Pasting from Microsoft Word into Blackboard

Audience: Faculty, Staff, Students and Teaching Assistants

This KB Article References: Blackboard Basics, Student Guide to Blackboard, Discussion Board
This Information is Intended for: Faculty, Staff, Students, Teaching Assistants
Last Updated: August 11, 2020
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When you copy and paste directly from Microsoft Word to most text boxes in Blackboard, extra formatting data is carried over. Blackboard now works better at processing Microsoft Word formatting then previous versions but still may make the text look funny or disappear depending on what browser/operating system you or the viewer is using.

This issue is prevalent to Blackboard’s WYSIWYG text editors such as Discussion Boards, Blog, Wikis, Create an Item or Assignment as well as creating Test questions and Announcements. Also note that this is not limited to Blackboard but other technologies as well, such as SharePoint.


"Wash” the Text in NotePad (PC) or TextEdit (Mac)
Type up your text in Word then paste to NotePad or TextEdit. THEN copy the text that is in Notepad/TextEdit and paste THAT into Blackboard.  Doing so will remove any hidden formatting.

Back up Your Text
Start out typing in Blackboard. Then copy and paste text into Word as a backup.

Other Options:

  1. If you like to use Word to check your spelling, try Blackboard’s Spelling correction tool.
  2. Is your Announcement or Post a work in progress? For Announcements you can restrict the date. For a Blog or Discussion post you can save as a draft. When creating Items or Assignments you can make them Not Available for students.

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