What Plug-ins, Players and Viewers do I need in order to use Blackboard?
Plug-ins help your browser perform specific functions, such as viewing documents, special graphic formats or playing multimedia files. If you are unable to open or view a particular item on Blackboard, or if you experience technical issues with a feature, you may not have the appropriate software or the most recent version.
The first thing to check, if you have a Windows machine, is to be sure that you have run the latest Windows Update (in Internet Explorer, it is located under Tools). Then, chedk to see if you need to download a specific plug-in, player or viewer in order to view the content.
Below is a list of frequently used software plug-ins, players and viewers with links to free download locations:
- Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats allows users to open, edit, and save documents, workbooks and presentations in the file formats new to Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007.
- Word Viewer (for 2003 and earlier versions) allows users to open, edit and save Word documents, even if they do not have Word installed locally.
- Excel Viewer (for 2003 and earlier versions) allows users to open, edit and save Excel workbooks, even if they do not have Excel installed locally.
- PowerPoint Viewer (for 2003 and earlier versions) allows users to open, edit and save PowerPoint presentations, even if they do not have PowerPoint installed locally.
- Sun Java Runtime Environment (All Platforms) is required for the use of Blackboard's Web Equation Editor and Collaboration tools (Virtual Classroom & Chat).
- Adobe Acrobat Reader allows you to view and print PDF (Portable Document Format) files.
- Adobe Flash Player allows users to view interactive, rich content with video, graphics and animation.
- Shockwave Player allows you to view dynamic and animated content on the Internet through your browser.
- Quicktime Player is an easy-to-use application for playing, interacting with or viewing video, audio, VR or graphics files.
- RealPlayer (for Windows) enables your computer to play streaming RealVideo and RealAudio.
- RealPlayer (for Linux) enables your computer to play streaming RealVideo and RealAudio.
- RealPlayer (for MAC OS X) enables your computer to play streaming RealVideo and RealAudio.
Where can I download Web browser software?
A web browser is a software application that enables users to view web pages over the Internet. No two web browsers are alike; each will display the same web page a bit differently.
If you experience a technical issue using Blackboard and you have run Windows Update (on Windows machines), the next thing you should try is switching to a different web browser. The most popular browsers are listed below with cooresponding links to websites where you can download them for free.
- Internet Explorer provides navigation through tabbed browsing, web search right from the toolbar, advanced printing, easy discovery, reading and subscription to RSS feeds, and much more. Available for PC users only.
- Mozilla FireFox offers a smart location bar, one-click bookmarking and fast performance among many other benefits. Available for PC, Mac and Linux users.
- Opera is quick to start and effective at helping you navigate the web. Available for PC, Mac and Linux users.
- Safari has a simple, yet elegant interface that offers fast performance. Available for both Mac and PC users.
- Camino is an open source web browser developed with a focus on providing the best possible experience for Mac OS X users. Available for Mac users only.