Knowledgebase: Blackboard
BLACKBOARD - Copy/Pasting from Microsoft Word into Blackboard
Posted by Michael Sanzari on 01 October 2010 01:05 PM


Blackboard Learn 9.1


The purpose of this article is to provide instructions on how to copy/paste text into the Blackboard properly without formatting errors.


Every time I copy/paste text from a MS Word document, the fomatting is off or submits as a "blank" post.


It is very common to encounter errors when copying test then pasting it into Blackboard. This happens when using the Visual Text Box Editor to add items and folders, set up Discussion Board forums and postings, and create test, survey, and pool questions. This can also occur for students when copying text from a web page, for example, into the Discussion Board.

Copying text directly from these web-enabled software applications can place hidden HTML and Java code in Blackboard, including course materials. This code makes it difficult for users with slow computers and/or internet connections to view the content.

Typically, these errors occur from external HTML sources such as a webpage, email or a Microsoft Word document. The HTML creates characters in the coding which generates an error, or may not even display anything.

The best way to avoid these problems is to paste the text into Notepad (Windows) or Text Edit (Mac) first, then copy it from there and paste it into Blackboard. This simple step removes any hidden codes that could disrupt access to your course materials. Here are the steps to perform this task:

  1. From a Word document or a web page, copy the text.
  2. Open up Notepad* by going to the Start menu>Programs>Accessories>Notepad
  3. Paste information into Notepad. This step removes all HTML tags; you can format the text yourself using the Visual Text Box Editor in Blackboard.
  4. Copy text from Notepad (highlight and right click on highlighted items)
  5. Paste the text into Blackboard:

You should now be able to format the text using the tools in Blackboard and then submit the post without formatting errors.

Additional Information

*For MAC users: please use TextEdit; Move your mouse to the dock and click on TextEdit. Once the text editor opens, you can complete steps 1, 3, 4, and 5.

Update History

07/02/2015 – Updated formatting and information
10/01/2010 – Article Created

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