Center for Technology Enhanced Learning

Common SafeAssign Errors

The 3 most common errors for uploading a document to SafeAssign are:

1. You have cookies blocked – most common in Safari browsers:

SafeAssign can be used (more or less) with Safari with one settings change. In Safari go to “Safari”->”Preferences, click on the Privacy tab and change Block Cookies to Never. We recommend using Firefox instead of Safari when using Blackboard, especially when using SafeAssign. Even in Firefox though, you will have to make sure you don’t have cookies blocked. It’s more commonly an issue with Safari since it typically blocks it automatically.

2. There is no file extension on your document such as .doc or .docx because you are using a Mac and Mac’s automatically hide or delete it.

If a student attempts to upload a document to SafeAssign without a file extension, the following error message will display: "No file has been specified. Specify a valid file to upload and try again"

In order to resolve this, rename the file to include the extension ".doc" or ".docx" on the end and resubmit the document. Or in the Save As window, click on the “Hide Extension” check box to unselect it so that the extension comes back before saving.

This issue primarily affects Mac users, as the OS X version of Office will automatically hide or delete a file extension and name a file without one.  This results in a file formatted as a .doc or .docx, but without the proper file extension.

Note: If using the Apple software Pages, the document will need to be exported as a .doc. The file cannot simply be renamed.

Unlike normal Assignments, SafeAssign restricts your submissions to specific file formats such as PDF, DOC, DOCX, ODT, and RTF. If you have a writing document to submit to SafeAssign, please confirm it is one of the acceptable file formats listed on the file upload screen.

3. You have an illegal character in your filename such as an accent (especially common in foreign language classes) or a comma, backslash, etc. Try ensuring your filename only includes letters and/or numbers and resave the file. Again, make sure it has a file extension displayed and that it is an acceptable file format for SafeAssign (see above).