Open MS Office Documents

If your instructor has added a document to Blackboard that is in MS Office (doc, docx, ppt, etc.) format, you will need to have MS Office on your computer in order to view it.  Please make sure you read this entire document!

If you DO NOT have MS Office on your computer, consider downloading Office Word, PowerPoint, or Excel Viewers.  The viewers will enable you to view MS Office documents on your computer.  If you need a free Office Suite that is compatible with MS Office, download Open Office.  You will be able to open, create, and save files in MS Office format.

The MS Office document will not open directly in Blackboard.  This is true for documents added to content areas as well as to assignments, discussion boards or any other area of Blackboard that allows attachments.  

Your browser will attempt to either save and/or open the document using Word, Excel or PowerPoint etc.  All browsers will also open a 'blank' screen in Blackboard (see note below).

What to do: 

Internet Explorer Users:  
You will see yellow warning label at the top of the screen. Click on this label and choose to either save or open the file.

Firefox Users: 
 Firefox will display the "Open/Save" dialog box.  You may choose Open if you have MS Office on the computer you are using.  The file will then open.

If this box does not appear click the Tools Menu, then select Downloads. A list of all files that have downloaded will appear. Double click the file you want to open.

Google Chrome Users: 

Chrome will download the file and display an icon at the bottom of the browser window.  Double click the file to open it.  

Important Note!  You will see a blank screen in Blackboard after you attempt to open the file!  Use the bread crumb links to return to the content area (as shown in the images below).

This image illustrates an MS Word file in Blackboard.