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Comprehensive Course Search Tool (Searching Course Content for a Topic)

Comprehensive Course Search Tool (Searching Course Content for a Topic)

I always find it useful to search for content using an index or an actual search tool rather than just scrolling through all of the pages one by one to find what I need.  I can see many uses for this:
  1. As a student, I know that a particular topic was covered but I'm not sure where.  I can search the course for the keyword and the page hits will come up.
  2. As an instructor, I want to know where else these students have seen a particular concept.  I can search a bunch of courses for a keyword and the courses and page hits will come up.
  3. As a student, as I am trying to integrate information from multiple lectures within a course or within multiple courses, it would be useful to see where a particular concept has been covered.



New Member

Our institution would benefit greatly from a Search function within Canvas. We've curated both faculty and student resources in Canvas, and it would be quick and easy for a users to search for specific topics in these extensive resource collections. 

New Member

Yes! This would be so helpful for Elementary. We teach all subjects in elementary so we have A LOT of pages. When linking in the new RCE to "course links" it takes forever to get to the W's or anywhere in the middle of the alphabet. The ability to filter when linking, etc. would be AMAZING.

New Member

In courses, all courses would it be possible to have a search box up in the top left hand corner. When in All courses and the courses are displayed you have scroll through perhaps a hundred if your a developer for example.

It would be great, to have the search box on permanently (presently you only get this feature while pressing Ctrl key and F key)


It would be great


Many thanks


Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Archived


Admins can use the search field that displays at the upper right of the Courses page, as depicted in How do I use the Courses page in an account? 

The request to refine this feature and provide it to instructors for use in their Courses | All Courses list is currently the topic of conversation at Filter in All-Courses for Users.

Please add your comments to that discussion, and we'll mark this one for archival to remove the duplication and keep the conversation unified in one spot.



New Member

I think it would be great to have a search option on canvas. Sometimes I have a hard time finding things and waste time digging through numerous pages instead of just typing in what I am searching for. 

Community Member

This request has been open for 5 years.

I use Canvas both for university instruction and for executive education. In many cases, I want to import a module or even most (all) of a course from a Master (or prior instance) to a slight variation. In those cases, I want to be able to search (and if possible, replace) specific references (to a course number, a specific exec ed client, etc.).

Setting up a search of all site pages should not be that difficult. Each page is an object, effectively an html page. Searching a Canvas site should be no more difficult than searching a website, and most websites have that function embedded. For example, if you build a free Wix site, you can embed a search feature for free:

I think it's sad that Instructure refuses to implement relatively simple fixes like this.

New Member

This is a MUST. I teach elementary and i have a page for every single subject, every single day along with other course pages just to make it function well for my students. It takes a very long time to locate a page I need to link to and it is ONLY SEPTEMBER. The list of pages is going to grow exponentially. Every site on the planet seems to have this function, it should be a fairly easy update. This suggestion has been ongoing now for FIVE YEARS. Clearly, it's a wanted/needed feature. Please consider doing this soon!

New Member

This would be a game-changer, particularly from a student or PD view. It would add some of the functions that make Google Drives so easy to access and organize. I'd love a global search feature, but would also settle for a search feature within modules/pages. 

New Member

Please add a search tool when viewing all pages!

New Member

Please add a search feature for All Pages so I can more easily locate a page I need.



New Member

there should be a area in the top right where you can search your assignments and different areas in canvas.

New Member

Hello Canvas, we are continually updating our courses here at Camden Haven High School. A simple Find and Replace function should be added to the Modules page and the Files page so that when we make simple changes to 30 odd pages they can all be done at the same time. Example; I have just had to change Module to Learning Activity and Mod to LA. A simple Find and Replace function would have had this laborious job completed in less than 5 minutes and not an hour or so. Thanks.


Ken Healey

Community Member

I cannot tell you how often my colleagues have asked for a search tool, especially when they have to find course links - "load more" is so frustrating when there are so many pages or assignments to go through, especially when one is an elementary teacher teaching all subjects.  When we have to embed videos from Canvas Studio (a relatively new feature in Canvas), looking for the correct video is made simple by that search bar:

Search Studio.png

With the new RCE, you can now search when inserting different files:

Search course files.png

 Can you PLEASE add this feature for course links as well? Ctrl-F does not always work in the Pages tab, and it doesn't work at all when adding course links.

No search for course links.png

Adding a SEARCH feature would go a long way in getting teachers to buy in and embrace Canvas.

New Member

Please please please! Add this feature!! I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to scroll through 100's of assignments and pages. Please add this!

New Member

Over the years I have taught over 70 courses at two colleges using Canvas LMS. Teachers improve their course each and every semester - or at least they should.

Anyway, a History 5 course taught 5 years ago, is not the same History 5 course coming up. 

BUT, something created a few years ago needs resurrecting. Only, the problem is, I cannot find it. I had created a page, a rather involved page, and now I wish to retrieve it. But I cannot remember when or in which course I placed that page. 

I am suggesting that Canvas LMS creates for faculty a "Search All Courses" function for specific key terms. If I typed "Beethoven" in such a search engine, then Canvas would rumage through every assignment, page, module, etc., looking for that specific term and supply to faculty a list of places where it appeared. 

What do you say?

Dr Joe Krulder


New Member

(This is from a student perspective, although it would probably be nice for educators, too.)

It would be soooooooo helpful to be able to search for content keywords. For example, I have several teachers that just use "Week 1," "Week 2" etc as labels for their modules. If I want to figure out when we covered "autism," I open each module in a new tab and work my way through the content until I find it. It's very time consuming. It would be AMAZING if I could enter a search term for a class (or all my current classes, and be presented with a page of hits (much like when I search gmail or "use google to search this website").

So in the example search, it could bring up a hit for "Week 7" module, the "Autism checklist" quiz, and the "Autism awareness" assignment/grade.

Initially, it could be a simple search for text strings in the module. Later, it could be beefed up to search any attached PDFs and PPTX

New Member

It would be ideal to have the ability for search for terms within the course content (across modules) or even across all courses. 

New Member

This is a much needed feature for anyone transitioning to Canvas from another LMS as they look to see if content has transferred over. I am working with an institution that is currently using Sakai 19 and that LMS does have a search feature with a toggle for "search all my sites" or "search this site".  As bringing content to Canvas via Common Cartridge is painful, a search would be so useful.

Community Member

I very much agree with many things already stated. This would be a very helpful feature for both instructors and students (even others). It would help students if they can search by weeks or topics, especially by the end of the semester when the course is very full of content. Students begin complaining about this just one month into the semester. Instructors/designers/coaches would also find it helpful to search within a course for similar reasons but searching across multiple courses would be best.

Saving an educator 10 minutes of manually hunting something down actually equals an HOUR of time saved (if not more). 

New Member

I embed lectures in discussions and assignments, but I don't always know which lecture is in which assignment as I sometimes change the order of things and, alas, my notes aren't always as comprehensive as I would like. It would be great to just do a search on my course and see where, for example, I talked about integrating quotations since sometimes it changes from course to course and semester to semester.

I need this. It would be life-changing.