Learning, including multimedia and other tutorials