Canvas Navigation and User Interface

Navigation and User Interface

You can’t rename items in the course navigation menu, but you can reorder and hide links. This link has more details: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-2555.

Items that appear in light gray on your course navigation menu are still clickable by you as an instructor. If an item is light gray it indicates that it is not currently visible for students. There are two reasons for this:

  • You have hidden the link in the navigation menu through the course settings.

  • There is no content in that particular tool. For example, announcements will remain gray until you create the first announcement for the class, at which point it will become visible for students.

To hide items in the Navigation menu that you are not using, first click on Settings, and then Navigation. You will see a list of the items in the Course Navigation menu. Click on the settings icon to the right of each item to choose to Move or Disable an item. You can also drag and drop menu items to reorder your course navigation menu. For more information on hiding navigation menu items, visit https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-2555.

To view a course as a student, navigate to Settings in the course menu. Then, click on Student View on the right-hand side of the page. This will allow you to view the course as a student user. For more information on viewing your course as a student in Canvas, visit https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-1849.

To add items to your course navigation menu, you can use an app called Redirect Tool. To use this app,

  1. Click Settings in your course navigation menu
  2. Click the Apps tab
  3. Search for Redirect Tool, then select Add App
  4. In the “Name” field, enter the name of the resource that you’d like to appear in your course navigation menu.
  5. Enter the URL of the website or page in the “URL Redirect” field.
  6. Check “Show in Course Navigation.”
  7. Click submit.
  8. Refresh your page. The new item should appear in your course menu.


A caveat: you should only use Redirect Tool to link to external web sources, not pages within your Canvas course. If there’s a resource that students need to access frequently, consider adding it to your course home page instead.

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