The New Blackboard Content Editor

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The new Blackboard Content Editor has made improvements to the Content Editor.

The main difference is the editor’s appearance. It has a clean design, with clear icons and adding content has been simplified, making it quicker to work with.

The editor also works better on different mobile devices and larger screens. There are no longer any pop-up windows when using the editor.

You can still do everything you could before but there are some new features and improvements to existing options. Some icons have changed and the options to do things are in different places, for example, inserting videos or files.

What’s Updated?
  • Quicker way to add content and embed videos.
  • A better HTML editor
  • Code Sample Tool – Ability to include code samples as text
  • External Web links automatically embed
  • Searchable Special Character Library and Updated Equation Editor
  • An accessibility checker for your text and images.
  • Other Content Editor Icon Updates
The Add Content Icon
  1. Add Content: Click the + (Add content) button – the Add content dialog box allows users to select files from multiple sources:

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 add alt text by right-clicking on the item.

2. Common Tools: When adding local files, multiple files can now be selected at once using standard desktop actions (shift or control/command). Because the change in workflow removed the pre-upload properties page when uploading a file to link, there is no longer a drag-and-drop hotspot. For images and video, the ability to add multiple at once is a new capability. Controls for applying advanced settings such as class, style, and mouse-over images have been removed for a simpler user experience. Because images and media are automatically recognized and embedded, you can’t create a text link to these types of files anymore.  

Insert Content Collection: When linking to an HTML file in the Content Collection, users were given multiple permissions options that could be confusing for users and result in linked websites that weren’t visible to course users. Now there is a single behaviour to grant students read access to all files and folders in the same folder as the linked HTML file. A warning is given that if this isn’t acceptable, files should be reorganized before linking.

3. Additional Tools: Embedding content from third-party Building Blocks has changed. Third-party tools (“Mashups”) have moved from the main toolbar to the Add Content (Plus) menu. Select the add button (+) for all sources and options for adding content. Choose the Building Block source under the “Additional Tools” area. Mashup and YouTube videos moved to the Plus menu

HTML Editing

When authoring or editing HTML, it’ll be easier to find what you’re looking for with line numbers and tag colors. The HTML editor now shows line counts and formats text for greater readability. The CSS editor tool has been removed to simplify the experience. Advanced users can apply styles in the HTML editor.

The new editor allows you to either:

  • Remove all formatting (such font, highlighting, background colours etc) when copy-pasting.
  • And choose to remove extra HTML when pasting text from other web sources but retain basic formatting, such as headings, links and bullet lists.

Correctly formatted text copied from word processors such as MS Word, retains basic formatting and is converted into clean web-formatted text.

Code Sample Tool

inline without being processed as actual code and removed for security reasons. Super handy for computer science classes and coding clubs.

The code sample editor allows you to paste in lines of code without the editor formatting them, perfect for giving examples of code without having to add spaces or otherwise deviate from the original coding.

External Web Links Automatically Embed

When pasting links to 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.

Searchable Special Character Library and Updated Equation Editor

The “symbol” tool has been renamed “special character.” The special character library has been expanded and items are now categorized. Users can search for a symbol.  The HTML code for a symbol is no longer displayed. At release, the search feature will be limited to English.

The equation editor

The icon for accessing the equation editor has been updated. Accessibility in the equation editor has also been improved. The image of the authored formula automatically has alt text added that describes the formula. The alt text will be in the language of the formula author if using Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Norwegian (NB), Norwegian (NN), Portuguese (BR), and Spanish; otherwise, alt tags will be English.

Other Content Editor Icon Updates
The remove formatting icon has changed.
The icon for inserting an anchor has been updated to look like a bookmark.

Preview, help, and full-screen mode icons are updated, and content no longer launches in a new window.

Bold, Italics, Underline, and Strikethrough. Functionality unchanged, but Latin characters B,I,U, and S represent the formatting instead of T for all.
The show more toggle has an updated icon more commonly used in modern applications. Because the editor is now fully responsive, as many tools can be displayed on the first line, after that the show more toggle will appear. Once a user has expanded the tool options, the application will retain this configuration.
The new accessibility checker icon helps authors make content more accessible. Alternative text can be added, and formatting issues corrected when reviewing the content with the tool.
Bullet and list types are now displayed visually instead of in a test list
Font choices are displayed as the indicated font rather than just a list of font names.