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Allow folders in Pages

Allow folders in Pages


Greetings all.
Conversations in the community unthread after 100 comments, making the conversation difficult to follow, and official comments hard to find. For this reason we're posting our most recent update here:

We know this is an important topic to many. We appreciate all of the use cases (pros/cons) that have been presented and the ideas for solutions. We are working toward a longer range strategy that we envision solving many of the struggles you've expressed here. We do not have an immediate solution. Stay plugged into the Canvas Ideas space to watch this strategy unfold (beginning with Assignments 2.0)

The Files section of Canvas allows folders for organizing files. Pages does not. Why the awful inconsistency in the user interface? I currently have 30+ pages that I've created in - all in flat directory structure. I'd like to be able to organize them, you know, like Files and stuff I have on my computer.
Learner II

Yes, I know it's hard -- because they made a bad decision to start with and now we all have to pay for it. But given that they won't fix this, how about they try to fix the issue about not getting all the pages to load (another problem that has been known to Instructure for literally years)? At least let me look at a listing of all my hundred or so pages in the flat directory system (an "organizational" style that predates the modern office, much less modern computers)! My understanding is that this is not a free LMS, so it's not unreasonable  to expect them to try to fix issues, even the hard ones.

Explorer II

I would like to like this more than once

Learner II

I agree. I'm not sure I want folders for this part of Canvas. What I would like, at the very least, is for pages to work like the assignments section. It has search. You can group things. You can hide or reveal those groups. A folder structure is just what people envision because it's how they organize their digital life in other places. That organization, as we all know, can become very messy. I personally don't want to have to dig into a folder of a folder of a folder to find the page I want to edit or have to fix because someone else put the page there. The file system in Canvas is the most bloated and hard to reel in part of our courses. I'm not sure we want to replicate that elsewhere. What I think most people do want is a way to organize and search. Other parts of Canvas have elements of this. Assignments and modules are already set up to accomplish some of these tasks. The developers need to borrow from and improve on the organizing principles they have already developed and implemented. We don't need to blow the whole thing up to accomplish what we want.

Just think, maybe one day the delete option will be the same for discussion forums, pages and assignments. Sometimes you hit edit, sometimes you don't. Why is that inconsistency allowed? I think it speaks volumes for the larger issues being discussed here.

Explorer II

"A folder structure is just what people envision because it's how they organize their digital life in other places."

 @garrett_william ‌ - I backed off of saying something like this up thread because I had already stirred the pot and it got a bit contentious, but this was the first thing I thought when I saw this feature request.

The underlying user need here is, "I need to be able to find my stuff." and in theory Instructure as the developer should be looking at the mass of upvotes on this page and figuring out how to satisfy that need effectively. I'm pretty sure that search would be the right way to do it, and I hadn't even thought about the fact that a version which searches by title already exists in assignments.

Adventurer II

I'd rather like to be able to set flexible permissions for my pages so when I have a course with multiple sections or groups I can choose which section/group is able to see that page.

Now that would be a HUGE step forward, encouraging far greater collaboration amongst staff and reducing the need for multiple (and often just copies of) the same course!

There are many different education systems with teachers teaching multiple classes the same course/module at the same time!

Canvas has done this for assessment material such as Discussions and Assignments and Quizzes so why not for content?


Search is slow, and does not allow me to browse my list (my wish is a hierarchical tree structure) to recall names that were last used months ago.  I do see that some way of organizing pages independent of modules may achieve my primary goals.   But, I have pages that are all related to a particular assignment, that I then would want a sub-folder for each group of pages for a single assignment group. And sub-modules do not appear to be a Canvas thing, either.

Here is where I would start if I could organize my pages:

assignments/programs/p1/all pages for p1 

assignments/programs/p2/all pages for p2

assignments/programs/p3/all pages for p3

assignments/programs/p4/all pages for p4

assignments/xteam/x1/all pages for xteam assignment 1 

assignments/xteam/x2/all pages for xteam assignment 2

assignments/final_project/m1/pages for milestone 1 of final project


Note: there are some files with names that are the same within each assignment group

The Assignments tool allows individual assignments, but not a collection of related pages for an assignment.

The Files tool lets me organize in this way, but it is painful to have to create material in other places and then re-upload after each source edit.  This is especially so for html content that is easily created and edited in the Page editor tool. Maybe, we can just have a "Save Page as a File" option for content that is created using Page tool? 

Of course, I am still waiting for edit text-only file formatted files in Files using Canvas without need to download/edit/upload the file.

The Modules tool allows me to aggregate any way that I want, but I would like to have a private space like this for me that is not exposed to students while still being able to expose the published module organization for student access.


 @mwolfenstein liking more than once is cheating.... 😉

Community Member

No doubt this is a problem.  However, I have found a work around that seems to "work" 100% of the time.  When you are trying to view more pages in the list that won't load, change the zoom setting in your browser by one or two settings.  Seriously.  I discovered this secret as a result of my bad eyesight and have been successfully using it for the past couple of years.

Community Member

Grouping pages would be a drastic improvement over what we currently have.  While I still think that folders would be the most obvious solution, as it is how other aspects of our "digital life" are organized, I also agree that items tend to get lost in folders without a robust search feature.  Grouping pages on a devoted page (rather than in a small drop-down box), as assignments are already easily grouped, would be very beneficial.

Learner II

Thanks! I've resized the entire window before to get the rest of the list to load, but I haven't tried just changing the zoom factor. Still would be nice if they fixed it, though....

Community Member

In addition to folders, having some sort of sort, filter, and tagging mechanism would be helpful (even preferable to folders, which can grow and become a pain to manage).  I understand to present pages to students should be done through Modules (which I am doing), but when editing and modifying pages for new templates, revisions in courses, etc.,. by only being able to look at the name of the Page, it makes it difficult to know which is the current page or not.  By being able to sort & filter in the View All Pages area, it is much easier to determine which pages are old and should be discarded versus new ones that are being worked on.

Explorer II

I'm in full agreement with you on tags as the fundamental need here from a dev. standpoint. Tags and content searchability are definitely the underlying user needs here, and taking this data-centric approach can allow for a variety of different approaches for considering what the UI is that will ultimately work best to handle those needs.

Learner II

For my own management (since I do NOT make Pages visible to students), I would much rather have a folder-like option than tagging. I've tried to use tags when searching for info in the Canvas Community and Guides (and added tags to content I've made) -- I find it to be an exercise in frustration: I have to guess which terms people use to describe different things (want to make a link to someone in a post? don't bother using "link") and deal with multiple tags which are basically the same ("file preview", "view file").

Also, I often use a laptop to do work. Folders (and folder-like options like sections of content that can be collapsed) allow me to navigate more easily with much less scrolling.

Community Member

I certainly wasn't trying to advocate "tagging" over "folders".  I find tagging more useful as I could tag all Page having to do with "Module 1" as "Mod1" and then could easily search for those pages.  If I'm using a page for multiple modules, I could then add "Mod 2" and "Mod 3" as necessary, instead of having duplicate pages in different folders (or forgetting what folder I put what pages).  

Explorer II

I also wanted to clarify that my advocacy for tagging is in terms of the technical solution to this issue. Actually enforcing a directory structure would be massively limiting, whereas using tags (i.e. metadata) would allow for a variety of options in terms of actual UI including potentially a folder UI.

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this worked for me too and now it is a matter of course to get to pages more quickly.  Along this line, I do not keep the page maximized but rather in a smaller frame, to load as I scroll.  Thanks.


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%
Community Member

Yes, clearly!

Community Team
Community Team


A link may help give the bigger picture here, as it's always the most accurate data.  The current list of ideas by vote can be found at Ideas: Open for Voting.

In addition to that, I'd add that it's also helpful to look at Ideas: Completed to see the work that has been done with the insights of the Community!

Votes are an insightful element of the ideation process, but they're not the only deciding factor in how/when something gets developed.  We have a fairly robust dashboard on the backend of the process that lets us give a meta data to the product team, but the most important feedback comes from the use cases that are provided in the initial problem statement and the use cases in discussion that persists.  I share that just to say that development isn't simply defined by math!


@Renee Carney

Hi Renee, and thanks for the feedback.

I understand, as I suspect most of us do, that product development is not one-dimensional. My point with the table is that although, as you point out, votes are one factor, aren't the people working in your system the most important? We are the ones who log on and use this everyday to connect with our students. I just don't see how Instructure is failing to comprehend this relationship: you've created a product we use, we're telling you what would be top-notch features to add. You have hard data telling you what we want. Imagine if a restaurant had this type of data, telling the owner exactly what the customer wanted to eat, do you think that owner would shrug it of in favor of the menu they deemed appropriate? I am not trying to be difficult here, but you asked and we answered (with a resounding collective yes), so I am just not understanding why these highly-desired features, having been discussed for 4.5 years, are not in place.

Thanks for your attention and response.