• For Instructors - Customize the Left-hand Navigation Links in a Canvas Course

In a Canvas course, the left-hand navigation can be customized by an instructor. Additional links can be added for items such as an extra resources page, a useful website, or direct access to a critical assignment for the course.

The following example adds a customized link to the left-hand navigation to access a web site external to Canvas.


For the Canvas course an instructor is editing, look along the left-hand navigation options and click SETTINGS.



In the window that is displayed click on the option along the top tabs that is labeled APPS.



For this example customization, a utility called the REDIRECT TOOL needs to be used.  The REDIRECT TOOL adds a link for a resource.

The fastest way to find the REDIRECT TOOL amongst all available apps is to use the search box in the External Apps window. Enter the search term redirect where the search box indicates "Filter by name."


An icon shows up for the REDIRECT TOOL that looks like a curved blue arrow. Click the image.



A brief set of instructions appears, along with a blue button labeled + ADD APP. Click the button.

Enter parameter settings, including a name for your customized link (replacing the default terms "Redirect Tool") and the URL for the link.

If the new link goes to something created in the Canvas course itself (like an assignment or content page), don't check the option Force open in new tab.  

If the new link goes to an external website, make sure to checkmark Force open in new tab.

You also have the option to select in which instances the customized link appears (Course Navigation, Account Navigation, User Navigation).

When all parameters are entered, click the button labeled ADD APP.



Once the button ADD APP is clicked, wait a few seconds for Canvas to process your request.  You are then returned to the standard window for Canvas Settings.

From the top menu tabs, click the option NAVIGATION. A list of the various course navigation links appears, with the "enabled" items in the top set and the "disabled" or "hidden" items in the bottom set.

Your new customized link won't appear in the "enabled" items until you REFRESH the web page (Apple OS is COMMAND+R)(Windows OS is CONTROL+R)(or click your browser's refresh icon or button near the URL address box at the top).


To set the order of the navigation links, drag and drop your new customized link up or down in the "enabled" section of links (designated in this example as "Test Custom Link").



The last step is to click the blue button labeled SAVE at the bottom of the Navigation Options Page.

The new customized navigation link now appears in the left-hand navigation for the course.