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Print annotated comments from Speedgrader

Print annotated comments from Speedgrader


Screenshot of print preview where track changes are included in printed version of documentWe have heard a few requests from instructors to get an export or printing function built into the Speedgrader that will allow them to print their annotated comments, similar to how track changes can be printed from Word (see screenshot).

The closest workaround is to download the annotated submission, open in Acrobat Pro and follow these instructions, which would be time-consuming.

Community Champion

Our instructors want this too. Thank you for posting this feature request!

Community Team
Community Team

1086095, do either of these, or a combination of the two, encompass what you're hoping to see implemented? (open for voting) 

We've put your idea into Moderating mode to give you the opportunity to assess the existing ideas, and we're looking forward to your feedback.

New Member

Thanks for the heads up, Stefanie. Unfortunately, I don't see my feature idea represented in these, as I not only want to be able to download the annotated files, but to also be able to print them. The download would have to be formatted such that they are printable, and that is not explicit in the other requests.

Community Participant

My professors want this functionality as well. I will ask them to vote it up. 

New Member

Printable PDF downloads with full annotations are also a need at UC Irvine, both for instructors and students. The inconsistency of this feature now has caused confusion because some annotations appear correctly in PDFs in common reader applications (e.g. Preview), while others do not, and there is no clear warning / explanation to that effect that users can readily locate.

New Member

I'm hearing this even more from the student side. Our students want to be able to print the drafts of their papers with full instructor comments to be able to review, take to class or a meeting with the instructor, and make necessary changes.

New Member

Have commented on" modif... as well as stefaniesanders tip above. Am rather dismayed at how long this idea has been 'on the radar' - it is essential for quality control/accreditation purposes as well as for students who prefer working with hard copy. I just learned today that our external examiner (part of the UK quality control system for universities) wants everything printed out - and it will take me ages to collate my in-text comments (DocViewer), general assignment comments (Speedgrader) and Canvas rubrics - why can't Canvas do this for me?

speedgrader‌ (aka snailgrader!)

New Member

I've used comments and annotations as detailed feed back for my students in chemistry only to find students frustrated by my apparent lack of comments and annotations.

New Member

YES!  PLEASE! We really need this change.  Not only can't students print the comments, but the online view is this teeny little window that is impossible to manipulate in size.   Currently, this has to be the least functional tool in Canvas!  As a composition professor--it's all about feedback.  For the past year, I've been downloading all essays, commenting in Word, and then uploading one-by-one (had trouble with some of the files in the batch download/upload not matching). 

It would be amazing if students could print a copy of their essay with comments!  That's why I upload in PDF, so the comments are immediately visible!


New Member

This would be a marvelous function!  

Community Contributor

Yes, the inconsistency between different software has caused a lot of problems for our students and staff.

Community Member

This function is vital and must be prioritised.  It will also help for parents to be able to be better informed on their child's learning.  

New Member

It is so frustrating to spend so much time on comments for students and have them not be able to read them because the LMS lacks this basic functionality.  Please fix this ASAP.  

New Member

I would like to joint the vote for PRINTING.  I'm glad my students can at least download the comments now since the  window is too small for students to view a reasonable amount of the page.  However, being able to print comments in the side margin is preferable to the adobe view that covers part of the original text.

This is most certainly a top priority for usability.

Community Contributor

We all want this, too. The printing is critical--and I want to be able to have the inline text comments to print as well. Essentially, it would be great to bring what the student sees on the computer screen.


New Member

PLEASE, address this. 

New Member

I am a student. I would like to add to this, since it is not that descriptive. Currently there is this view feedback button. The interior view is hard to see, and can't pull up other tabs if one goes to full screen. But, when one goes to download the pdf file of the graded assignment, the feedback does not download with it. If it does it is of different thickness and words are gone. Thus I can not see the grades on each individual problem, or feedback on what I got wrong.

This problem stems from the fact that Canvas does not support downloading homework files that cumulative to a large file. So graders have to use the interior functionality Canvas has built in which is just complete garbage.

New Member

Yes. Easier printing is essential. The printouts need to associate the comment with the relevant text, and all of this feedback needs to work well for screenreaders.
(Students also need to know that the detailed feedback exists. Many are unaware, so they feel frustrated at receiving skimpy feedback, and instructors feel frustrated that their detailed comments are being ignored.)

New Member

Downloading the "annotated pdf" from SpeedGrader is clunky but acceptable, once you accept it (that took me a while!) and learn something about Adobe Acrobat comment summaries (also took some time). 

See this for the simplest solution (works with Adobe Acrobat reader or full program):  "Download Annotated PDF" doesn't download annotations? 

If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro (current version is DC), there are some other interesting options. See this Adobe page: View, reply, print comments in Adobe Acrobat   Scroll down to "Print a comment summary;" basically, open the Comment Tool, choose "..." then Create Comment Summary for the options described (e.g., layout of comments relative to pages).  This page looks helpful also:  Three Ways to Print PDFs with Comments and Mark-Ups in Adobe Acrobat DC (Tutorial) 

I was unable to get anything to work for printing comments/annotations that were added on the page once downloaded as a pdf (despite webpages implying that it could be done; this includes printing as image).  It seems that Adobe interprets the Canvas annotations and comments as annotations inside the page area.  I found a way to analyze the objects on the pdf pages (Preflight) and all the Canvas SpeedGrader annotations were classified as "Annotation inside page area" with the following: "Annotations inside the trim or bleed area of a page may cause unpredictable print output.  They are not allowed in PDF/X files."

Overall, I've accepted this is probably necessary for true "comments" (e.g., point or area annotations) added in SpeedGrader, since they would almost always obscure the text of the student's submission, but it seems really unnecessary for other types of annotations such as Freetext or Free draw.  Maybe the Canvas "Download annotated pdf" can be improved to make the latter work in Adobe Acrobat the same way as comments such as text boxes and marks added in Adobe Acrobat.  

Finally, could there be an option to download the "Assignment" or "Submission" comments as part of the same annotated pdf?

New Member

Please fix this as soon as possible.  I need to print a file on a student, and none of my comments show up.