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Special language character panel/chart integration for Rich Content Editor

Special language character panel/chart integration for Rich Content Editor

Faculty at our institution would like the integration of a special language character panel or chart into the Rich Content Editor. They feel it would be easier for students than the current methods of typing or copy/pasting special characters into their assignments and discussions. They feel it would also be easier for teachers of language courses to give feedback if special characters were more easily accessible in that way.
Community Team
Community Team‌, your screenshot is of the third-party platform used by the Canvas Community, which is different from the Canvas learning platform. Thank you for calling attention to the missing tilde over the n in Español; we have made the necessary corrections to our menus on this platform.

Community Member

Thank you, Stefanie, I appreciate it.


Cecilia Milán

Professor of Spanish

Oxnard College


Smiley Happy  


That is a good first step. But now our students need to be able to easily access these diacritical marks so they can learn to spell correctly.

Learner II

I just wanted to let others know something that I only recently noticed. In Windows 10, you can get to an "Emoji" menu by either right-clicking and choosing "Emoji" or using the key combination [windows key] and [.] (hold down the windows key like you would the shift key). This appears to work any place that's expecting a keyboard input.

In addition to giving me many wonderful options to add colorful tackiness to things in the form of emoji, it also has accented characters if you click on Ω for symbols and then subcategory Ç in the resulting pop up menu. (Recently-used ones will show up in the "recent" menu as well, so students who always need the same few will eventually not have to dig too far for them.) It took me a while to notice this because I didn't think of, say, the degrees symbol as a form of emoji so it's weird that they decided to label this feature that way rather than something like "browse special characters", but I guess I'm just old.

This will probably be easier for students to deal with that memorizing ALT codes since it's a GUI-browsing-based option. I have no idea if it works with test-lockdown software - it's native to Windows, so maybe? We don't use a special testing browser here (I use proctored paper tests instead because it's much simpler to deal with proctoring those in our set-up) so I can't test that.

I also have no idea if there's anything similarly simple on Chromebooks, which a lot of our students use. 

I agree this is a very needed addition. For those of you that have access to DesignPLUS by Cidi_Labs, there is a language accents tool that can be used for content creation and by students in responses and quizzes. You have to go into the settings to turn this on. Scroll down to the bottom of the tool settings to find it.

DesignPLUS Language Accents tool

Once turned on, it will show up at the bottom of your toolbox.

View of Language Accents Tool in DesignPLUS Toolbox

These are the languages currently available but we are open to adding more based on need.

Languages currently available in DesignPLUS

I hope that helps. If you have access to DesignPLUS and have any questions on using the Language Accents Characters, please send us a support ticket and I'd be happy to help.


Canvas keeps refusing to add a special character tool. It is because they cannot tell the difference between a second language user and a second language learner. It is true that a native speaker will already know how to create these characters in their operating system. However, language learners are asked to do a lot of things right away! Their teachers may be teaching them class vocabulary in the target language, they are learning a new grammar, they may be new to Canvas,  and on top of that they have to learn more computer stuff? It is not fair! Many students will just drop out. Instructure needs to learn the difference between a language user and a language learner. Or else they just need to say that Canvas is only good for native speakers and for intermediate to advanced language learners and let people know that elementary language classes should not use Canvas. 

Surveyor II

Yes! As mentioned by other commenters previously, many students are just not willing to change their entire keyboard layout for one class even if it is just a toggle between keyboards.

My issue arises during written portions of online exams. I use the Lockdown Browser with Respondus Monitor. I don't want students to access outside websites just to be able to copy and paste special characters. Language courses need the feature that you've described.

I only speak for myself here, but I provide linked information to students in all my courses (online, synchronous/asynchronous, traditional, etc.) every semester and it's ALWAYS a hassle. Some don't want to use the alt+130 style codes, others can never seem to understand the simplicity of special characters on a Mac, and don't even get me started on students with Chromebooks!

I just hope the feature will be added in the near future.

Community Member

We are (due to the pandemic) shoving our entire Philosophy curriculum online. Typing out logical proofs is hard. Typing out logical proofs without special characters is impossible. We're trying to figure out non-Canvas workarounds for this, but that's a bummer for us, because we're a Canvas school -- and, long run, it could be a bummer for Canvas, if we find a workaround we like a whole lot!


I'm not an expert in all of the symbols needed for philosophical/logical arguments but from my Googling I couldn't find any that aren't already covered by the Math editor in Canvas. To my untrained eye it looks like logical and mathematical proofs use the same notation. Take a look and see if it might work for you? (All these symbols are also accessible through the other OS level means I mentioned above too.)

How do I use the Math Editor in the Rich Content Editor as an instructor?