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Learn@Illinois Moodle - Using the Tiny MCE Text Editor

Learn how to use the Tiny MCE text editor in your course site.
For a permanent link to this information, please use:

If your text editor looks different, you may need to click "use advanced editor" on your page (if posting to a forum) or read Changing your Text Editor to change your default text editor.

Note: The Tiny MCE editor does not save your text as you compose. If you lose connection or get logged off while composing online, your work will not be saved and there is no way to recover it. Use a text editor or word processing program to compose your assignment and save often. Because most programs add code that online editors cannot read, wait to format the assignment and add images and other media to it until after you have cut and pasted the text into the text editor on the course website.

Note: Due to accessibility concerns, it is strongly recommended not to change the color of text, highlight text, or change the font size of text.


Expanding the Toolbar

Your editing toolbar can be expanded by clicking the Toolbar Toggle button.

Expanding editing toolbar screenshot

Adding Images

  1. To add an image, select the Insert/edit image button. You can find an image on your computer or elsewhere.
    Text editor with Insert/edit image button highlighted
  2. To add an image from the internet, enter the URL in the "Image URL".
    Under "Image description", enter a description of the image to make the image accessible to low vision or blind users. See Alternative Text for guidelines on image description.
    To find an image on your computer, click Find or upload an image...
    Search for and upload image screenshot
  3. Next, click the Choose File button.
  4. Search for and select the image.
  5. Click the Open button, then click the Upload this file button. 
  6. In the "Image description" field, add an optional image description and then click the Insert button. 
    Note: It is always a good idea to add an image description for accessibility purposes. If someone cannot see the image, they will still be able to understand what it is.
    Note: You can edit how the image appears in the "Appearance" and "Advanced" tabs. You can get back to this menu by clicking on the image and then clicking the add/edit image icon again.

Adding Video or Audio from Illinois Media Space

You should not upload audio or video files directly to Moodle. If you have the file hosted on Illinois Media Space, click the Embed Illinois Media Space rainbow starburst icon. See Embedding Audio or Video from Illinois Media Space for more details.

Embedding Illinois media space screenshot

Adding Video or Audio from Ensemble (Instructors Only)

You should not upload audio or video files directly to Moodle. If you content is on Ensemble, see Adding CITL-Recorded Video Lectures to your Course.

Adding Video or Audio on Another Site (Instructors Only)

You should not upload audio or video files directly to Moodle. You must have the file(s) hosted on another site/server. See Embedding Videos Using Code  for instructions on how to embed video or audio from another site using code.


Click the "Paragraph" drop-down menu to create headings. We recommend starting with a Heading 3 and work down from there for subheadings (The website uses Heading 1 and Heading 2 for things like your course title and activity names). This helps make your course site accessible to people using screen readers. Read more about typographic hierarchy.
Formatting screenshot

Cleaning Up Formatting

If you have pasted from another source and the text is formatted improperly, you have several options. They are listed below from left to right.
  • The Cleanup messy code button will remove some hidden messy code. 
  • The Remove formatting button will remove unwanted formatting. 
  • The Paste as plain Text button will remove all formatting. 
  • The Paste from Word button will remove unwanted formatting from Word documents.
    Cleaning up formatting screenshot
  • You can also paste the text directly into the HTML field by clicking the Edit HTML source button and pasting the text in the desired location. 
    HTML button screenshot

Linking and Autolinking

To link to something out of the course site:
  1. Highlight the text that you want to link and click the Insert/edit link button.
  2. In the pop-up window, enter the link URL. In the "Target" drop-down menu, select Open in a new window to avoid inadvertently forcing someone to navigate away from the course website.
  3. Click the Insert button and the text color will be blue, indicating that it is now a link.
  4. To undo this, click the Unlink button.
If you notice a link that you did not intentionally create, it is probably an autolink. Autolinking is feature of Moodle that automatically links to activities, glossary entries, or database entries where the title of that the activities or entries appear. To prevent something from autolinking, highlight the text and click the Prevent automatic linking button. 
Linking and autolinking screenshot
Linking options screenshot

Undoing and Redoing

  • If you want to undo your last action, click the Undo left-facing arrow button.
  • If you would like to redo an action you just undid, click the Redo right-facing arrow button.
Undo and redo screenshot

Bulleting and Numbering

Make sure to use bulleted or numbered lists instead of hyphens so that your text is accessible to all users.
Click the Insert/remove bulleted list button to create a bulleted list. To make a numbered list, click the Insert/remove numbered list button.
Bulleting and numbering screenshot

Creating Subscripts and Superscripts

  • Select the desired text/number and click the Subscript button to create a subscript (a text or number set slightly below the line of type).
  • Select the desired text/number and click the Superscript button to create a superscript (a text or number set slightly above the line of type).
Subscript and superscript screenshot

Aligning Text

  • To align text to the left, select the desired text and click the Align left button. 
  • To center text, select the desired text and click the Align center button. 
  • To align text to the right, select the desired text and click the Align right button.
    Align text screenshot

Creating Tables

  • To add a table, select the Insert/edit table button. This will take you to the "General" and "Advanced" properties menus.
  • Once your table has been created, you can get back to this menu by clicking on the table, then clicking on the Insert/edit table button.
  • For more options, right-click on the table.
    Tables screenshot

Finding and Replacing

  • To find a word or phrase in a block of text, click the Find binoculars button and search for the term.
  • To replace multiple instances of a word or phrase in a block of text, click the Find/replace button. Enter the term you are searching for and the term you would like it to be replaced with.
Find and replace screenshot

Full-Screen Mode

To enter full-screen mode, click the Toggle full-screen mode button.
Note: Not all functionality will be available in full-screen mode.
Fullscreen mode screenshot

Related Topics Documentation

Keywordsmoodle, format, style, Tiny MCE, toolbar, style, links, insert image, files, media, find and replace, remove, removing, format, formatting, plain, text, toolbar, tool, bar, button, buttons   Doc ID71424
OwnerATLAS-TLTGroupUniversity of Illinois LAS
Created2017-03-06 17:04:49Updated2022-09-01 12:52:37
SitesUniversity of Illinois Liberal Arts and Sciences
Feedback  1   1