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Blackboard Help

Share Content

Don't just tell them. Show them.

The Ultra experience of Blackboard Collaborate makes it easy to share your knowledge. You can upload content, including PowerPoint® presentations, or share your desktop screen to show more details.

Open the Collaborate panel and select Share Content to start sharing and collaborating with your participants.

Not sure where the Collaborate panel is? Jump to Find Your Way Around.


Share application

Share your desktop or a software application to teach students about a particular topic. Whenever you move through the application or desktop, your students automatically follow along.

Use ChromeTM or Firefox® (version 49+) when sharing applications. You need to add the browser desktop sharing extension to share applications in Collaborate sessions.

More on adding the Chrome Desktop Sharing extension

More on adding the Firefox extension

When you share your desktop or application it is seen by everybody in the live session and anybody viewing the recording later. Make sure to close any windows and applications you don't want others to see before starting to share.

Application sharing is not currently supported for screen readers in Blackboard Collaborate. If you are using a screen reader, you can share files and a blank whiteboard with your participants. You cannot share an application.


Share files

Upload GIF, JPEG and PNG images, PDF files, or PowerPoint presentations of 60MB or lower to your session.

Select Add Files Here or drag a file into the box to upload it. Select Share Now when you're ready for students to see the file.

You can prep for class at the beginning of the week, or even at the start of the semester! After creating a session, you can open it any time and load the files you want to share. These files stay in the session until deleted by a moderator. Load them once and reuse them as often as you want.

You can choose to allow participants to mark up your shared file during a session in Session Settings. Open the Collaborate panel and select My Settings. Go to Session Settings and make your choice.

If you are recording your session, allow 8 seconds for the recording to include your shared file before moving on.


What about PowerPoint slides?

You can share PowerPoint files directly in Collaborate or share the PowerPoint application.

How do you know which to use? Let us help you decide.

  • Share files: For the best overall experience, use Share files.
    • When uploaded each slide is optimized so all participants can view quality slides no matter their network connection.
    • With Share files you can upload more than one presentation at any time to have ready for your session.
    • Uploaded files stay in the session until deleted by a moderator. This makes it easier to return to a slide if you need to review.
    • When you upload your presentation you can use Collaborate editing tools with your slides.
    • You can also choose to allow participants to mark up your shared slides during a session.

    More on sharing PowerPoint files

  • Share application: Use Share application, if you have animations in your presentation or if you are presenting live in a physical space and online at the same time.

    More on sharing the PowerPoint application

Share PowerPoint files

Select Share Files when using PowerPoint presentations of 60MB or lower. This gives you and your participants the best experience.

Upload your PowerPoint and select Share Now. A slide navigator panel opens showing you all of your slides. Select a slide to start sharing it. Select the presentation name to open the slide navigator panel again at any time.

If your presentation has animations, share the PowerPoint application instead of uploading the PowerPoint files.

Share the PowerPoint application

If you want, you can run your presentation in PowerPoint and share the application in Collaborate.

Make sure your presentation is set up and running on the screen you want to share before selecting Share application in Collaborate.

For the best experience, don't use Normal or Full screen views for your presentations. These views can make it challenging for you and your participants to see everything. Instead, share your slides in a resizable window.

  1. In PowerPoint open the Slide Show menu and select Set Up Show.
  2. Select Browsed by individual (window) and select Ok.
  3. Start your presentation.
  4. Resize the presentation window to the size you want. You're now ready to share your slides in Collaborate.
  5. Select Share application and the PowerPoint application or screen you want to share.

Share whiteboard

Collaborate with your students using the whiteboard. Open a blank whiteboard to draw or just jot down notes.

You decide in Sessions Settings if participants can use the whiteboard and tools along with you during a session. Open the Collaborate panel and select My Settings. Go to Session Settings and make your choice.


Content editing tools

When you share a blank whiteboard or files you are given tools you can use to edit during the live session. You can also decide if you want to give your participants the same tools in Session Settings.

Use these tools to edit and mark up shared files and the whiteboard.

Content editing tools
Icon Tool Description
Select icon with a sketch of an arrowSelect icon active Select Use the arrow to select an object on the whiteboard. After you select it you can resize, move, and delete it.
Pointer icon with sketch of hand pointingPointer is active Pointer Use the hand to point to different areas of the visible slide. Participants see wherever you are pointing on the slide.
Pencil icon with a sketch of a pencilPencil is active Pencil Use the pencil to draw free hand on the slide.
Shapes icon with a sketch of a squareShape tool is on Shapes Use the Shapes icon to draw a rectangle, ellipse, or a straight line. Your choice.
Text on with a letter TText tool is on Text Type text on the slide with the "T".
Clear icon with a sketch of an eraserClear is on Clear Use the eraser to undo everything.
Show view controls with sketch of paper and magnifying glass View controls Show or hide your zoom, fit, and size controls.
View controls open View controls opened Zoom in, Zoom out, Best Fit, Actual size

Best fit takes advantage of your screen real estate. Content adjusts to be completely viewable in the available area. It displays as large as possible while keeping the aspect ratio intact.

Preview and next arrows Slide navigation controls Move to the previous our next slide. 

With your keyboard, press Alt + Page Down to move back a slide and Alt + Page Up to move forward a slide. On a Mac, press Alt + Fn + Down Arrow or Alt + Fn + Up Arrow.

Select the slide name to view all slides.

Stop icon with a square in a circle Stop Stop sharing content.