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

preview document icon missing

I upload files to my calculus course on a regular basis as it is a video streaming course. The files are either docx or pdf. The file I uploaded on 11/8/2018 at 2:17 pm and every file since then have been missing the preview icon. (The file I uploaded on 11/6/2018 at 11:11am has has the preview icon). I use Chrome and the files were uploaded from at least two different computers. 

I have attached a screen shot. I labeled the two files mentioned above. All files that have the preview icon were uploaded prior to the dated docx all files without the preview icon were uploaded after the dated pdf. 

Has anyone else noticed this? Does anyone have a fix? Any help would be appreciated.

8 Replies
Community Member

Along with the help of a colleague we discovered that the problem is in the HTML code. It appears that sometime between 11/6 and 11/8 Canvas mad a change to the coding for uploaded documents

Today the following coding is used when a file is uploaded and inserted into a page

<p>Section 5.3   <a class="instructure_file_link" title="M211 Sec 5.3 SmartBoard Format.docx" href="" data-api-endpoint="" data-api-returntype="File">M211 Sec 5.3 SmartBoard Format.docx</a></p>

Prior to the date 11/6 the following coding was used when a file was uploaded and inserted into a page

<p>Section 4.2 <a class="instructure_file_link instructure_scribd_file" title="M211 Sec 4.2 SmartBoard Format.docx" href="" data-api-endpoint="" data-api-returntype="File">M211 Sec 4.2 SmartBoard Format.docx</a></p>

I have highlighted the difference in the coding. 

In order to get the preview icon, you need to go into the html code and insert instructure_scibd_file right after instructure_file_link and before the quotation marks. 

This is a pain and difficult for instructors who are not comfortable working with the HTML code. I would love it, if the coding could be reverted back to its original form. 

New Member

I noticed this same issue.

However, it appears to only be when I first upload the document from the right side bar.  If I have already uploaded the document and select it from the list, the preview icon does still appear.  

Community Team
Community Team

Hi  @mfulton1 ‌ and  @farrarem ‌ -- It's been a while since there has been activity in this thread. How are things? Do you still see the issue with the file preview icon?

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello there,  @mfulton1 ...

I have been reviewing older questions here in the Canvas Community, and I stumbled upon your question.  I wanted to check in with you as well because I noticed that we have not seen any new activity in this topic since April 12, 2019.  While I'm not sure that I'll be of much help, are you still experiencing this issue?  Has there been any additional resolutions that you've come across since your above postings?  If so, would you be willing to share those here with us?  Or, if you feel that one of the above replies (including your own) has helped to answer your original question, please feel free to mark it as "Correct".  For the time being, I am going to mark your question as "Assumed Answered" mainly because we've not seen any new activity in this topic for a couple months.  However, that won't prevent you or others from posting additional questions and/or comments below that are related to this topic.  I hope that's alright with you, Morag.  Looking forward to hearing back from you soon.

New Member

Thanks for the helping hand, Morag. Great stuff!

Community Member

Today 3/22/2021 I went into my class to upload new files and once again the ability for students to preview documents has disappeared (they can only download). I checked the HTML code and it is the same as the one I posted in the previous fix, so something has changed. 

Students could preview files two weeks ago, but today they cannot preview any files that I have uploaded. I have students who rely on the ability to preview uploaded files as they cannot download or print them. Does anyone have a fix?


Thank you for posting this. I thought I was going crazy. I've been using the inline preview all school year, and not being able to make it work now was driving me nuts! I'd love to know if/when there is a fix for this.

Tags (1)

What they have done, which I think is very confusing is make the hyperlink to the document the in line preview. Note that clicking on the hyperlink (the document name) use to trigger the download it now triggers the inline preview. Therefore, if you are like me and have "click here to download the document" next to any hyperlinks that have the inline preview auto open you need to go through and update your entire course. If you have the preview auto open and you click the hyperlink it closes the preview instead of downloading it.