Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.2. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Text editor.

Text editor

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The text editor (sometimes referred to as the 'HTML editor' or even 'TinyMCE') has many icons to assist the user in entering content. Many of these icons and functions should be familiar to anyone who uses a word processor. Some examples of where you will see the text editor include: Editing Section headings, description of an activity, writing an answer to a quiz question or editing the content of many blocks.

The standard version of the text editor tool bar

Video introduction to the text editor

HTML editor in Moodle 2.0 video:


List of groups

For those who are not familiar with the tool bar, here are the functions listed by group using the above example. Remember that the site administrator can edit or provide additonal toolbars.

Row 1

  • HTML editor group font style.png - Font, size and heading group
  • HTML editor group undo redo.png - Undo and Redo group
  • HTML editor group find replace.png - Find and Replace group
  • HTML editor group fullscreen 1.png|Full screen toggle

Row 2

  • HTML editor group text effects.png - Text effect group
  • HTML editor group line format.png - Line format group
  • HTML editor group formatting.png - Formatting group
  • HTML editor group color.png - Color group
  • HTML editor group paragraph.png - Paragraph group

Row 3

  • HTML editor group lists.png - Number and Bullets and indents
  • HTML editor group link.png - Link group
  • HTML editor group insert.png - Insert group
  • HTML editor group HTML spell.png - HTML source toggle & spellchecker

Special features

Color pickers

  • HTML editor group color.png

There are 4 levels of selecting a font or background color,

  • A quick pick 5x8 matrix of colors
  • "More colors" that links to Picker, Pallet and Named tabs

Insert images and media

The Insert images and media group
  • 1 Insert Image - uses File picker
  • 2 Insert Emoticon (only present if the site administrator has enabled the "show emoticons as images" filter in Settings>Site administration>Plugins>Filters>Manage filters
  • 3 Insert Media - uses File picker
  • 4 Insert Equation - uses java script editor
  • 5 Insert Non breaking space
  • 6 Insert Custom character - Special keyboard characters
  • 7 Insert Table -

File picker

Upload file screen

Equation editor

HTML editor equation editor 1.png

Custom character

HTML editor custom character selector 1.png

Insert table

To add borders to a table

Cell borders are crucial for helping readers to follow the rows across the screen. If they aren’t showing already you can add them as follows:

  1. In the Wiki page containing your table, click its Edit tab
  2. Carefully select all the cells of the table
  3. Then right click (Macs: Command+click or Ctrl+Click) over any part of your selection to get a context menu; from it select Cell > Table Cell Properties; the cell properties dialog box then loads.
  4. Click on its Advanced tab, set Border Color to black (for instance), then click Apply, and then click Update.
  5. Click Save; the Wiki page containing your table will then load displaying its borders.

Site administration settings

Manage editors

A site administrator can enable / disable text editors in Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Text editors > Manage editors. By default the TinyMCE HTML editor and plain text area are enabled.

Spell engine


The TinyMCE HTML editor used by Moodle has Google Spell as its default spell engine (spell-checker). This can be changed by a site administrator in Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Text editors > TinyMCE HTML editor.

If PSpellShell is selected then aspell 0.50 or later must be installed on your server and the path to aspell set in Settings > Site administration > Server > System Paths.


HTML settings

A site administrator can edit the emoticons (or smileys) used in the text editor in Settings > Site administration > Appearance > HTML settings.

See also