Canvas: Auto-Open Inline Preview of Files


This article describes how to set your files to Auto Preview in the Rich Content Editor


Task: This article describes how to set your files to Auto Preview in the Rich Content Editor. 


  1. The Preview Mode allows your students to read a document without having to download and open it.  The "inline preview" mode allows people to scroll through the document, open it in full screen without downloading it.

    These instructions only work when your "page" is in Edit mode.   If your file is already uploaded in Canvas, skip Step 3.

  2. Open your Canvas course 
  3. Navigate to the location (e.g. Page, Assignment or Syllabus) where your file is to be located.
  4. In the Rich Content Editor (RCE) and upload your file.
  5. Highlight the entire file name and a tool tip should appear.  See image below.
  6. Click on the Link Options.  The Link Option side bar opens.  See image below.
  7. The default setting is "Preview inline" which allows students to open the file "inline" 
  8. Select the "Expand preview by Default", if you want to file to auto-open when the page is accessed.
  9. The "Preview in overlay" allows students to view the file in a pop-up window.
  10. Select Done to save changes.


What users can expect to happen after completing the steps in the how-to knowledge base article.

Further reading:

How do I embed documents from Canvas in the Rich Content Editor

Need additional help?

Please use this link to the Technology Help Desk to locate your local campus contact information.  Use the “Submit a Question” for your campus to enter an online support request.



Article ID: 844
Fri 7/19/19 5:39 PM
Tue 6/18/24 1:26 PM
Applicable Institution(s):
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)