DocViewer Plan

Document created by cwruck Administrator on Jul 13, 2017Last modified by Erin Hallmark on Mar 3, 2020
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As many of you know, we recently released a new document viewer with annotation tools. Our aim was to free ourselves from the chains of third party restrictions that wouldn’t let us respond to your annotation-related feature requests. With this new tool, we will have the opportunity to do some of these requests that you’ve been asking for.


To learn more about all of the DocViewer features and functionality, please see Canvas Release: Canvas DocViewer.


But before we start down the path of new annotation features, we need to respond to the feedback you’ve given us since we released the new DocViewer. And oh my, are we ever grateful for your input! We are always made better by collaborating with our community. So thank you, thank you, thank you for your comments, your feature ideas, for talking to your CSM and for contacting our support team with your feedback and concerns.

Our top priority right now is to address the things we’ve heard most frequently from you. Below is what we’re working on right now. And yes, these are in a specific order. They are in the order of how much feedback we’ve heard on each of these topics.

  1. Comment Size: We will make it easier to have as many comments as you need on one page. We’ll make it easier to see replies to comments and all the comments will stay on the page they are associated with. Done 9/15/17.
    • We've improved this experience significantly, but we'll keep refining to make comments display even better. 
    • An additional change was made 10/18/17 to collapse and expand comments.
  2. Download annotated PDF: This is a must! We are working fervently to make sure all users can download annotated documents quickly and easily.  Partially done 7/19/17: We have just released the ability to download documents with annotations and comments, but will need to wait for a bit more work to be done to get all of the replies to comments to also be downloaded. Done 3/20/18
  3. DocViewer Sessions: We are going to extend the life of your working session, give you lots of warnings when you approach the end of a single session and automatically refresh your session if you try to use annotations after your session has expired. Done 8/9/17.
  4. Free Text tool, difficult to delete and move: We’re working on making it much easier to move Free Text annotations that you’ve made, and will be making it easier to delete this and all other annotation types. Done 7/31/17.
    • Bonus: We're working on a way to move the annotation when it doesn't have text yet; right now you have to add text to the annotation before you can move it.
  5. Full Screen Preview: You all gave us great screenshots and stories to illustrate the pain of the document not stretching to the full height of the document. We hear you, and we are working to make sure the document can be previewed easily. Done 7/17/17.
    • Bonus: we're also working on a way to expand inline, so that the whole document can be seen in the context of an RCE in a course, without taking over the entire screen.
  6. Hyperlinks in documents: We will make sure that the documents we present in DocViewer retain their hyperlinks. Done 7/17/17.
  7. Free Text Background and Font Size: We are working on a way to change the font size and offer the choice of a transparent background or a white background for Free Text annotations. Done 01/23/18
  8. Anonymize Annotation setting: Anonymous Annotations for the Graders is likely to be added as a SpeedGrader setting for each assignment. It will allow all annotations to be made without a reference to the grader who made them. Please note that Assignment Comments will still be attributed to graders, but all annotations and annotation comments will be anonymous. Done 07/14/18
  9. Annotation Attribution and Trash Can: Our plan is to continue to give you the Annotation Attribution (the name of the person who made the annotation) if it wasn’t you. And we’ll give you a trash can on the annotations you made, so that you can delete them. But neither of these things will appear unless you’ve clicked directly on the annotation. Done 10/18/17.


We will continue to update the list above with planned releases of these features and with any new consensus feedback we hear from you. Please note, this isn’t the finite list of things we’re working on for DocViewer, but it’s the priority list we feel you have created with your collective voice. So please continue to send us your feedback and we will continue down the path towards making this the best Annotation tool on the market!


As always, the best way to receive updates about these behaviors (and less significant ones that may not be mentioned here) is to submit a support case to our Canvas support team. You'll receive a direct update as soon as one is available.

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