DocViewer: Admin and Instructor can edit/delete comments

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

In the current implementation of Canvas DocViewer, Admin and Instructor roles have no authority to remove annotations. 

Please consider adding Admin and Instructor authority to remove comments and annotations from a document. 

Comments from Instructure

For more information, please read through the following release notes:

Canvas Student Release Notes (iOS 6.3) 

Canvas Production Release Notes (2018-06-02) . 

Community Novice

This is a really serious limitation.  I spent hours trying to delete a comment then found this thread that suggests its not possible.

Community Team
Community Team

 @herriott10ad ‌ and  @martinbrook ‌

Are you referring to the ability to delete comments that were not made by the Instructor or Admin.  Comments can be deleted, but the individual that created the comment.


Community Novice

The problem was that I could not delete my own comments made with the Freetext annotation tool. Logically, one would expect the annotation could be deleted using the delete key on the keyboard. After researching the documentation it appears one has to hover over the annotation and then use the backspace key to delete it.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

On my Mac, I am able to delete a comment by clicking on it. When I click on the comment, the trash can icon appears at the upper right, and is persistent. Hovering over the annotation is not necessary. 


In addition, since I have a Windows keyboard connected to my Macbook, I was able to test the delete/backspace features, and discovered that if I click on the actual annotation in the document (not on the comment itself), I could use Delete on my Mac and Backspace on my PC keyboard to delete the comment (I was first presented with a message asking me if I was sure about this).

This is consistent with the documentation, which states:

All users can reply to any comments in the document by clicking the comment. However, comments and annotations can only be deleted by the user who created the comment or annotation. Annotations can be deleted by the user by selecting the annotation in the submission and clicking the Delete key (Mac) or Backspace key (PC) on the user’s keyboard. Comments can be deleted by selecting the comment and clicking the comment’s Delete icon.

I would expect that an admin could readily delete a comment, if and when necessary, by masquerading as the teacher.  @herriott10ad , does your testing confirm this?

Community Novice

Yes, an admin can delete an annotation by masquerading as the instructor in question. It is not ideal (we have certain large courses where the number of instructors can reach a dozen or more), but it is certainly sufficient. I do think this issue is definitely reduced in priority thanks to this workaround, but I would still like to see administrative permission to delete or edit these annotations regardless.

Community Coach
Community Coach

It looks like #9 in this document (which was posted today), DocViewer Plan, may address part of your Feature Idea request,  @herriott10ad ‌.

Community Novice

I think it is absolutely necessary to be able to edit and/or delete comments made by someone else.  We have student assistants help with the grading, but ultimately instructors are responsible, so they need to be able to overrule the comments.  None of us has administrator rights, much less so my instructors, so the workaround does not apply in any way.  For me, this is a top priority.

Community Champion

After testing this while helping respond to a question in the Community, I heartily concur with the comments above. An instructor can delete a TA's comments in the regular commenting area in Speedgrader (lower right corner), but not the comments that a TA made in the DocViewer directly.  In fact, in testing this, I can't remove them as an admin, either.  

Community Novice

The Teacher role should be able to remove/edit TA annotations.  It is inefficient for Teachers to contact the TA and have the TA make necessary changes to DocViewer annotations.

Community Novice

This issue is creating a lot of work for me.  I am teaching a graduate level course with a TA who does not know all that much more than the students.  I need to be able to edit his comments and grading.