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Improving Stylus Functionality in DocViewer

Improving Stylus Functionality in DocViewer

The original idea to enable stylus use in Doc Viewer for touch enabled Windows devices like the Surface pro has been partially met - https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/8810-use-of-stylus-with-docviewer?sr=search&searchId=c983e3a5-...

However, the process of using the stylus requires the Action Button on the side of the stylus to be pressed down continuously whilst you write. Whilst this may have not caused issues on the stylus used to test the product (Wacom Bamboo pen?) it is both uncomfortable and unnatural for most of the other devices eg SurfacePro pen.

The Action/Right click button the stylus was not intended to be held down for long periods of time. Pressing down the button when using the Surface Pro stylus is not easy and is not a natural use of the stylus. What is more, you have to grip the pen tighter which is not great for any long term use.

A number of testers and commentators on the original idea have recognised similar impracticality with the current solution and you can also read their views in the Comments section of the original idea.

The idea being submitted asks Canvas to revisit the stylus and improve/develop the functionality of the solution.

Please can we use the stylus in the way it is intended WITHOUT the need to hold/press down any additional buttons at the same time as annotating.

Many thanks.

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For details, please refer to the Canvas Release Notes (2019-05-11) .

24 Comments
Community Member

Currently it is painful marking in speedgrader. Pushing in the action button is very awkward and therefore not at all helpful when marking. Marking work and giving feedback is an integral part of teaching and should be the main focus in canvas. It is therefore very important for CANVAS to get this right if they want teachers to use CANVAS.

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Good news - I hope!!

This from Saturday's release notes:

DocViewer

Stylus Action Button

In DocViewer, the stylus action button is not required for point, free draw, free text, or area annotation types.


Explanation: When a user used a stylus in DocViewer, all annotation types required the action button, which did not align with typical stylus usage. DocViewer code has been updated to better align stylus usage with expected behavior. Note that users will still need to press the stylus action button to use the highlight or strikeout annotation types. When using a tool that does not require the action button, users can still scroll through pages using their finger.

Please try out and report back to this location which explains the chanegs made:

https://community.canvaslms.com/community/ideas/blog/2019/05/14/thoughts-on-stylus-support-in-speedg...

Community Team
Community Team

Thanks to everyone who is engaging in this discussion, and thanks especially to Gideon.Williams@britishschool.nl for linking to the Release Notes. We hope you'll find this blog post illuminating: Thoughts on Stylus Support in SpeedGrader 

Community Member

Wow, it actually works now. Not perfect, but I can really write my comments! Yeah.

Community Member

I've not had much of a play, but from what I've done so far in SpeedGrader, this is working much, much better. Being able to move the page with my finger and write much more naturally with the stylus (given it's on a screen rather than on paper) is what was needed.

I haven't road-tested the update very extensively, but in terms of the basic functionality that we were seeking, it's now in the right place, for sure.

Thanks for the heads-up, Gideon! Thanks for the great work, Instructure engineers!

Community Team
Community Team
Community Member

Yeah!  It works without holding the button!

Thank you Gideon for your work and dedication to getting this operational.

Community Member

How, exactly, has this been deployed in Canvas? There is no Canvas Instructor app for Windows or Windows Surface, as far as I can tell, and the browser experience is still clunky. Am I missing something? 

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Its still not great for me I'm afraid. Nothing like the App version. If Canvas could get its stylus functionality sorted and extended - then it would make such a difference. At the moment it loses out every time to OneNote on the Surface Pro.

Community Member

My dream is to be able to mark up student work directly into a non-iPad Tablet, using a modern stylus on a tablet inside a modernized Canvas app. That dream will have to wait, I suppose!