Faculty Help
Assignment Link
Course Availability
End of Term Considerations
Tips for Student Assistance
Turnitin Information
Course Management:
Archive or Import & Export
Course Copy & Special Requests
Course Settings
Course Roster & Enrollment:
General Information
Course Roster Population
Enrollment Type
Guest Access & Observers
File Formats:
General File Info
Microsoft Office Document Info
Grade Center:
Grade Center at a Glance
Working with the Grade Center
Getting Started with the Grade Center.pdf
San Diego State Documentation:
Faculty PagesNew Browser or website icon
Step-by-Step GuidesNew Browser or website icon
Blackboard Instructor Manual.pdf
Discussion Board Guide for Instructors.pdf
How to Create & Deploy a Test.pdf
Set up & Manage Groups.pdf
Blackboard > Faculty Help | File Formats | General File Info
Faculty Help
File Formats | General File Info
File Names

Use only letters, numbers, underscores, and hyphens in names of files you upload to Bb.

Files uploaded to Bb for the same assignment or page must have separate, unique names to avoid downloading problems. Adding a number or a letter to new file names will provide a unique name.

We suggest that students use their last name and an abbreviation of the assignment name for documents they upload to the Assignment Link. We also advise they remove older files before uploading newer versions of them.

What not to put in an uploaded Bb file name:
ANYTHING that is not a letter or a number or an underscore or a hyphen, i.e., do not use spaces, periods (other than the one-and-only period already used for the file extension), commas, slashes, symbols, parentheses, brackets, braces, signs, symbols, dots . . . . etc., etc., etc.

In other words, any character which is not a letter or a number or an underscore or a hyphen.

This is important.

File Sizes
Keep files small enough so users with slower connections can still download the files in a reasonable time.  When necessary, minimize file size by using an application to create a compressed (.zip) file.  These applications are often available online for free or for a small fee.  Some computers have compression applications installed or built in.

Here's a reference to help estimate download times for files:

14.4K Modem
28.8K Modem
56.6K Modem
128K ISDN, DSL, Cable
T1(fast connection)
K/sec 100K File 1MB File 5MB File 10MB File
1.5 70 sec 11 min 60 min 1.75 hrs
3 35 sec 6 min 30 min 70 min
5 13 sec 3 min 22 min 25 min
7 6 sec 1 min 6 min 11 min
150 <1 sec 5 sec 30 sec 55 sec
Note: Cable Modem speeds vary between 64 Kbps & 40 Mbps depending on the service provider. Actual download times may vary.
A Few Common File Extensions
Extension File Type Associated Programs
Multimedia Macromedia® Authorware® plug-in
Audio Audio program
Multimedia Microsoft®.NET™ Show
Audio Real Audio Player™ (
Video Video player (not Macintosh® compatible)
Spreadsheet Comma Separated Values for most spreadsheet applications
.doc, .docx
Formatted Text Microsoft® Word® or other word processor
Audio Java™ enabled Web Browser
.ev, .ev2
Video Java™ enabled Web Browser
Executable Application for Windows®
Image Graphics application or web browser
.html, .htm
Web Page HTML editor or web browser
Image Graphics application or web browser
.jpg, .jpeg, .jif
Image Graphics application or web browser
.mpe, .mpg, .mpeg
Multimedia Multimedia application or web browser
.mov, .movie, .mp4
Video Movie or Media Player
Text Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® (, Preview (Mac)
PNG Image Graphics application or web browser
.ppt, .pps, .pptx, .ppsx
Presentation Microsoft® PowerPoint® and PowerPoint Player®
.qt, .mov
Movie QuickTime® (
Audio Real Audio Player™ (
.ram, .rm
Video Real Audio Movie™ (
Text Rich Text Format (compatible with many Word Processing applications)
Audio Macromedia® Shockwave® plug-in
.swv, .swf
Multimedia Macromedia® Shockwave® plug-in
.tif, .tiff
Image Graphics application or web browser
Text Text or HTML editor, word processor (no formatting)
.wav, .wma
Audio Audio application
Graphic Microsoft® Windows®
Media/Audio Microsoft® Windows®
.wps Formatted Text Microsoft® Works document (may open with MS Word)
Text WordPerfect® or other word processor
.xls, .xlsx
Spreadsheet Microsoft® Excel®
.zip, .sit, .tar, .7z
Compression File Compression Software

For those who need or want to know, here's a long list of extensionsNew Browser or website icon

OpenOfficeNew Browser or website icon for Windows and NeoOfficeNew Browser or website icon for Mac OSX, free computer office suites of applications, will Open and Save As all formats compatible with MS Office, including PDF.

Mac OS X and Windows add the extensions automatically.
Both operating systems can have the preferences set to show the extensions.
Mac OS 9 and previous system users must add all dots and extension letters manually.
Macs usually open any file if the associated application is installed.
Windows relies on the three-letter extension and can not open files it can not identify, even if the application for that file is installed on the computer.

Contact the OIT Help Desk, L-150, 667-3687. for technical support.

Back to top of pageto top of page
||||||| Updated: 5/26/09