Improving Stylus Functionality in DocViewer

The original idea to enable stylus use in Doc Viewer for touch enabled Windows devices like the Surface pro has been partially met -

However, the process of using the stylus requires the Action Button on the side of the stylus to be pressed down continuously whilst you write. Whilst this may have not caused issues on the stylus used to test the product (Wacom Bamboo pen?) it is both uncomfortable and unnatural for most of the other devices eg SurfacePro pen.

The Action/Right click button the stylus was not intended to be held down for long periods of time. Pressing down the button when using the Surface Pro stylus is not easy and is not a natural use of the stylus. What is more, you have to grip the pen tighter which is not great for any long term use.

A number of testers and commentators on the original idea have recognised similar impracticality with the current solution and you can also read their views in the Comments section of the original idea.

The idea being submitted asks Canvas to revisit the stylus and improve/develop the functionality of the solution.

Please can we use the stylus in the way it is intended WITHOUT the need to hold/press down any additional buttons at the same time as annotating.

Many thanks.

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For details, please refer to the Canvas Release Notes (2019-05-11) .

Community Participant

Not working well for me either.  Annotating on MacOS in Chrome using a Wacom tablet is painful at best. Giving feedback on Math assignments does not allow me to write out a full solution for a student without the annoying check mark/trash can approval box appearing as soon as you lift the Wacom pen off of the tablet.  Almost impossible to give adequate feedback without downloading, annotating in another program and reuploading.  Too time consuming.  Not everyone has an iPad to use.

Community Champion

I returned to test out the stylus on Windows 10 Surface Pro with newest version of the stylus and on Edge and Chrome.

I needed to write a guide for staff. 

These are the results for both browsers:

Google Chrome


Microsoft Edge



It does not work - it is worse on Edge. It is illegible.

Is this just me? Would like to hear from others about this....

Community Novice

So I tried this morning (23-4-20):
1 Firefox did not allow me to ink whatever. No single stroke appeared. This is a fresh install of Firefox (2 days old) and I might not have correct settings perhaps...

2 Chrome worked very well indeed, out of the box.

3 But then I also tried Edge, as that's the browser I use most. That's the one that used to be a pain.

Earlier this week I upgraded to the Chromium based version of Edge, and then I downgraded again. But within Canvas the inking for speedgrader was perfect.

Community Champion

Perhaps I need to try this. Not sure where I go with this - Microsoft or Canvas for further improvements?

Would be good to know if it is working for other people on the Surface Pro and with what stylus and browser experience?

Community Member

I've been trying to use the web DocViewer interface in Chrome with a Huion 1060Plus graphics drawing tablet and active stylus connected to my Windows laptop.

I've also sometimes had problems with low quality / illegibility of writing with the pencil annotation tool (which does not occur when using the same graphics tablet with other apps), though today this doesn't seem to be an issue.

The main (and continuing) problem has been visual misalignment of the pencil annotation tool icon with the markings it makes. The markings are vertically aligned with the top (butt) end of the pencil icon, but horizontally (left-right) aligned with the top of the pencil icon. (When using the mouse, they're properly aligned, but I can't control the mouse well enough for writing.) When writing one continuous line or cursive word, this isn't an insuperable problem, but it makes it impossible to annotate in multiple touches to of the stylus to the tablet. Again this is something that doesn't happen when using the graphics tablet with other apps.

In my case I need pencil annotation for mathematical economics assignment grading.

I've worked around this for now by using the Canvas Teacher app on an Android Samsung tablet successfully with PDF documents, but that has its own problems. (That interface can't be used to mark up JPEG files, which students were submitting work that way until I realized I had to have them combine the JPEG photos of their work into PDFs.)

I've submitted a tech support ticket for the misalignment problem, but would be interested in learning through this forum about solutions as well.


Community Member

@hauges I reached out to Canvas support for this exact issue, sent pictures and a video showing the misalignment, and they replied that only Surface tablets are supported. I also noted the same behavior on my HP Elite tablet, though less pronounced as the stylus is on the marking screen and I can quickly adjust to where the line is going - using a drawing tablet is much more difficult to make the same adjustment. What I told them is it appears to be a misalignment to the icon - as in, if the icon were the standard mouse cursor, the annotation would be at the point/tip of the mouse, as it resides in the top left corner of its bitmap cursor graphic. If you notice, when the cursor switches to the crosshairs cursor, it has perfect alignment, so it's a coding issue with where the annotation tool cursor graphic aligns to the actual drawing spot, not Windows nor the stylus. I was told by support to open a new request in the forum (I'm guessing to see if others support it enough to get it into active development). Since this thread has already been deployed, it looks to me like one of would would need to start a new thread.

Community Champion

Go for it. Although I am no longer using Canvas, it needs to be more agile as regards stylus/touch screen interactivity. Am also sure that you will get support from everyone who has helped put this idea forward..

Community Participant

This function needs to work on all computers with touch screens.  I use a Dell with a touch screen and stylus. It is a Jot stylus with no action button, which means nothing works.  

Functionality to allow to write feedback Speedgrader with a stylus has been requested for at least four years.  It's not like touchscreen devices are new to the market.  

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