Canvas Release: Canvas DocViewer

Canvas DocViewer automatically converts common documents types into web-viewable and interactive learning experiences. This feature replaces the current Box previewer and Crocodoc annotation tools in Canvas and provides improved performance. You may view the full Canvas Release: Canvas DocViewer Release Notes and accompanying images.  

Supported File Types

The following documentation and image types are supported for both document previews and annotations:

Supported Document Types

  • Microsoft Word (DOC, DOCX, DOCM, DOT, DOTX, DOTM)
  • Microsoft Excel (XLS, XLSX, XLSM, XLSB, XLS2003)—DocViewer only converts the defined print area of the spreadsheet
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX, PPS, PPSX)
  • Microsoft Project (MPP) Portable Document File (PDF, XPS)
  • Data (VTX, TXT, CSV)
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • OpenOffice (ODT, OTT, ODS)
  • Markup Language (HTM, HTML, MHT)
  • Mail Message (MSG, EML, EMLX)
  • eBook (EPUB)

Supported Image Types

  • JPG, JPEG
  • PNG
  • GIF
  • BMP
  • TIF, TIFF
  • AutoCAD (DWG, DXF)
  • Visio (VDX, VDW, VSD, VSDX, VSS, VST, VSX)

DocViewer Annotations

While the submission details page and SpeedGrader both allow users to create general comments about a submission, annotations allow users to create and highlight specific comments within a submission. Both assignment graders and students can add annotations to a supported assignment file; however, annotations are not supported in anonymous peer reviews.

DocViewer does not include any session limitations in SpeedGrader. An assignment does not have to be annotated within a specific time frame and will not display a timeout warning message.

Annotation Types

DocViewer includes a modern interface that looks and feels like Canvas and supports a variety of document and image types. The DocViewer toolbar displays the number of pages for a document, zoom in and out of the file, and use one of six annotation types for commenting: point, highlight, free text, strikeout, free draw, and area annotation types.

Users can create an annotation by clicking an annotation type. Currently, all annotation types except free text support a variety of annotation colors.

Free text will support colors in a future release.

Currently, annotation selection is not persistent, so once an annotation type is selected, the toolbar defaults back to the selection tool. Users must select each annotation type individually.

This functionality will be improved in a future release.

Annotation Comments

Point, and area annotation types require a text comment with the annotation. These annotation types display a comment text field immediately in the sidebar.

Highlight, strikeout, free text, and free draw annotation types do not require comments. Comments can be added with the annotations by clicking the document icon in the sidebar.

Currently, annotation comments cannot be downloaded.

This functionality will be included in a future release.

All users can reply to any comments in the document by clicking the comment. However, comments and annotations can only be deleted by the user who created the comment or annotation. Annotations can be deleted by the user by selecting the annotation in the submission and clicking the Delete key (Mac) or Backspace key (PC) on the user’s keyboard. Comments can be deleted by selecting the comment and clicking the comment’s Delete icon.