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jeneen_hill
Community Contributor

Annotate PDFs on Ipad using Canvas

Greetings,

I am new to Canvas and researching the best app to use to annotate PDFs on the Ipad using Canvas.

Is there one app that works better than others? One that seamlessly integrates?  Cost involved?

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Jeneen

Tags (2)
22 Replies
KristinL
Community Team
Community Team

Hi Jeneen! Welcome!

With the newest update of Canvas Mobile, PDF annotations are now part of the mobile experience. (Canvas by Instructure Release Notes (iOS 3.15)) If you'd like to join a conversation about it, see Student Annotations!Mobile Annotations: Quick Demo​ will take place this week as well.

As far as external apps go, we've had great luck with Good Reader, Notability, and PDF Expert.

This is not working at all for me.  My fillable PDF documents my students need to complete do not even show up filed out in the app.  The PDF documents can be seen through a browser but I cannot annotate to provide feedback.

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bkraus
Instructure
Instructure

I would totally try out the native annotations capability that is new, as Kristin suggested. Those options that she posted as other 3rd party are great, but I want to put in a plug for one more that is coming out in the next week or so.

PDF Viewer for iOS & Android - Reading, Reviewing, Annotating - Made Easy. | PSPDFKit SDK - The lead...

PDF Viewer will be *free* on both iOS and Android, and I think will rival and beat all other options. 

It was just released *today*! I downloaded it, and it looks awesome, probably better IMO than Notability which I held as probably the best prior. And the best part of it is, it's free!

Can I ask why the iPad annotations don't save? Last week my teachers were very happy about the annotations in Canvas because the students were able to comment then submit very easily, all within the app. This week we are told that there was a bug fix to keep annotations from "sticking around." Which tells me that you don't intend for the iPad to save students annotations. What if the student didn't finish the assignment and was going to finish at home? As soon as they navigate away, their work is gone, which causes extreme frustration for the teachers and students. Is this a feature you plan on adding? 

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Sorry about that. We added back "sticky" annotations in version 6.3.4 available on the App Store now. Please let us know if you have any issues with them.

Nate

iOS Software Engineer

rseilham
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @arnold_cassie ‌, 

Can you give 6.3.4 a try and see if this solves your issue? Thanks! 

I emailed our tech guy this morning to ask about pushing the update first thing tomorrow when kids are back in class. I will let you know how it goes!

Hi  @arnold_cassie ‌,

Any updates on if the update worked? Thanks!

It was working great until today. There were differences to the annotation tools (like no eraser which was strange and annoying and the pen tool didn't have thickness options) but they stuck. Today I got an email that everything the kids have been working on this week is missing. This is extremely frustrating.

Hi  @arnold_cassie ‌. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

This is indeed a bug on our end. Sorry about that. We've identified the issue and have a fix in place. The good news is that the previous annotations are still on the device they are just not being displayed. With our fix they will have an option to view the old version of the file that will have their original annotations on it as well as the current version so if they've added annotations since the update they will have access to both versions.

The fix is in process to be submitted to Apple for review. It normally takes them a day or two to review it so watch for 6.3.6 within the next few days.

I can understand that this must be a very frustrating bug. It's not ideal but I hope that our solution will help.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Nate

iOS Team Lead

jeneen_hill
Community Contributor

Could you tell me how to get to the old notes student took and disappeared?  

Thanks,

Jeneen

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The fix is in review with Apple right now. Once it is approved it will be available for download on the App Store. I will post back here as soon as it is ready. I can't say for sure but I would guess that they will approve it either today or tomorrow.

Version 6.3.6 should be available on the App Store now with the fix. Please let me know if there are still any issues. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Nate

iOS Team Lead

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This same thing happened in our building.  Very frustrating.  Students are mad.

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 @arnold_cassie  There is a new version (6.3.6) available now which will give the students the option to view the original file with their annotations.

Let us know if the 6.3.6 version helps fix your issue. 

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dar119
Community Member

How are you getting Canvas for iPad version 3.15 or 6.3.4?  The only version of Canvas Teacher that I can find for the iPad Pro is version 1.6.4 and I am having two significant problems. I am using Canvas Teacher version 1.6.4 on an iPad Pro running iOS 11.4.1

  • Problem 1 — I have two students for whom I cannot see any of their submitted work at all when using Canvas Teacher App on an iPad Pro.  The Assignment shows me that there are 31 submissions to be graded, but only 29 of them show up when I click on the “need to be graded” icon.  If I go to “People” and click on the student’s name — I get the list of all of their submitted work with the correct grades, the when I click on a specific assignment, I receive an error message saying “ti seems there arm’e any valid submissions to grade” — but there IS a submitted  file to be graded.  The only way I can grand the submissions for these two students is to use the SpeedGrader feature in Canvas on a DeskTop computer.
  • Problem 2 — we had this problem occur back March 2018 and were told that it had been fixed . . . when we annotate student submitted PDF files using the Canvas Teacher app on an iPad, the annotations appear correct when viewed on an iPad.  But, the annotations are rotated 90 degrees with respect to the PDF file when viewed on a desktop.  This makes it nearly impossible for students to read the comments for their work.  I am unable to download or print off the annotated submission from Canvas Teacher on my iPad.  Is there a way to fix this?
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britain_woodman
Community Participant

Hi  @dar119 ‌ - 

I think the folks in this thread are talking about the annotation features in the app now known as Canvas Student.

Canvas Student was just called "Canvas" for the first few version numbers - it tried to be all things to all Canvas users - until Canvas Teacher was introduced last year. Then this app's name was changed to Canvas Student, but they continued with the legacy version numbering.

I'll defer to other group members for the problems you reported, but I hope that helped put the version number in context!

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Yup, that's true. The iOS Canvas by Instructure (now Canvas Student) app was way off (version 3.x) from Android (version 5.x) so, the iOS jumped a few numbers to match Android when the app hit 6.0 to make it easier for all of us to know the version number. 

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 @dar119 ‌,

I would suggest you submit both issues to your local tech support so they can put in a ticket for both of these issues. Issue 1 is very hard is tricky to figure out because it's probably something specific to your user, but still not an issue you should be having. Issue 2 should have been fixed, but if it's not working properly, you'll want to report it Canvas. Sorry, I don't have any specific information for a fix, but getting support tickets into Canvas will help get this fixed. 

mtaylor14
New Member

I can annotate on the students pdfs on my ipad, but the students do not see them on their laptops nor do I.  What should I or they do different?

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