Customizing the Course Navigation Menu


We have been using the "Redirect" app to make our courses as easy to navigate as possible, particularly as we develop an aligned, guaranteed and viable curriculum in our schools.  The challenge with the Redirect App is that once an app is added to the course menu, there is no way we can find to edit that app, or course navigation menu item.  It would be helpful as we design our blueprint courses for our subject area experts, if they could customize the course navigation menu items easily.  As an example, in a blueprint course, we would add Course Navigation menu items, or apps, called "Unit 1," Unit 2," etc.  These would be linked to the first page in Modules corresponding to these units.  It would be powerful if a subject matter facilitator could rename these pre-linked course navigation menu items to match the actual unit names in their respective curricula.  How can we make this happen?

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Community Novice

I am also interested in knowing the answer to this question.

Community Participant

I'd like to know this too.  I think customizable links would be VERY helpful to teachers.

Community Novice

I have also been wrestling with this. The ability to add pages to the course navigation would be of great benefit (such as an ‘add to navigation’ checkbox option when creating pages?) and would make the whole process much simpler. Using the redirect tool to accomplish this seems like an inefficient way around as Canvas appears to create this redirect loop inside itself. Also, this breaks the course in the mobile app as Canvas sees these menu items as an LTI and needs to launch them separately. Also as mentioned above the ability to rename these navigation links would be great. Thanks!

Community Participant

The only way to make that happen is to enable a permission named LTI - add/edit/delete. By default, only account administrators have that permission but it could be enabled for other roles. 

Community Member

There needs to be a way to rename without having to delete and recreate another one.

You should be able to easily rename

Community Participant

Hi everyone, in fact there is a way to custom links added with Redirect Tool. Maybe as @hechla says, it is a feature only available for account admins.

You should go to Settings > Apps > View Apps Configuration. There you can rename and even change the link of the LTI.

Anyway, I find the Redirect Tool tricky since the app opens the links using the browser, not inside the app itself. So you cannot link Pages or Modules at the sidebar menu. Now that would be helpful!
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Community Explorer

This is another lost perk from blackboard. Being able to remove nav items is great, but being able to add quick content links, and customize the names of any links would be extremely beneficial, especially with an 'add to navigation' checkbox or option when creating/editing pages as mark_derbyshire suggested.

Community Explorer

This is a big problem for us as well. Our instructors are used to setting additional custom links in the navigation - both to internal and external sites and pages -- we are transitioning to Canvas and this is going to be a huge headache for us because:

  1. Redirect tool links in the side menu do not function properly on the mobile app when linking to an internal page forcing the user to log in endlessly.  
  2. You cannot set a relative link in the Redirect tool, as it requires the entire URL including https. (link returns with invalid link error) So using custom navigation links in the side menu in blueprint templates is impossible.  
  3. When linking to an internal page, there is an intermediate screen that shows a blue 'Redirect' screen as it is processing. So uncool. 

Creating and modifying navigation links should be an easy and straightforward process that does not involve a separate LTI integration to accomplish!

Community Explorer

I agree.  Customizable links in the Course Navigation would be very helpful to me and my colleagues!!

Community Novice

I too would like to see this.  This is basic, basic stuff, and I've spent all day trying to figure out how to do this. I can't believe this isn't a simple item on a drop down menu for each entry in the navigation bar.  Of course, I'm not holding out much hope that this is about to change, since this conversation started two years ago. But it's a major obstacle for course customization.

Community Member

I would also like to see this feature. It took me hours to find out how to use a work around. I would be useful to be able to add per sub account as well as you may want to have a course nav link for one course / sub account and not the entire account as you have to then go and hide/disable each one you have created in the work around.

Community Participant

We currently do not have the Canvas Redirect tool enabled because it allows users to make INTERNAL Canvas URL links that then are not updated when a course is copied to another term.

Preventing or updating Internal Canvas URL links (to relative links) is needed to make Canvas work better for instructors and students.

I know the tool is intended for EXTERNAL links but not allowing internal links OR at minimum a big bold warnings against internal links would make it more usable. INTERNAL URL links made using the Text Box Editor are updated to the correct (new) course ID when content is copied forward, so if it is possible to save folks from themselves in this area of the product, why not save them from themselves when they use the Redirect to link deep into their own course?

(EDIT) ...reading above that "Redirect tool links in the side menu do not function properly on the mobile app" makes this tool in even more need of development and improvement. It must work in mobile to be useable.

Status changed to: Archived
Comments from Instructure

As part of the new Ideas & Themes process, all ideas in Idea Conversations were reviewed by the Product Team. Any Idea that was associated with an identified theme was moved to the new Idea & Themes space. Any Idea that was not part of the move is being marked as Archived. This will preserve the history of the conversations while also letting Community members know that Instructure will not explore the request at this time.