Troubleshooting: Inconsistent Text Formatting

Atto can get a little overzealous in applying formatting that is copied or dragged into the editor, especially in the Chrome Web Browser. This is most noticeable in fonts and background colors applied to the moved or duplicated text and it can be a real eyesore.

When Does this Happen?
  • When a course has content that’s been formatted heavily or has broken HTML tags
  • When content was created in another (older) text editor before Atto
  • Chrome web browser can also cause trouble when…
    • You drag text into the editor
    • You drag text WITHIN the editor
    • You copy/paste content into the Editor

Fixing messy formatting

If you’re rearranging content in your course consider

  • using the Firefox Web Browser
  • Copying content and then pasting as plain text by holding down Ctrl/Command+Shift+V on your keyboard

You can also strip formatting from text but there are some things to keep in mind before you do so:

Things that are Removed when You Strip Formatting
  • Bold, Italic, Strike Through & underlined text.
  • Indented lines (sometimes)
  • Colors: foreground and background
  • Fonts, any and all fonts.
  • Different sizes of text that are not a type of heading.
Things that are GENERALLY NOT Removed when you Strip Formatting
  • Images
  • Links
  • Line Breaks
  • Paragraphs and headings (headings will stay big for example but may still change size to match Moodle)

To remove formatting already present in Moodle…

Highlight the text that has formatting you wish to remove with your mouse


Highlight all text (Same as Ctrl + a on your keyboard)

Click the Clear Formatting button

Repeat as desired for any chunks of text

Save your changes

Prevent messy formatting

This issue rarely occurs in Firefox. Consider using the Firefox web browser if you’re developing a lot of content in Moodle.

If you want to use Chrome you can either enter text directly into the editor (not recommended for lots of content) or you can paste content into the editor WITHOUT it’s formatting though use of the Special paste button (or Ctrl + Shift + v on your keyboard).

If your content did NOT come from MS Word, gDocs, or LibreWriter you can preview effectiveness by opting to Paste from Other (when possible) or Paste as unformatted text to get a fresh start on formatting that’ll remove even headings and links.

Still need help?

Sometimes the built-in tools can only be so smart and know to look for certain possibility. It happens from time to time, especially with older courses that have been modified a lot over the years.

In cases where Special paste and Clear formatting aren’t enough please contact with a link to the content in question so we can go through and manually clean up some of the code on the HTML side of things to get your content tamed.