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Community Contributor

LaTex in SpeedGrader Annotations

A number of our instructors would really like to be able to include LaTex characters/equations in speedgrader annotation.  Is there a trick to it that we are missing?

7 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach


First, I want to apologize for your question sitting in the community for so long without a response.


Second, it looks like you have stumped the Canvas Community.  Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.



Community Member

+1 for this, We have an entire Maths and Physics school, who would love to be able to write using the math editor / Latex in SpeedGrader. Any word on this? Or am I missing something?

Community Contributor

We haven't found a solution, Robbie.  The question has not been answered.

Community Champion

DocViewer does not support LaTeX or the equation editor. The annotation tools are very limited.

  • You can fake it to a very limited extent by using Unicode characters that you copy/paste. It is probably easier to try express it with keyboard-friendly representations -- use sqrt(x) instead of √x
  • You can use the free draw annotation tool and hand-sketch it.
  • You can download the PDF, open it with PDF editing tools such as Adobe Acrobat, paste LaTeX generated images, and attach it to a submission comment.
  • You can download all submissions, open them in Word (assuming they were Word files), use Word's equation editor to insert the math, and then re-upload the submissions. This still comes through as an attachment to a submission comment.
  • You can make a solution available as a PDF to the students for viewing rather than doing it in DocViewer.

There are probably other hacks or work-arounds, but what you are asking about is not possible.

I suspect that you'll need to make a feature request if you want this. I also suspect, given the lack of development in other areas that we mathematics teachers want, that it won't get developed.

A more popular idea may be to allow people to copy/paste images into the annotation. I can't find it now, but I seem to remember some ideas in the past about the ability to add stamps to DocViewer (although Canvas was using Crocodoc at the time).

Community Contributor

Sounds like something for instructure to accommodate if they want to get in on all that sweet-sweet mathematics revenue $$$ <sarcasm-sort of>.  It's only the language to half of all academic disciplines.

Community Champion

I suspect there's more demand for accepting mathematical input than there is for writing it in DocViewer. Unfortunately, Canvas' lack of support for mathematics in general causes people to look to third party solutions. That means that they don't do real mathematics in Canvas, but find some other place to do it. That lessens the demand for mathematics in Canvas, which means there's not as much justification for adding it to DocViewer.

However, it would be easier to add the ability to have equations in DocViewer than it would be to develop a mathematics engine. At least with DocViewer, you just have to display them, you don't have to interpret them.

I still think the ability to copy/paste would gather more traction, but given how long copy/paste for images into the rich content editor has been sitting out there, it may be a while.

Community Champion

Just discovered this somewhat frustratingly!



So many places you can now paste LaTex eg in Speedgrader comments!


Would have been great to get this in place in the annotation tool....

I wonder if LaTex works in Google? With the Google Docs assignment integration you dont see Canvas Speedgrader but Google native doc (if I remember correctly?)

PS. Students dont get to see LaTex if submitting assignment using Text Editor. The only time they see the translation is when they submit the assignment. May be too late! Currently as a student, I cannot get access to the <html editor> to copy and paste code.