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DocViewer: Full-Screen Option for Previews

DocViewer: Full-Screen Option for Previews

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For document previews using the DocViewer tool, there really needs to be a full-screen option (this feature was available with the Box previewer). 

In addition to normal file previews, it would be great if the full-screen option was also available for students when they review the annotations on their submissions. Right now, when students review their submissions, they get a window-within-a-window view of their annotated submission. It would be a better user experience if they could throw that preview full-screen to review the feedback and comments from their teacher. Again, this feature was available for previews with the Box previewer.


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Community Participant

Agreed! After spending hours providing notes and comments on submissions, students are having a really hard time seeing them because of the size of the window and comments overlapping each other. It would also be great for students to download an annotated file to make corrections easier. 

Community Participant

Totally agree fabianm‌ and  @kkurzynski ‌. The window-within-a-window view and the inability to download an annotated file are real drawbacks from a student perspective but worse still staff are also reluctant to use a tool that makes it difficult for the students to read the feedback they have spent so much time providing.  

Community Member

I don't understand why we can no longer view files in fullscreen.

Community Participant

This is a serious issue. One that may not be as pressing as making changes to the functionality in speed grader but a needed fix none the less.
While we're at it perhaps we could change the default actions: 


Community Contributor

With the Box previewer, you could also drag the bottom of the preview window to make it larger, which was a feature I used all the time. This feature is gone as well as the full-screen view. It's difficult to view a lot of documents with the default file preview window which looks about 3 inches tall even on a 27 inch screen. 

Community Coach
Community Coach


A new document detailing some of the up-coming enhancements to DocViewer was just published this afternoon.  Check out #5 here: DocViewer Plan.

Community Participant

It's great that we can now view it in full screen but if I zoom in to the document in full screen mode I don't get scroll bars to move up and down the document, should I?

Community Participant

Agreed. It loads the last page of content w/o scrolling as an option.

I would also like to see "resize js" used on the preview or at the minimum, a class added to the iframe container and iframe to allow our department to add this functionality.


Community Champion

 @r_morgan_1 ‌ I just posted over on DocViewer Plan the same issue. 

So glad to see #5 & #6 updated!!


However, I am noticing that when I expand into full screen I am unable to scroll through the document and it centers it on the content (ie if it is a 5 page document all I see is page 3, if it is a 2 page doc, I see the bottom of the first page and the top of the second). I am on the phone with support now, but want to mention this in the community as well.

I haven't added yet, but we narrowed it down to only happening in Chrome. Firefox & Edge work as they should (I couldn't test Safari as we are a Windows shop).

Case #02181145 if anyone wants to add to it.

Community Champion

Great idea hensonj Nice Work !

Just have a class on the iframe would give those of us that can modify the CSS & JS files the ability to add the functionality.

I never have understood why everything in Canvas doesn't have some sort of class or id attached to it.

Community Member

I agree with you.  I believe that the window within the window prohibits students from truly reading their annotations.  It is hard enough to have them read it in normal view, but to make it more difficult to read in full screen could deflect students from reviewing annotations. 

Community Member

For students it's a window inside a window inside a window.

I don't see why this thread is marked as "Completed".  I've tried this function again today (using the students' view) and it remains unchanged.  Students (but not teachers) still have a small, re-sizeable box inside a window inside the browser window.  And the re-sizeable box still "sticks" to the mouse when you move it over, even without clicking, which means it resizes when you don't want it to.  It has been like this since I started using Canvas 9 months ago.  Fixing this isn't an "upgrade" or a "new feature", it's a major bug fix and ought to be a TOP priority for Infrastructure.

This video demonstrates the problem.


I'm afraid I have no idea how to file this as a "Support Case", so if anyone from Infrastructure reads this please do so.

Community Team
Community Team

 @dpell , filing this as a "Support Case" means that you will initiate a help ticket or help request from your Canvas account, following the instructions at‌ (From your screencast, I can see the Help option at the lower left of the red global navigation on the left side of the screen.) It would be very helpful to the support tech if you were to include the link to your screencast in the body of the Report a Problem ticket.

Community Team
Community Team

Hi  @dpell ‌

The idea here, that is marked complete, is actually different from what you are seeking.

Here is the idea you are looking for" modifi....

This isn't on the list for immediate attention, however it is something that our product team would like to improve in the future.  

You can find the list of  functionality getting immediate attention at DocViewer Plan