Ability to Save and Copy from Frequently Used Comments in Speedgrader/DocViewer

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For more information, please read through the  Canvas Release Notes (2021-06-19).

We're aware that there are two parts to this idea. The "Speedgrader" piece of the request is complete; the idea remains open for DocViewer annotations comments.

It would be a great timesaver for writing instructors and anyone else making many of the same comments to students on assignments to save and store comments in SpeedGrader/Crocodoc DocViewer as one is able to do in Turnitin's Grademark feature. This feature would help SpeedGrader really live up to its name, too.


This has been a request since August 2012: Ability to Save and Copy from Frequently Used Comments in Crocodoc : Help Center

New Member

I appriciate your blog but i think this should be built into Speedgrader for several reasons. firstly, Canvas costs a lot of money so a basic function like this should be included. why should we have to pay for an additional program? secondly, student assignments may contain personal information of the students. allowing a third party to access this opens up possible security issues.

6. Security
We endeavor to keep your personal information safe and secure at all times. Our data is stored in the United States with robust physical, digital, and procedural safeguards in place to protect your personal information, including the use of SSL encryption. Passwords are required to access your personal information, so please remember to keep your password confidential. Even with the tightest security systems, no one can guarantee protection from hackers and unauthorized third parties who capture information provided over public networks.

thirdly, 11trees collects quite a lot of data as written in their privacy policy:

under 3. Tracking Technologies

Collecting Data
"As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically and store it in log files. This information may include internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp, and/or clickstream data. We may combine this automatically collected log information with other information we collect about you. We do this to improve services we offer you and to improve site functionality."

Clickstream data: Clickstream data are a detailed log of how participants navigate through the Web site during a task. The log typically includes the pages visited, time spent on each page, how they arrived on the page, and where they went next.

Also, under Data integrity, they state: "We do not, and will not, use your intellectual property for any purpose other than to deliver, support, and develop our services, which are designed to protect and strengthen your copyright."

this sounds like they can use my intellectual property, comments i develop,  to develop theri own premade comments for their own profit. 

You can find their privacy policy here. 

11trees Privacy Policy - 11trees 

New Member

Here's a little run-down on the top 10 requests, including this one (asc, up-votes):

Post TitleOpenedTime OpenTotal ViewsUPDOWNUP%
Printable / PDF-exportable quizzes3/31/154 yrs, 11 mo, 30 d35,6082,4612998.84%
Allow folders in Pages11/11/163 yrs, 4 mo, 10 d27,8222,2508296.48%
Multiple Due Dates (checkpoints) for Discussions5/5/154 yrs, 10 mo, 4 d30,2462,2011499.37%
Create Question Banks from MSWord5/17/154 yrs, 10 mo, 16 d36,8251,7282498.63%
Ability to Save and Copy from Frequently Used Comments in Speedgrader/DocViewer5/15/154 yrs, 10 mo, 14 d13,9001,4671099.32%
Regrade quiz when deleting questions9/1/154 yrs, 6 mo, 0 d17,9641,3042098.49%
Notifications by Course10/27/154 yrs, 4 mo, 26 d58,1161,099599.55%
Adjust all assignment and quiz dates on a single page4/7/154 yrs, 11 mo, 6 d19,6811,076999.17%
Submit an assignment on behalf of a student4/14/154 yrs, 11 mo, 13 d21,8461,0422797.47%
Let us schedule a Publish Date / Time for Content Pages11/16/154 yrs, 4 mo, 15 d9,1631,0151298.83%
New Member

Hi Dave,

As the developer behind 11trees and Annotate PRO (AP) I appreciate your comments.

We don't steal our clients' intellectual property to create new libraries of comments. In fact, we look to partner with experts to help them share their content - see our contributing author program.

A very powerful version of AP is completely free to all educators. What we provide, for free, goes far beyond what a large company like Instructure will ever build as a core feature. Take a look at the feeble efforts from Google in Google Classroom. We charge for sharing libraries, advanced features like analytics and (coming soon) baked in Google Translate...

I do agree it's kind of a pain to have add additional software to get a core task done...but installing Chrome Extensions takes about 90 seconds.

Not trying to change your mind here:) Just want the record to reflect fact and our view of the situation.

Community Member

It is May of 2020 and I still think this is a great idea. I ended up here by googling to try and find if I could create standard comments or replies. 

New Member

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for responding.

I am not saying that you 'steal' from clients. Developing your product based on client's data or their comments is not stealing if agreed to by the client when using your product. I am not willing to agree to this.

Secondly, I find clickstream data problematic. why do you collect this data? 

It is a great product and should be a basic function in Canvas. 

Kind regards

New Member

Thanks for sharing that data Michael.

it is interesting to see what people request. 

I can see that the "Ability to Save and Copy from Frequently Used Comments in Speedgrader/DocViewer" is 5th on the list.

can you report on which of the top 5 requests have been resolved or are they all still being developed?

All of the dates are from 2015/6. does this mean that Canvas has known of these requests for 5 years and not developed the functions? 

a projected completion date for the requests would be very helpful.

all the best

Community Contributor

Google classroom now has this feature (comment bank).

It's overdue in Canvas.

New Member

So,...I get alerts to this thread and look at them occasionally--usually when I'm avoiding something else. Like now.

Is there a reason why people aren't utilizing  @ajmccann 's Annotate Pro? I can see where it doesn't work if you're using Canvas exclusively as an app--but if you can get to a laptop-size screen and access Canvas via Chrome, it's a god-send. 
I mention Annotate Pro again in case some of you have stumbled upon the thread and haven't looked back to see it's previous praise. 

Community Contributor

Annotate Pro is a great tool and I've started to use it.  However, I don't think it's enough.  As one of the people who trains staff how to use Canvas, this is where I think problems will arise:

  1. There's a lot of hot-desking at my school, so for each computer that a member of staff uses they would need to log into Chrome (and get a Google account if they don't have one) and then log into Annotate Pro.  Time is precious and all this takes time and training.
  2. It's not available in the app, as you've mentioned.  
  3. It's only available on Chrome.  This means that when some staff try to open Canvas using Safari at home, they won't see it.  This can cause confusion.
  4. Editing comments in Annotate Pro requires staff to navigate a new user interface.  Confusion again.

Ultimately, staff just want things to "work".  All the extra steps required to get this working create barriers.  Those barriers are easily overcome by some people, but not others.

What I think would be fantastic is the ability to take a comment that you've just written in speedgrader and feed that into a reusable comment bank.  

New Member

Peter, really appreciate your detailed feedback and thoughts here...

This is Andrew from 11trees, developers of Annotate PRO (AP).

Completely agree with your points...although will add some color below.

We wish Canvas would build a rudimentary system, like Google Docs has. Then more users are aware of the power of the approach then start asking for all the things big platforms probably won't do: elegant sharing, analytics, sub-groups, favorites, color-coding etc. There's usually a trade off to get advanced features vs. completely integrated solutions. Many are happy with the Mail app in iOS while many, many others choose to install an app of their choosing.

Our largest userbase is commenting on Google Docs. Plus, because AP works with Google Docs and Canvas and Word etc. etc. there is an argument for ubiquity.

Regarding the hot desking and friction of logging into yet another thing: this is a great use case for us to have in mind - thank you. We are adding Microsoft SSO (available in our public beta and soon to be released to production) to match Google SSO, which will cover most schools. But it's still an extra step, no doubt.

Microsoft Edge now supports Chrome Extensions natively - although we haven't even done this ourselves yet. Numbers I've seen have Chrome at roughly 67% of worldwide browser market share with Safari a strong second...so that is a gap.

Lots of room for multiple approaches...and agree that many faculty would benefit greatly from something simple and native to Canvas.

Appreciations for the dialog!

Community Contributor

Thanks Andrew for taking time to reply.  I appreciate all the work that gone into AP.  One last thought I had was about quickly adding new comments to AP.  If you could highlight something and add it directly to a library from the right click menu that would save time:


Community Member

I wonder if an easy way to get comments, (more like encouragement) would be to use the bitmoji plugin.. so you could do this... 

Community Contributor
Community Participant

Not sure if any other Canvas users found that the integration with Annotate Pro and Canvas broke over the last month. 

Attention Canvas Users! Having trouble (all of a sudden)? - 11trees 

But this is a key reason why having a 3rd party application fulfil a key roll in the LMS is not good. It only takes one change on either developers end to break things.

I still believe that Canvas should either purchase or develop their own interated solution and until then instructors are going to continue to mention "but TurnItIn did this years ago"...

P.S. we use an love Annotate Pro, but it feels like a band aid on a problem.

Community Participant

Agree that this a feature idea whose time has more than come, and that Chrome-only plugins do not constitute a solution. It would be nice to have comments that I could use not only across assignments, but across all the courses I teach. Things like, "I left some comments as Annotations on your submission. Click "View Feedback" to read them!" and a couple other 'tech-supportish' ones are used over, and over, and over again.

Community Participant

As the University of Melbourne transitions to Canvas, our academics are loving Speed Grader. What they are missing, however, is the ability they had in QuickMarks to save and reuse comments in their annotations. The University has made the decision to turn off the Turnitin LTI, so right now our instructors are cut off from this time-saving functionality completely. We would love to be able to return the comment-saving feature to them!

New Member

This is one main reason why my teachers are not switching from Google classroom!  Please, please add a feature to create a comments bank!  Thank you!

New Member

This feature would be extremely helpful to make marking more efficient because a lot of the same issues apply across students' submissions on a given assignment. It would also be ideal if the comment was editable after being selected to personalise it slightly if needed.

New Member

So it looks like it has been more than 5 years educators have been asking for some form of saved comments to use over and over again in Speed Grader and Canvas has not figured out how to do this?  Is that true?  Our district just started using Canvas and the first assignment I need to grade for my AP Lit class would go a lot faster if I could have frequent comments saved to drag and drop.

Am I understanding correctly that this does not exist in Canvas and despite asking for it for many years the Canvas developers still have not created this?

Seems ridiculous on Canvas's part that they have not responded to the requests.  If I am mistaken, please tell me how to load frequently used comments into SpeedGrader so it can live up to its name.

Thank you.

Community Member

Would you be able to make a list of written comments positives like   This is a great submission, and other comments that it might say You need to check the spelling of the words or of this word, try to...  It would be better if you. Why don't we asked teachers how what prases can the written comment assignments include?