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Restoring flexibility in text when annotating submissions

Restoring flexibility in text when annotating submissions

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

When grading papers, I use Speedgrader.  In addition to making comments on the right side- I often make corrections and/or insert comments on the submission itself.  Having done that this past weekend on a set of papers, I noticed some changes which I find to be limiting compared to the prior version.  

  • When using the text feature, 2 things that used to work are no longer possible
    • Changing size of the font of the inserted text
    • Controlling whether the area around the text is filled or not.  This becomes an issue when inserting a notation into the student’s paper;  I can’t keep it from overlapping text the way I could before by eliminating the fill in the text box.
  • Can’t control where the strikeout is.  Sometimes- it floats above the item I’m trying to delete
Comments from Instructure

For more information, please read through the 


Although the new default font size is more accessible, it makes it difficult to annotate a paper written in 12 pt font. As Francine indicates, it is then impossible to annotate between lines. Although the point annotation is an alternative, it increase the time and effort a student must put in to reading comments.


Hey  @fgordon ! I think you will be happy to hear that the two items on your first bullet are part of the DocViewer Plan.

7. Free Text Background and Font Size: We are working on a way to change the font size and offer the choice of a transparent background or a white background for Free Text annotations.

The second item related to the strikeout sounds like something might not be working right. Would you mind submitting a support ticket and providing a link to this post for reference?

Explorer II

I just ran into this exact same problem. Sadly, I came in search of instructions on how to set the background of freetext annotations to transparent, as it was previously, and found this instead. Please fix! The tool is really worthless for annotation with the solid white background always on, covering up whatever it was I wanted to annotate.

I'm also struggling with the highlighter, which will no longer allow highlighting of two different things on the same line of text. I was trying to use that tool to compensate for the messed up freetext tool, but it doesn't work when the student has more than one error in the same line.

Community Team
Community Team
Comments from Instructure

For more information, please read through the Canvas Production Release Notes (2018-01-27) 

The strikeout behavior you've noted was also resolved in a previous release. Smiley Happy

Community Team
Community Team

 @fgordon  Thank You  for submitting this idea, as well as, jweaver Thank You ,  @bsr  Thank You  for your contributions. Your investment in this idea helped refine a feature which is now part of Canvas!