The old Rich Content Editor (RCE) will be replaced at the end of fall term 2020 with a new RCE in Canvas. This change will significantly impact the look and feel of the RCE, but will have the same functionality as the old RCE, plus the added features listed below. The new RCE has a menu bar with options such as Edit, View, Insert, and a toolbar with button options for the most commonly used functions. Additionally, most buttons on the toolbar have a primary action button, indicated by an icon, and an options button, indicated by the down arrow located immediately to the right of the icon.

Check out the overview video for the new RCE or review some tutorials for the new RCE. Please note that the native Canvas Embed Media tools described in the video and Canvas tutorials have been disabled in the new RCE at Oregon State. Faculty should continue using the Kaltura Embed Media (small green filmstrip) button to embed media. See below for more information on how to embed Kaltura media in Canvas.


  • The RCE includes a condensed, more intuitive look with a menu bar and a toolbar.
  • Toolbar menus are grouped by common icons and interactions.
  • The content sidebar only displays when linking to other parts of Canvas, accessing Canvas files, or accessing uploaded images.
  • Image functionality now includes drag and drop, Unsplash search, and content auto-scaling; click an image to access image options.
  • When content in a browser window is long enough to require a scroll bar, the RCE menu bar is fixed at the top of the browser window. Users can scroll the length of the browser page and manage content in the RCE without having to scroll back up the page to access the menu.
  • The RCE expands to the full width of the browser and can also be expanded into full screen mode. Users can toggle Full Screen mode through the View option in the menu bar.
  • The Keyboard shortcut, Accessibility Checker, and HTML Editor icons have moved to the bottom of the editor next to the word count. Additionally, the RCE window can be resized using the Move handle below the window, and the window can be expanded to full screen.

Highlighted Changes

Adding links, files and images to content

The most significant change between the old and the new RCE is how users add links, files, and images to content. Previously, faculty would use a side bar with distinct tabs for internal course links, files and images. These actions have been re-located as buttons on the toolbar in the new RCE. These buttons will open a content sidebar menu for selecting course content. Alternatively, faculty can click the Insert button in the menu bar located immediately above the toolbar in the new RCE.

Please note that the three tabs from the old Content Selector sidebar (Links, Files, and Images tabs) are now buttons directly on the new toolbar (Links, Images, and Documents). Each of these buttons has an arrow located immediately to the right of the icon which provides access to the full functionality of the button. Faculty should use the arrow immediately to the right of the new Documents button when adding a link to a document located in their course Files. Similarly, faculty should use the arrow immediately to the right of the new Links button when adding a link to another course location e.g., a link to a Module item.

Accessing the toolbar on a small screen

As the screen size shrinks, the new RCE toolbar will be truncated to fit the screen. Users will need to click the 'More...' (vertical ellipsis) button at the end of the toolbar to access hidden tools. Alternatively, faculty can access tools through the menu bar located above the toolbar.

Accessing Image and Link Options

Editing/updating links, adding alternative text, or resizing image options are now available by clicking on the link or image to be modified. When a user clicks on a link or image while editing Canvas content, an Image Options or Links Options menu will appear directly above or below the selected link or image.

Embedding Kaltura Media with the new RCE

The Kaltura 'Embed Media' button will still be visible on the toolbar in the new RCE and will retain the familiar small, green filmstrip icon. All other integrations that normally appear in the RCE will be accessed by clicking the 'Plugin' button located to the right of the 'Embed Media' button on the toolbar.

for Folks who use Folders in Canvas files

Files uploaded through the new RCE cannot be placed within a specific folder within course files. Folks who organize their Canvas files with folders will need to either upload their files in advance directly to Files, or organize their files after uploading them through the new RCE interface. Additionally, when selecting previously uploaded files through the new RCE, the folder structures will not be visible in the new RCE interface.

Additional Resources