I've been using Canvas's on board messaging feature to send messages to students within canvas class sections, as I have been unable to find a simple way to access canvas class lists via my campus e-mail (the student replies to go to my e-mail, however). The issue is I can't find a way to format text to underline or bold face or change font size etc. With other canvas features, there is a row of options across the top of the composition window, as with forums and e-mail programs, but there's nothing there for me with the student messaging system.
For example, I just sent my students an e-mail reminder about some important dates, and I couldn't bold face the dates (CTRL B doesn't work either). I'm assuming some setting is turned off somewhere in my composition window, but I can't figure out how to enable text formatting. Here is a screenshot of what I mean about the missing text formatting options.
You are not alone in wanting to be able to have more formatting options within the Canvas Inbox when composing messages to students. Many members of the Community share your thoughts. Unfortunately, there isn't really anything that you are missing or that you can turn on/off. The simple fact is that these tools do not exist in the Canvas Inbox. That being said, there is a Feature Idea that relates to your question that you might be interesting in looking at: Add rich-content editor to Conversations. If you feel that this Feature Idea aligns with something that you would like to see implemented in Canvas, I would encourage you to add a comment letting Canvas engineers know why this would be important to you. You can also "rate" the Feature Idea (this used to be voting in the previous Community). More information on rating content can be found in: How do idea conversations work in the Canvas Community?.
I know this might not be the exact answer you were hoping for, Erica, but I do hope that it has helped in some way to answer your question. Thanks for your question...take care, stay safe, and be well.
Thanks for the response. I'll check that out. It's a head scratcher for me why the canvas messaging doesn't have any kind of text editor when the other places we can type content in canvas--announcements, discussions, assignments and so on--do.