[DocViewer] Print annotated comments from Speedgrader

Screenshot of print preview where track changes are included in printed version of documentWe have heard a few requests from instructors to get an export or printing function built into the Speedgrader that will allow them to print their annotated comments, similar to how track changes can be printed from Word (see screenshot).


The closest workaround is to download the annotated submission, open in Acrobat Pro and follow these instructions, which would be time-consuming.

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Community Novice

Agree! The lack of functionality here is terrible. I recently had to sent an annotated copy of my student's essay as evidence in a plagiarism case, and I was horrified to discover that none of my in-text typed comments were visible in the "Download Annotated Version" PDF. I had to take screenshots to send to the Dean instead. Extremely primitive and frustrating! I can only imagine how annoyed my students must be about this! 

Community Novice

Totally agree. Why should this be so hard? It seems so obvious! And why did you write this comment over a year ago, and yet nothing has been done? ARRRGHHHH

Community Novice

^^^^ YES ^^^^

Community Novice

Have just discovered that the 'download annotated pdf' function doesn't include freetext annotations. Thought I'd check this thread again before logging it as a bug and am dismayed to find the issues we raised two years ago have still not been resolved and are still creating problems for the Canvas community. I want students/external examiners/internal moderators to be able to download a pdf that includes ALL my in-text comments, my general assignment comments, and rubric feedback. Turnitin can do this - why can't Canvas?  #snailgrader

Community Member

I notice that this issue has been kicking around for over two years now!  Will this be voted on soon?  Colleges are under pressure to look carefully at the LMS used and our school is up for renewal; I'd hate to lose Canvas!

Community Contributor

Hi Carol,

I've found that the freetext annotations do show up in Adobe Acrobat Reader, but not in most other PDF readers. We advise our students to only use Adobe to open the annotated downloads - though I agree that this limitation is not ok, We shouldn't have to tell our students that they can't see the feedback in most programs!


Community Explorer

Before even getting to printing, I just want to be able to have a pdf that actually includes the comments. The whole "Summarize Comments" thing only seems to work if you actually print the file. I just want the equivalent saved as a PDF itself.

Community Explorer

I just had an instructor ask about the ability to print all the comments both student and instructor to a file that could be stored for future review.  Not everything is going to be stored in Canvas long term and some groups like Nursing need to be able to export all these to a repository.

Community Participant

Yes! This feature has been on requested for a really long time but somehow there never seems to be a solution.

Especially with the pandemic, so many students have had to cope with reading and printing feedback so having the textbox comments, annotations printed properly instead of footnotes is a MUST-HAVE for great student learning experience.

Very few Ts are keen on using Speedgrader because of this limitation and would rather do marking outside of Canvas.

Community Explorer

It is dismaying when a "Learning" Management System doesn't facilitate a pretty fundamental tool for teachers to use when communicating with learners. *Many* students print the page with edits in order to implement the changes into revised work, and there's a great deal of scientific evidence to demonstrate that they will comprehend the markings *better* on a printed page rather than onscreen; see, for example, this 2019 study by Virginia Clinton: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-9817.12269  Canvas should be putting the needs of good pedagogy at the very top of its engineering priorities -- not letting them languish for multiple years.