Column Width in New Gradebook: empty margins and text wrapping


When I look at the columns in my gradebook, I noticed that about 2/3 of the width is used by *empty space*.  Further, if I resize my columns to try to reduce the empty space (to allow me to see more assignments on my screen at a time), the empty margins virtually destroy any characters in the assignment title of the column.

My suggestions:

a) Make the empty margin a much smaller percentage of the column width  AND

b) Allow the title of the assignment to have text-wrapping, so we can make the columns smaller without losing the titles of each column.

Community Member

When I switched to the new gradebook I was disappointed that the assignment names were cut off when there was so much extra margin space in the column.  There seemed to be more space in the old gradebook for the assignment names.  I know that I can resize the column to view the entire name, but having text wrapping and a smaller margin would be very helpful.

Community Explorer

I would also like the option to list due dates in a row below the headers and above student names. This would help those of us who audit for prompt grading, etc., tremendously.

Community Participant

Hi Joe, A work around on this is that I've added succinct dates (11/1 for Nov-1) in my assignment titles. It also reminds students when things are due. I do admit its one more thing to keep up to date semester to semester.

Community Explorer

Yes, but the due date is a field in the database that should be part of the gradebook, without taking the time to do what you suggest.

Community Member

This should not require a vote, since it's a return to previous code and was caused by a change that was not requested by this community. Canvas should change this now.

Community Contributor

Oh, and if you have many columns and scroll too fast to the end, the column head row will no longer line up with the columns at the end... you actually end up with a bunch of white space.


Community Novice

I would also be in favor of this option. In general, it would be great if there was no need to manually manipulate the gradebook to find potentially hidden muted assignments and have that word shown by default or also designated by a color.

Community Novice

In the "new gradebook" it looks like the whitespace on the right of each column name is so there's room for the hover-menu, and the whitespace on the left of each column name is there to match the right side so that the assignment name is centered and thus "pretty".

But I really don't like choosing "pretty" over "useable", which is what appears to have been done here... The current design makes the gradebook huge! I have over 40 assignments in some of my courses (which is why they have short names like "HW02" and "Ex10"), and with well over half the gradebook space devoted to padding, it severely limits my ability to quickly see student "trends" (I can't feasibly just look at each student -- my courses also have well over 100 students). I need the big picture view of an efficient gradebook, and I don't want to waste time exporting to Excel...

Anyway, the menu drop-down button could be a smaller symbol, even one that is always there (not just on hover) so that the lack of centering (which would happen if the left padding is reduced) doesn't look "bad".

Finally, "Out of 20" or whatever takes up a lot more space than "20pts" or "-/20" or something else just as informative but more concise would require.

Community Participant

I agree with the above, and would like to add that it would be great to automatically extend the width of the column to reveal the full title, if needed, just like in Excel (with double click); thus avoiding having to move the column manually to see "Manual" grading post policy, etc.

Community Explorer

How about adding vertical assignment titles (again, like Excel can) so the columns aren't unnecessarily wide?

Community Explorer

The new gradebook makes it very difficult to view titles of assignments.  I agree that there is a lot of wasted 'white space' that could be used for the assignment title.  I have a lot of assignments and in order to view a number of them at a time I need to make my columns narrow.. when I do that All I can is the first letter of each assignment... not at all helpful!  Having to hover over the title in order to read the assignment title is unacceptable. The way this was set up in the previous version of the gradebook was not perfect but it was sooo much better than what has been done to this version. Why on earth would Canvas have changed that feature?  It makes grade book so much less user friendly. Please fix this.

Community Participant

I'm part of a team that is running sessions for the new Gradebook at our institution and having to tell people to drag open an assignment column (or many assignment columns) to read the full name is not ideal. 

 It would be extremely helpful to have text wrap or an expand all option - especially because MANUAL is displayed after the assignment name and appears 'missing' on most of the assignments even though it is enabled! 

Community Novice


whoever designed the grade book was not a teacher. ugh

Community Member

If you have more than half a dozen assignments and try to trim down the column widths to see more scores, you lose your assignment headings and how many points it is worth:


Can there be an option to wrap the text in those header cells so that the name can still be viewed columns are compressed?  Or allow more text to show up since there is still cell space available?

Community Novice

My "naked" gradebook full of margins.My "naked" gradebook full of margins.

Community Member

The assignment titles in the gradebook have huge margins on either side so that when I narrow a column, the name disapears while there is plenty of column width remaining. Please narrow the the margin and/or make the text sideways (optionally?) so that I can use narrower columns in the gradebook.

Community Member

Concur with about everything I have read thus far.  Also not a fan of the update on the gradebook page that limits my view of the actual grades to barely more than half of the visible screen.  Between the "Student Names" and the "Assignment Names" search bars and all of the wasted space above them, I wish I had more say in what features to display.  All I pretty much want is a listing of the assignments and students, like an old-school paper gradebook, so I can more easily scan and see things instead of typing and scrolling.

Community Member

Allow column headers in Gradebook to wrap, thus allowing the column width (and scrolling) to be reduced.

For example, instead of a column in the gradebook looking like this:

Discussion: Introduce Yourself
Out of 10


Out of 10

Community Member

Yes, a million times, to vertical assignment titles. This should be a display option.

It is depressing to see this sensible idea suggested several times on this site and go nowhere. Instructure: PLEASE just take these suggestions and implement them. Teachers are too busy scrolling the enormous Gradebook, and so on, and lack the leisure time to log onto this site and vote on feature ideas. A compact and efficient gradebook is patently desirable. In 2022, it's embarrassing that paper gradebooks are SO much faster to read. The gradebook itself is an important visual technology for teachers and Canvas is only half up-to-speed with this.

Community Member

This is needed---what is the status of the update?