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Files can be a useful way of disseminating important information. You may wish to share policy documents or task briefs for use or reference on your course page. 

There are a number of ways you can add a file to your course:

  • By adding it as a resource (using Add a file or resource)
  • By dragging and dropping it directly onto the course page
  • By uploading a ZIP file and then selecting a file as the main file (this will be displayed)
  • By a text link using the hyperlink tool and file picker

(The video above is taken from the Totara Academy course on Course resources).

All activities and resources are also available in the Totara Mobile app. Please note that activities and resources may work slightly differently in the Mobile app compared to on a desktop site. 

Adding a file 

To add a file as a resource follow these steps:

  1. Go to the course and Turn editing on.
  2. Click Add a resource or activity in the section you want to add the file to. 
  3. From the list of resources select File and then click Add
  4. Configure the settings to your preferences. 
  5. Click Save and return to course to finish. 

Select file from the list of resources.

Alias 

When you use the file picker to add an existing file from either your Private file area in Totara Learn or a repository file (such as Server file or an external connected repository) you will have two options. 

  1. Make a copy of the file: This makes a separate copy of the file. The file is now duplicated and not linked to the original file, so you can make changes without affecting the original. 
  2. Create an alias/shortcut to the file: This creates a link to the original file, meaning that any changes to the original file will be disseminated across any aliases. 

Which option you choose depends on whether you wish for this instance of the file to affected by changes to the original or not.

Aliases can be a good way of preventing extra storage space being taken up (by only having a single copy of a file) and means that you only have to make changes once and it will be applied to all the file's aliases across the site. 

When using an existing file you can either make a copy of it or create an alias.

Drag and drop

If you want your file to show up as a downloadable link on your course, and you do not immediately wish to configure any other settings, then you can drag and drop it directly onto the course page. 

Dragging and dropping a file.

  1. Go to the course and Turn editing on.
  2. Find the file on your computer and hover the mouse pointer over it, then press and hold the left mouse button so that you can drag it. 
  3. Drag it over to the section you want to add it to on the course and drop it by releasing the left mouse button. 

You can then edit your file settings as detailed in the Editing section below. 

Drag the file from your computer onto the course page in your web browser.

From a ZIP folder

It is possible to upload a ZIP folder and then set a file to display as the main file. This could be useful if for example you wanted to upload an exported website, as you could upload this as a ZIP folder and then set the index.html page as the main file. 

Upload the ZIP folder then unzip it and set the desired file as the main file.

If you want to link to a file in an external repository, instead of uploading a copy to the course, you can add the file to the course as a hyperlink in a text area. However, if you choose this method then you will not be able to configure the settings in the same way.

  1. Go to the course and Turn editing on.
  2. Add some text (for example via a label or using the topic description).
  3. Highlight the text and click the hyperlink icon () to create a link. 
  4. Select From a repository and then upload or browse for your file.
  5. Choose the file and click Select this file.
  6. When you are done click Save and return to course

Highlight the text you wish to link to the file and then use the hyperlink icon to broswe and select the file.

Editing a file 

Once you have added a file to a course you may wish to edit it. While you cannot edit the file itself through Totara Learn you can change how it is configured and adjust the settings as desired. 

  1. Go to the course and Turn editing on.
  2. Alongside the file you wish to edit click Edit.
  3. Select Edit settings from the dropdown menu. 
  4. Configure the settings to your preferences. 
  5. Click Save and return to course to finish. 

Select Edit and then Edit settings alongside the file on the course.

Course settings

You can configure the settings for the file resource to your preferences.

SettingDescriptionNotes
NameThe name of the file as it will appear on the course page. -
DescriptionA description of the file, might include a summary of the file contents or its purpose in the course. -
Display description on course pageDisplays the description, entered in the previous setting, on the course page. -
Select filesThis is where you add a file, either by dragging and dropping it or using the file picker. If you are selecting an existing file through the file picker please see Alias for more information.
Display

This setting, together with the file type and whether the browser allows embedding, determines how the file is displayed. Options may include:

  • Automatic: The best display option for the file type is selected automatically
  • Embed: The file is displayed within the page together with the file description and any blocks
  • Force download: The user is prompted to download the file
  • Open: Only the file is displayed in the browser window
  • In pop-up: The file is displayed in a new browser window without menus or an address bar
  • In frame: The file is displayed within a frame below the navigation bar and file description
  • New window: The file is displayed in a new browser window with menus and an address bar
-
Show size

Displays the file size (such as 2.5MB).

-
Show type  Displays the type of file (such as PDF or .doc).-
Show upload/modified dateShows when the file was last created or edited. -
Pop-up width (in pixels)If you have chosen In pop-up as the Display type then you can set the width of the pop-up window.-
Pop-up height (in pixels)If you have chosen In pop-up as the Display type then you can set the height of the pop-up window.-
Display resource description

Displays the resource description when displaying the file content. This is different from Display description on course page as this setting controls if the description is displayed within the resource.

Only available for AutomaticEmbed and In frame display options. 

It will only work with Automatic if the display option used is Embed or In frame

Use filters on file content

Select the type of file to apply filters to either:

  • None
  • All file
  • HTML files only

For more information see the Filters page. 

This may cause problems for some Flash and Java applets. 
Common module settingsSee Common moule settings for more.-
Restrict accessSee Restrict access for more.-
Activity completionSee Activity completion for more.-
TagsSee Tags for more.-

Plugin settings

As a Site Administrator you can set the defaults for the file resource settings on courses. Users can still change the settings on an individudal resource but these settings will be the default. 

SettingDescriptionNotes
Frame heightWhen a web page or an uploaded file is displayed within a frame, this value is the height (in pixels) of the top frame (which contains the navigation).-
Available display options

Decide which display options to make available to users. If an option is not allowed here it will not appear to users. The display options are:

  • Automatic: The best display option for the file type is selected automatically
  • Embed: The file is displayed within the page together with the file description and any blocks
  • In frame: The file is displayed within a frame below the navigation bar and file description
  • New window: The file is displayed in a new browser window with menus and an address bar
  • Force download: The user is prompted to download the file
  • Open: Only the file is displayed in the browser window
  • In pop-up: The file is displayed in a new browser window without menus or an address bar
-
Display

Set the default display mode from the available options selected above. 

-
Show size

Set the default for whether to displays the file size (such as 2.5MB).

-
Show type  Set the default for whether to display the type of file (such as PDF or .doc).-
Show upload/modified dateSet the default for whether to show when the file was last created or edited. -

Pop-up width (in pixels)

Specifies default width of popup windows.-
Pop-up height (in pixels)

Specifies default height of popup windows.

-

Select default for the type of file to apply filters to either:

  • None
  • All file
  • HTML files only

For more information see the Filters page. 

This may cause problems for some Flash and Java applets. 

Please make sure that all text files are in UTF-8 encoding.

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 Still have questions? 

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