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Formatting Issues When Pasting from Word

Question asked by rs28480 on Dec 6, 2018

Hi! We are on Learn SaaS (Original experience), continuous delivery. Over the years as a BB system admin, I have had complaints from students about how poorly Blackboard renders formatted text that is copied from Word and pasted into a Discussion Board post. I have submitted tickets on behalf of these students to BB tech support, but the standard response is always "Word uses Word coding, BB uses HTML coding, they do not speak the same language."

I have worked with many other systems that allow users to copy and paste text from Word to their HTML platform using a "Paste from Word" feature that strips the Word coding out and maintains the intended formatting (bold, italics, underline) without making a mess for the user to clean up after the paste.

So my question is this? If Blackboard's Visual Text Box Editor (VTBE) is SO bad, why can't they look into finding a better one? There are plenty of tools out there? Why stick with one that does not work?

Now, one response might be to just tell the students to type their posts directly into Blackboard and use the formatting tools there. If we could rely on Blackboard not timing students out, we would do this. But our students are adult students with many responsibilities that pull them away from their coursework. Therefore, we recommend that they write their posts in Word (and save them), then copy and paste them into the discussion board.

We have also told them to copy and paste their text into BB, then apply the formatting after the fact. This is not a popular response.

What response do we normally get? Fix it! So that is what I am asking Blackboard to do. Find another text box editor that works better.

Any thoughts from you community members?

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