Format basic text - Vic Gov digital guide

How to format body content in the basic text content component, using the WYSIWYG tools. Includes adding indented quotes, embedding media and more.

Use the Basic text content component for inserting body content. This component gives you the WYSIWIG (what you see is what you get) window where you can format headings, paragraphs, quotes and callouts and add links, images and other types of media and buttons.

After you have pasted your content from a document into the WYSIWYG screen, you need to apply formatting. 

This is a good time to review your content and check:

  • it has a clear purpose
  • it uses inclusive, gender-neutral language
  • the reading level is below year 8
  • meaningful headings and subheadings have been used
  • the most important content is provided near the top of the page
  • there are no acronyms or jargon.

Heading styles

Apply heading styles to your content’s headings using the Format drop-down.

Heading styles drop-down example within WYSIWYG

Highlight your heading and click on Format and select your heading style.

Heading 1 is disabled because it can only be used for the page title.

You can add Headings 2–5 but you will mostly only use Heading 2 and Heading 3. 

For accessibility reasons, you must follow the correct order - i.e. the first heading after the title must be Heading 2 (because the page title is formatted as Heading 1) and the next subheading must be Heading 3 (you can’t jump from 2 to 4 for example, just because you like the way it looks).

Bulleted or numbered lists

Create lists in your text by highlighting the line and selecting one of the list icons in the WYSIWYG toolbar. 

Use numbered lists for procedural instructions and bullets where the order of items is not important. 


Tables should be used selectively as they are harder for screen readers to interpret.

Select the Table icon on the toolbar.

Enter the number of rows and columns you need. (You can add more later by right-clicking once you create the table.)

For accessibility reasons, and to ensure the correct formatting is applied, you need to identify your header, as either the first column or the first row. You can use the caption field to add a Title and Summary for your table.

You’ll need to insert hyperlinks if your content includes links to:

  • external websites
  • internal web pages
  • email addresses
  • phone numbers

Create a hyperlink

  1. Type the word or words that will form your link, ensuring they are descriptive (i.e. never use ‘click here’ as this isn’t accessible for screen reader users) and select them.
  2. To link to an internal page (a page in the CMS/the website), click the Link icon on the toolbar (or Ctrl + L).
  3. In the URL field, type the title of the page you want to link to. As you type, page titles will appear.
  4. Leave the Title field blank and leave Open in new window unchecked. 
  5. Click Save.

Can’t find your page? It’s probably still in draft. As a safety feature only published pages can be linked to.

Link an email address

To link to an email address: 

  1. Select the email address and copy it.
  2. Click the Link icon on the toolbar (or Ctrl + K).
  3. Type ‘mailto:’  into the URL field and paste the email address with no space between the colon and the email address (it will look like this: 
  4. Click Save.

Link a phone number

When a phone number is hyperlinked, mobile users will be able to tap on a phone number to call it. To link a phone number:

  1. Select the number and copy it.
  2. With it still selected, click the Link icon on the toolbar.
  3. Type 'tel:' into the URL field and paste in the phone number.
  4. Remove any spaces so it will look like this: tel:0370171234. We're using the 03 area code and not the +61 country code.
  5. Click Save.

Remove a hyperlink 

  • Put your cursor anywhere in the existing hyperlink. 
  • Click the Unlink icon. 


Buttons should be used for strong calls to action.

To insert a button:

  1. Put your cursor on its own line.
  2. Click the small page icon and choose primary/secondary button. 
  3. You’ll see some dummy text (hyperlinked) on your screen.
  4. Replace it with your button text. The easiest way to do this is put your cursor after the first letter, type your button label and use the delete and backspace buttons to delete the dummy part of the text. (Another way is to click on the Source button and change in the HTML code, but only do this if you're confident with HTML.)
  5. Have your cursor somewhere on the hyperlinked label text and click on the Link icon. You’ll see a popup.
  6. Delete ‘Primary-button-link’ in the URL field and start typing your destination link. If it’s an internal page, choices will show up and select the correct page.
  7. Type a title and click Save.

Block quotes

This is only for quotes from a person. This indents the quote and displays it in a larger, bolder font with large grey double quote marks around it. If you have a source line, this goes on a new line below and is still indented.

To format a block quote:

  1. Place your cursor in the Body content area where you want your quote to appear.
  2. Click on Template icon and select Block quote. Some dummy text will appear in the content area with a source underneath.
  3. Highlight the template text and paste in your own.  
  4. Preview the page to see the change.
Block quote template example


To highlight important or interesting content (like you see in printed magazines), text can be highlighted to stand out. 

The Callout indents the text, adds a larger, bolder font and applies a shaded line down the left side of the paragraph. 

  • Type the text you want to callout. If there’s more than one sentence, make sure you insert a soft return after each sentence by clicking Shift + Enter. If you add a paragraph break between each sentence, it will add a designed-box to each sentence. 
  • Select the text using your cursor. 
  • Click the Styles drop-down and select Callout. 
Call out box example
  • Preview the page to see the change.

Never use more than 2 callouts per page.

Reviewed 22 November 2019

Vic Gov digital guide

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