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seberry
Community Member

Copy/pasted text from Word can affect Canvas interface elements

My institution started using Canvas two terms ago and already we've had two support tickets from users who found that certain UI elements in Canvas had disappeared.

In both cases, clearing out the copy/pasted text from the RCE and replacing it with unformatted text restored the missing UI elements.

Given that this is likely to keep happening, I wonder if Canvas plans to add a "Paste without formatting" button to the RCE menubar?

(To be specific: the +Rubric button disappeared from an assignment, and the Graded checkbox disappeared from a discussion. The discussion also appeared as an Assignment (different icon) but was still listed in Discussions.)

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5 Replies
greydon
Instructure
Instructure

Hello @seberry 

Thank you for contacting the Canvas Community. We're sorry to hear you've been experiencing issues with formatted text in the RCE. Thank you for explaining the situation. Currently, there  isn't any update or plan to release a feature for "paste without formatting" but we understand why you want want and need it. It is certainly a good idea and one you can look for with releases: 

https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Releases/tkb-p/canvas-release

In addition to posting this in the idea forums. Feel free to check out our Ideas Conversation forum as we implement great ideas such as this that we find within the community. 

https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Idea-Conversations/idb-p/ideas

Besides that, you could try pasting first to notes or TextEdit etc. to get the text to a neutral state instead of pasting directly from Word. Additionally, the things you mentioned are certainly abnormal behavior and shouldn't be disappearing from view. It is likely your internet browser and we recommend clearing the cache and cookies or trying another browser.

In Chrome
On your computer, open Chrome.
At the top right, click the three dots
Click settings
On the left, choose Privacy and Security
Then, clear browsing data
At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time. I suggest at least 4 weeks
Next to "Cookies and other site data" and "Cached images and files," check the boxes.
Click Clear data.

If these things are still disappearing and coming back, it may be best to contact canvas support directly.

Because of the complexity of the issue, and the concerns for privacy, it would be best if you contacted Canvas Support directly to pinpoint the source of the issue and provide a resolution:

https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Basics-Guide/How-do-I-contact-Canvas-Support/ta-p/389767  

 

Additionally, Macs and Windows generally have hot keys to paste without formatting. In Mac OS X: You can use Shift + Option + Command + V to paste without formatting (or with whatever format the pasted text is placed into). Similarly with Windows, etc. On Windows, while it's not universal, many apps support the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + V to paste without formatting.

seberry
Community Member

Thanks Greydon, it seems like common sense to use paste-without-formatting commands but unfortunately many faculty members don't know to do that. Also, these definitely weren't browser issues, we did all the usual troubleshooting before realizing it was the Word formatting code. And when I deleted that text the UI elements reappeared in the same browser session. I tried sharing some of the problem code here, but it wouldn't publish.
From theming I know it's possible to disrupt the main Canvas css stylesheet by uploading conflicting code, but I can't imagine how basic Word formatting commands are doing so.

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Hello @seberry 

Thanks for  getting back to us. It is strange behavior as most copy/paste from word into Canvas shouldn't cause a large disruption  in original formatting. However, if you don't believe it  to be a  browser issue or pasting without original formatting - we'd need to see specifics. You are welcome to post back here any pictures, videos, etc. of the problem but I would also suggest you speak with Canvas Support at this point. They can look at the specific examples and try to replicate it on their  end. A case would be created and in general, helps resolve more intricate issues like this. 

Because of the complexity of the issue, and the concerns for privacy, it would be best if you contacted Canvas Support directly to pinpoint the source of the issue and provide a resolution:

https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Basics-Guide/How-do-I-contact-Canvas-Support/ta-p/389767  

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seberry
Community Member

Hi Greydon,

Yes, I'm going to start collecting the formatting code that causes problems when possible. These tickets don't always get flagged and some get fixed before I have a chance to see the code. The most recent one was in the Syllabus tool. An instructor copy/pasted their syllabus from Word into the text editor, saved it, and it hid the Course Summary option! Our Admins have brought this up with our Canvas rep, but with no results.

The obvious solution would be a "Paste as plain text" button in the RCE menubar.

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