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Community Member

Change in behavior for file links with new Rich Content Editor

The new Rich Content Editor has changed the behavior when creating a link to a file in a content page. In the old editor, when you created a link to a file and disabled in-line preview, the file would automatically download to the user's computer. The new behavior is that Canvas opens the file in a new browser tab.

The unfortunate result is that if you are adding new file links in an existing course, all new file links will behave differently from old file links. This inconsistent behavior is confusing to the student and looks tacky.

I have to go through hundreds of file links in dozens of courses and manually change every link so I can get consistent behavior. I have to manually edit the URL to each file and delete the "download" parameter in existing links to get the new behavior. This is very tedious. There is no parameter that can  be changed to make the behavior between old and new links consistent. Editing an existing link keeps the old behavior.

I would like to see a checkbox in the Link Options called "Download File". This would allow the course creator to add new file links that are consistent with existing file links.

Perhaps at sometime in the future I will go back and modify all of my existing links to conform to the new behavior, but I don't have time to do this before classes open on Monday. It is frustrating to discover this change in behavior in the final hour of tweaking courses that go live soon.

2 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello there, @harryhahne ...

I might have some good news for you on this front...  It looks like this is a Known Issue, and it is documented in Document links embedded using the new RCE don't do... - Canvas Community.  I found this link by going to the PRODUCT menu at the top of any page here in the Community, and then I selected KNOWN ISSUES at the bottom of the list.  I'm not sure exactly when this will be fixed, but it's good to know that it's on Instructure's radar.  I, too, share your frustration with the current behavior, and I hope that it will be fixed soon.  I hope this will be of help to you!  Take well.

0 Kudos
Community Participant

Fingers crossed for a fix soon!  The extra clicks this causes is extremely frustrating....especially when providing several files for an assignment and it adds the extra clicks to each one.  Ugh.  Totally a step backward with that process.