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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. This editor offers both basic and advanced formatting options. In addition to formatting options, the Advanced tab in the HTML Editor allows 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), you will be using the HTML Editor. The Basic tab of the HTML Editor window is shown here:

HTML editor

Basic Toolbar Buttons

Button Description
spellcheck Turns the spell checker on and off. When on, misspelled words are underlined in red.
bold Bolds text.
italics Italicizes text.
underline Underlines text.
left align Left-aligns text.
center Centers text.
right align Right-aligns text.
full align Full-aligns text.
bullet list Formats text into a bulleted list.
numbered list Formats text into a numbered list.
insert table Inserts a table.
insert quicklink Inserts a Quicklink. 
insert image Inserts an image.
HTML source editor Opens the HTML Source Editor window, in which you can edit the HTML code directly.
preview Opens the Preview window, in which you can see your document as it will appear to students.
toggle for html editor Toggles full screen mode for the HTML Editor.

Advanced Toolbar Buttons

The Advanced Toolbar tab of the HTML Editor window is shown here:

message buttons

Button Description
cut Cuts the selected text and moves it to the Clipboard.
copy Copies the selected text to the Clipboard.
paste Pastes text.
paste as plain text Pastes text as plain text.
paste from word Pastes text from Microsoft Word.
undo Undoes previous action.
redo Redoes last undone action.
text color Allows you to change the color of the text.
outdent Outdents the selected text.
indent Indents the selected text.
horizontal line Opens the Horizontal Rule dialog box, with which you can insert horizontal lines.
subscript Makes the selected text subscript.
superscript Makes the selected text superscript.
strikethrough Puts a strikethrough through selected text.
insert edit attributes Opens the Insert/Edit Attributes dialog box, allowing you to set attributes (e.g., title, text direction.)
insert custom character Opens the Select Custom Character dialog box, allowing you to insert custom characters.
insert equation Opens the Insert Equation dialog box, allowing you to create equations.
insert stuff Opens the Insert Object dialog box, allowing you to insert audio and video objects.
format pull down Allows you to format text (e.g., Paragraph, Heading 1).
font family pull down Changes the font family.
font size pull down Changes the font size.

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. toggle for html editor
    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 editor 

  4. To check the spelling of your text, click the Spellcheck icon. spellcheck
    For more information, refer to Using Spell Check.

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

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

  7. If you are using full screen mode, to exit it, click Toggle Full Screen Mode. toggle for html editor

  8. When finished, click Save or Post.

Copying and Pasting Content into the HTML Editor

HINT: 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
    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 Basic and Advanced tabs, 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