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Brightspace Tip #259: Brightspace Editor

D2L rolled out a new modern, upgraded, responsive, accessible, and pretty Brightspace Editor! The new Brightspace Editor became the default editor with our August Continuous Delivery Updates. The Brightspace Editor replaces the old HTML Editor and is the primary method of creating content in Brightspace. The Brightspace Editor allows users to enter text, pictures, or embed audio/video. Advanced users can even embed HTML code.

Brightspace Editor
Brightspace Editor

You can create course content using the Brightspace Editor. For example, the Brightspace Editor is available when you edit discussion topics, create custom instructions for assignment submission folders, create quizzes, create announcements, and create content topics.

The Brightspace Editor has many icons that match those of common word processing software: bold, left justify, bullets, tables, and so on. It’s important to remember the Brightspace Editor is not a word processor. When you add pictures, links or embed videos, you are creating references to items that are stored internally (in Brightspace) or externally (another web site). If those items are changed or deleted, the reference will not display properly.

Redesigning the editor provided opportunities for D2L to provide a better experience. Some new features were added to the Editor, but there was also a focus on improvements in accessibility, responsiveness, and ease of use:

  • Improved accessibility – D2L ensured that toolbars met the new WCAG 3.0 standards for button spacing and that the keyboard navigation makes sense to users, especially those using screen reader technology. They also recreated their great color picker that highlights WCAG AA compliance to end users.
  • Enhanced responsiveness – The toolbar collapses intelligently based on the size of your screen, with different breakpoints. This means that formatting options collapse together, alignment options, and 'insert' options - creating a great experience on any device.
  • Ease of use – The editor now looks more like a standard web text editor - with all formatting options at the top. Contextual menus are inside the editing experience for quick access while typing. They included the advanced code editor that makes editing html code easier. They upgraded the tables feature and added: format painter, word count, and @mentions in Discussions. All areas clients suggested for improvement in the Product Idea Exchange (PIE).
A breakdown of the new features in the Brightspace Editor
Brightspace Editor: A Breakdown of New Features

Enhancements to the Editor

  • More and different formatting options.
  • An improved color picker with WCAG compliance checking.
  • A full set of emojis and special symbols
  • The move of footer options like 'preview' ' source' 'accessibility checking' and 'expand' to the main toolbar.
  • Updates to the font size menu
  • Removal of Spellchecker*
  • Removal of Cut/Copy buttons (which no longer worked on most browsers anymore in any case)
  • A refreshed Accessibility checker
  • The Brightspace Editor now remembers the open or closed state of the More Actions button, per user, in order to reduce clicks for users that frequently use options in the expanded editor.

*NOTE: The Brightspace Editor does not have a built in spell checker. Your web browser’s built-in spell check functionality is available in the new Brightspace Editor and D2L recommends using it.

Additions to the Editor

  • Format painter that enables you to copy and apply text formatting.
  • New Advanced Tables that includes sorting options.
  • Contextual menus for editing text, links, and images (image editing is not available in all areas)
  • Word Count including character and selection word count
  • Advanced Source Code Editor that includes code suggestions and color coding for tags.
  • Lato font
  • @mentions support in Discussions
  • An 'Other Insert Options' menu for overflow items to improve responsiveness.
  • Limited text pattern support: * * for italics, ** ** for bold, ## for H2, ### for H3, etc until H6.

Want more information?

Using the Brightspace Editor

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery release notes
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

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