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Problems opening Publisher files from Blackboard

December 2, 2009

We’ve discovered that Blackboard has some problems in handling MS Publisher files. If an Instructor uploads a Publisher file to Blackboard, users (whether staff or students) can’t open the file directly from the browser, but have to right-click and choose Save As… before opening.

A much more serious problem occurs if students upload Publisher files, e.g. to an assignment. Blackboard’s security rules treat .pub files as potentially suspicious, and strip out certain information from the file, making it completely unreadable.

There are server-side fixes we can investigate to address both parts of this problem. In the meantime, however, please be aware that if students need to submit work as Publisher files they should either

  • zip the file before uploading to Blackboard
  • or, if the lecturer is happy with this, send the file by email
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