cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
echang
Community Member

Problem: PDFs in File Repository Download as HTML Links

Jump to solution

I am supporting users in classes that have pdf files stored in the Files repository. The users can click on the three dots (vertical ellipsis?) next to a file name and download the file there. The users can also click on the file to view the file in the preview window. All of this is expected behavior. But when the users click on the download button, a file downloads a file that contains an HTML link (as opposed to any all other users that get the actual PDF downloaded to their PC). When the HTML link is clicked, the user is asked for a user id and password, but their Canvas user ID and password don't work so the HTML link is useless. This started in one user in one class, but now I have a second user with the same problem in two different classes, so the problem appears to be growing. Has anyone seen this and know of a fix for this? 

0 Kudos
3 Solutions

Accepted Solutions
isabelgallegos9
Community Participant

Hi, I was have been having the problem for two days. I realized that it was somehow connected to my using Safari. I realized that if you right click the link you want to download and choose "Open Link in New Window" it downloads PDF's like normal. 

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
isabelgallegos9
Community Participant

I also just tried with a word document and a powerpoint and it seems to work on this too.

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
isabelgallegos9
Community Participant

It also seems to work by right clicking on the link and having it open in a new tab.

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
15 Replies
rmurchshafer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Eric,

I've never seen this but suspect it being a 3rd party browser extension issue.  You mention "download button" but I don't know of any cases where a button appears in Canvas to download a file.  Are you talking about the Download link directly above the file when viewing it in docviewer?  I just tested in a few of my courses with that link and it downloads the files in normal format.  But I could see a browser extension possibly doing weird stuff and downloading the enclosing page rather than downloading the file.

I'd try to get a screenshot from one of the people reporting the problem or try to observe them doing it to see exactly what they are clicking and if it seems like a normal process.  Also when watching, keep in eye on the browser around the url address bar.  With Chrome at least, usually if there is an active browser extension doing something it will appear in that bar with a number or some other type of indication that it's actively doing something on the page.

Rick

echang
Community Member

Thanks for the reply, Rick.  At least one of the users is using Safari. There doesn't appear to be any extensions in play (OTOH, if I missed something someone please tell me).  To make the description clearer for all, I took a couple screenshots of the problem so you can see what the user sees:  

1)   User looks at files in the File Repository

2)   The User can click on the three dots. Download is one of the options and the user can download and view file normally.

3)   If the user clicks on the file name, it opens in a window so they can view the file.

348626_pastedImage_1.png

4)   When the user clicks on the file in (3), the screenshot below is what the file preview looks like. There is a Download button in the upper right.  When clicked, the file that is downloaded only contains a HTML link.  That link asks for a User ID and and Password. The password is not any of the passwords known to the user.  This behavior is only experience by two users in three classes (one user only experiences this in one of his classes, and the other user experiences this in two of their classes – their other classes work normally with a PDF file being downloaded instead of a HTML link). 

The unusual part of this is that the download button (4) works for 30+ other users in the same classes as these two users ( all other users can use the download button as you would expect – a PDF file downloads and can be viewed).

348627_pastedImage_2.png

If anyone has any input on this problem and knows how to get this running properly, your input is greatly appreciated. 

Eric,

Thanks for the follow up; that definitely makes it easier to see the process and which download buttons, etc are being used.  I've never seen anything like this and just tested using Safari as well.  What's really weird to me is that how it's not consistent.  I wonder if there is something particular about the specific PDF files involved?  

Maybe someone else will post about having seen this before, but I suggest reaching out to Canvas support about the issue by clicking the Help button and Report a problem.  Be sure to give support details about which files and which individuals are seeing the problem.  Support will have access to your instance of Canvas so they can look at more details than we can gather here in the Community.  

Rick

Thanks again, Rick.  I created a support case last week. My hunch is that since the rest of the classes don't have this problem that it might be something up in the user's profile.  But the file will be worth looking into too.  When I have any info from Canvas Support, I'll post it here for others to see.  

I've done some searching for similar problems and have only see a three other posts about these symptoms over the past year.  So this problem is pretty rare.  When I had one user with the problem in one class it looked like a one-off problem.  But when I had another student have problems with two of his classes, then the problem looks a bit more like a pattern.  

Eric,

Is there any chance the users are clicking the Download button before the file loads completely in DocViewer?  I was just testing this out and in Chrome if I do this I get a page displaying xml data.  But in Safari it download an html file related to my school single sign on page which has links to that page (in a messed up sort of way).  You might check with your students having issues to see if they are waiting until the file is completely visible in DocViewer before downloading.

I don't know if it's related but I also just saw this post related to download a video from Canvas Studio.  It should download an MP4 file but in some ways is acting similar to what you describe with Files.  Might not be related but linking to see if anyone else sees a similar pattern.

https://community.canvaslms.com/message/196535-re-problem-pdfs-in-file-repository-download-as-html-l... 

Rick

egurbas
Community Member

Hi Eric,

I am having the same problem, all of a sudden. Did you manage to get any response or help?

isabelgallegos9
Community Participant

Hi, I was have been having the problem for two days. I realized that it was somehow connected to my using Safari. I realized that if you right click the link you want to download and choose "Open Link in New Window" it downloads PDF's like normal. 

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
isabelgallegos9
Community Participant

I also just tried with a word document and a powerpoint and it seems to work on this too.

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
isabelgallegos9
Community Participant

It also seems to work by right clicking on the link and having it open in a new tab.

View solution in original post

0 Kudos