Using the Rich Content Editor

The Rich Content Editor (RCE) is the default text box space in most items for a user to write and create content. The RCE is designed and laid out similar to other popular word processor toolbars, while still supporting and facilitating some unique Canvas specific functions.

General Rich Content Editor Features

  1. Familiar look and feel - The Rich Content Editor has menus (Edit / View / Insert / Format / Tools / Table) and icons that closely resembles the structure found in most common word processing programs.
  2. Tool consolidation - The Rich Content Editor lumps together similar features to declutter the toolbar.
  3. Easy linking to course content - The Rich Content Editor utilizes dedicated menus and toolbar icons to quickly link course files, images, and documents anywhere you are working.
    1. File Sorting / Filtering - Ability to sort and search for files when adding file links. When adding a link to a file stored in your course site's Files area, you can use search and filtering (by date added or alphabetically by file name) to find the files you need.
    2. Item Publish Status - When selecting items to link, you can easily see if the item (file, page, assignment, etc.) you are linking to will be visible to your students.
  4. Auto-Save - Save unsubmitted content in your browser's cache for up to one day. This means that if you are editing content and navigate away from the page before saving, as long as you revisit / edit that same page within one day, you will be able to preview and retrieve the auto-saved content that you were working on.
  5. Keyboard Shortcuts - Users have access to keyboard shortcuts for creating and editing content.

Rich Content Editor Support

Click on a topic below to learn more about using the Rich Content Editor.

Uploading a New File while Editing Content

Files that you upload through the Rich Content Editor will be stored in your course site's "Files" area under an auto-generated folder called "Uploaded Media." Check out the section on "Finding the Files Uploaded to Canvas via the Rich Content Editor" for details.

  1. Place your cursor in the text box where you want your link or, if desired, highlight the words you want to be a clickable link.
  2. To get to the upload screen, open the upload files area by either:
    1. Clicking on the "Insert" menu [1], selecting "Document" [2] and then "Upload Document" [3].
      OR
    2. Clicking on the arrow to the right of the Document Tool icon [4] in the toolbar and select "Upload Document" [5].
  1. The "Upload File" pop-up will appear. Drag and drop your file onto the Upload File area [6] or you can click on the Upload File area [6] and browse your computer from the window that opens to find the file.

You can only upload one file at a time through the Upload File popup.

  1. Once the file is selected it will display on the screen and you can either click the Delete icon [7] to remove it, or you can click the "Submit" button [8] to complete the upload and insert the link into the text box.
  2. When you are returned main page, click "Save" or "Save and Publish" to finalize your changes.
Inserting / Embedding an Image Stored in Your Course Site's "Files" Area
  1. Place your cursor in the text box where you want your image to appear.
  2. To get to the list of image files, open the course images (from Files) list by either:
    1. Clicking on the "Insert" menu [1], selecting "Image" [2] and then "Course Images" [3].
      OR
    2. Clicking on arrow to the right of the Image Tool icon [4] in the toolbar and select "Course Images" [5].
  1. A slider drawer will appear on the right side of the screen displaying the images stored in your course site’s "Files" area. Click on the image file [6] you want to embed.
  2. Once you have clicked on the appropriate image file, the image will be embedded in the text box.
  3. When you are returned main page, click "Save" or "Save and Publish" to finalize your changes.

You can use the filter options drop down menus [7] to search for files or filter your files by Type, Date Added or Alphabetical order. 

Uploading / Embedding a New Image (from Your Computer, from Unsplash Free Images, or via URL) while Editing Content

Image files that you upload from your computer through the Rich Content Editor will be stored in your course site's "Files" area under an auto-generated folder called "Uploaded Media." Check out the section on "Finding the Files Uploaded to Canvas via the Rich Content Editor" for details.

  1. Place your cursor in the text box where you want your image to be embedded.
  2. To get to the upload screen, open the upload files area by either:
    1. Clicking on the "Insert" menu [1], selecting "Image" [2] and then "Upload Image" [3].
      OR
    2. Clicking on the arrow to the right of the Image Tool icon [4] in the toolbar and select "Upload Image" [5].
  1. The "Upload Image" popup will appear. You can upload an image in one of three ways:
Option 1: Upload a File from Your Computer
  1. Select the "Computer" tab [6].
  2. Drag and drop your image onto the Upload Image area [7] or you can click on the Upload File area [6] and browse your computer to find the file.

You can only upload one file at a time through the Upload Image popup.

Option 3: Enter the URL for an Image
  1. Select the URL tab [10].
  2. In the "File URL" box [11], paste the URL of the image you want to use.
  1. Once you have selected your image, you will now need to enter some additional information for your image.
    1. In the "Alt Text" box [12] provide some alternative text for your image. This is usually a textual description of what is depicted in your image which will be read to students using screen reading software.
    2. In the Display Options settings [14], select whether you want the image you are inserting should appear embedded on the screen or if you just want a text link that users will click on to open the image in a new tab.

If your image is not informational and is used for aesthetic purposes, select the checkbox for Decorative Image [13]. and you will not need to enter alternative text for the image.

  1. When you are done, click the "Submit" button [15] to complete the upload and insert the image.
  2. When you are returned main page, click "Save" or "Save and Publish" to finalize your changes.
Embedding a Video from Your Media Library

For Course Welcome Videos that you want visible to students via Yale Course Search, please reference the next section on "Inserting an HTML embed code."

  1. Place your cursor in the text box where you want your video to be embedded.
  2. To get to the Media Library video list you can either:
    1. Click on the "Tools" menu [1], select "Apps" [2] and then "Media Library" [3].
      OR
    2. Click on the Media Library icon [5] in the toolbar.

If you have not used Media Library recently, you may need to first click "View All" [4] and then find Media Library.

  1. The Media Library pop-up will appear. Select the video file [6] you want to embed.

You can also use the "Upload" or "Record" tabs [7] to add or create a new video.

  1. Once you have selected the video, click the "Insert" button [8] and your video will be embedded into the text box.
  2. When you are returned main page, click "Save" or "Save and Publish" to finalize your changes.
Recording a New Video from the Rich Content Editor

When you are creating / editing content using the Rich Content Editor, you can easily record an audio / video file right from the editor. To do this, you will need to use the Media Library tool.

  1. From the editor toolbar, click on the Media Library button [1].
  1. In the pop-up, select the "Record" tab [2].
  2. By default, the recording should be uploaded to the course site you are currently creating content in. If desired, you can use the Media Library folder drop down menu [3] to select a different folder.
  3. In the "Name your recording" box [4], enter in a title for your recording.
  4. Next, select the appropriate recording tool that you would like to use.
    1. To record your video from the browser (without needing to install an application on your computer), you can use the Panopto Capture tool by clicking on the "Launch Capture" button [5].
  1. A new tab will open in your browser with the Panopto Capture tool.  Use the tool to record your audio / video / screen recording.

Check out the vendor help article on How to Create a Video Using Panopto Capture

Check out an overview of Panopto Capture Interface.

  1. Once you are done recording your video, you will be returned to the Media Library pop-up. At the bottom of the pop-up box, click the "Insert" button [6] to embed the video into the rich content editor.

Depending on the size of your recording, it may take several minutes for the recording to process and upload completely into Media Library.

  1. When you are done editing your content, make sure that you click "Save" or "Save & Publish" [7] on your Canvas content.
Inserting an HTML Embed Code

For Course Welcome Videos, you will want to get your video file’s Media Library embed code first and then follow the instructions below to insert the embed code into the Rich Content Editor. Reference our "Course Welcome Videos" resource for more information on acquiring a video's embed code.

  1. Place your cursor in the text box where you want to insert your embed code.
  2. To get to the Embed Code tool you can either:
    1. Click on the "Insert" menu [1] and select "Embed" [2].
      OR
    2. Click on the Embed icon [3] in the toolbar.

If your browser window is too narrow, you may need to click on the more tools (3-dot) icon [A] first and then click on the Embed icon [B].

  1. The Embed pop-up will appear. Paste the code in the "Embed Code" box [4] provided and then click "Submit" [5].
  2. Once you have submitted, the embedded content should appear in the text box.
  3. When you are returned main page, click "Save" or "Save and Publish" to finalize your changes.
Switching Between the HTML View and the Rich Content Editor View
  1. When you are looking at the Rich Content editor you can either:
    1. Click on the "View" menu [1] and select "</> Raw HTML Editor" [2].
      OR
    2. Click on the "</>" icon [3] in the toolbar located just below the text box.
  1. To return from the HTML view, click on the "</>" icon [4] in the toolbar located just below the text box.
Finding the Files Uploaded to Canvas via the Rich Content Editor

When uploading files through the Rich Content Editor, your files will be uploaded to the "Files" area in your course to an automatically generated folder called "Uploaded Media."

After you have uploaded your first file through the New Rich Content Editor, go to the "Files" area [1] and you will see a new folder for "Uploaded Media" [2].

Notice that the folder has publish permissions set to "Only available to students with link" (eye with slash indicator) [3], which means that students who navigate directly to the Files area will not see the folder or its contents, but links to these files that instructors add via the Rich Content Editor will allow students to view the files.

The "Uploaded Media" folder will only appear in the Files area after you have uploaded your first file through the New Rich Content Editor.  

Additional Resources

To learn more about the Rich Content Editor:

If you have any questions, please reach out to canvas@yale.edu.