Attention, Mac users and instructors preparing Blackboard courses! Mac users are having problems viewing embedded PDF files with both Firefox and Apple’s Safari web browsers. Clicking on a PDF file content item gets this error message “A plug-in is needed to display this content. Install plug-in…” Following the link to locate a plug-in will result in a “No suitable plug-ins found” message. The PDF will display correctly inside the browser window for Windows XP and Windows 7 users and certain other Mac web browsers. Information Technology is in the process of working with Blackboard to find a solution for us. In the meantime, please consider using the workaround listed below.
If you have PDF files that are NOT within a Learning Module in your course:
- Navigate to the PDF document link, click the action menu button and click “Edit”.
- Scroll down to the option to “Open in a New Window” and click “YES”.
- Click Submit.
- Now your students using Macs will be able to open the PDF document.
If you have PDF Files that ARE within a Learning Module in your course:
- Enter your Learning Module
- Find the PDF document link and click the action menu button and click “Edit”
- Notice the name of the file
- Click Cancel
- Click “Build Content” and “Create Item”
- Enter appropriate text, such as the name of the file.
- Scroll down to “Attachments.”
- Click “Browse Content Collection”
- Find the PDF file and click “Submit”
- Click “Submit” once again.
- Locate the original PDF document link and delete it.
- Now the students can open the PDF file by clicking the file link inside the content item:
Workarounds for Students:
- View the document in another browser such as Opera or Google Chrome.
- Download a third-party PDF plug-in such as the Schubert PDF Browser Plug-in from Schubert-IT, which is free for educational, non-commercial use.