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Explanation of in-line preview icon?

Question asked by Kimmaree Murday on May 23, 2018
Latest reply on Oct 30, 2018 by

I am looking for a help document that explains the in-line preview icon Preview the document icon that appears in the RCE whenever you insert a download link, and what happens if you click that icon (it expands a preview window) versus the title of the embedded document (it downloads the document).


I have been repeatedly surprised to discover that a lot of Canvas users, both students and instructors, do not realize what the "preview the document" icon does. Could they learn by hovering over it? Yes. Do they hover actually try it, or do they just ignore the icon and click the document, thereby downloading the document? More often than you'd think.


I've searched and gone through the Canvas Student guide, and all I can find is this document: How do I preview a file as a student? This document tells you how to preview files in the Files tool - I want something that explains the in-line preview icon inside a page, assignment, announcement, etc.


Why do we need this? Well, imagine that a student can only access course content on their smartphone or tablet. That student might need to take advantage of the preview because there isn't enough storage space on the device to be able to download it.


I'm baffled that I can't find this - is it somewhere and I just haven't searched the right term? If not, I think Canvas ought to have a very straight-forward help page available.