Online Education for Students

Free Plugins for Blackboard

The following is a set of links to free applications that may need to be downloaded to view content created by an instructor in Blackboard.

Streaming Video

  • Real Player - For files with the .ra, .ram, or .smil extension. Download the "Free Real Player."
  • QuickTime - For .mov files. You want to "Download the Free Player."
  • Windows Media Player - For .wmv files. Download the player which corresponds to your operating system (Windows XP, 2000, Mac OSX, etc.)

Office Applications - PC

  • PowerPoint Viewer
  • Word Viewer
  • Excel Viewer

Go to and click on the "Download" tab. In the search field at the top of the page, type either "PowerPoint Viewer," "Word Viewer," or "Excel Viewer." Click the title of the program you wish to download and follow the on-screen directions. Users who install these programs will be able to view documents created by those Microsoft products at no cost but will not have the ability to edit them. You do not need to download the Viewer if you have a full version of the program.

Office Applications - MAC

Other Viewers

  • Adobe Acrobat - For .pdf files, download the free "Adobe Reader" application. This file format is widespread and most students will need this program throughout their university career.
  • Macromedia Flash Player - This enables users to view Flash (.swf) documents. Download the free player.
  • Macromedia Shockwave Player - This enables users to view Shockwave documents. Download the free player.

Last modified: Oct 13, 2011

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