Why can't I open a file within my course?

In some cases, your course will have files that you'll need to download to fill in answers or activities. If you are unable to open or download one of these files there may be several reasons.

Missing correct software

You may not have the software installed to work with the file you are trying to download.

  • If the filename ends with an extension of '.pdf' it is an Adobe Acrobat file. Download and install the Adobe Reader to work with PDF files.

  • If the filename ends with an extension of '.doc' or '.docx' it is a Microsoft Office Word file.

  • If the filename ends with an extension of '.xls' or '.xlsx' it is a Microsoft Office Excel file.

Microsoft Office is a commercial product that can be purchased at cheaper rates if you are enrolled as a full time student. Student versions are available through the "It's not Cheating" Microsoft program.

However, every student at South Metropolitan TAFE is provided with an Office 365 email account which includes the Microsoft Office suite of programs. Using these online versions of the programs has the benefit of:

  • Automatically saves as you work
  • Can be accessed anywhere you can connect to internet 
  • Comes with 25GB of cloud storage space

Please see these instructions on how to use your Office 365 account

Security settings

You may have high security settings on your computer that are preventing files from being downloaded.

Try downloading the file and check at both the top and the bottom of your browser for a Security Warning message asking for permission to download the file. If there is a warning displayed you need to confirm that you really do want to open the file.

In Internet Explorer, if you have set your Security Settings too High, you will be unable to download. A dialog as pictured should appear:

Internet Explorer Security Error message

Go to TOOLS> Internet Options...> Security and click the Default Level button to reset. Pick OK to apply the change and retry downloading.

Pop-up blockers

Your pop-up blocker may be preventing the file from being downloaded. For information on how to allow pop-ups from your browser, see this FAQ.

» Frequently Asked Questions

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