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Issues and Quirks

Known Issues and Unexpected Behaviors

Contacts (formerly Staff Information)

Issue:  If you upload a photo and input a lot of text in the Office Location, Office Hours, or Notes areas, the photo may overlap the text, especially on smaller screens.

Work Around: Keep text to a minimum, or create a new content area to replace the Contacts area.

Course Menu

Issue:  When you add new items to your course menu, they may not appear to "stick" at first.

Solution:  Click the refresh button at above the menu title. View image.

Issue:  The course menu has disappeared. This can be caused by three different actions.

1. The menu heading has been clicked, causing the menu to collapse.

Solution:  Click the menu heading again to expand it.  View image.

2. The menu frame has been hidden, either by clicking the "hide" icon, or opening a section of the course that demands the entire content frame.

Solution:  Click the "unhide" icon to restore frame. View image.

3. A document has been opened.

Solution:  To return to the full course view, click the course name in the breadcrumb trail at top.  View image.

CTRL+V not Working in Firefox

Issue:   In Firefox, the cut, copy, and paste icons in the content editor do function because of a security setting in the browser. Additionally, right clicking and cutting, copying, and pasting do not work in Firefox either.

Solution: When you try to use the mouse options, you will receive a pop-up saying you should use the keyboard short cuts:

  • CTRL+X = cut
  • CTRL+C = copy
  • CTRL+V = paste

These shortcuts work fine when you are copying from an item outside of Blackboard (i.e. a Word document). However, if you are trying to copy and paste from an item already existing in Blackboard, say an announcement or a discussion board post, CTRL+V will not work (CTRL+X and CTRL+C do, however).

The easiest workaround to this issue is as follows:

  1. In the content editor with the text you want to copy, click on the HTML button.
  2. In the HTML pop-up screen, use the CTRL+A keyboard shortcut to highlight all of the text.
  3. Click CTRL+C.
  4. Click Cancel on the HTML pop-up and click Cancel on the Blackboard item.
  5. In the content editor for the new item, announcement, discussion board post, etc., click on the HTML button.
  6. In the HTML pop-up screen, click CTRL+V to paste the code from the other item.
  7. Click the Update button.
  8. If you have more content to add or editing to do, click the HTML button again to return to the visual editor.
  9. Once you have completed all necessary parts of the item, click Submit.

Email Missing

Issue:   Not receiving email from Blackboard courses.

Solution:  It is most likely being filtered to your SPAM folder in Gmail.  If you delete an email without reading it, Gmail automatically classifies similar emails (from the same address or with a similar subject line) as SPAM. To remedy the situation, in your Gmail SPAM folder, click the box beside the email(s) from Blackboard courses and click the "Not Spam" button to tell Gmail that emails like this should not be put into the Spam folder.

To make sure Gmail never filters mail from Princeton.EDU to your SPAM folder:

  1. Click the downward-pointing triangle in your Gmail's main search field (it is just to the left of the magnifying glass):Gmail searhc field
  2. Type in the From field.
  3. Click the Create filter with this search >> link at the bottom of the search sheet.
  4. Check Never send it to Spam then click the Create filter button:Never Send to Spam

Grade Center

A number of on-going areas of confusion with the Grade Center can be found here.


Issue:  Students are able to change the name of the group as it displays in the header of the group page, and not just for themselves, but for others in the group.  It will not, however, change the name of the group in the menu panel where one's groups are listed.

Solution:  When creating groups, uncheck the box Allow Personalization  under section 3, Module Personalization Settings. Groups create by the Sectioning Tool have this solution built in.

Paste From Word

When pasting into the content editor from a Microsoft Word document, formatting problems result. With Announcements, the code behind the formatting can get sent in the e-mail the students receive advising them of the new Announcement. In content areas and Send Email, the formatting can get scrambled.  The solution is to paste with the code stripped out. One way of doing that is to paste first into a plain text editor, such as Notepad, then copy and paste from there. Another solution is to click on the HTML button in the text editor (third row in the text editor) and copy and paste the text into the HTML window. That will clean up any extra formatting in the text.  Also, Firefox and Chrome browsers have a feature that allows users to paste unformatted text with these keyboard shortcuts:

Chrome, PC: Ctrl + Shift + V

Chrome, Mac: Command ⌘ + Shift ⇧ + V

Firefox, PC: Ctrl + Shift + V

Firefox, Mac: Command ⌘ + Shift ⇧ + Option ⌥ + V


Issue:  The horizontal scrollbar is missing from the Grade Center when using Mac OS X and Google Chrome or Safari.

Work Around:  This issue is due to OS X's different settings for scrollbars starting with Lion. The workaround for Lion and Mountain Lion users is as follows:

  1. Launch System Preferences, either from the Dock or from the Apple menu.
  2. Once the System Preferences window opens, select the General preference pane.
  3. The middle section of the General preference pane controls when scroll bars appear and a few additional scroll bar options.
  4. To return the scroll bars to their pre-Lion functionality, select "Always" from the Show Scroll Bars options. The scroll bars will now always be visible, even when you're not scrolling.

Still, if you find scrolling in the Grade Center is tedious you can always download your Grade Center into Excel and work with it there. This adds more steps, but if you are more comfortable in Excel it might be a good solution. To do this, hover over the Upload/Download button on the top-right area of the Grade Center and choose Download from the resulting menu. Then hit the Submit button without changing any of the settings. Click the Download button that you are then presented with and choose whether you want to open the file in Excel right away or if you want to save it to your computer. Either way, you can make your changes and save the spreadsheet (in the same format, please do not change the format of the file or Blackboard will not accept it) and upload the changes back into Blackboard by going back to the Upload/Download menu and selecting Upload this time.

User Manual

Blackboard Help Line (609) 258-0737