Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: File or website link.

File or website link

From MoodleDocs

Adding a link to a file

Although it's easy to generate content directly in Moodle, you can also upload any type of electronic file you like. All you need to do is make sure your students can access it with the appropriate software on their computers.

Once you've added a file to your files area, you can easily add it as a resource for your students.

  1. In Editing Mode, select "Add Link to File or Web Site" from the Resource menu from the content block where you want to add the link to the file.
  2. On the Edit page, click the "Choose or upload a file" button. A new window will pop up with the files area directory structure.
  3. Find the file you want to add in the files area. You can also upload a new file here if you'd like.
  4. On the right side of the files list, you will see a "Choose" link in bold. Click that link. The Files window will close, and the path to the file will be entered into the file name.
  5. You can choose to display the file in a new pop-up window. Most of the time, you won't need to worry about this with uploaded content.
  6. The name of the resource will now be an active link in the content block.

Adding media content

Adding media content can help you communicate some ideas and processes more easily than text alone. Imagine trying to teach a language without learners able to hear it spoken. Or trying to learn how volcanoes work with either seeing a video or an animation. Fortunately, Moodle makes it easy to add rich media content to your course. The Moodle media filters will automatically recognize your media type and put the right sort of link in to your web page so students can access it easily.

Note: If these instructions don't work, contact your system administrator and ask if the media filters are enabled in the filters settings.

Media content may be added using the same steps as for adding a link to a file.

  1. In Editing Mode, select "Add Link to File or Web Site" from the Resource menu from the content block where you want to add the link to the media file.
  2. On the Edit page, click the "Choose or upload a file" button. A new window will pop up with the files area directory structure.
  3. Either upload the media file or if you uploaded it previously, find the file you want to add in the files area.
  4. Click the "Choose" link. The Files window will close, and the path to the file will be entered into the filename.
  5. The name of the resource will now be an active link in the content block.

MP3 files are automatically embedded in a streaming player made with Flash.

TIP: The file does not change? After repeated uploads of a new file, the old version remains? Very possibly this is a server cache problem (not a Moodle setting). Ask your site administrator or hosting service if there is a server cache setting that is causing this problem. Often removing an unnecessary cache will solve this.


You may type the summary of the resource here. This will be displayed on the resources index page. The summary is also displayed below the Moodle navigation controls in the top frame, if the window settings are set to open the linked resource in frames.


Type in the url of the file or web page here. You may use the two buttons below to help you.

  • Choose or upload a file... - If you click on this button, a popup window will appear with the course files. You will be able to browse the files and choose (option located to the right of the file) the one which you want to make available as a resource. If the file is not there you can upload it first.
  • Search for web page... - If you click on this button, a popup window will appear with the Google search engine. You can use Google to search the web for a webpage which you want to make available as a resource.


Force download


From Moodle 1.9 onwards, you can choose whether to force files stored in Moodle to be downloaded, rather than being displayed in the browser window.

The force download box should be checked for any files stored in Moodle (i.e. in the course files folder) which students are expected to download and save on their own computer.

Checking the force download box also avoids students having problems opening certain files due to the browser or the multimedia plugin used.


  1. It is not possible to force web pages or files stored anywhere other than in Moodle to be downloaded. In these cases, checking the force download box has no effect.
  2. If the resource is a PDF file (stored in Moodle or on a different site), the force download box should be checked in order that students using IE7 or Firefox 3.x can view the PDF. This work-around is necessary because of the way browser handles PDF files. (This behaviour is very difficult to predict, as it is highly dependent on the versions of browsers and Adobe Reader/Acrobat installed. Some combinations of FF3 and Reader, as well as IE7 and Reader don't need this workaround.)

Same or new window

Resources may normally be displayed either in the same browser window or in a new window (assuming in Moodle 1.9 that the force download box is left unchecked).

To display a resource in a new window:

  1. Click the Show Advanced button in the Window area.
  2. Select "New window" from the Window drop-down menu.
  3. Select the new window options.

Keep page navigation visible on the same page

If a resource is to be displayed in the same browser window, to enable users to easily return to the course page, the file can be displayed in a frame, or embedded within the page, so that the Moodle navigation remains on the top of the page.

Note that this option is normally not necessary for media types such as movies, audio files and flash files, as without this option turned on they will be embedded within a navigable page.

The use of frames can break accessibility, so this option will be completely ignored if the user has chosen the "Screenreader" option in their profile.

For standards compliance reasons, keeping page navigation visible without a frame (i.e. using an object tag to embed the file) is preferable to with a frame. However, certain Moodle themes are not compatible with the "Yes, without frame" option.

New window options

  • Allow the window to be resized - Checking this will allow the user to change the size of the window after it has opened. Unless you have a specific reason for not allowing the user to resize, you should leave this checked.
  • Allow the window to be scrolled - You can prevent the user from scrolling the new window. Again, unless you have a specific reason to prevent the user from scrolling, leave this checked.
  • Show the directory links - This will display the user’s bookmark or favourites bar in his browser.
  • Show the location bar - You can hide the address bar, and thus the site’s URL, in the pop up by unchecking this box.
  • Show the menu bar - The menu bar is the browser menu that allows the user to set bookmarks, print, view the page source, and perform other browser functions.
  • Show the toolbar - The browser toolbar has the back and forward buttons, as well as the reload and stop buttons.
  • Show the status bar - The status bar is the lower area of the browser that shows how much of the page has loaded and the target of a link.
  • Default window width and height - You can set the size of the new window to match the size of the linked page.


Note: parameters are quite an advanced feature. Some knowledge of how web forms pass information to web pages is required.

The parameter settings are completely optional, and are only useful when you need to pass some Moodle information to the resource file or web site. If you define any parameters they will be passed to the resource as part of the URL (using the GET method). The left column allows you to choose information to send, and the right column allows you to give it a name. Note that the user information will be from the user who is looking at this resource, and the course information is from the course that this resource is part of.

An example is to send users to the URL This is the page that returns search results for your Google searches but, if you go there directly, without specifying what you wish to search for, you just get the standard Google search screen. Google expects a parameter called q that tells it what to look for. If you select a parameter, any will do but in this example we'll use Surname, and give it the name q then every user will see a page of search results based upon the Surname stored in their profile.

A slightly more useful example can be seen on the front page of The Documentation link (second from the top on the left-hand side) uses parameters to add the language specified in the user's profile to the link. Try changing your language before clicking on the link and see where you end up. (Bear in mind that if no MoodleDocs exists for a language, you will be redirected to the English documentation).

In general this feature provides a powerful way to connect Moodle to external web resources that are logically divided up by Geographic Region, Course or User details etc. For example you may already have all your past course papers available ordered by course code. This allows a standard course template to be created that points to different places when the course code is changed. If the external source cannot accept connections in the standard format that Moodle provides, and you have access and control over the external source, then a server add-on called mod_rewrite could be used to make them interoperate.

You can pass up to 5 parameters in the URL. These parameters encompass:

  • User-id
  • User-Username
  • User-ID number
  • User-First name
  • User-Surname
  • User-Full name
  • User-Email address
  • User-ICQ number
  • User-Phone 1
  • User-Mobile Phone 2
  • User-Institution
  • User-Department
  • User-Address
  • User-City/Town
  • User-Timezone
  • User-Web page
  • Course-id
  • Course-Full name
  • Course-Short name
  • Course-Course ID number
  • Course-Summary
  • Course-Your word for Teacher
  • Course-Your word for Teachers
  • Course-Your word for Student
  • Course-Your word for Students
  • Miscellaneous-Preferred language
  • Miscellaneous-Full site name
  • Miscellaneous-Server URL
  • Miscellaneous-Time
  • Miscellaneous-Encrypted code

Encrypted code

The encrypted code can be used to authenticate a Moodle user on an external system, thought it is NOT the user's password. This value can be passed with user details (such as the username) to the remote application which just needs to verify that the encrypted code is correct for the current user's IP address . The parameter "encrypted code" is the MD5 value of the current user's IP address concatenated with the resource module's secret phrase defined in Site Administration > Module > Activities > Resource > Password like so:

encryptedcode = md5(IP.secretphrase)

Visible to students

You can hide the resource from students by selecting "Hide" here. It is useful if you wouldn't like to make the activity available immediately.

See also

Tutorials on how to use GoogleDocs with Moodle: