The text editor is a large field where you enter content that will display within your Moodle course—for example, on the course home page, in forum posts, in lessons, or in books.
Knowing the text editor is fundamental for developing content and communicating in Moodle, including options for:
- Format text
- Insert or record Media
- Link to course content
If you are new to using the text editor, we recommend starting with the 'Getting Started' guides which cover the essentials of using the text editor
• Moodle's Default Text Editor
UNSW Moodle's preior default text editor was the 'TinyMCE' editor which is no longer supported by Moodle and has not been receiving new updates.
Who does this impact
This change will impact all UNSW Staff and Students. Whilst most existing features will be available in Atto, you may notice a difference in your text editor's appearance.
Some additional features Atto provides over TinyMCE includes;
Modern text editor features (Autosave, grids, accessibility checker, and more)
Additional embed options (Quiz, Lecture Recordings+ and H5P)
Record short audio and video clips
For a full comparison of the differences and how to change the text editor in Moodle, please refer to the information below.
Atto and TinyMCE are text editors predominantly used in UNSW Moodle. TinyMCE is no longer supported by Moodle and Atto has become Moodle's supported text editor. In addition to common text editor features, Atto also offers improved functionality and greater integration with Moodle.
Please refer to our comparison table below to compare features between Atto and TinyMCE.
|Font family selector||No||Yes|
|Font size and type (headings)||Yes||Yes|
|Font colour selector||Yes||Yes|
|Undo & Redo||Yes||Yes|
|Standard text editor features (bold, italics, underline, subscript etc.)||Yes||Yes|
|Insert media (direct upload, theBox etc.)||Yes||Yes|
|Insert special characters||Yes||Yes|
|Word & Character Count||Yes||Yes|
|Directly record audio & video||Yes||No|
|Embed H5P content||Yes||No|
|Embed Lecture Recordings+ content||Yes||No|
|Embed Moodle Quiz questions||Yes||No|
|Bootstrap grid formatting||Yes||No|
|Accessibility checker & other improvements||Yes||No|
|Insert image via copy & paste||Yes||No|
|Insert image via drag & drop||Yes||No|
|Supported, updated and maintained by Moodle||Yes||No|
• Selecting a different editor
Moodle users can change text editors anytime. Changes will be applied across all Moodle pages you visit and evident when adding content in Moodle.
- In Moodle, click on the profile icon and name on the top right
- Select Preferences
- Click on Editor preferences
- Select your preferred text editor and click save
1. Working with Text
Staff and Students are presented with the text editor every time they edit/add content within Moodle. This can range from creating content pages to making forum posts and providing assessment feedback.
In general, Text is entered via the text area towards the bottom and formatted using the toolbar options at the top. Text can also be copied and pasted from other locations.
Headings, Effects, and Formatting!
The Moodle text editor tools allow you to apply effects to the text entered into the text area. Tools behave similarly to the options available in other text editors such as Microsoft Word.
In general, to use text formatting tools
- Click and drag within the text area to highlight text
- Select a tool on the top to apply its effect to the selected text
Text editing options are easy to use and very flexible. Some commonly used text tools are highlighted in the following image.
2. Adding Images and Media
The most common content used alongside text is images, video and audio.
While images are flexible and easy to add, other common media can also be added via the toolbar. You need to be more careful with videos and audio since they are much larger in file size.
The common media tools in the toolbar are the following, we will go into the main options in detail
Making use of Images!
It is easy to add images using the ATTO text editor. If you have the image already as a file on your computer or inside a word document, you can simply drag or copy-paste the image into the text editor. This will upload the image directly into the location you dragged into.
Once uploaded you can always
- Click and drag an image to move it
- Double click the image to open its properties. This allows you to resize the image and also provide alternate text for accessibility.
You can also use the insert image button to select an image file to insert, this does the same thing as the other options.
Videos and Audio
Videos and audio should not be copied directly into the text editor. You need to click on the insert media button in the toolbar to upload video or audio files into the text editor.
Uploaded files will display with a media player within the text editor, you can click and drag them to move the video player similar to how you would move an image.
- Click the Insert media option in the text editor toolbar
- Click 'Browse repositories', no need to select the 'Video' or 'Audio' tab.
- On the left, select the 'theBox' option
- On the right, upload the media file and click save
- Continue selecting the 'Save' and 'Insert' options as they appear. The media will be embedded in the text editor as a media player (it may also look like a URL link in the text editor, this is fine).
Downloading Uploaded Files
Sometimes, you may want to download or recover an uploaded file. Files that are recorded via the recorder or images that have been pasted/uploaded into the page can be downloaded via the manage files button
Just click on a file within the manage files popup and select download
Once you are familiar with adding content, formatting options can be used to make use of space on the screen and group related content.
The options you use depend on the situation, we will go over some of the main options
The 'Bootstrap' grid button within ATTO allows you to group content into columns. This is similar to the layouts you see in web pages where text and images are placed side by side.
Just click on the 'Bootstrap grid' button
and select a layout option!
Once selected, a layout will be added to the text area and any content can be added to the respective columns.
If you have two pieces of content that need to be separated, a separator can be used
To add a separator, create a new line between two of the content and select that line
Click the Horizontal rule button in the toolbar
Tables can be added to layout content in a table format. Grids/Columns are recommended to be used for general layout instead of tables as they are more flexible and resizable
Click on the Insert table button in the toolbar
A popup will appear with options to set up the table, these options must be adjusted to make a good table.
Begin by selecting the number of rows and columns you want at the start. Additional rows and columns can still be added later
Select a border type and style, this determines how the outlines for the table will display. These options should be selected if you want the table to show the cells with an outline.
Select a border color and background color, this is the color of the table outlines and background color of cells. You do not need to select a background color but a border color needs to be selected if you want to see the table cells
Select a table width, this is the percentage of the available space (width) the table will take. It is good to set this as it makes it easier to select cells and add content, especially if you want the table to take the whole available width.
Click 'Create table'
These options can be used to create a variety of table designs, here are some examples
Table with borders 'Around each cell' and style of borders 'Dashed' and Border Color 'Blue'
Table with Define Headers on 'Both', borders 'Around each cell' and style of borders 'Solid'
• Overview of Toolbar
Atto is a text editor used to enter content such as text, images and media into Moodle text fields.
Atto is built and supported by Moodle and offers additional features to improve the user experience, such as:
Content and Accessibility
Embed Quiz, Lecture Recordings+ and H5P
Record short audio and video clips
You can use Atto's toolbar to view common text editor features.
|1. Expand||2. Style||3. Bold||4. Italic||5. Font Colour|
|6. Unordered list||7. Ordered list||8. Link||9. Unlink||10. Emoji picker|
|11. Insert or edit image||12. Insert or edit media||13. Manage files||14. Record audio||15. Record video|
|16. Draw picture||17. H5P|
Click 'Expand' to view additional features.
|1. Underline||2. Strikethrough||3. Subscript||4. Superscript||5. Left align|
|6. Centre align||7. Right align||8. Outdent||9. Indent||10. Equation Editor|
|11. Insert character||12. Table||13. Clear formatting||14. Undo||15. Redo|
|16. Accessibility checker||17. Screenreader helper||18. Echo360 plugin||19. HTML||20. Embed question
|21. Horizontal rule||22. Bootstrap grid||23. Toggle fullscreen|
• Record short audio and video clips
Atto provides users with the ability to record short (up to 2min) audio or video recordings using it's 'Record Audio' & 'Record Video' features.
The Record Audio feature allows users to record an audio recording of up to 2min and conveniently insert this where text content is supported in Moodle.
A great example is using this feature to incorporate voice feedback for your students.
The Record Video feature allows users to record a video recording of up to 2min and conveniently insert this where text content is supported in Moodle.
This feature could be used to record and upload a welcome message to your cohort.
Download Recorded Files
Files that are recorded via the recorder can be downloaded via the manage files button
- Click the 'Manage files' button
- Click on the file to download in the 'File manager'
- Select 'Download'
Hyperlinks can be added into text so that it opens another page when clicked.
To add a link, begin by highlighting the text you want to link
Once highlighted, click the link option in the toolbar
A pop up will appear with the link details. Paste the URL of the page you want to open in the 'Enter a URL' field.
Optionally, you can tick 'Open in new window' if you want the link to open a popup/new tab instead of from the page that the user is on.
Click 'Create link' to add the hyperlink
• Special Characters and Equations
The text editor provides options to add special characters and equations, this is commonly used in mathematics or scientific settings.
These are quite easy to add, generally, you can click on the tool in the toolbar and select the content to add into the currently selected area in the text area.
Click the 'insert character' option
A popup will open where you can select the character to insert. Select a character to insert it.
Click the 'Equation editor' option
A popup will open with an equation editor, you can enter a Tex format equation directly into the editor or use the preset buttons to use different components to make an equation.
A preview will appear on the bottom of the popup and can be used to ensure the equation is correct.
Click Save equation when ready and it will be added to the text area
Superscript and Subscript
Text can be made into superscript and subscript to have it appear smaller and located above/below other text.
Begin by highlighting the text to make into superscript or subscript
Select the superscript or subscript button in the toolbar
This will make the text into a superscript/subscript
• Content and Accessibility
Aside from direct text editor features, Atto offers improved functionality such as:
- Easier image upload: You can copy and paste or drag and drop images directly into Atto.
- Autosave: Content entered into Atto will be autosaved every minute.
- Accessibility checker: Inbuilt accessibility checker which when pressed, checks your content for common accessibility issues and provides suggestions for improvement.
When uploading images, Atto will require users to either mark images as decorative or provide alternate text so it's identifiable via screenreaders or when the image cannot load.
- Screenreader helper: Typically, screenreaders may treat editable content regions as a text box, this is inaccurate as can miss some content. Screenreader helper identifies additional information such as text styling, images and links.
• Embed Quiz, Lecture Recordings+ and H5P
Using the Atto text editor, you can directly include Quiz questions, Lecture Recordings+ interactive media and H5P content into any location where text can be entered in Moodle.
Moodle Quiz Questions
You can include questions from a Moodle quiz question bank throughout your Moodle course as a means of introducing micro tasks to compliment your course material for students to complete as they navigate through your content.
For additional information, please visit our Moodle Quiz page or ask our Chatbot A.I.D.E
Lecture Recordings+ media
Similar to Moodle quiz, you can include two types of content from Lecture Recordings+ (LR+) to compliment your course materials;
- Media - Lecture recordings, videos etc.
- Interactive Media - Recordings which contain interactive media (e.g. polling questions)
For additional information, please visit our Lecture Recordings+ page or ask our Chatbot A.I.D.E
H5P allows users to create and add interactive content to their Moodle courses. You can also embed H5P content to add interactivity alongside your course materials.
For additional information, please visit our H5P - Complete Guide page or ask our Chatbot A.I.D.E