Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pasting from Microsoft Word into Blackboard

Instructors and students have experienced problems viewing text that has been pasted into Blackboard directly from external applications such as Microsoft Word or other Office products.

The symptoms include text becoming unviewable/uneditable, errors in the Discussion Board, corruption of Test/Survey questions, extra/strangely formatted text/unusual symbols.

The cause of this issue is hidden formatting code that is included when using the copy/paste feature from Microsoft Office products. This "bad HTML code" must be removed prior to pasting into Blackboard.

Here's how to prevent this:

Use the following procedure to prevent issues when pasting Text into Blackboard:

1. In your external application (such as Microsoft Word), highlight the desired text and copy it.

2. Open Notepad (PC: Start > All Programs> Accessories > Notepad) or TextEdit (Mac) and paste your text into the text editor. This action will remove the formatting codes.

3. In your text editor, highlight the entire block of text again (or push CTRL+A on the keyboard to select all) and then copy it again.

4. Go to the your course in Blackboard and paste the text into your desired location.

5. Format your text again using Blackboard’s own Text Box Editor functions in the first two rows of the Toolbar (e.g. Bold, Italics, Underline, etc).

Using this process of "cleaning" your clipboard text of external formatting takes longer but it is very helpful in preventing issues that may occur.

We hope this information is helpful.