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Edit content boxes using the editing toolbar

This guide details how to use the toolbar in the text editor when editing content boxes in section headings, activities and resource, and the content of blocks.

The default text editor in Moodle is the Atto editor, built specifically for Moodle. It is sometimes referred to as the 'HTML editor' and many of the functions will be familiar to anyone who uses Word or Sitebuilder.

Autosave: Text typed into the Atto editor is automatically saved every 60 seconds. If you leave the page, accidentally close the tab or otherwise leave the form without submitting, the text in the editor will be restored next time you open the page.


Text editor toolbar

  1. Paragraph style; Bold; Italic
  2. Unordered (bullet-point) list; Numbered list
  3. Link; Unlink (for hyperlinks / URLS / web pages)
  4. Insert or edit an audio/video file; Record audio; Record video; Manage files
  5. Underline; Strike through; Subscript; Superscript
  6. Left align; Center; Right align
  7. Outdent; Indent
  8. Equation editor; Insert character; Create table; Clear formatting
  9. Undo; Redo
  10. Accessibility checker; Screenreader helper
  11. Switch to HTML editor
  12. Preview
  13. Check word count
  14. Insert Planet eStream item
  15. Toggle full screen editing mode
  16. Change Font colours; Font size; Font face
  17. Insert Templates; Prevent auto-link

Insert or edit an image

  1. Either insert an image by pasting the web address e.g. or click 'Browse repositories' to open the File Picker.
  2. Add descriptive 'alt text' for an image, that isn't purely decorative, so that it can be identified by screen readers.
  3. Optional: Set the size and alignment of the image on the page.

Also see Add an image using the editing toolbar

Insert or edit an audio/video file; Record audio/video

It is not recommended to manage audio or video files with this function. Please refer to eStream or point 14 instead.

Manage files

Will display the files currently uploaded to that text area. Files can also be uploaded by drag and drop or by clicking on the 'Add document' icon or 'Add folder' icon .

Equation editor

This is the HTML-based equation editor in Moodle's Atto editor. Click on this link for more advice on producing equations using TeX notation.

Insert character

Use this to add individual characters, accented letters, and some symbols. If you need to add more than this, the equation editor described above may be better.

Create table

When creating a table you have the following settings option: add a caption (title), set the caption position, set the number of rows and columns, and set the format for the borders and table cells. You can also set the width of the table in %.

Accessibility checker

Please also see our Moodle Accessibility quick guide.

The automated accessibility checker searches for common accessibility errors that could prevent all users from having equal access to information and functionality. Common errors include:

  • Images with missing or empty alt text (unless they have the presentation role)
  • Contrast of font colour and background colour meets WCAG AA guidelines
  • Long blocks of text are sufficiently broken up into headings
  • Tables that are missing captions
  • Tables that contain merged cells (they are difficult to navigate with screen readers)
  • Tables that do not contain row or column headers

Screenreader helper

The screen reader helper provides additional information about the currently selected text (e.g. is it bold), as well as a listing of any images or links in the text.

HTML editor

Switching to the HTML view allows editing of the html source code directly rather than through the WYSIWYG editor.


You can use templates to add decorative content with pre-formatted headings, boxes, buttons and labels. Please note that these are subject to change and may not work as expected following Moodle upgrades.

The information on this page relates to Moodle v3.6 and was last updated February 2020.


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