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What are my file resource display options in Moodle and Totara Learn?

File Resource display options.jpgUploading files for your learners to access is a big part of many Moodle and Totara Learn courses. Whether that's video or audio files that you want to play within the course page, PDF files view or PowerPoints to download, there are different display options that suit each type.

What are my choices?

What are the behaviour options when a file resource is added to a course page?

Image 1.png

Automatic

The display option for the file type is automatically selected by Moodle.

To help you make the best choices we tested the behaviour of a range of common file types using this automatic setting. See the table of results below.

Embed

The file is displayed within the page where possible. This may not be the best option for file types that need to be opened in desktop editing software such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint or where you want the learner to download to use the file.

Force download

Whatever the file type is, it will be downloaded to your device when clicked. Predictable, although not always the most convenient option for files that could be displayed immediately such as pdf, video or image files. Ideal if you want your learners to use or amend the file rather than simply view it.

Open

This will trigger your device to open the file according to the settings on your device.

In pop-up

File will open in a pop-up. Great for files that can be viewed immediately such as pdf, video and image files. This option may not work on all devices.

New window

This option will open your file in a new tab of your browser, which brings the benefits of the "In pop-up" option without the risk of it being blocked by a pop-up blocker.

"New window" needs to be enabled by a Site Administrator at Site Administration > Plugins > Activity modules > File > Available display options.

Default behaviour of common file types on common devices

Icon File type

Desktop Windows 10 Chrome

Android tablet V7 Chrome

iPad iOS 11.0.3 Safari

Icon1.png MS Word .docx Downloads Downloads (briefly offers option to open) Opens in browser (same window)
Icon2.png .pdf Opens in browser (same window) Opens in .pdf viewer with back button Opens in browser (same window)
Icon3.png .jpg Opens (embedded) with cog options and navigation Opens (embedded) with cog options and navigation Opens (embedded) with cog options and navigation
Icon4.png .png Opens (embedded) with cog options and navigation Opens (embedded) with cog options and navigation Opens (embedded) with cog options and navigation
Icon5.png Powerpoint .pptx Downloads Downloads (briefly offers option to open) Opens in browser (same window) and scroll through slides
Icon6.png .txt Opens in browser (same window) Opens in browser (same window) Opens in browser (same window)
Icon7.png .mp4 Opens (embedded) with cog options and navigation Opens (embedded) with cog options and navigation Opens (embedded) with cog options and navigation
Icon8.png .mp3 Opens (embedded) with cog options and navigation Opens (embedded) with cog options and navigation Opens (embedded) with cog options and navigation

What next?

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