Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

Text Options in myWPI

myWPI provides options for formatting text in a variety of locations, including announcements, folder and item descriptions, and assessment questions (for instructors/TAs/course builders) and in discussion board postings (for all users).

Visual Text Box Editor


The visual text box editor is the default text editing tool. The visual text box editor provides formatting buttons that allow you to select text you are entering and change the way it appears. It also has buttons for inserting content. The visual text box editor makes it easy for you to add visually engaging text, images, links, etc. into items, folders, announcements, assessment questions, and discussion board postings.

Visual Text Box Editor


The appearance of the visual text box editor and the options available in it varies slightly for different operating systems and web browsers. The visual text box editor does not work on a Mac with Netscape 7.2.0 or Internet Explorer 5.2. If you are using a Mac with one of these browsers, the text box appears as it does at the bottom of this page for users who have turned off the visual text box editor. The Smart Text, Plain Text, and HTML options will be available.

The editing tools most commonly used are listed below.



Font Size - The font sizes available in myWPI are not expressed in pixel sizes as  you are used to in other applications. The default is a size 3, which equates to a font size of 12 in most fonts, whereas a size 2 equates to a font size of 10 in most fonts.
Font Type - Select a font from the dropdown menu.
Bold, Italics, Underlined, and Strike through
Subscript and Superscript
Justification - Select whether content is left, center, or right justified.
Lists - Create a numbered or bulleted list.
Spell Check
Cut, Copy, and Paste
Hyperlink - Use this to make a word or words hyperlinked to a URL.
Table - Create a table for organizing content.
Equation Editor - These buttons open the Equation Editor. More information is available in the Using the Equation Editor topic.
HTML Code - This button turns the visual textbox editor into an HTML editor, allowing you to code your content in HTML.
Preview - Allows you to preview your content before submitting/saving it.
Attach File
Insert Image - inserts an image into your content.


The visual text box editor for assessment questions offers fewer formatting options by default. The editor can be expanded to display more options by clicking the down arrow in the bottom left of the toolbar. Even when the toolbar is expanded, fewer options are available than in other areas of myWPI.


The visual text box editor also provides buttons for adding media files, such as MPEG, AVI, Quicktime, audio, and Flash content. Not all students will be able to view these formats, depending on the type of web browser they use. If you want to include content of this type in your course, contact for assistance. In many cases the myHelp team can help you convert your content to a more commonly usable format and post it appropriately.


The Blog and Wiki tools also have a visual text box editor, although it differs slightly from the editor available elsewhere in myWPI.

Turning Off the Visual Text Box Editor

If you prefer, you can turn off the visual text box editor.

  1. Go to Course Tools > Personal Information.
  2. Click Set Visual Text Box Editor Options.
  3. In the Set Availability field, select Unavailable and click Submit.

When the visual text box editor is turned off, the following text options are available:


For longer blocks of text, DO NOT place entire web pages in the text box, either link to an external web site or use only the code that would appear between the <body>...</body> tags. You do not need to type in the actual body tags, and it may cause errors if you do.

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Last modified: Jun 07, 2007, 11:49 EDT
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