Canvas @ YaleInstructor Guides Files ManagementUsing the Content Selector Panel to Attach Files

Using the Content Selector Panel to Attach Files

You can insert links to files in your course's Files area by using the Content Selector Panel in the Rich Content Editor. The Rich Content Editor and Content Selector Panel are available in Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Pages, Quizzes, and Syllabus.

Attach a File

The rich content editor is the text entry box that allows you to edit and format your text for announcements, assignments, discussions, pages, quizzes, and syllabus. Files can be added to these areas using the content selector panel

  1. To attach files using using the content selector panel, open one of the Canvas features which support using the rich content editor and content selector panel.


  1. Create your content in the rich content editor. Place your cursor in the editor where you want the link to your file to appear.
Place your cursor in the editor where you want the link to your file to appear.
  1. The content selector panel is to the right of your editor (if you do not see the panel to the right, you may need to scroll to the bottom of the page). In this panel, select the Files tab.
  2. To link an existing file, click on the file from the list available.
  3. To upload a new file, click the Upload a new file link and then use the Choose File button to browse your computer to select the file.
  4. Optional:  From the Folder drop down menu, you can select to upload this file to a specific folder in your Files area.  (NOTE:  All Spring 2020 courses have a Hidden Files folder - which is not visible to students through the Files area of your course.  Use the Hidden Files folder to store sensitive files that you want students to be able to access only through the link you are adding here.)
  5. Click the Upload button to complete the upload.
Select the "Files" tab, and select a file from the existing list or upload a new one.

6. The link to the file will appear where your cursor was placed in step 2.

The link to the file will appear where your cursor was placed in step 2.
OPTIONAL:  Auto-open inline view of file

6a.  If you would like your file to appear on screen without the student needing to download it, highlight the link to your file [A] and then click the Link to URL [B] button in the editor tool bar.

Highlight Link and click Link to URL

6b. In the pop-up, select the check box for Auto-open the inline preview for this link [C].

6c. Click the Update Link button [D].

Select auto-open inline then click Update Link

NOTE:  When a file is set to auto-open inline, it will look like this:

Inline View Example

7. Click the Save or Update button at the bottom to save your changes.

View Attached File

Once the link has been attached and saved, you can click on the file link to download it. However, clicking on the down arrow next to the file provides a few more options for viewing the file

  1. Preview will open and display the file in a box within the browser without needing to download the file.
  2. Download will download the file the same way if you clicked on the file link.
  3. Alternative formats will provide options for alternative, accessible formats. For more information on alternative formats, please refer to our "Alternative Formats of Content in Canvas" article.
Preview, Download, or see Alternative formats of a file

For more help, please contact