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Using HTML Editor/Spell Check

When creating text in Desire2Learn ( News, Discussion, Content, etc.), you are working in the Design view of the integrated HTML Editor. In addition to formatting options, additional features in the HTML Editor allow you to insert equations and objects such as audio files.

The HTML Editor Environment

Whenever you create text (e.g., a Discussion, a News item, an essay question on a quiz), you will be using the HTML Editor. Tool icons display at the top of the editor and in the lower right corner of the editor.

D2L HTML Editor

To see all tools available in the HTML editor:

  • If your D2L window is not set to full screen or if you are using a device/computer with a smaller screen, you may not currently see all available tools. Click on the three dots in the upper right corner to reveal more tools: More Tools button in HTML editor

  • Click on the arrows to the right of the various tool groups in the toolbar to reveal more options related to that tool group:

    HTML Editor tool bar

Toolbar Buttons

Button Description
Insert Stuff Opens the Insert Object dialog box, allowing you to insert audio and video objects.
Insert Image icon Inserts an image.
Link icon in HTML Editor Inserts a Quicklink.
Show Additional Insert Options Click on the arrow to the right of the Insert Quicklink icon to access the next three Insert options: Insert Symbol, Insert Horizontal Rule, and Insert/Edit Attributes.
Insert Symbol Opens the Select Symbol dialog box, allowing you to insert custom characters.
Insert Line Opens the Horizontal Rule dialog box, with which you can insert horizontal lines.
Insert Attributes Opens the Attributes dialog box, allowing you to set or edit attributes (e.g., title, text direction.)
Paragraph format options Allows you to format text (e.g., paragraph, Heading 1, etc.)
bold Bolds text.
italics Italicizes text.
underline Underlines text.
More formatting options Click on the arrow to the right of the Underline icon to access the next three formatting options: Strikethrough, Subscript, and Superscript.
Insert strikethrough Puts a strikethrough through selected text.
subscript Makes the selected text subscript.
Superscript Makes the selected text superscript.
Indent Right icon Indents the selected text.
Outdent icon Outdents the selected text.
bullet list Formats text into a bulleted list.
Additional formatting options Click on the arrow to the right of the bulleted list icon to access more formatting options.
numbered list Formats text into a numbered list.
left align Left-aligns text.
center Centers text.
right align Right-aligns text.
full align Full-aligns text.
Font Family Changes the font family.
Font size Changes the font size.
Apply color Foreground color applies the chosen color to text.
Graphical equation Insert a Graphical Equation.
Insert equations options Click on the arrow to right of the Graphical Equation to access two additional math editors: Math ML equation and LaTeX equation.
Insert Table icon Inserts a table.
Cut text icon Cuts the selected text and moves it to the Clipboard.
Copy text icon Copies the selected text to the Clipboard.
Paste icon Pastes text.
additional Paste options Click on arrow for additional paste options.
Paste as plain text Pastes text as plain text, i.e., strips out the formatting.
Paste from Word Pastes text from Word.
Undo Undoes the previous action.
redo Redoes the last undone action.
more tools icon Shows more tools if all available tools are not already displayed.

Toolbar Buttons in lower right of HTML Editor

Button Description
Spell check Spell checker
HTML source code editor Opens the  HTML Source Editor window, in which you can edit the HTML code directly.
Preview window Opens the Preview window, in which you can see your document as it will appear to students.
full screen mode Toggles full-screen mode for the HTML Editor. SAVE button disappears when full-screen mode is used. Toggle back to small screen to save.
Enlarge HTML Editor windw Drag to enlarge HTML Editor window. (SAVE button does not disappear when then option is used.)

Using the HTML Editor

  1. In the text area, type the desired text.

    HINT: To have the HTML Editor appear full screen, click Toggle Full Screen Mode. full screen mode

    Toggling full screen mode hides the SAVE button from view. Saving often is important, so make sure you frequently shrink your window by clicking the Toggle Full Screen Mode button, save, then re-enter full screen mode.

  2. To apply basic formatting to your text, select the Basic tab, use the toolbar buttons.

  3. To apply advanced formatting to your text, select the Advanced tab, use the toolbar buttons.

    HINT: You can make changes directly to the code by clicking Edit HTML Source. HTML source code editor

  4. To check the spelling of your text, click the Spellcheck icon. Spell check

    For more information, refer to Using Spell Check.

  5. To preview the new changes, click Preview. Preview window

  6. To make any additional changes to your message, repeat steps 1-5.

  7. If you are using full screen mode, to exit it, press Toggle Full Screen Mode. full screen mode

  8. When finished, click Save (or Post or Publish or Update depending on the tool you are in).

Copying and Pasting Content into the HTML Editor

Before you copy and paste text, remove all formatting including bullets, numbers, tabs, page numbers, etc. Pasting formatted text may add code which can create unintended results.

  1. Copy the text you want to paste into the HTML Editor.

  2. In the HTML Editor, select the Advanced tab.

  3. To paste text that contains no formatting, click Paste. Paste icon
    To paste text that contains some formatting, click Paste as plain text. Paste as plain text
    NOTE: This will remove the formatting and paste only the text.
    To paste text that has been copied from Microsoft Word, click Paste from Word. Paste from Word

  4. Using the various tools in the toolbar, apply the desired formatting.

  5. Click Save or Post.

Using Spell Check

Desire2Learn's spell checking feature helps correct spelling errors. The spell checker is a helpful tool, but should not be used alone. Always proofread your text for mistakes the spell checker cannot correct (e.g., than/that/then, their/there, its/it's, etc.). The spell checker may select words that are not misspelled (e.g., last names, product names, and foreign words). You can choose to ignore or replace each word the spell checker questions. In Desire2Learn text can be spell checked if it is typed in the HTML Editor. Type your text.

  1. Click the Spell Checker icon. spellcheck

    spellcheck bar

  2. A Spell Checker dialog box appears.

    spellcheck box

  3. Each misspelled word is highlighted in red. The Spell Checker will go through the words in order, highlighting them in yellow and offering correction suggestions.
    NOTE: If the word is spelled correctly (a last name, for instance), click Ignore Once, or Ignore All.

  4. Click on the Suggestion pull-down menu to get the full list of suggestions.
    Type the correct word into the text box.

  5. Click Replace Once, or Replace All, depending on how many misspellings of the word there are.

  6. Repeat steps 4-6 as necessary.

  7. When you have finished, click Apply, and the HTML text editor appears again with the corrected text.

Help Desk

For more information or to request a service, contact the LTS Help Desk:
HelpDeskLogo715-836-5711 | | OL1106