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Tables in Canvas

Tables in Canvas

Both creating and copy/pasting tables in Canvas (the rich text editor boxes) seems problematic and difficult.  The table structure is lost and only text copies into Canvas from MS Word and Excel when using the Firefox browser. When using chrome, one can see that the table copied into the rich text editor, however, when saved, the table properties, such as borders are not visible. When creating tables from scratch, the formatting options are difficult to understand and limited in scope. For instance, I cannot figure out how to insert shading into the top row of cells only.  When I tried to shade them, the entire table became shaded. While there are limited examples of formatting in the instructors' manual, they do not fully explain the process.  For instance, yes, you can insert "5" for borders, but what will that look like in my table - is that very thick or very thin? (Rhetorical question)  To format a table I just created, I went into the HTML code of a Blackboard table and copied it.  That is not the way I want to go about this.  Lastly, while I have some HTML knowledge, most of our instructors and students do not, so wouldn't have a clue where to begin with this.  I hope to see this feature become more intuitive and user friendly.

 

Any suggestions from power users out there for workarounds? I see that this has been a topic in the past, but evidently without changes to the software?  I'm curious if it's not a big deal for others?  I typically use tables quite a bit in my courses.

 

Regards,

Julia Phillips

(2)
73 Comments
Community Coach
Community Coach

Julia:  I will support this feature request.

I have seen very few examples where the tables UI in systems based on HTML are very good, but Canvas' are the worst. Now that I've learned how, I build all my tables in Canvas using the HTML Editor, but recognize that this is both a royal pain in the posterior and just not an option for many folks.

klm

Community Member

Thanks for your support on this Kelley! Yes, it's not reasonable to expect that people use HTML to create tables.

Community Member

japhill@emory.edu​ and kelley.meeusen@cptc.edu​,

I feel your pain here. As far as I know, we use TinyMCE | The Most Advanced WYSIWYG HTML Editor​ in Canvas. But I think we may be on an older version. I believe that we've also made some customizations, which may make it difficult to update our RCE to the latest version of TinyMCE.

In the meantime I will update your feature idea to go up for voting on February 3rd! Smiley Wink

Thanks for your contribution to the community and Canvas!

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hey, thanks Jordan!

Some of us know it's a TinyMCE issue, but that change would be very desirable. Some of us also know how hard some of these "easy" changes can really be, so we will wait patientlySmiley Wink

klm

Community Team
Community Team

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. February 3, 2016 - Wed. May 4, 2016.

Check out this doc for additional details about how the voting process works!

Community Member

Julia,

I also thank you for this request, and hope you get enough votes. I couldn't figure out why Microsoft Word tables, even simple ones, lost their borders when I copied and pasted them from the source Word document. So, now I also use the Canvas editor to create tables. Or, select the table and reformat it (sort of).

I have also noticed that some of the formatting does not work, mainly, the cell spacing and cell padding. No matter what numbers I enter, the table always looks the same. Is there some trick or code here that might help me?

Anyway, I glad to know this is a "known issue."

Community Member

Yep, me too.

Community Member

Thanks Stephanie!

I bumped into 2 of our students yesterday and they brought this up without prompting.  They said they could not figure out how to put a table into their discussion post with visible borders and they were quite frustrated.  These are graduate students studying public health informatics (hence some techy background...). :smileyshocked:  Since we are in the pilot phase of Canvas I asked them to submit their feedback to our LMS decision makers. Smiley Wink

~Julia

Surveyor

This is great.  The ability to accurately cut and paste tables would be extremely helpful for all involved.  Some WYSWYG editors do this well.  Canvas, however, does not.

Surveyor

I've been using computer software(s) forever and cannot even use the "cell properties" feature to change the size of a column or row. I can't seem to drag those lines that delineate the rows / cells either, as the guide implies we can do. I voted for this particular change for tables, but am just adding my difficulty here in case someone has an answer for me. I can't find it in any form.