The Takeaway Toolbox 3: advanced customisation for perfecting takeaways

Key Takeaway: Use advanced customisation options such as coloured text to improve the aesthetic appeal of your takeaways.

If you haven’t already read about what makes a good takeaway and basic customisation options for your takeaway, then you should review them before carrying on. Full disclosure; the customisation outlined below is largely superfluous - being able to bold and italicise your text will be more than enough for 99% of users. This article is for the pedants who want to add a neat finishing touch to their lessons; for those who want to spend time tuning up their takeaways from a 9/10 to a 10/10.

With that in mind, let’s be perfectionists about takeaways.

Advanced customisation

In the previous article, we covered why and how to use bold and italics in a takeaway. The same principles apply when using underline - but with slightly different application methods.

Advanced takeaway toolbox

To produce underlined text you need put a <u> tag before the text you want to underline, and </u> tag where you would like the underlining to end. Notice the backslash (/) in the second tag used to end the underlining; its inclusion is important for reasons we will cover later. Just like for bold and italics, the “<u>” and “</u>” won’t actually display in the text, it just tells Ed that you want to underline the text in between.

The above takeaway would therefore be formatted in the Ed LMS as:

It’s important to help the customer understand that while Product Y is the cheapest product, Product X is a <u>high quality product</u> which would serve them better.

Advanced customisation - considerations

While the design concerns covered in the previous takeaway toolbox article also need to be thought about, correct formatting is critical when using underline in a takeaway. As such it needs to be used carefully. When you tell Ed to start underlining text by putting <u> before it, unless you tell it to stop underlining text by putting </u>, it will keep underlining all the text that appears in the rest of the slide.

If you’re seeing underlines where they shouldn’t be, check to make sure that you’ve correctly put </u> where you want the underlining to end - backslash and all.

Advanced takeaway toolbox

Shown above: “... Product X is a <u>high quality product</u> which …” ## Advanced advanced customisation The final level of customisation you can include in takeaways is colouring your text, which can both help further emphasise a specific area, and improve the visual appeal of your lesson. Similar to underline, to change the colour of the text you need to have different tags to tell Ed where you want the text to start changing colour, and where you want it to stop. However the tag to do this is a bit longer than just <u>. Let’s have a look at how the following takeaway is formatted, and then we can see how it works: Advanced takeaway toolbox

It's important to help the customer understand that while Product Y is the cheapest product, Product X is a <font color="blue">high quality product</font> which would serve them better.

Here <font color="blue"> (that’s color, not colour) is telling Ed to change the text to change to blue, and </font> is telling it to stop that. The color in the quotemarks will apply, so if you wanted green text then <font color="green"> would change the text to green, up until </font>.

That’s a good start, but the blue text that displayed wasn’t quite the right shade for that lesson. Fortunately you’re not just restricted to just a few primary colours. You have a whole rainbow available to use by simply entering the colour’s code instead of a colour’s name.

For example, in this lesson a good colour for the highlighted text could come from the light blue cloud displayed in the background. Its colour code is #74c7ef. So inputting <font color=”74c7ef”> changes the text to be that colour of blue (until the </font> tag).

Advanced takeaway toolbox

The above text has been both coloured blue, and bolded. It would be input in the LMS as:

It's important to help the customer understand that while Product Y is the cheapest product, Product X is a <font color="74c7ef">\*\*high quality product\*\*</font> which would serve them better.

Of course, the colour you chose to emphasise key information in your takeaway is down to you (if you even chose to use a colour at all!), but if you were to take another colour from within your lesson then there are some great browser extensions which can help you do that (such as the ColorZilla extension for Chrome and Safari).

Advanced advanced customisation - advanced considerations

Just like for underlining, if you don’t tell Ed to stop changing the text colour, it’s not going to! Remember to put </font> at the end of where you want the text’s colour to change. If you want, copy and paste this into your takeaway and make changes to the content as needed: <font color=”#74c7ef”>**emphasised information**</font> (but don’t forget to make it a colour which suits your lesson!).

Advanced takeaway toolbox

Shown above: “... Product X is a <font color=”#74c7ef”>\*\*high quality product \*\*which would …”

It may also be tempting to simply turn your text red with <font color=”red”> but really - don’t do this.</font> Although red is commonly thought of as “this is the most important colour! Look at this colour!”, in most lessons using the default red colour is more often just jarring to the eye, and can also signify “don’t! stop!” in people’s minds instead.

Advanced takeaway toolbox

The use of a bolded, italicised or underlined text is already attention grabbing enough. Applying colour to the text is more about aesthetics, so try to focus more on choosing one which looks good in your lesson over anything else.

Advanced takeaway toolbox

And never do this.

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