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Inserting Macrons


I'm using the RCE to type up content on Japanese rice wine, called sake. This means that I often need to use a special character called a 'macron' (a straight line above a vowel, such as ā). The RCE doesn't seem to have a function to insert such special characters, which means I am copying and pasting from a word document. However, the copy & pasted letters aren't re-formatting to the font size of the RCE, which means they look super odd and too big (pictured below).

I have tried CTRL+SHIFT+V, I have tried changing the font in the word document to match better, and I have tried changing the font size in the RCE editor, but they won't change. I have also Googled the issue and combed Canvas community articles - no luck.

UPDATE: I have also tried adjusting the letters in the HTML code and by copying the entire text into word and back again. In both cases, the special characters render correctly but still appear larger than the rest of the text. Why is Canvas making the character larger as a default option?

Can anyone help? It seems like a massive gap for Canvas not to have an option to insert special characters.


4 Replies

Hi Caitlin. I also have this issue when we want to use te reo Māori. I generally use a Māori keyboard to enable me to type the macron, but the main issue is the title of pages. Smiley Sad 


I found your post when I went looking for solutions for this, so its not looking good.... Smiley Sad 

Community Member

This is because whatever font Canvas forces us to use does not have a relatively full Unicode inventory, so anything other than basic Latin is not available. When you copy/paste text in from something else, such as Word, with characters that are missing, Canvas replaces them with whatever random font on your computer that happens to have them. If you are lucky, they will look similar, but perhaps a bit too big/small. In my case (copy/pasting Coptic) it makes such a hash of the text that I cannot use it in Canvas at all; I have to use a PDF instead.

All of this would be easily solved if Canvas actually allowed users to design their own pages for their own/their students' needs, including incredibly basic functions like selecting the font we want to use.

 @t_l_sagrillo ‌

Users of the New Rich Content Editor can select a different font from the Format menu in the menubar, which is revealed by using the keyboard shortcut (ALT+F9 on a Windows device, Fn-OPT-F9 on a Macbook). You could check with your local Canvas admin to see if they are able to add a font to the menu on your behalf by customizing the global CSS for the account.

Many thanks Stefanie. Evidently that feature is not implemented at my institution (we just started using Canvas and I suspect it is still pretty barebones). While I can active the menu,  it has nothing beyond what is available in the toolbar, and certainly no way to change the font.

For the moment, it is easier just to either use a PDF or use a Font tag in the HTML. Both are time consuming but at least I can ensure the proper text is used.