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Ability to View HEIC files in SpeedGrader Preview

Ability to View HEIC files in SpeedGrader Preview


Many of the new iPads and iPhones have HEIC files for their photos.  If a student is required to upload a file to Canvas this file isn't compatible with the speedgrader preview.  In order for a teacher to view this, he or she must download each individual document and then open them.  This is extremely cumbersome, time consuming, and takes up a lot of space.  Is there any way that the HEIC files can be added to the list of files that automatically preview in speedgrader?  The example I would use would be if a teacher gives her students a math problem to work out.  She wants to see their work, so they must take a picture of the page, then upload that picture to Canvas.  Using the new iPhones causes the picture to be in HEIC format which is not compatible for preview in speedgrader.

Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Archived
Community Team
Community Team
Thanks to everyone for participating in this thread. Our support and engineering teams have determined that DocViewer is unable to render .heic files, as this file type is a part of the x265 library and our main rendering software does not currently support it due to it being patented and requiring licensing.

Since this is not functionality we will be able to implement, we have archived the idea. Our teams have compiled a list of solutions:
Mac users that have a .heic file can:
  • Open the .heic file in Preview
  • Click “File”
  • Click “Export”
  • Change the format to .jpeg
  • Save the file
  • Upload the .jpeg version of the file
 iPhone users that want to change their iPhones to save as .jpeg instead:
  • Go to the Settings app
  • Go to the Camera settings section
  • Click Formats
  • Select “Most Compatible”
  • New photos will be saved as .jpeg
iPhone users that want to keep using .heic but still upload the right file to Canvas:
  • Use the Canvas app
  • When submitting the file, select “File Upload”
  • In the page for choosing a file, use the “Camera” or the “Library” option. When using those options, the iPhone will take the picture as .heic but it will pass the Canvas app a .jpeg version automatically.
iPhone users that have .heic files but not in their Photos app, and instead in their Files app:
  • Go to the Files app
  • Hit the action button
  • Click “Save Image”
  • The .heic file is now available in the Photos app
  • Follow the instructions for the scenario above, where the user uploads to the Canvas mobile app.
Community Member

50% of the students use Apple devices, and they have a default HEIC format. Most people don't know how to change the default to JPG or similar.

The lack of HEIC support is a big issue when we try to grade work.

Community Participant

I spoke to our mobile folks yesterday, and if students use the App then the heic files will be converted to jpeg (someone please correct me if I misunderstood). It's our hope that faculty and student communications can at least partially mitigate this.

Community Member
I think there's a bit of a disconnect between support and the average user. Asking students to process files/export/do additional steps isn't really reasonable. Asking students to make a global change with how their phones save pictures is not reasonable—and would mean lower quality pictures otherwise. 
Uploading within the app from the camera or library option is reasonable. At the same time, I'm not sure that this is always happening the way Canvas thinks it is. My students sometimes do have HEIC files show up in the grade book and yet are using their phone cameras. 


Community Member

I kind of feel like this is an Apple thing, not a Canvas thing. But I am still bummed that it cannot be implemented. Does the licensing cost so much?

Community Member

THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. I'd say half of my students use iPhones to do all their work.

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