M33 - Filters

Keywords: filter, text, media

What is it?

Filters are used to add links, insert multimedia players, convert Mathematical expressions or emoticons into images and more.

Filters are enabled on UCL Moodle and then can be removed as needed at the course or activity level. Thus a tutor can disable glossary auto-linking in a quiz for example.

The following filters are enabled on UCL Moodle:

  • Glossary auto-linking : auto-links any glossary items set to auto-link, so that pop-up definitions appear for the terms or keywords in any text area within the same course - e.g. forum posts, pages, books, quizzes.
  • Jmol: Jmol (Jsmol) is open-source software for interactive 3D viewing of chemical structures.
  • Algebra notationdisplays mathematical expressions as if they were typeset. The MathJax filter is recommended instead (see below).
  • Multimedia pluginsreplaces media links with appropriate multimedia players that can play the resource. E.g. mp3, m4a, YouTube.
  • Database auto-linkingauto-links to database entries where the name/title (word or phrase) is used within the same course (similar to glossary auto-linking).
  • MathJax: fully renders TeX expressions and improves the look of buttons and preview within the equation editor that is part of the Atto text editor.
  • TeX notation: converts TeX expressions into GIF, PNG or SVG images with text descriptions for screen readers.

Why use it?

These filters are enabled by default on every UCL Moodle course, which means that text entered into the Text Editor on any page, lesson, forum post, message etc. is passed through the filter before it is displayed. You can choose to turn off the filter on any UCL Moodle course, or within a particular activity or resource - for example, a quiz where you don't want glossary terms to appear that might give away the answer to a question you are asking.

Who can use it?

Tutors and course administrators can enable or disable filters on a Moodle course or within an activity or resource.

Before I start...

Determine whether you want to disable the filter at the Moodle course level, or only for a particular activity or resource.

How do I enable or disable filters?

  1. Navigate to the Moodle course where you would like to change the filter settings.
  2. Go to the course settings menu tab.

  3. Click on the 'More drop down menu'.
  4. Select 'Filters'.
  5. Set each filter on or off as required.

  6. Click the 'Save changes' button.

Further help

Further guidance on Filters is available from Moodle Docs.

If you find any inaccurate or missing information you can even update this yourself (it's a communal wiki).

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.


None at this time.

Examples and case studies

If you are setting a quiz where you don't want glossary definitions to appear automatically that might give away the answer to a question you are asking.

Questions & Answers

Filters FAQs are available on Moodle Docs.

Further information

None at this time.