How to download alternative formats in Minerva with Ally – Student Guide

In Minerva you have the option to download alternative formats of content in your modules and organisation e.g. audio, ePub, HTML, electronic Braille. For example, if your lecturer has uploaded a Word doc, but you prefer audio, you’ll have the option to download it in that format. Look for the ‘A’ Ally download icon next to files in Minerva.

Download alternative formats icon

How to download alternative formats with Ally

Click the Ally icon and a new window opens, this shows you the choice of alternative formats for that file. Select what you want and click Download.

The file will then download to your computer.

Can I download alternative formats for all Minerva files?

You can normally download alternative formats for the following file types: PDF, Word, Powerpoint, OpenOffice/LibreOffice and uploaded HTML. There are some exceptions, for example, occasionally alternative formats will not be available for copyright reasons (e.g. Library online course readings).

What are the different alternative formats?

The formats you can download depend on the original file type. Here is a full list:

  • Audio – the original content is read aloud, MP3 file (languages available)
  • Electronic Braille – creates a BRF file
  • ePub – digital publishing file that can be viewed on mobile devices
  • Semantic HTML – can be viewed in your browser and adapts to your device
  • OCR PDF – if a PDF is an image, OCR technology converts the image into searchable text
  • Tagged PDF – useful for screen reader users
  • Beeline reader – displays text using a colour gradient to make it easier to read

More detailed information about the alternative formats Ally offers is available (note we don’t have translations available here at Leeds).

Which download type should I choose?

Your needsElectronic brailleAudioPDF, OCRPDF, TaggedHTML, SemanticePubBeeLine Reader
Adjust text, font, and background colourYesYes
Adjust audio playback speedYes
CommutingYesYesYesYesYes
Commuting, drivingYes
Copy, paste, and searchYesYesYesYes
Format adapts to device, responsiveYesYesYes
Highlighting, note taking, and bookmarkingYesYesYes
Mobile deviceYesYesYesYes
OfflineYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Prefer listeningYes
Prefer readingYesYesYesYesYesYes
PrintYesYesYesYesYes
Text to speech with speed adjustmentYesYesYesYes

(This table is reproduced with the permission of Blackboard Ally)

Need more help?

For any issues with Blackboard Ally, please contact the IT Service Desk.

The University’s Disability Services is also available for students who need help getting accessible content.