This help topic documents the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher available in versions 4.4 and later of the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block.

These tools can help you get started with Collaborate on a Mac. Learn how to install the launcher, join a Collaborate session, and play session recordings.

Install the launcher on a Mac

  1. On the Room Details page, select Join Room or select a recording link from the Recordings table. Blackboard Collaborate prompts you to download the launcher installer.
    • If this is the first time you are using the launcher, select Download Launcher in the First time using Blackboard Collaborate? pop-up window.
    • If you already installed the launcher, your browser may not detect it, and you'll be prompted to download the launcher. This can happen if you cleared your cache and cookies last time you exited your browser, use secure or private browsing, or use a different browser. If this is the case, you do not need to re-download the installer again. Select Launch Blackboard Collaborate nowto bypass the download and then open your .collab file.
  2. A pop-up window reminds you to install the launcher. Don't select OK yet. You will after you install the launcher.
  3. Java may prompt you for permission to run. To avoid this step in the future, select Always run on this site.
  4. When the installer file is fully downloaded, unzip the file to install the launcher.

    • Safari automatically unzips the file and installs the launcher.
    • In Firefox and Chrome, open the ZIP file in your Downloads folder to unzip and install the launcher.

      Your browser may ask you which application to use to open the ZIP file. If so, select the Archive Utility in System/Library/CoreServices. If your browser also prompts you to open the .collab file, do not do so until you have installed the launcher.

    When you unzip the installer using the Archive Utility, you may see the error "Unable to expand into Downloads. (Error 2 - No such file or directory.)". It means the download of the installer was incomplete. This will happen if you lost your connection during download. Download the installer ZIP file again.

    By default, the launcher resides in the Downloads folder. When you open your session or recording .collab file, Blackboard Collaborate gives you the option to move the launcher to your Applications folder.

    If you are having difficulty with the launcher installation process, see the Collaborate Knowledge Base article, Setting Mac OS X File Associations to open Blackboard Collaborate files.

  5. In the pop-up window reminder, select OK to confirm you installed the launcher.
  6. Open meeting.collab to join your session or play.collab to play your recording. If you don't see a prompt to do so, open the file in your Downloads folder.

Join sessions or play a recording

  1. To join a session, select Join Room on the Room Details page. To play a recording, select a link in the Recordings table.
  2. Collaborate can prompt you to do different things if you're a new or returning user.
    • If this is your first time using the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher: Download and install the launcher.
    • If you installed Blackboard Collaborate Launcher: Open the meeting.collab file.
    • If you installed the launcher but Blackboard Collaborate prompts you to download it: Select Launch Blackboard Collaborate now.
  3. Your browser prompts you to open the .collab file. How you open the file depends on which browser you are using.
    • Firefox asks you what to do with the .collab file. Select Open with and then Blackboard Collaborate Launcher from the drop-down list. If there is no drop-down list, select Choose and open your Downloads folder to select Blackboard Collaborate Launcher.
    • Internet Explorer asks you what to do with the .collab file. Select Open.
    • Chrome downloads the .collab file and presents it at the bottom of your browser window. Select the file name to open it.

      If you want future session files to open automatically, select Always open files of this type from the menu and then open the file.

  4. If this is your first time using the launcher, your operating system prompts you to open it. Select Open.
  5. Blackboard Collaborate prompts you to move the launcher to the Applications folder. Although this is not necessary, doing so will help keep your Downloads folder uncluttered.

    Select Do not show this message again so you will not see this dialog next time you launch Blackboard Collaborate.

The Blackboard Collaborate session opens.

Open .collab files automatically

To automatically open .collab files next time you launch Blackboard Collaborate, use Chrome as your browser.

When you download your .collab file, Chrome displays the file at the bottom of your browser window. Open the menu and select Always open files of this type and then open the .collab file name to launch your session or play your recording. The next time you download a .collab file, it automatically launches Blackboard Collaborate.