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Allow No file preview - neither overlay nor inline

Allow No file preview - neither overlay nor inline

0 Kudos
(30)

The new Canvas release for 3/20/2021 removed the ability to Disable Inline Preview of linked files and now forces Teachers/Designers to choose between an Inline Preview or Overlay Preview (with a download icon next to the link). We'd like the option to disable any preview of linked files. We'd also like the get rid of the download icon as it starts taking up too much space if there's a lot of files being linked.

17 Comments
Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Open for Conversation
 
christopher_phi
Community Champion

I just wanted to chime on this and the value of giving instructors the option to download a file directly - especially since I think this was the default behavior or at least an option with the previous Rich Content Editor. Besides the convenience factor, I think there may be accessibility considerations to this as well - my understanding is that viewing a file in the preview function is generally not going to be as accessible as viewing the file on their platform of choice that has more built-in options to access that content.  

With the preview functionality, it is still possible to download the file - but it adds an extra step. It would at least be helpful to understand the rationale on this change and whether it is intentional or just an oversight, 

RobDitto
Community Champion

Rated 5 stars! At our institution, we used the old RCE's preview suppression for take-home exam documents -- ones the teacher intended to always be downloaded and counted in Access Reports or New Analytics.

With the option removed, we currently must modify document links in order to get them to work the same way. 

and-hu
Community Participant

Thank you for creating this post. I completely support! The new behavior is also inconsistent - if you upload direct to the RCE it defaults to display inline (and has converted most existing links to this from what I can tell even if you had inline display disabled previously); if you pick from Course Documents, it defaults to overlay. 

It would have been nice if Canvas had tested this as a beta feature like they did with the new RCE rather than unexpectedly springing it on us and causing a variety of bugs and unexpected behavior.

cesbrandt
Community Champion

This definitely has our support! It doesn't make any sense to me why this was removed to add optional overlay formatting. When we want students to go through a PowerPoint presentation, we don't want them to look at a "PDF" of the presentation, which is what happens with the preview system.

Having this feature restored would be great!

kirsten_ryall
Community Participant

Agree, support, bring it back please! I am pretty certain that this was also mentioned in the comments on those release notes too.

adam_zolkover
Community Participant

Yes please to all of this. Our program uses the ability to disable inline preview extensively. And having the update retroactively change functionality that was intentionally built into Canvas shells is absolutely unacceptable.

susanficken
Community Member

I have a large number of files that students are expected to download, complete, and submit. Not only has the method of interaction changed mid-semester, but for many of the files, it has broken the link and I will need to re-link them so that my students can access them.

I'm beyond upset with changes being rolled out mid-semester that affect the functionality of previously built courses.

scheydec
Community Member

Our institution misses it. Take-home exams are just one example of why.

and-hu
Community Participant

One of my comments about this on the Release Notes was deleted since it is apparently a planned feature, so fingers crossed it comes about soon:

 

Reason:

Removing Inline previews is a planned feature

Explanation:

Our engineering team is planning to enable the feature to remove inline previews completely. Please follow https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Idea-Conversations/Allow-No-file-preview-neither-overlay-nor-inli...

 

acampbell3
Community Participant

I just discovered that we have no option for disabling the inline previewer. The preview version does not allow for animation in a PowerPoint presentation. It also does not allow for an interactive experience where a student can click an answer in PPT and be taken to a linked slide.  The previewer kills all animation.

It would be great to give instructors the option of removing that preview. Animated presentations do NOT work in the preview.

We can TELL students to open the file in PPT, but there's no guarantee that they will. Our students all have MS Office via the college, so they all have the PPT program.

Teachers spend a lot of time creating animated and interactive presentations that no longer work due to the in-line preview. Is there any way to disable this for animated presentations?

mzhong
Community Member

The inability of displaying animation in PPT in inline Preview is problematic.  Having the option "Disable inline Preview" will solve that problem.  Please bring it back.  

lettgo583
Community Participant

The inconsistency mentioned by @and-hu is disconcerting to all.  When uploading a document from the computer, the default view is inline. However, when embedding a course document from the course files, the default is overlay.

Unless the instructor has taken the extra step to REVIEW and ADJUST the view option for EACH item, then when students click on the items, they never know which experience they'll get!  (There's nothing obvious to the faculty or students which viewing experience they'll have on the documents.) 

If there is a coming switch to change everything to overlay, please make that the default -- for uploaded AND embedded docs.  Thanks! 

acampbell3
Community Participant

Does anyone from Canvas ever respond these ideas? Or is this just a "deal with it" kind of issue?

and-hu
Community Participant

No, we’re still in just deal with it mode. Same with the keyboard shortcuts that have been broken in Chrome on touch Windows devices for over 2 months now. I can only hope these get fixed before I have to start building pages for the fall, but I’m not holding my breath. 

acampbell3
Community Participant

Fall semester is right around the corner and it looks like we still have no option to disable the inline viewer.  My animated and interactive notes are useless now. Canvas help told me to tell the students to download the presentation and open it in the program. I can *tell* them this all day long but this does not mean they will do it, especially when the inline viewer is right there (unfortunately, the inline viewer does not show them all of the content, as items are layered in the animation).

Why hasn't Canvas addressed this?

jwr0015
Community Participant

I place links to files that my students can download in the text of the assignment instructions. Automatic preview (inline or overlay) confuses my students. they want to download the document that might be a worksheet or a template but the overlay looks , to them, like a workspace for that document BUT they cannot edit it in the preview. They become confused, frustrated, and even angry. I get emails no matter which of these "mandatory fun" options I choose to use. I do not mind the emails so much but what I do mind is students dropping my class because of their problems in Canvas that I have no power to correct.

Please let me give my students the materials they need without making them open multiple windows and find hidden download controls.

Kill the preview. Anything that instructors want to be previewed can be embedded.

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