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page background image

Is there anyway to make a image (probably a jpg) a background on a Canvas Page? Would probably have a table with content over it.

10 Replies
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The new Canvas UI theme editor has a "watermark" feature where you can set an image to be a background on your Canvas pages.  Here's the documentation, How do I use the Theme Editor as an admin? , as well as a video,

Thanks for the reply! I'm just an instructor, not admin. Is there a way to do this on a course level or even just a page by page level?

 @sworrell , I believe the Theme Editor is meant to be used in order to apply a consistent look and feel across an entire account. The new Canvas UI is in its nascent stages and hasn't even been rolled out to everyone, so you might want to join this group for questions and updates: Canvas Focus Group: New UI

As far as accomplishing what you're after on a page-by-page level, I believe you can apply a background color, but not an image, to a page--and once you've changed the background color, you can create your table over it. This discussion will provide additional information on the HTML code you'll need to use: Background Color   If you can figure out how to change the HTML from code that points to a color to code that points to an image, I'd love to know your solution!

As an alternative, you can try creating the whole page in a Google Doc and then embedding the code to the page in your content page. This blog discusses the various embedding options in greater detail: Using Google Docs for dynamic Canvas content

I love the suggestion of a Google Doc.

I have also used and embedded infographics when I wanted a unique page design.

How do I insert a piktochart into my syllabus page?​ provides the steps for a syllabus page, however these steps can be used in any page.

     *One thing to keep in mind with a Google Doc or an infographic is that if you use URLs to your course these must be updated or created for each course.

New Member

All helpful suggestions, thanks.

I'm after something that will cover the content area edge to edge. Embedding a GDoc won't really work. I tried altering the background color code but Canvas spits it out. I tried to make table background image code, Canvas didn't like that either.

Wouldn't it be cool if there was a "make page background" option on the embed image button or something similar. Or, allow table background images, thank would probably work too.

I like the idea personally, however always keep in mind that what has good intentions can also have unintended consiquences.

Not speaking for Instructure, but speaking for myself, I'm not sure that I would want a global function like this for accessibility reasons.  Whenever I embedded a Google Doc or an infographic in my course I was concerned about readability and accessibility.  I usually had the DSS office at the college test any new designs with a screenreader or other accessibility tools.  I also provided a plain text version for individuals that were overwhelmed by visual busyness. 

Placing dark or busy backgrounds behind content is beautiful, I agree, but it can interfere with the success of students.

 @sworrell , if this--"make page background"--is a feature you'd like to see implemented in Canvas, and taking into consideration  @Renee_Carney ​'s cautionary remarks about accessibility, you might want to submit a thoughtfully crafted feature idea: How do I create a new feature idea?

Good things to think about, thanks! I'm not talking about all over the course but rather just some visuals on the front page to grab users attention. I agree simple and clean is the way to go and the research backs this up. Thanks for reminding me to consider the needs of all users.

As a trained graphic designer, I also now that some carefully thought out visuals will stimulate interest.