Take a peek at the right side of the login line at the top of the page (this location could change, but the idea still applies). Click the link called "TextBox" and a popup window will open with a handy text editor. It provides many of the features you are used to in popular editing programs, but it is designed for the web. In addition to the tools provided with the interface, you can copy and paste formatted text from Word or TextEdit and it will generally retain RTF compatible formatting.

What do I mean, "designed for the web"? Right-click or Control-click on any web page and you can select to view the source code for the page you are viewing. This is hypertext (HTML), the code that makes special formatting of web pages possible. Click on the "HTML" link on the TextBox control panel and another window will appear with the mark-up for the page you are creating.

Copy and paste this code into a compatible OMS text description field or discussion or reply field and HTML formatted text will be used to display your message (after the message is saved). If you know your stuff, you can also apply CSS styles within the HTML window and go beyond the standard formatting.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • The standard HTML styles used with TextBox may vary in appearance from the same styles rendered in OMS. If the person viewing the page has their own style sheets set up, the viewer styles will override OMS. This is not a defect, but a result of the primary intent of HTML: to define the structure of the document.
  • We've noticed some glitches when TextBox applies certain styles, usually inserting span tags with unexpected attributes. The problem may be browser-related and seems to happen when selecting text and then applying an HTML style (rather than selecting the style and then typing the text). This can be cleaned up by removing unwanted tags in the HTML window. If this is too confusing, try creating an RTF document in your own word processor (such as Word™ or TextEdit™) and pasting it into the TextBox HTML window. This is really the fastest, easiest way to use this feature, especially for long documents.
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