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Word text boxes become uneditable images when embedded in Canvas.

This has happened several times and I am trying to figure out a solution.

Background: I created a graphic organizer for my students in Word. I used several text boxes for questions with space for students to enter answers. I embed the document into my Canvas assignment.

Problem: When students try to enter text into the boxes they don't work. No cursor appears. They are frustrated.

Issues Checked:

1. I checked the assignment in Teacher mode and found that it looks like the text boxes are being treated as images when embedded into the Canvas course. You can resize the "image" of the text box, but it is acting like an image, not a editable text box.

2. If I go to edit in the desktop app mode, everything is back to normal and works fine. Now, many will say then, "Just tell them to do that." That is a problem because it becomes a waste of time for myself and my students to embed the document since it doesn't operate the way it should and then have to edit it in the Client app. Also, some students work off of tablets and phones without access to a laptop with Office installed.

3. All browsers are up to date on students side. All are using either Chrome or Firefox.


4 Replies
Adventurer III

You are better off to use an interactive PDF than Word.

If you have to use Word, do not embed the file into a Canvas page, Create a new assignment, provide a link to the file and have your students download and fill out the forms and then upload. see if that makes difference.



I thank you for the workaround but it isn't a solution to my problem, it's a workaround.

I am looking for the why this problem is happening and what solutions Canvas can implement to correct it. This is an issue that affects a whole system of embedding into Canvas. Canvas needs to explain this issue and offer either an admission of, "This is a known issue" or "We know it is an issue and we are working to fix it." or "Here is our solution." If they can't fix the problem they should admit that true interactive embedding for Office documents comes with some caveats.

Once again thank you for the work around, but I'm looking for the why this is happening and how Canvas can fix it.


Hello there, @jchiamulera ...

When you say that you are embedding the Word document into your assignment, are you doing that similar to what is described in How do I insert course files into the Rich Content... - Canvas Community?  If I am reading your question correctly, it basically sounds like you are providing your students a template or file of some kind, and they need to fill in the missing pieces...correct?  You could probably do this with either the Office 365 or the Google Apps LTI integrations.  The idea is that you link your document from either of these accounts, and students are able to save a copy of your document to their own O365 or Google account without modifying your document.  Then, their modified document is sent to you upon submission.  Here are a couple Guides for you to look through:

If you are unsure if either of these integrations have been configured in your school's Canvas environment, you will want to reach out to your school's local Canvas administrator or someone from your school's Online Learning/eLearning department to see if it has been integrated.  If not, you might want to have a conversation with them to see if they would be willing to integrate it in your school's Canvas environment.

I hope this will help a bit.  Sing out if you have any other questions about this...thank you!  Take care, stay safe, and be well.


Yep, already done that. I embedded the document through my school's Office365 LTI integration. So that doesn't change anything because I'm already doing that and have had the issue of text boxes becoming graphics from the start.