In the past I’ve often suggested, especially to students, that to avoid losing a long post to Blackboard that users compose content in Word and copy and paste to Blackboard. In the past this worked. The early versions of Blackboard did not have a text editor that formatted text, and this wasn’t much of a problem. However, current versions allow formatting of text and the hidden code in text copied from MS Word began causing problems. The most recent versions of Word have a new file format and use XML. XML is a markup language similar to HTML, the code of the web. Because of the similarities between XML and HTML the hidden code in Word text is often interpreted by browsers with varying results. Often the effects produced by this code make the text appear in a way that distorts the text or even makes it invisible.
To avoid problems users should take steps to avoid coping Word code into Blackboard. Granite State College’s Educational Technologists have posted a set of instructions that outline how to copy text from Word and remove the code that causes problems:
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