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Community Participant

ctrl+k - target of link

In the new RCE we no longer have the option of pressing ctrl+k which allowed us to choose between the link opening on the same tab or in a new window/tab - it seems the default is now new window/tab and there is no option to open the external URL in the same tab/window. Will this option be added?

10 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @anthony_sales1 .  I don't have a good answer for this, and don't see anything in particular about it in the priority page for the new RCE (Priority: RCE).  Hopefully someone knows more information, but I did notice that this questions has been brought up before at least once, External Link Target Window, but didn't get a response.  

All the best!

Yep it seems the default is now a new window – which would be my preference tbh , but there may well be situations in which this isn’t the desired outcome and that option seems missing now…

I see this as an opportunity to confirm behavior of external links in general...

The current RCE seems to know when an outside resource is being linked and generate the appropriate takes a refresh of the page once inserted and saved, but I can confirm that it pops it open in a new tab/window. 

The new RCE has a specific path to follow as is currently constituted in beta. When you go to insert a link of any sort you get two paths to follow...External Links and Course Links:


Inserting the External link seems to do the trick right away without a page refresh. 

So it would seem that the CTRL+K shortcut only serves as a stop-gap to provide assurance that your external link won't replace the learning environment with your resource without having to dig into the HTML code and insert target="_blank" to the <a> tag. I didn't even know the keyboard shortcut was an option until about a year ago and then started using it religiously. Since I'm the one that asked the question that resulted in "cricket noises", I assumed I asked it in the wrong place. I'm used to content management systems like Drupal and Wordpress that push the choice right in front of you so I thought it would be nice if the RCE followed suit. 

Maybe it's not such an issue after all?

To be honest – I liked having the choice of open in the current tab or in a new tab – and I would really like the option of being able to open the link in an iframe in the same tab – e.g. if they clicked on a link in a content page it would open the webpage in the frame that holds the document – not that anything useful like this is likely to ever happen…

Hi  @anthony_sales1   I wouldn't lose hope that something won't be done to the new RCE, provided there isn't another reason for the functionality changing (browser security, etc.).  I checked a bit and didn't see a feature idea to change the link behavior in the new RCE.  It may be worth creating one so that folks in the community can vote on the idea.  The idea process is described here, How do I create a new feature idea in the Canvas Community? A feature idea is the best way to get functionality on the radar of developers.

All the best!

Lol, yep have tried that several times over the last two years and nothing has ever happened – either not enough votes, or even if it gets enough votes – the development team decide not to do it or make it a priority – have lost faith in that system really…

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Hi Tony,

Whilst the option isn't there in the ctrl+k menu is it there in the hover over options menu.  I've found that a lot of options that used to be available in the initial menu are now relegated to the options menu.  It's worth a try.  Let me know if it works

Hi Stephen, unfortunately not – that option isn’t available under options ☹

Community Participant

The removal of the Ctrl + K option is reprehensible. The back button is the most frequent way all users return to the previous screen. When users are forced to another tab they have to "find" the previous screen among their other open tabs. Not to mention I find the new RCE very unintuitive and designed for a specific set of users - not us.