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Use of Stylus with DOCViewer

Use of Stylus with DOCViewer

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

This idea is applicable to any 2-in-1 / hybrid device with stylus capacity eg Chromebook, Surface Pro 4, Yoga, ASUS etc.

Microsoft's recent education event (May 2017) highlighted the increasing opportunities for schools to invest in low cost 2-in-1 hybrids running Windows 10. Since then at least 5 new devices have been released - 5 Budget Windows Hybrids 2-in-1 Tablets and Laptops for Schools – Colour My Learning . Many schools, including our own, are now looking at these as viable alternatives to 1-1 iPads.

The potential of inking is huge, not just in the hands of students but for teachers and marking.

Canvas has just released DOCViewer in Beta. As yet it is not possible to annotate work inline using the stylus (at least on my Surface Pro).

We would love to see inking/hand-written/stylus based annotations being available for those using Canvas via the browser.

This idea has been added to our product plan for Q1 2019 and will influence development within Canvas. Follow this idea to receive updates as they are available.

:smileyinfo: Adding this idea to our product plan means we will be working on it, but it does not guarantee that it will be developed exactly as defined by the idea, or that it will be added to the production environment.

Read more about the feature idea process:

Comments from Instructure

For more information, please read through the .

Community Member

Yes please, this would be really useful. In fact essential. We are getting lots of frustration from staff who want to annotate within Speedgrader using a stylus.

Community Member

Just got a new Surface Pro as my work computer. First thing I tried to do was to ink some student submissions in teh speedgrader. Bitter disappointment! Come on Canvas, time to get with the program. Inking should not just be supported in the speedgrader, but across the whole site. Make it useful for maths and science teachers please- I'm saying this even though I'm not one!

Community Member

Please fix. Seamless annotations, such as appear in the new MS inking tools and Adobe work brilliantly without the fuss of having to confirm each annotation. 

Community Member

I'm marking 54 examination papers using Adobe Acrobat because the functionality isn't there in Canvas. I love just about everything about this platform and get excited about finding out new ways to do things. However, the deficit in being able to provide feedback on papers niggles away at me daily. Yes, you can do it, but the grading facilities are just plain clunky. So what am I thinking? Simple stuff. I want to be able to use the free draw tool to tick answers correct or write comments on the papers using a stylus. And I would love, as mentioned by Jeff Lloyd in the previous post, not to have to confirm every action on the page with an extra click. (Great call, Jeff!) I have faith in you, Canvas folks! Imagine the positive responses when you make this happen!

Community Member

As more and more affordable pen enabled devices ( appear, the need for full stylus support in plaforms like Canvas becomes more urgent. I see there is some movement at Instructure to get this support in place. I hope we will (very) soon get a clear time frame on when this will be implemented?

Community Member

That does sound hopeful.  Where did you see that there was movement to get this implemented at Instructure?  I've seen nothing after a full year of the loss of functionality.

Community Member

Hi David,

There is a status update from Instructure on this request that says it is being prioritized among other projects. If I read it correctly that is..

Best Regards,


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Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Just saw this here. Wonder if it will be 'free' feature, given the huge variety of possible devices available?

Community Member

Here's hoping, Gideon! I'm thrilled to see that there's been a positive response from Instructure. The teachers at our school are right behind you. It's been more than a year since you put up this idea. It seems to have gained traction. Thank you.

Community Team
Community Team

Hi, Gideon,

Our team will build the functionality into DocViewer, yes. Smiley Happy