Text editor

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Using a text editor

The text editor (sometimes referred to as the 'HTML editor') 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 default text editor in Moodle is the Atto editor, built specifically for Moodle. There is also a version of the TinyMCE editor and a plain text editor.

Atto HTML editor

Watch this screencast on the Atto HTML editor.

1.Font.png 2.Size.png 3.Bold.png 4.Italics.png 5.Color.png 6. Lightbulb.png 7.Styles.png 8. Bulletpoints.png 9. Numbering.png 10.Leftindent.png 11.Rightindent.png 12.Attachment.png 13. Link.png 14. Nonautolink.png

Atto Row 1

1:Paragraph Styles 2.Font Size 3.Bold 4.Italic
5.More Font Colors 6.Background Color 7.Styles 8.Bullet Point List
9.Numbered List 10.Outdent 11.Indent 12.Link
13.Unlink 14.Prevent Autolink


Atto Row 2

15 Paste Special 16 Insert or Edit Image 17 Insert or Edit Video/ Audio File 18 Manage file
19 Record Audio 20 Record Video 21 Underline 22 Strike Through
23 Subscript 24 Super Script 25 Ruby / Furigana 26 Left Align
26 Center 27 Right Align 28 Left to Right 29 Right to Left


Atto Row 3

30 Horizontal Rule 31 Equation Editor 32 Chemistry Editor 33 Emoticon
34 Insert Character 35 Table 36 Clear Formatting 37 HTML
38 Undo 39 Redo 40 Accessibility Checker 41 Screen Reader Checker
42 Toggle Full Screen

Image drag and drop

If your browser allows it (and if it does, you will see a message at the top of your screen when the editing is on) you can add images into the Atto editor simply by dragging them from your computer:

Drag an image directly into the editor


Text typed into the Atto editor is automatically saved if you leave the page. The default of 60 seconds may be changed by the administrator in Site administration>Plugins>Text editors>Atto HTML editor>Atto toolbar settings. If the user accidentally closes the tab or otherwise leaves the form without submitting, the text in the editor will be restored next time he opens the page. To discard a restored draft, the user needs to cancel the form or press the "Undo" button in the editor.


Accessibility checker

One of the tools available in the text editor is an automated accessibility checker which checks for some common errors in the text. These are usually things in the way the text is constructed that can prevent all users from having equal access to information and functionality. The list of problems that the accessibility checker looks for is:

  • Images with missing or empty alt text (unless they have the presentation role)
  • Contrast of font colour and background colour meets WCAG AA guidelines
  • Long blocks of text are sufficiently broken up into headings
  • All tables require captions
  • Tables should not contain merged cells as they are difficult to navigate with screen readers
  • All tables should contain row or column headers

Screenreader helper

Screen readers basically treat a content editable region like a text box - which is wrong, because it can contain images, links and more.

The screen reader helper provides additional information about the currently selected text (e.g. is it bold), as well as a listing of any images or links in the text.

Equation editor

If either the MathJax or the TeX notation filters are enabled (in Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Filters > Manage filters) then an equation editor button is provided in the toolbar for launching the equation editor.

In Moodle 3.0 onwards, extra buttons are provided for square roots, fractions and vectors.

Equation editor

Table editor

If the administrator has enabled the extra settings for the Atto table editor (see below) then border styling, sizing and colours are available when creating a table:


See also