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Formatting Text in Moodle Using the HTML Editor

Moodle allows users to format text in text fields using an HTML Editor. Users can choose between several HTML Editor options, depending on the specific formatting features that they need. This setting is user specific and will apply to all courses in which a user is enrolled.

Your HTML Editor preference only affects your own account, even if you are a “teacher” in a Moodle course. To enable a certain HTML Editor for your students in a Moodle assignment, you will have to tell them how to change the setting from within their own accounts.

Changing the HTML Text Editor in Moodle

  1. Log in to your Moodle account.
  2. Click on your Profile Icon in the top-right corner and select Preferences.
Moodle user Profile icon with Preferences option highlighted.
  1. On the Preferences page, under User account, click Editor preferences.
Moodle User Preferences with Editor Preferences highlighted
  1. From the Text editor drop-down menu, choose one of the following options:
    • Atto HTML Editor (default, and recommended): This is the default text editor in Moodle. It’s user-friendly and provides a toolbar for formatting text and includes the Audio and Video Record buttons.
    • TinyMCE HTML Editor (legacy): If you prefer the older editor from previous Moodle versions, select this option. It does not include the Audio and Video Record buttons, but does have more formatting options than Atto.
    • Plain text area: Use this option if you want to manually markup text without any formatting.
  2. After selecting your preferred text editor, click Save changes.

You will now see the selected editor in all text fields in all the courses you are taking. Again, this setting is specific to the user, not the course. Thus, if you have to use different editors for different courses, you will have to switch the Editor preference based on which assignment you are currently completing.

Moodle HTML Text Editor Options

  • Atto HTML Editor (default, and recommended): This is the default text editor in Moodle. It’s user-friendly and provides a toolbar for formatting text and includes the Audio and Video Record buttons.

Use the Show more buttons button to reveal extra rows of buttons.

Moodle Atto text Editor with the Show more buttons button highlighted
  • TinyMCE HTML Editor (legacy): If you prefer the older editor from previous Moodle versions, select this option. It does not include the Audio and Video Record buttons, but does have more formatting options than the Atto HTML Editor. Use the Toolbar toggle button to reveal extra rows of buttons.
Moodle TinyMCE (legacy) text Editor with the Toolbar Toggle  button highlighted
  • Plain text area: Use this option if you want to manually markup text without any formatting.
  • TinyMCE HTML Editor: This is the latest Moodle HTML editor option. It combines features from both the Atto HTML Editor and the legacy TinyMCE HTML Editor in a more accessible design. Currently, however,  it is missing the Panopto video button. Use the More button to reveal extra rows of buttons. Other formatting options are also available from the drop-down menus located above the first row of buttons.
Moodle TinyMCE HTML test editor with More button and drop-down menus highlighted
Updated on February 16, 2024

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