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Naming Files

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  • File names must be no longer than seventeen characters, all letters and numbers with no special characters and no spaces.
  • A name should identify the file as precisely as possible (files placed in certain locations in Blackboard Vista, especially Content Modules,are not identified there by name; so to work with those files again one has to be able to select them from the list of all the files on the site).
  • The name must be followed by an extension indicating the type of file (for example, ".doc" or .html"). PCs add the extension automatically when naming a file so that it doesn't need to be typed in later, Macs can be set to do this (Pull down the Finder menu, select Preferences, and check in the box next to "Always show file extensions").
  • Renaming files once they're in Blackboard Vista can interfere with the path, so it is better to make name changes on your computer before uploading into MyFiles. 
    • On a PC go to My Computer, locate the file and highlight it. Pull down the File menu and select Rename.
    • On a Mac go to the Finder, locate the file and highlight it. Pull down the File menu and select Get Info or Show Info. Click on the arrow next to Name and Extension.

File extensions Blackboard Vista can work with most common types, although some files will only open if the student has the right program or viewer for it. Students will already have the most commonly used programs (Word documents, PDF's, etc.), and viewers for them can be downloaded for free from links on every Blackboard Vista page.

Commonly used file extensions:

  • .htm/.html  .pdf  .jpg, .jpeg  .gif  .tif  .tiff  .swf  .mov  .ppt  .doc  .xls  .zip  .txt

Special Characters (avoid using these in your file names):

  •  /   \   |   ,   *   :   ;   .   <   >   !   @   #   $   ^   &   +   %

If you encounter difficulties or would like further information, please contact eteach@bc.edu.