Static Toolbar for New Rich Content Editor


Because all of the important features for linking and adding documents have been moved from the sidebar in Canvas to the top of the Rich Content Editor, it would beneficial (and user-friendly) to have the toolbar remain static at the top of the screen when scrolling through the Rich Content Editor. As it is now, I scroll down to an area and want to add a link or attachment, but I have to scroll back up to reach these tools on the toolbar, which means I have to hope my cursor is still in the correct spot. Having the toolbar remain at the top of the Rich Content Editor, no matter where I scroll, would improve efficiency and ease of use.

Melissa Rasmussen

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For more information, please read through the Canvas Deploy Notes (2020-07-15) 

Community Champion

This is going to be a huge issue. I have a case ( 05148564) in about this issue. The case was marked solved today because support stated it is working as designed. I am sorry but this is NOT working for many of us.  Many people have already noted this issue in the new rich content editor release notes. Please fix this before we all have to use the new editor!

Community Contributor

Agreed -- I don't understand why the new RCE text area increases in size instead of creating a scroll bar within the text area. I also view this as a bug and it shouldn't be considered FAD -- functioning as designed.

Community Participant

I agree with snugent‌ and jwadec‌, This is a huge issue and has seen me going back and forth between the old and new RCE just because scrolling up the page every time I need to add a link in a large is a pain and a waste of time.

It *feels* like the window is meant to be expandable, so I can't believe that this is actually considered FAD.

Community Participant

Agreed, this is very poor user experience. If not addressed now, the community will definitely voice their displeasure when this new RCE is forced and Canvas will be scrambling again as usual. If this isn't fixed by the time it's forced upon us, I'm going to again have to resort to one of my seeming 100s of Tampermonkey scripts to fix the underwhelming UI/UX of Canvas. The question that I always wonder about Canvas Instructure is "Are the people developing this product actually using and testing it?" Maybe the UI/UX designers should spend a day or two in our shoes and try to design a product while scrolling up and down a page constantly, over and over again. Talk about inefficient. Canvas, please take it from your actual users and not some generic testing plan that's

This whole voting system and listening to the community is broken. I'd love to see the data, but I can't imagine that more than 1% of the canvas users actually see these ideas, does any kind of upvoting, or voices their concerns on community pages; yet they (Canvas) require an absurd amount of upvotes in order to actually consider an idea. This model essentially allows Canvas to present a facade that they are listening to user ideas and concerns; when in reality, they have full control in directing all development.

I've given up on spending time trying to advocate and upvote ideas; they're never seen. I go straight to the developers on github. This is where our voices are actually heard. I have had numerous successes with the developers on github if the problem is worded appropriately and has the appropriate argument.  

Perhaps this needs to be addressed from an accessibility standpoint since Canvas likes to tout how accessible they are. I promise you that this kind of user experience in the RCE is not accessible by any stretch of the imagination. Find the appropriate WAI-ARIA offense and this will gain much more traction. Two sites that might help: Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) Overview | Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) | W3C  and WAI-ARIA Overview | Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) | W3C  

Community Member

Not having a scroll bar to keep the tools needed available while typing requires scrolling up and down the page to add anything other than text.  When creating a list of internet resources on a page, one must create several links, for each, the link title would be typed and highlighted, then scroll up to the top of the page to create the link, then back down to add the next item.  Keeping the toolbar at the top of the page by allowing scrolling of text would reduce the wasted time when using any tool on any extended page/text field.  Please correct this oversight.

New Member

"Working as designed".  Ha!  That one is getting old. 

The new RCE isn't very functional.  Period.  Faculty get used to how you do something and they don't like change like this.  We will be the ones who hear it.  I can't imagine that the whole of Instructure isn't reeling with all of this talk of selling to Coma Bravo, but I hope there are still a few that care about their users experience. 

New Member

Ultimately the problem that I have with the editor is that some of the functionality of the OLD editor was lost with this new one.  To be more specific, I used to be able to create a link in a Page, then upload a file to my choice of folder to quickly give student's access to just-in-time material.  Now, in order to maintain my folder organization, I must first upload the file and then separately create the link in a Page.  As a result, it creates more work for me as faculty to keep my student's just-in-time resources updated and my course organized for easy reference.

Community Participant

You're right, Kissler; the new system--which just got dropped on us randomly in the middle of the freakin' semester with no way to return to the old one!--has different/missing functionality, and this is not cool at all.  I've wasted so much time trying to figure out what all the icons mean and whether or not I can still do what I need to do.  We instructors need the mandatory interfaces we have to deal with to be easy to use and intuitive, and we should have the option to turn certain features on or off according to our individual course needs.

Community Participant

Could you request to have the ability to turn the new RCE on and off within the course at the Instructor's discretion? That's what they did on my campus and I am very thank ful for it.

Good luck, I feel your pain!

Community Contributor

Not only the top toolbar has to be static, the bottom toolbar needs to be static too.

Some of us work directly with the HTML code. We do not wish to scroll all the way down to switch to code view.

Community Participant

Ugh, this is so true! I use HTML nearly exclusively and to have the HTML view (along with the accessibility tools) at the bottom of the editing box is a baffling UI/UX choice. I have zero faith that Canvas will fix any of these gripes so I'm working on some Tampermonkey scripts to fix some of these annoyances. I'm close to having one that adds an additional HTML button to the toolbar by the rest of the tools, it still needs a little more testing though. After I get the additional HTML button working, I'll see if I can coax the toolbar into being static as well. 

Community Participant

I agree with everyone on this, that this is a not very user friendly. I hope they look at this, as of now, I am not turning it on when it come available. 

Community Contributor

 @dslusser ‌  @danielcktan ‌ I've been toying around with the new editor before our institution goes live, and share your outlooks. Not sure if you've also come across this, but wondered if you had: Is there an easy way to add alternative text to links either like the old editor had, or in a yet-to-be-found way like the new image options?

There are a host of workarounds, but this change seems out of sync with current WCAG standards - and especially for a modern web editor whose sole purpose is supporting teaching and learning. (Digging around in the HTML editor is rough enough, and I'd rather not copy code out into a editor in order to easily suss things out.)

<a title= href="http://site.url">link</a>
Community Contributor

HI  @cgal143 ‌,

I agree with you. HTML Title Attribute is important to links as Alternate Text is to images. 

Like you, our team members have to copy the codes out to a HTML editor to add additional HTML attributes.

Another thing I find missing is the ability to add CSS Class to images and links.

Our institution applies responsive layout to our course pages. CSS class allows us to create responsive images that works with the responsive grid system that we implement.

Having the UI to add CSS Class will help us.

Community Contributor

Is there a process to report bugs on the RCE?

We noticed that when we are editing a quiz question, the editable mode of the question will close when we try to insert images from the editor's right panel.All changes were lost.

We end up having to add the image through the code view.

Community Contributor

Came across this yesterday, from the Canvas Release: New Rich Content Editor (2020-01-18)

"Hi, all,

Our product manager is working on an update regarding the New RCE, and to help her compile all her thoughts, I am closing this document to comments. If you're finding contrary behavior in the New RCE, please submit the information to Canvas Support (or per your institution's support policy) so that we can be made aware and correct those issues.

Thanks so much!


erinhallmark‌, can you confirm if this is still the preferred method to submit feedback?

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hi, Christohper,

Yes, we prefer bug reports to go through Canvas support (or your institution's support policy) because they're the best to triage the behavior and escalate it if needed.



New Member

Personally, I'd like to see the HTML toggle on the top toolbar, instead of at the bottom. 

Community Contributor

This afternoon, the RCE enhancements were turned on as an enforced feature in FFT, which is causing me more trouble without a static toolbar (see RCE Enhancements below).

344093_Screen Shot 2020-04-06 at 6.12.50 PM.png

Community Participant

The issue is not only the non-sticky toolbar, but the height increase itself. When I am editing the page and do any action (write, delete, copy or any action using both keyboard shortcuts or the toolbar), the height increase also takes the view to the top of the page again, making me lose the spot where I wanted to edit and forcing me to scroll all the way down. I have to go back to the old editor until this is fixed.

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