Inconsistent Font Formatting Problems in Bb Text Boxes

Update: You can now place content copied from word using the “Paste From Word” Mashup.  Find out how.

Sometimes, when text is copied from MSWord into a Bb text box, e.g., a content item, it may have uneven formatting. For instance, paragraph text or spacing may be at different sizes and difficult to reformat.

This is because the text from MS Word contains hidden formatting code that often conflicts with Bb. (While this also happened with the previous version of Bb, it seems to be occurring more frequently in Bb9.)

There are a couple of solutions to controlling the text format.

The most simple solution is to skip MSWord, altogether. Instead, type your text in a plain text editor such as NotePad (in Windows) or TextEdit (in Mac) with no formatting. Then, paste this into the Bb text box and format it with the Bb formatting tools, such as bold, italics, and bullets, seen in image below.

If you have to use MSWord, just know that if you paste that text directly into Bb, you may have formatting problems. The only way to fix them is to “clean” your text of its hidden formatting code (see below) and then re-format it again using the Bb format tools.

The Method for “Cleaning” Text is different for Windows and Mac Users

Windows Users:
Open the program, Notepad. (This is installed on all Windows computers) Copy the desired text from your MSWord document (.doc or .docx) and paste it into Notepad. Notepad doesn’t retain that hidden formatting code, so it’s essentially “cleaned.” Now, highlight and copy the text from Notepad and paste it into your Bb text box. Use the Bb formatting tools to create a finished page.
Mac Users:
Open the program, TextEdit. (This is installed on all Mac computers, found in Applications.) Before anything else, you’ll need to change one of the TextEdit preferences.Follow these steps (shown in this illustration)
1) Click Preferences   2) Choose Plain Text    3) Close Preferences

Now, copy the desired text from your MSWord document (.doc or .docx) and paste it into TextEdit. This effectively “cleans” the text of the unwanted, hidden code. Then, highlight and copy the text from TextEdit and paste it into your Bb text box. Use the Bb formatting tools to create a finished page.

Resolved: Assessments become inaccessible after end date if no start date was specified

Instructors are prevented from re-opening their tests after the end date has passed, if they didn’t originally check the start date box. Blackboard now recognizes this as a bug, and software fix (a “patch”) may be available soon.

UPDATE: A fix has been put in place at the system level to correct this problem as it occurs. If you are experiencing this problem and it has not been resolved after 24 hours, please contact blackboard support at blackboard@uvm.edu, and include the 5-digit CRN of the course containing the assessment.

Important: If you are using a date restriction on the test availability (such as the “Display Until” feature), you must have BOTH the “Display After” and the “Display Until” boxes checked. The error seems to happen when only an end date (Display Until) is checked, but the start date (Display After) is not.