Getting Started with the Semester

7 Adding links, images, and video using the rich content editor tools

Your Module pages, Assignment instructions, and Discussion posts don’t have to be plain text. You can add links, files, images, and videos to any or all of them. This eliminates the need to add additional documents and videos as separate module items, or attachments, which are easily overlooked by students.

Links (internal and external)

To add links, either to something already in Canvas or to external websites, you’ll use the Links tool in the menubar of the rich content editor. Clicking directly on the Links icon will default to adding an external link. Click the dropdown arrow next to the Links icon to add links to places and files in your course.

To insert a link to a page, assignment, quiz, discussion, module, etc. in Canvas

  1. place your cursor where you would like the link to be,
  2. click the dropdown arrow to the right of the Links icon and choose Course Links,
  3. click the dropdown arrow next to the type of item you’re trying to link, and
  4. click on the name of the item.

To insert a link to a file

Please take the time to make sure your file links are in plain English. This is important for accessibility reasons, and to avoid student confusion as to what the file really is. For example, see the difference between the following two file links to the same document. Which one is easier to recognize for what it is?

To create a link to a file that is already in the Canvas Files tool,

  1. type your meaningful link text and highlight it,
  2. click the dropdown arrow to the right of the Links icon,
  3. choose Course Links,
  4. click the dropdown arrow next to “Links” at the top of the list and choose Files,
  5. find your file by either searching on the file name, or browsing the folders in Course Files, and
  6. click on the name of the file.

To create a link to a file that you need to upload,

  1. click the Documents icon, or click the dropdown next to the Documents icon, and choose Upload Document,
  2. drag and drop the document file onto the “Upload File” space, or click the “Upload File” space to browse for the file on your device, and click “Submit,”
  3. click on the file name link that appears in your page and choose “Link Options,” and
  4. change the Text field to provide a meaningful name for the file.

To insert a link to an external website

Place your cursor where you would like the link to be, then

  1. click the Links icon,
  2. type the name of the website in the Text field,
  3. paste the URL of the website in the Link field, and
  4. click Done.

Images

To insert an image, you will use the Images tool on the rich text editor. Clicking on the Images icon will default to uploading a new image. If you click the dropdown arrow, you can choose an image that is already in the Files tool in your course, or an image in your personal Canvas files.

To upload an image, drag and drop the image onto the “Upload Image” space, or click the “Upload Image” space to browse for the file on your device. To choose an image already in the Files tool, click “Course Images” and choose the image from a visual list of available images. “User Images” will allow you to select from any images in your personal Canvas files.

Free images

If you are uploading images that you did not create, please see the Fair Use Checklist (pdf). Images for sale on stock photo sites are under copyright and not available for free use. If you suspect that the image you have is a stock photo, you can check by uploading your image to TinEye Reverse Image Search, which will usually be able to trace the image to its original source.

Adobe Stock

As a member of the Indiana University community, you have free access to the Adobe Stock library to use in your courses. To browse the library, go to Adobe at IU and log in with your IU user ID followed by @iu.edu and choose “work or school account.” This will prompt you to log in with IU Login and Duo, if you are not already logged in. You can then click the link to Adobe Stock and begin browsing.

Other Sources

You can also find images that you can freely use, with or without attribution, at the following sources:

      • Pixabay (no attribution needed)
      • Pexels (no attribution needed)
      • morgueFile (no attribution needed)
      • Find Icons (no attribution needed)
      • EveryStockPhoto (attribution normally required)
      • Compfight (Flickr search tool, make sure you click Creative Commons on the left and beware of redirects to ShutterStock, attribution required)
      • Wikimedia Commons (attribution normally required)

Floating Images on a Page

Sometimes, when you add an image to a page, you will want it to float to the right or left side of the page and allow text to sit around it (like the images above). To float an image left, click on the image and then click on the “align left” button on the rich content editor toolbar. To float an image right, click on the image, then click on the dropdown arrow next to the “align left” button on the rich content editor toolbar, and click the “align right” button. When you do this, you may notice that your text wraps very closely around the image and becomes hard to read. To put some white space around your image you can edit the image in PowerPoint to add a white border. The video below walks you through that process.

Video

You can add video directly into a page from either Kaltura or YouTube.

Kaltura

To embed a video you already have in Kaltura:

    1. Click the Embed Kaltura Video button ( ) in the text editor toolbar.
    2. Find your video on your video list.
    3. Click the blue “Select” button to the right of the video to embed at a medium size or click the drop-down arrow to choose large. Do not choose the small option, as it disables some player controls.

Make sure you have checked the captions on any videos you have made before adding them to your page.

YouTube

To embed video from YouTube, you can paste the URL of the video page into your Canvas page where you would like the video to be. NOTE: you need to add a space, or press the Enter key after pasting the URL, so that Canvas activates the link. Here is what a video embedded that way would look like when you add it. (Note that this is an image only. The link is not clickable.)

white rectangle with YouTube logo and link URL

It will look like this once you save your page. (Note that this is an image only. The link is not clickable.)

Very mall video player with YouTube link URL above it

If you add a video directly from YouTube, please edit the URL to be the name of the video, or place the name of the video above it.

If you would like the video to be larger and match your Kaltura videos, you can add a YouTube video through Kaltura. To do this:

    1. Click the Embed Kaltura Video button ( ) in the text editor toolbar.
    2. Click “Add New” and select “YouTube.”
    3. Paste the YouTube link into the box provided and click “Preview.”
    4. Once the video loads, scroll down and click “Save.”
    5. Once it saves, you will see a link to go “Back to Browse and Embed.” Click that link and you’ll see your new video at the top of your video list.
    6. Click the blue “Select” button to the right of the video to embed at a medium size, or click the drop-down arrow to choose large. Do not use the small option, as that disables some player controls.

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

A Canvas Semester Checklist by Trustees of Indiana University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.