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mje
Community Participant

Update an existing file - an easy way?

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I'm new to Canvas, but it seems there is no way to update an existing file in a course. Is my finding correct?

That means that if I have included the existing file in a page and maybe other places in a course, I'll have to "delete the old file", "upload the new version of the file", and "manually re-insert the links to the file" ... easy of use? ... I do not think so.

Kind regards,

Michael

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clong
Community Champion

 @michael3 ​ - as you noted as long as you don't change the name of the file then you can just upload it in your files and Canvas will ask you if you want to replace the file or rename it.

185791_pastedImage_0.png

If you have the file in multiple courses then using a Google Doc as  @hochmucr ​ suggested is a great way to manage things. You could also serve up the file from a Dropbox account or something like that.

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7 Replies
mje
Community Participant

It seems it actually keeps the references e.g. in pages - as long as the file keeps the original name. However, what if user wants to give files version numbers (could be usefull in many situations) - then it's not possible to update without manually changing references.

hochmucr
Community Participant

Embedding of a google doc takes care of this problem. When the google doc is updated, all places in Canvas where the document is embedded will also be updated at the same time.

clong
Community Champion

 @michael3 ​ - as you noted as long as you don't change the name of the file then you can just upload it in your files and Canvas will ask you if you want to replace the file or rename it.

185791_pastedImage_0.png

If you have the file in multiple courses then using a Google Doc as  @hochmucr ​ suggested is a great way to manage things. You could also serve up the file from a Dropbox account or something like that.

View solution in original post

mje
Community Participant

Seems like a nice workaround. I'll investigate it further .

In my opinion it is a workaround - a workaround of a limitation in Canvas. Files should no longer be treated as plain files but as objects that can have revision numbers etc ... plain files are from the unix days ;o) 

But thanks for the hint!

Kind regards,

Michael

RobDitto
Community Champion

The idea of an explicit file-replace command menu choice in Files has been suggested before.  Here's a link to the most recent feature idea and discussion about it, touching on after-effects of the current "replace by uploading file of same name" and also linking to several other related discussions:

I will always support this feature idea if it is resubmitted.

hmccullough
Community Participant

I ran into a situation where I wanted to update a file, but the file on my computer had a different name than the file name on Canvas. The file was part of a program I was using, so it wasn't very convenient to change the file name on my computer.

My workaround was to:

  1. Rename the Canvas file to the same name as the file on my computer
  2. Upload the file and select "Replace"
  3. Rename the Canvas file back to the original name

By doing this, I was able to upload the file while:

  • Keeping different file names on my computer and on Canvas
  • Keeping all of the file links in all of the assignments, pages, etc. in Canvas

 @hmccullough ,  @mje  and others, please consider upvoting this idea to make the great workarounds above evolve into a simpler replacement feature found in some competing LMS platforms: