Firefox 3 Browser Settings

Update 2/5/09

Overview

There are five (5) sections to this document that will provide you with the information you need to insure that your Firefox browser is set properly to work with Blackboard. The five sections are:

It is STRONGLY suggested that you print this document, follow the directions, and make sure your Firefox settings match with what is outlined below. Click here for a printer-friendly version (3 pages).

Firefox Settings

Function

How To Set

Bookmark/
Favorite/
Tag

You must always start your Blackboard session at the main page, not the page where you type in your username and password. Use http://bboard.mcckc.edu as the URL for Blackboard.

Always use the Logout link at the top of the Blackboard window (next to the Home and Help links) to exit Blackboard. Don't exit by closing out the window!

Cache

To insure that you have the most updated version of a web page, you need to keep your cache as clean as possible by following these instructions:

Step 1: Locate Privacy settings in Firefox:

  • Launch Firefox
  • Select the Tools menu on the top of the Firefox window
  • Select Options
  • Select the Privacy icon

Step 2: Privacy Settings     

  • Select the History tab below the privacy icon
  • Enter zero ( 0 ) in the Remember visited pages for the last __ Days  
  • Select the Cache tab
  • Select the Clear Cache Now button
  • Select the Cookies tab below the privacy icon
  • Select the Clear Cookies Now button
  • Select the OK button to exit

Session Cookies

Blackboard must set a session cookie each time you login.

  • Launch Firefox
  • Select the Tools menu on the top of the Firefox window
  • Select Options
  • Select the Privacy icon
  • Select the Cookies tab
  • Check the Allow Sites to Set Cookies
  • Select OK button to exit

 

Java and JavaScript

To insure that  you can use Blackboard properly you must have Java and JavaScript enabled.

  • Launch Firefox
  • Select the Tools menu on the top of the Firefox window
  • Select Options
  • Select Content icon
  • Check Enable Java
  • Check Enable JavaScript
  • Select the Advanced… button on the right of Enable JavaScript
  • Check everything, but EXCEPT Hide status bar
  • Select OK
  • Select OK button to exit

Private Data

To protect your Blackboard login, you need to set Firefox to clear  private data when closing Firefox :

  • Launch Firefox
  • Select the Tools menu on the top of the Firefox window
  • Select Options
  • Select the Privacy icon
  • Select the Settings button
  • Check everything under Private Data and settings
  • Select the OK button
  • Select OK button to exit

Enable Clipboard function for  Blackboard in Firefox Browser

(if necessary)

If you are not able to use the cut, copy, and paste functions in the visual text editor box you need to enable clipboard function for Blackboard in Firefox browser by following the steps:

 Step 1: Show hidden folders:

  • Select the My Computer icon on your desktop
  • Select the Tools menu on the top of the My Computer window
  • Select Folder Options
  • Select the View tab
  • Select the Show hidden files and folders from a folder named Hidden files and folders
  • Select OK button to exit

 Step 2: Save the user.js file in the folder located in the following path:

  • Launch Firefox and go to http://distance.mcckc.edu/firefox/user.js
  • Select the File menu on the top of the Firefox window
  • Select Save page as….
  • Select the My computer icon
  • Locate a folder in the path by selecting each folder in the following:
    Local Disk (C:) \Documents and Settings\<Your Windows login> \Application Data\ Mozilla\ Firefox\ Profiles\ <one folder>
  • Select the Save button to save user.js file in that <one folder>
  • Close the download window

Note 1:  To protect your important folders and files, you can hide your folders again. Simply repeat step 1 and SELECT “Do not show hidden files and folders” instead of “Show hidden files and folders”.

Note 2: This file above only enables the cut, copy and pasted functions on MCC Blackboard web site. For additional information about the Firefox browser cut, copy and paste, visit Mozilla web site at http://www.mozilla.org/editor/midasdemo/securityprefs.html.

 

Pop-Up Blockers

If you are unable to view Discussion postings, Quiz windows, and download links, then you MUST disable pop-up killers and/or ad-blockers on your system.

Pop-up killer and Ad Blocker applications work in the background while you browse the Internet. When they detect a pop-up window that may be an unwanted advertisement or unwanted content of any kind, they automatically close the window. This can prevent Blackboard from performing certain functions properly.

If you have installed any ad blocking software like Pop-Up Stopper, AdsGone PopUp Killer, Stopzilla, EndPopups, etc. that disables pop-up windows, you will need to disable it. Some applications may allow you to temporarily disable them and others programs require that you remove them.

In addition, internet security software and firewalls like ZoneAlarm Pro and Norton Internet Security also include ad blocking software and those must be configured to allow pop-up windows.

  • Launch Firefox
  • Select the Tools menu on the top of the Firefox window
  • Select Options at the bottom of tools menu
  • Select Content icon
  • UNcheck Block Popup Windows
  • Select OK button to exit

To disable other pop-up killers or ad-blockers:

  • Search your hard drive for any software with "pop-up" in the name and disable it. Examples of popular pop-up killer applications include:
    • Pop-Up Stopper
    • Pop-Up Defender
    • Pop-Up Zapper
  • Pop-up killing or ad-blocking functions are included in some anti-virus, internet security, personal firewall, and browser programs. Disable the relevant setting in the program. Examples include:
    • Norton Internet Security 2003
    • AOL 9.0

To disable pop-up blockers in tool bars: If you have toolbars (for example, Yahoo, MSN, Advanced Search, Google, etc).

  • Move your cursor on top of each of the icon in the tool bar to find an icon that says something regarding pop-ups
  • Click on the icon to switch the pop-up off (for example, MSN tool bar, Google tool bar and advance search toolbar) when you are in MCC’s systems

OR

  • Click on the triangle next to the pop-up icon to bring up a drop down menu, and uncheck Enable pop-up Blocker


Applications which block pop-ups must be disabled while using Blackboard, or you will not be able to access many important Blackboard functions.

AOL

If you are having any problems using AOL with Blackboard follow these steps:

  • Connect to the Internet using AOL BUT do not go to any web sites using AOL
  • Minimize the AOL window
  • Launch Firefox
  • Click on the address bar and type the web address for Blackboard (http://blackboard.mcckc.edu) and press the Enter key. You can use the Bookmarks function in Firefox to bookmark the Blackboard login page.
  • Make sure that you have correctly set your browser settings using the links from the Browser Settings page for Firefox

Caution: When AOL is not in use while you are working on your class using Internet Explorer, AOL will consider the user inactive and will disconnect the user after a period of time. To remain active and avoid being disconnected, return to the main page of AOL every half hour or so and click on a link, check email, or check the weather (just do something in AOL). Following one or all of these tips will reset the AOL “inactivity timer”. Then continue working on your online course using Blackboard and Internet Explorer. Warning: If you are taking an exam and return to the AOL main page you will be locked out of your test and unable to continue.

Java Plug-In

The latest Java plug in MUST be installed to insure all the features in Blackboard work well. Download the latest free Java Plug in here:

  • Go to http://www.java.com/en/
  • Click Free Java Download and follow the prompts

    Note 1: The latest Java plug in as of January 2009 is Version 6. Update 11
    Note 2: Mac users can use the Software Update feature (available on the Apple menu) to check that you have the most up-to-date version of Java for your Mac
    -The above links can also be found under “Student Services” Tab, in the section called “Free Software links”

Discussion Board

When you first respond to a post in the discussion board using IE or Firefox, you will get a pop up window asking you to accept the applet.  Be sure to click Yes or Always

Note 1: You will not be able to do this before the start day of the class
Note 2: You cannot do this if your instructor does not enable discussion board
Note 3:  You cannot do this before your instructor adds a forum