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Make "Preview the document" the default action for linked documents

Make "Preview the document" the default action for linked documents

(1)

Something has always bothered be about the way canvas handles linked documents... While it might not seem important to someone who uses a computer as the main means to complete their job, I have found that many of our users who simply need to view the document unnecessarily download it. This creates confusion and wasted hard drive space.

I propose that the default action when the title is clicked, should be to open the preview, and that a download button should be placed beside the main link.

 

Like so:


Clicking Here Will open a Preview 189542_dl.pngdl.png 189543_pop_out.pngpop_out.png

 

Dont like this idea: check out this!

 

Awesome People who up-voted similar ideas last time(s) below. Thanks!

 

(K'Ailsa) Kaye-Ailsa Rowan Mark Anthoney John Buell Rob Ditto Christine McKeon Eric AbshireJoanna Do Robbie Grant Admin Michelle Lebsock Admin Marlee ChongAdmin: SUU  Admin StaffErica Ellis Regina Scott Scott FinkeldeiBrian Lindshield Martha Zumack Mark James - Admin Deborah GoinsHongfu Chen David Winters Maloy Victoria ServiceAccountSusan BastianKaryn Kondoff Jason Friend Jennifer ReddPeter Hess Chris ElfordJennifer JovanovichKelly A Duquette Neil Patch David Downs Sara MunzingerDavid Lyons Matt TurnerBrian GrowPAUL GOUVEIANathan PhillipsRosalie LeddaMr. Jeff BucknerEarl @ PierceSebastián VazquezBrian WestonLucas FauleJuan DomeneEugenia RodriguezMilena Oleart Matthew Jennings

 

Previous ideas:

Prevent files from automatically downloading; opt to open a document as an inline preview or in a ne...

Inline document preview when clicking on its name inside a Canvas wiki page

Make a file read-only but Not Downloadable in Canvas

35 Comments
sweetera
Community Member

Upon further consideration, the idea of instant view as a default makes a lot of sense. The problem is that some lucky users are already trained in the current icon system, and it is hard to un-learn things.

I too have instinctively clicked on a document link only to end up with it downloaded to my device for the umpteenth time.  The icons become pretty small targets on a phone, for example, even if you know what each of the icons means.

The "auto-unloading file" option for Modules is a workable solution, though I have noticed that there is frequently a long delay for loading. As a  course builder, I encourage faculty to un-pack contents into Canvas Pages whenever possible and avoid .pdf for content they may want to update or edit.  This may sound obvious, but it is a good part of my day to explain this over and over.

hensonj
Community Member

You make a good point! One that my colleagues and myself have discussed. Any time users experience changes to the way they interact with the interface, there are bound to be some challenges. Our thoughts though are that yes, there will be some users who have been using the platform long enough to instinctively click on the title in an attempt to download. The proposed change though would be one that I believe would cause minimal disturbance to these users since the result of the action (the inline preview opening) would be immediately visible, prompting them to correct the mistake.

James

llampe
Community Member

I've been using a URL when I link to a File in Canvas. This opens a full

size document that students can save or print as necessary. I also think

this looks cleaner (less cluttered) on the Page than using the Content

Selector. As a newbie, there may be reasons why I shouldn't do this of

which I am (as yet) unaware. Using the Content Selector would obviously be

easier, but I like the cleaner look on the Page when I use a URL link.

On Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 1:10 PM, James R Henson <instructure@jiveon.com>

piwatts
Community Member

I am unable to vote up on this idea. I like the proposed change but I can only vote down! Please let me know how I can vote. Thanks. Smiley Happy

hensonj
Community Member

Something to think about is going to be what happens upon moving course content from term to term. Using the URL from the file in the "Files" area may prevent students from seeing the files since they do not have access to the previous course. I'd have to do some testing so just a thought at this point.

James

hensonj
Community Member

Last day to get votes in!!!!!

hensonj
Community Member

Hi  @jivedocs_unfede ,

Just wanted to check with you and ask if you needed any further information about this idea, since its been something like 40 days since the last Canvas comment and I hadn't heard  anything.

James

hensonj
Community Member

Hey there Canvas! I hadn't heard anything about this from you guys in like a year and change so I just figured I'd check in. Any news?

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

Hi hensonj

We hope your fall is starting out well!  We do not have any new updates for this thread.

hesspe
Adventurer

In the File area, when you click on a file name now (and it's a PDF or .DOC file), it does open in DocViewer (preview). You use the actions menu (gear icon) to download the file, or you can download from DocViewer.  Files linked in Modules work similarly.  @Renee_Carney , this is a new behavior right?  I'm not certain, but I think formerly clicking a file name in Files or Modules downloaded the file.  If it is new, when did things change?  In Pages and anything else created in the RTE, you still have to click the glass-over-paper icon to open the file in DocViewer.

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

Hi Peter.

You are correct that there is now a preview feature in the files section of a course.  Off the top of my head, I don't know when exactly this was implemented.  It is different than documents and links added into the RCE though, which is what this idea is seeking.

cdd1
Surveyor

I voted down because the inline viewer is slow.

hensonj
Community Member

If you believe the previewer is too slow, you could just click the DL button directly next to the title. 
The idea is to prevent students and faculty from downloading 17,000 copies of a document because they click on the link and don't realize that they can simply preview it.

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.

 

This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.

strasser
Surveyor

 @Robbie_Grant ‌