Totara 12 will no longer be fully supported from October 2023. Urgently consider upgrading to a later version.

Help documentation for up-to-date versions is available here.

The text editor in Totara is very important and appears frequently in different parts of the site. It is the primary tool for entering and formatting text. You'll see it when entering descriptions, replying in a forum, or adding a Label on a course page (as well as a host of other places). 
The default text editor is the Atto HTML editor, although this can be changed at a system level by the Site Administrator or by an individual in their user preferences. By default there are different editors to choose from:

  • Atto HTML editor: This is the default text editor, it has most of the basic formatting controls you find in a word processor. It supports drag and drop of images, plus it will auto-save changes. 
  • Plain text: There is no tool bar for formatting as there is in the other options. Instead there is a dropdown menu under the text box where you can choose the formatting you want, this will then mean that you can include your own formatting tags etc. without these being changed by Totara. 

Manage editors

A Site Administrator can decide which text editors will be available to other users and configure the options for different editors. Go to Plugins > Text editors > Manage editors from the Administration menu

Atto HTML editor 

The Atto HTML editor is easy to use and will seem familiar to those who have previously used the TinyMCE editor, or in fact any word processor. It is important to note that although a limited range of tools are initially display, clicking the first icon will expand another row of editing tools. The editing space can be expanded by clicking and dragging the bottom right corner. 

If you want to know what any of the icons do, then hoovering your mouse cursor over them will bring up the name of the button, which normally also explains what the button does (e.g. Bold icon is Bold which will make text appear emboldened). 

Atto text editor

Atto auto save 

As you type in the Atto text editor there will be a message in the bottom left that lets you know your text has been automatically saved as a draft. This is very useful in avoiding data loss which could happen if for example, your connection is lost or you accidentally move to another page.

The auto save period is set by the Site Administrator from the Administration menu, under Plugins > Text editors > Atto HTML editor> Atto toolbar settings. 

Image drag and drop

If your browser allows drag and drop you can add images into the Atto editor simply by dragging them from the folder they are saved in and dropping them into the Atto text editor area. 

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Still have questions? Why not post them in the forums of the Totara Community?

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