Formatting Forum Posts and Advanced Settings in the Reply Window

Modified on Tue, 6 Jun, 2023 at 12:57 PM

We strongly recommend that students construct their forum posts in a separate word document prior to uploading these and formatting them in Moodle. This prevents any work being lost due to a window timing out as we are unable to retrieve this information.

You can create interesting and dynamic forum responses in the Academic Forum using the Reply Window.

Rather than being limited to a post consisting of plain text, by clicking on the 'Advanced' link when replying to a post (fig 1. below), you are redirected to a more comprehensive 'Reply Window' Moodle page. 

fig 1. How to access advanced settings, click on the pink Advanced settings link in the bottom right corner of your text box

Having clicked on the 'Advanced' link, the 'Reply Window' will appear as illustrated below (fig 2.). This gives you access to an array of formatting options. 

Fig 2. Standard Reply Window

Similar to your standard Word Processing software, these icons serve to help you present your information as you would like (see fig 3. below).  

The 'A' lets you designate text as a heading, subheading, or paragraph, with the bold and italic icons operating as standard.  You can also create both numbered and bullet-point lists.

You can link your text to external sources and also unlink text, which is useful when pasting web addresses into references.

In addition, you can insert images and other media such as voice recordings and videos.  It is also possible to record videos to upload straight to Moodle using your web camera.  You also have the option to edit videos and audio files where needed using the icon of a folded page with a camera on.

Fur further information please see table 1. at the bottom of this help sheet.

fig 3. Reply Window, annotated

To further expand the tool ribbon, click on the bent arrow in the furthermost upper left corner (see fig 4.)

fig 4. Expanded Tool Ribbon

Once expanded, you can access the advanced tools (Refer to fig 5. below).

fig 5. Reply Window Advanced Features annotated

These include underline, strike through, subscript and superscript options as well as being able to align your text to the left, centre and right margins.  You can incorporate indent and outdents to your presentation, to create hanging paragraphs for your bibliographies

For any equations, there is an equation editor so that you can display the correct mathematical formatting to your sums.  This is located next to the insert character tool, which has a substantial gallery if you cannot find what you are looking for on your keyboard.

You can insert tables into your posts also to present information clearly, alongside a clear formatting tool, to revert any bold, or copy-pasted text to the default font.

Using the curly arrows, you are able to undo and redo edits as you work, and there are also Accessibility tools to ensure that what you have written is easily read by those with vision impairment.

If you are struggling to construct your post using the tools available then you can toggle to view the HTML code which can be tweaked manually if needed.

(For further information please refer to table 1. below)


(Table 1.) Reply Window Icons and their Functions
Show/hide advanced buttons - Click on this bent arrow icon to expand the ribbon and access the full range of tools available to augment your posts
Fonts, Bold, Italic -Click on the A button to access the flip-down menu to classify text as the following: 

Heading (large)

Heading (medium)

Heading (small)



The bold and italic formatting buttons are as with any word processing software

Unordered list, Ordered List -Create a bullet point list or a numbered list.
Link, Unlink - Turn highlighted text into a URL link, or unlink text such as a URL address that you have copied as part of a reference
Insert image, Insert or edit an audio/video file, Record audio -  See here for detailed guidance on uploading your images.

You can also input videos, and audio files and edit them using the Insert and various media as part of your forum responses by clicking the Insert media icon, which is of a video camera on a folded page.

Once you click on the microphone icon then you are able to make a recording for an audio file using your own microphone to incorporate into your post.
Record video, Manage files -  You are able to record a video with your webcam to upload and post to the forum

The file manager enables you to organise your attachments, images and other media that are included in your post.  You can download and upload content here.
Underline, Strike through, Subscript, Superscript -  Underline will draw a line below any selected text. Underline

Strike through will put a line through the middle of any selected text: Strike through

Subscript will shrink the text and put it below and to the right or left of another character

Superscript will shrink the text and put it at the top left or right of another character
Left align, Center, Right align - Left align will align text, pictures and other content to the left margin of the page with a ragged right edge

Center moves all text to the central position on the page or cell

Right align will align text, pictures and other content to the right-hand side margin, with a ragged left edge
Outdent, Indent - Outdent brings selected text closer in towards the margin

Indenting text will send it further out from the margin and across to the right of the page
Equation editor, Insert character, Table, Clear formatting -
The equation editor will allow you to create authentic mathematical equations for your work.  When you click on this icon a pop-up box will appear and you can choose the symbols currently available in the tabs or paste in new ones.  When you input a symbol code will appear in the text field with a preview in the preview window below.
for example the code: {H} \Psi=E \Psi will appear as the following: when posted to the forum.

The Insert character Icon allows you to add in symbols that you may not be able to access from your keyboard. When clicked a pop-up window will appear with a gallery of signs and symbols.

The table icon allows you to insert a table into your post. A pop-up called 'create table' will appear. From here you can input your table title, and column headers, and determine the number of rows and columns that you need. Once the table is in the reply window you can add text and images as required.

The clear formatting icon reverts any highlighted content back to a plain font.
Undo, Redo -Go back and reverse the last edit that you made.

Reverse the edit and undo by clicking redo, and your work will reappear
Accessibility checker, Screen reader helper -
The accessibility checker will let inform you if the colour choices you have chosen are suitable for people with visual impairments.

The screen reader helper will show if you have provided a description for the images in the text box or not.  It will also let you know what links you have included.
HTML - Toggle view from word processing to HTML for additional control over your formatting

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