Allow wrap-around text for content items in a module

  This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas


  Idea will be open for vote Wed. July 1, 2015 - Wed. October 7, 2015  Learn more about voting...


Dear Canvas


Recently you updated the number of characters visible in the module main page.  Now all of my assignments are truncated and end with ....


Why would you do this?


Does this look informative to students?  Why is there so much white open and available space between my assignment name and the number of points it's worth?


Now, I heard it was to make things easier to read on phones and tablets.  Except it's not. Here's my tablet.  This is awesome.  Totally - I like being able to see 10 letters of an assignment.  And since you can't hover on a tablet, why have you done this?


I would like to know who, in their right mind, looked at this and said, yeah.... that looks great!


I would like to vote on increasing the display size of assignment names in the modules.  Whatever it was before was even too small.  So I don't know if this is a vote on increasing the allowable text letters, or if it increases the width of the pixels used in that category.  No, I don't use the app for Canvas because I don't like how it's set up or organized.  It looks entirely different than the web based version, nothing is indented and so on, so that's not a reasonable alternative request Canvas.






  Comments from Instructure


For more information, please read through the Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-08-27)

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Here's another idea (posted after this) that brings up similar concerns:

Community Novice

I am getting a lot of complaints about this from users and believe it will get worse when things ramp up for Fall. The point at which Canvas is cutting off text is too aggressive now, even for me on a 1920 pixel wide monitor and the majority of users do not have devices with that high of a resolution. When I brought this up to Instructure support, the justification for this change is that it helps tablet users and in any case you can hover over the text and see what you are missing. Unfortunately, even more of the text gets cut off on tablets and you cannot hover to see text on android and iOS devices and you can't click on the text headers like you can on file links or assignments. It would be much better to wrap the text. Students will miss information, instructions, and not be able to find items in the modules.

Community Team
Community Team

This feature idea is now open for voting.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

I second  @Adam_King ​'s observation about tablet users not being able to utilize hover text. This design change effectively hinders the users it was initially intended to help.

Community Member

I'm having all of the problems stated above.  Please change it back!​ I believe this issue is really going to blow up when educators start looking at their courses for fall semester.

Community Contributor

I think this is a great example of how developing for mobile hurts users. I'm not saying Instructure should give up on mobile, not at all. But I hate, hate, hate to see the browser experience degraded in any way because of the need to support mobile. I know how hard responsive web design is, and Instructure does an incredible job. But, I feel very strongly that 'mobile first' is the wrong priority. I wish we could have a referendum on that issue. How much full browser usability should users have to sacrifice at the altar of mobile compatibility? How much tablet usability should users have to sacrifice at the alter of phone compatibility?  My answer: none. And none. Now, I'm at an extreme, I know, which is why the question needs to be asked more broadly.

I'm not sure that text wrapping is the right answer in this case. Certainly text wrapped at the current width would cause it's own problems. You could easily end up with three or more lines for some titles. I think one line of text is sufficient, as long as you make the best use possible of that one line. Maybe you could reduce the font size of everything that sits to the right of a colon or period, and then still leave a reasonable right margin. The goal, IMO, should be to allow the most text possible, while still retaining readability. Yes, you need a healthy margin, but the margin doesn't need to be as wide as the text.

I hear you saying that the 'clean' look is an important selling point for Instructure. I get that. But once you are in the trenches, and clean becomes the enemy of functional, functional  has to win out. Instructors who prize the clean look can keep their module titles short! You've removed the option for instructors who prize functionality.

Community Contributor

One thing I don't quite understand is why this is a new idea for a new feature. To me, that's a regression (even if it's by design). At what point would an idea like this be treated like a bug to be fixed?

Community Contributor

If the page is working as the developers intend, it's not a bug. We need to

convince them that their intentions are misguided. Plus, someone already

tried to submit it as a bug and got rebuffed. So, even though it's not

truly a new feature, the feature request process is the only one available.

Becky Kinney

Academic Technology Services

Project Blog <>

Community Novice

i would like to know more about this subject

Community Member

I originally posted the following to a new idea.  Then, I found that the issue was already raised on this thread.  So I have deleted my new idea and will contribute to this thread.

The issue is truncated text in the first column (field) on the modules.  This is not only a screen resolution problem in that no matter the resolution, some truncating will occur.

I created this picture, but realize now that the blank space or column is sometime used,  (see next picture)

The "blank space" column I referred to above is sometime used, but you can still see a lot of wasted space:

Apparently this truncation is the result of solving a problem with mobile devices:  You can scroll down and read Erin Hallmark Jun 15, 2015 3:37 PM (in response to Adam King) at this link:

So . . .  the fundamental issue is how to make each of the fields (columns) on this screen wide enough so that the maximum number of characters -- in the first field -- show both on regular computers and on mobile devices.  (Since most of my students use desk/laptop computers, not mobile devices - it is regrettable that functionality on the computer has been sacrificed for mobile devices.)

Our goal, as instructors, is to make the user interface as friendly and understandable to students as possible.  This truncated text on the module items greatly interferes with our ability to deliver complete, easy to read-and-follow guidance to our students. 

The goal, at Instructure, is different.  My guess is that the truncated issue is not a teaching method issue to the Canvas developers.  It is just a mechanical issue needed to solve a problem regarding visibility on mobile devices. Unfortunately, the solution they have landed on interferes with our ability to provide useful titles and labels on the modules.  I hope Instructure and Instructors can come together on this.  I would settle for text wrapping in the first field (column) - although this would be a lame solution, I am for any solution wherein students can see all of what I want them to see without ellipsis . . .

(PS: I hope this thread does not die in the archives with "Great idea, but it is not in our 6 month plan.")