Tips for Working on a Mac in Blackboard
You can access your Blackboard account on your computer, laptop, or Mac. What you might notice, however, is that it works a little differently on your Mac. In some cases, you will need to make changes to the documents you create or download.
1. Verify browser compatibility
If you are on a Mac, the HelpDesk suggests you access Blackboard in the Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome browsers. Find out if your browser is compatible here: Browser Compatibility. A general rule of thumb when you are experiencing issues is to try in another browser.
*If you are using Safari, you may notice the menu collapses. If this happens, and expanding it will not stick, switch to Firefox instead.
2. Configure the browser
When you log into Blackboard on your Mac, visit the Open SUNY Browser Compatibility area to make sure your browser settings are accurate. You must have green checks in all three areas.
If you see a red ‘x’ in any area, you will need to adjust your browser settings.
Read more: Adjust pop-ups in Blackboard
3. Make sure files are compatible
When you create a new file on your Mac, you need to make sure that the file can be viewed by anyone on a Mac or a PC. This means you will have to change the file extension for the document. This is important if you are uploading assignments, written exams, and other documents. Always verify the format with your instructor first. The most common formats are listed below.
Word: .doc or .docx
PowerPoint: .ppt or .pptx
Excel: .xls or .xlsx
Plain Text: .txt
HTML: .htm or .html
Windows Media: .vmv
MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4:
4. Reformat Pages documents
Creating documents in Pages is not an acceptable format in Blackboard. This is a Mac-exclusive product. That means it is not viewable by PCs. Your professor will ask you to reformat and resubmit.
Instructions for reformatting Pages:
- Open the Pages document you want to change.
- Click on File
- Select Export To, and choose the option you want (PDF, Word, Plain Text, etc.)
- When the Export Your Document box pops up, make sure the proper extension is in the Format area (see file extensions above), and select
- Save As with the appropriate title and select the accurate destination in the Where
- Click Export.
When you upload the document in Blackboard, follow the upload instructions: How to Submit an Assignment.
5. Install BB Collaborate launcher
If your professor uses Blackboard Collaborate for lectures, conferences, and office hours, you will need to download the launcher if it is your first time.
- Download the launcher
- If a prompt asks you to enable Java, select ‘Always run for this site.’
- When the installer is downloaded, the zip file will automatically open if you are in Safari.
- Once the launcher is installed, you can select OK to enter the session.
If you cannot find the launcher, look in your Downloads folder.
If you are experiencing trouble in Safari, switch to Chrome or Firefox and try again. If the problem persists, call the Open SUNY HelpDesk.