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Canvas Deploy Notes (2021-01-20)

Canvas Deploy Notes (2021-01-20)

Canvas deploys contain code changes that are intended to fix bugs, improve performance, and prepare for new features, but they do not affect customer workflows. These deploys take place every two weeks and can be tested in the beta environment before the production deploy date indicated in the title of this document. Intended changes in workflow are noted in the Canvas Release Notes published monthly.

Deploy notes may include notable fixed bugs, resolved fixes in Known Issues, and other updates that do not affect user functionality.


  • Subscribe to the deploy notes page to be notified of posted deploy notes
  • For Canvas Platform Service changes (API, GraphQL, Canvas Data), please see the appropriate page in the Change Log 
  • Other questions? Visit the Canvas Deploy FAQ 


Deploy Notes Change Log


Interface Updates


New Rich Content Editor

Multiple Link Removal


Multiple links can be removed from the New Rich Content Editor.

Change Benefit

This change allows multiple content links to be removed at one time.

Affected User Roles

All Users

When the New Rich Content Editor includes content links, individual links can be removed by clicking the link. However, all links in the editor can be removed by highlighting all the links, clicking the Links menu, and selecting the Remove Links option.


Fixed Bugs




The Pages Index Page displays a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

New Rich Content Editor

Caption files have been moved from the top to the bottom of the video, and the font family changes from serif to sans serif.


Modules API

Module position is ordered by ID.

Explanation: When the Modules Index Page was loaded, Modules were often shuffled in terms of position and sometimes did not display. This behavior occurred because some modules were added in the same position, causing them to be duplicated or not display during pagination in concurrent API calls. Canvas code has been updated to note module position by ID.


Direct Share and Past Dates

Courses display in Direct Share drop-down menus where instructors have active enrollments.

Explanation: If an account’s term dates or course dates were in the past, courses were not displaying in the Direct Share Copy To drop-down menu, Send To drop-down menu, and Import drop-down menu. Canvas code has been updated to allow concluded courses to be included in Direct Share drop-down menus.


Source Code Summary


To view a summary of all code included in the deploy, please see the Deploy Source Code Summary (2021-01-20) reference sheet.




Deploy Notes Change Log


2021-01-08 Deploy Notes Published


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The new Assignment student view of assignments with online submission does not render MathJax. I submitted this issue in two different places at my university (IT and our teaching and learning center, who are our liaisons with Canvas) before Christmas. I also made a thread here to see if there was somewhere else I could report this. I have not heard anything back, it is not listed in Current Issues, and the bug is not fixed.

I know the Dec 02 deploy notes mention an upcoming expansion in MathJax functionality. Is it planned that that change will fix this bug?

Is there anyway not to omit past courses from the direct share lists??? I'm flooded with messages from teachers this morning who cannot identify the correct course to share to. Since teachers do not have editing permissions in closed courses there is no purpose to share to a closed course and this is causing massive confusion this morning. Which course would you pick?

 copy to.png

😭Amen @audra_agnelly! FLOODED with emails regarding this! 

I am subscribed now (thought I already was) to these notes when they are released, but HATE that I now have to go in and rename my teacher's courses (our teacher's cannot rename their courses; helps keep things consistent) so they can use this VALUABLE functionality! 

I wonder why someone needs to "Copy to" a course they no longer can use.....🤔


@audra_agnelly We are experiencing the same issue this morning. These really need to be sorted by term to be useful. If the course names do not include some kind of term identifier, then the names all look the same for us. 

If your find it helpful, this is what I'm sharing to teachers right now as a workaround:

  1. Open the course you are sharing to in another tab
  2. Copy the course ID from that course’s url. The course ID is the 6-digit number that follows courses/ in the url.
  3. Return to the course you are copying from, proceed to copy your item like normal. Instead of selecting from the drop down, paste the copied course ID in the select a course box. Click on the course name when it populates.

Thanks @audra_agnelly. I am working on renaming all of our 2020-2021 courses now. 

The Copy To update is terrible. When we use the same naming convention from year to year in our Course Master, teachers now have many courses with the same name to select from. Not a user friendly change and I agree with those above - why would teachers want to Copy To a course that they are no longer using?

The Copy to is crazy.   We have several years of courses.  Trying to get the word out to use the course number but really hard to do that with 5000 teachers.   This was a big miss.  If someone wanted this, make it a feature option that the vast majority of us can turn off.

Agreed.  It's driving my teachers crazy as well.  Suggestion is to list the courses by Term.

I dunno, I created a little Python program using the API to rename all the courses from the previous term and add a "Fall 2020 - " before the name........

I agree with everyone the change to allow direct share to include and modify concluded courses is somewhat baffling to me.  Concluded courses are pretty much read-only even for our faculty, so why would we want to allow direct share to modify those courses?  We also have 8 years worth of courses on Canvas, and even though we do have the term included in the title, the list is now incredibly long for most faculty, when realistically they're only going to want to see current or future courses.  I'd be curious to know any use cases for sharing something to a concluded course, as someone must have asked for this change originally...


And for those who are not fluent in a scripting language...

  1. Download a Provisioning Report for the courses.csv
  2. Change the name of the course (prepend the term to the name of all the old courses) with your favorite spreadsheet.
  3. Upload the file using Sis Imports.

Disclaimer: try this in BETA first.

Should we have to do it: NO. However, it is a simple temporary fix in case this issue is not addressed..

Just trying to help 🙂

Hey @ericdano , would you be willing to share your script? 🙂 


Hi, all,

Our engineers are making an adjustment for the Copy To menu to help with term visibility and ordering, which will be available ASAP. We'll make an update in our next deploy notes when it's available: Canvas Deploy Notes (2021-02-03)