I'm having an issue with the file preview feature of Canvas not showing the correct contents of text files.
Here's an example:
On a Canvas Page, I have linked several text files (which I have uploaded to the Canvas Files area):
If I now click on the file preview for world2.txt, I see:
Similarly, if I click on the world2.txt link, I see:
However, when I download the file and open it up, I get:
The downloaded version is correct (compared to what I uploaded to Canvas Files).
There are two issues with the preview versions:
1) The preview is adding a period (.) after some of the numbers which are not present in the existing text file. This is annoying, but the purposes of what I am doing in my course, ok (since 4 and 4. represent the same number in the program my students are using)
2) The preview versions are missing some lines and show a line that is not in the file!!! Specifically, the preview has
5. 6 <--- line not in the actual file!
while the actual file contains
4 5 <--- missing from preview!
5 6 <--- missing from preview!
This is a much more serious problem. What's going on? How can I make Canvas' preview show the actual contents of my text files?
Solved! Go to Solution.
@hasti , I haven’t seen anything like this before, but it’s definitely troubling. My recommendation is to submit this information to Canvas Support to see if they can help. You can do this by going into Canvas, clicking on Help, then click on Report a Problem.
Thanks, @kona . I'd love to report this problem, but it appears that that is not an option I am given at my institution:
Is there somewhere within the Canvas Guides that I can access a "Report a Problem" feature?
Hi @hasti ...
It looks like your school has done some custom work within the "Help" menu and is directing you to either the "Chat with DoIT Help Desk" or "DoIT Help Desk Support Hotline" options instead of the "Report a Problem" link. Posting this issue to the bottom of a Canvas Guide isn't the same as reporting it as an issue via "Report a Problem" because tickets are not created when posting questions/comments to Guides (even though the Docs Team may reach out to you for assistance). Have you tried either of the top two options that you have available?
I second what Chris said, it looks like your school has its own system for Canvas Support and I’d try one of the top two options and see if they can help. Please let us know what you find out.
Yeah, I'm quite familiar with DoIT's "help" desk having spent literally decades trying to get "help" from them (often I have had to start by convincing them that I have actually used the LMS before and in the past has quickly revealed that I know more about Canvas than they do). Hopefully, since they have taken away my ability to report a problem, they will take more responsibility for listening to and responding to Canvas help requests.
Hi, @hasti .
As best as I can tell, the Canvas document viewer is "trying" to be helpful and failing miserably. It looks like it's assuming that you are doing some sort of sequential line numbering and "fixing" your sequence for you. Definitely a bug.
If the help desk is unable to assist, request that they escalate the case to Instructure Canvas Support. If necessary, request to speak with whoever manages the help desk, their boss, or the CIO (Office of the CIO - UW-Madison Information Technology) as a last resort.
The help desk was able to replicate this and escalated it to Canvas. The Canvas engineers acknowledge it's a bug. I have been given no info about any time frame for fixing this or for any workarounds in the meantime (such as disabling file preview ability for data files I want my students to download and use in their programs so they do not have access to the Canvas-corrupted file display).