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Blackboard Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

File Formats

What types of file formats does Blackboard accept?

Blackboard accepts files in HTML, Word, .rtf, PowerPoint, PDF, and Excel. Additionally, many forms of media files are accessible in Blackboard. The file format used should be dictated by what students will be doing with the document.

What format works best?

Files will load most quickly if they are in HTML format; Blackboard will open them directly into the framework of the course. Existing Word and WordPerfect files intended for read-only access can be quickly converted to HTML (Save As > HTML) and placed into Blackboard.

What file format should I use for documents I want my students to download and add text to?

Students can download and edit files submitted in Word or .rtf format. Files in HTML format are more readily loaded but do not work well for documents intended for editing. In order to access Word files, students need Word software on their computer, while .rtf files will be read by any word processing program. Newer versions of Word and PowerPoint, in Office 2007 or 2010, use .docx and .pptx as the file type, but students may not be able to open these files if they use an older version of Office. It is helpful to save the document as an earlier version, .doc or .ppt, using Save As > 97-2003 document to make sure all students can open the file.

Why can't I download a file my student submitted?

If you cannot download a file from a student, this is likely because the file was named incorrectly. File names must contain only letters and numbers. The file name should not include special characters, like # $ % * + / \ or periods other than the period that separates the file name from the extension (as in .pdf or .doc).


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Last Updated: 05/03/2011