HTML editor

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: HTML editor.

Note: There is a new HTML editor in Moodle 2.0 onwards. See HTML editor 2.0 for details.

Moodle has a standard toolbar that serves as an HTML interface. Many of the icons on the tool bar can be found on most text editing (word processing) programs. This page will cover some of the icons/tools which may not be as familiar to a new user of Moodle.

For example, you can cut/copy and paste text from other applications into this editor and formatting will be preserved. There is the usual Ed paste.gif clipboard icon which is for pasting text that has been copied or cut. Or use the usual short cut keys of Control+C and Control+V .

HTML editor toolbar features

HTML editor toolbar in 2.0. See HTML editor 2.0
HTML editor toolbar in a 1.9.5 Lesson page, other modules will look similar.

Font and background colours

There are two icons to change the Ed color fg.gif font and the Ed color bg.gif colour behind text. Clicking on the icon will bring up a color pallet. Note the HTML color code is displayed.

HTML toolbar Color pallet.JPG


Ed anchor.gif An HTML anchor identifies text within a page which can be referenced by a link. To use the Anchor, highlight the word, then click on the Anchor icon. Give the anchor a name. Anywhere on the page, highlight the word you would like to link to the Anchor. Use the Link icon and the pull down menu to find the correct anchor. HTML toolbar anchor tool.JPG

Inserting links

Ed link.gif
An HTML link creates a path to an external, internal or within the current page. The icon saves writing code. One method is to copy the address bar from the location you want, click on the link icon, then paste the URL. Another method is to press the Browse button, which will display the Files area of the course, from whence you select an existing file or upload a new file and link to that.

To make a new link

  • Type the text that you want to serve as the anchor for your link
      • For example: "Link to course file in"
  • Select the text
      • For example select "course file" by highlighting it with your mouse.
  • Click the Ed link.gif link button in the toolbar
  • Type (or paste, or browse to) the URL you want to link to
      • For example we used "browse", and clicked on the file to get our entry
  • Type in some text which will appear when the mouse rolls over it
      • For example: "Course file in demo moodle."
  • Target - What kind of window should be called up -- typically, open a New window.
      • HTML editor insert link target menu.jpg
  • Anchors - A pull down list allows you to select an anchor you previously created on the page
  • Click OK
HTML toolbar Hyperlink.JPG
  • After the above steps the student will see:
    • This result

  • Ed unlink.gif The unlink, will remove the HTML link from the selected text.

TIPs - inserting links

  • This process does NOT work inside the wiki module where you need to use the Wiki link system (square brackets containing the label and the link separated by a vertical line character)
  • A course file has a URL address that can be found via the browse button

Prevent Automatic Linking

  • Ed nolink.gif The prevent automatic linking icon prevents the selected text from being linked to Glossary. For example, this is useful in a quiz question or where the links are distracting in a presentation.

This also prevents automatic linking to activity or resource pages within the same course if the Resource Names Auto-linking filter has been enabled at Site level.

Inserting images

Ed image.gif Moodle allows you to upload pictures into a course or site folder, then insert that image into the content area. It is also possible to use an existing image located outside of your Moodle site.

You can include images in the content area by using the Ed image.gif button. This will bring up an insert image edit screen to assist you in inserting an picture. More detailed instructions for inserting an image can be found here. Moodle recognizes JPG, GIF and PNG as image files.

Insert image page link in Moodle Documentation

Inserting tables

  • Insert table.gif To add layout to your texts, you can use the "Insert Tables" button in the toolbar.
HTML toolbar table settings.jpg
  • Most table editing tools are only visible if you click the Enlarge Editor button.

Inserting smilies (emoticons)

The smiley icon Smiley.gif will allow you to add a small icon (for example Cool.gif ) in your text. A dialog will pop up that allows you to select from a table of smiley icons. Alternatively, you can just type the corresponding code straight into your text and it will be converted later when your text is displayed.

HTML toolbar Smiley icon selections.JPG

Clean Word button

The clean Word Ed wordclean.gif button removes some Word formatting from your pasted text so that the page is smaller, less complex and thus loads faster. The Microsoft Office HTML Filter 2.0 removes all Word code from HTML file far more effectively for Office 2000. This filter is already built into office in Microsoft Office XP onwards.

Special characters

The special characters special characters button.gif button, allows you to enter special characters from a table.

HTML toolbar Special character selections.JPG

Toggle to HTML Code editing

The Ed html.gif button changes the display window to raw HTML code. This can be useful for those of you that know how to use it (or want to learn!). Most of the buttons do not work in this view, including many of the hotkeys.

Example of HTML code for content area in a forum post

Enlarge editor

The Fullscreen maximize.gif button will expand the HTML editor area.

Clean Word button

The clean Word Ed wordclean.gif button removes some Word formatting from your pasted text so that the page is smaller, less complex and thus loads faster. The Microsoft Office HTML Filter 2.0 removes all Word code from HTML file far more effectively for Office 2000. This filter is already built into office in Microsoft Office XP onwards.

Shortcut keys

Here are some common editing short cut or hot keys which will within the HTML editor in WYSIWYG view. Different operating systems and browsers may not support all these keys. The most universal hot keys are in bold.

Keys Action Keys Action
Ctrl-C Copy Ctrl-V Paste
Ctrl-X Cut Ctrl-F Find text
Ctrl-H Find and replace * *
Ctrl-Z Undo Ctrl-Y Redo
Ctrl-B Make text bold Ctrl-I Make text italic
Ctrl-U Underline text Ctrl-S Strikethrough text
Ctrl-H Change text format (headings etc.) Ctrl-1 to Ctrl-6 Change heading level
Ctrl-, Subscript Ctrl-. Superscript
Ctrl-O Change the font Ctrl-0 Clean Word HTML
Ctrl-L Justify left Ctrl-E Center
Ctrl-J Justify full Ctrl-/ Text runs left to right
Ctrl-| Text runs right to left Ctrl-; Decrease indent
Ctrl-' Increase indent Ctrl-G Change text colour
Ctrl-K Change background colour Ctrl-P Change the font size
Ctrl-` Switch to HTML source code view Ctrl-M Toggle fullscreen editor mode
Ctrl-Alt-O Insert ordered list Ctrl-Alt-U Insert unordered list
Ctrl-Alt-R Insert horizontal rule Ctrl-Alt-A Create anchor
Ctrl-Alt-L Create link Ctrl-Alt-D Unlink
Ctrl-Alt-N Turn off autolinking Ctrl-Alt-I Insert image
Ctrl-Alt-T Insert table Ctrl-Alt-S Insert emoticon
Ctrl-Alt-C Insert special character Ctrl-= Change text language for screen readers, or specify language for the Multilang filter

Tips and Tricks

  • Theme settings can control the default fonts in the HTML editor. It is possible to have individual themes for a context (for example, a course may have its own theme).
  • When you choose many functions a new small window will open. Unfortunately it can often open BEHIND the window you are in so you may miss that anything has happened. You can check new windows with [Alt]+[Tab].
  • The HTML editor does not work in all browsers. If you are using a Mac OS X and for some reason it does not appear, try using Firefox instead of Safari as a browser.
  • To make the switch in Safari in Moodle 1.9:
  1. With Safari open, go to Preferences in the Safari menu.
  2. Select the Advanced tab.
  3. At the bottom of the window, check "Show Develop menu in menu bar"
  4. The second item in the Develop menu is "User Agent". Select a version of Firefox and possibly Internet Explorer also works.
  • Cannot make HTML give you the text style you want? Use an image or even an animated gif file.
  • It is possible to deploy your own custom smiley (emoticon) set. This is described here.

See also

Using Moodle forum discussions: