Canvas: How to Locate Help Documentation

Despite the fact that Canvas is adding features every 3 weeks, it does a pretty good job with keeping the help documentation up-to-date. It’s also very easy to locate and search through !

How to Locate Help Documentation for Canvas:

1. From within Canvas, locate the “Help” button in the upper right hand corner of the global navigation (this can be found on any page within Canvas).

Canvas 12. A pop-up box will appear in the middle of the screen. Choose to “Search the Canvas Guides.”

Canvas 23. Once selected, you will be taken to the Canvas website that houses all of the guides (

Canvas 34. Now, you can search the Canvas Guides in two ways.

  • First, you could type into the “search” button exactly what you are looking for. This may seem like the easiest method, but it may not work as seamlessly if you do not use the proper vocabulary. For example, if you search for “Post a News Item” (A D2L terminology) V. “Post an Announcement” (Canvas terminology). The “News Item.” search would yield no results.
  • Second, you could use manually search through the guides. This may seem time consuming, but it is actually fairly simple (see below).

Using the search button to search the Canvas Guides.

1. Once in the Canvas Guides, locate the “Search” bar in the middle of the screen. Type in what you are looking to accomplish (ex. “Make an announcement,” “Post to discussion board,” “Upload files,”….etc).

Canvas 42. Use the search results to locate what you want. A couple of notes:

  • Check the “last” updated. Make sure it’s relatively recent, as things change quickly in Canvas.
  • Make sure you are using the correct manual. The search bar searches ALL Canvas guides (Instructor, Student, Admin). The directions/screen shots will be different for “Instructor” and “Student.”
  • You can use the “Filter Search Results” (right hand column), to filter results based on what you are (instructor/student), and what you are looking for.

Canvas 53. When you find the guide that you want, simply click on the title.

Canvas 6How to Manually Search the Canvas Guides

1. From the Canvas Guides main page (, locate the list of guides (below the search bar), and select the one that most applies to you (ex. “Instructor Guide”), and click on it.

Canvas 72. You will be taken into that guide. You will notice all of the tools are listed in alphabetical order. Under each tool is a list of the documentation available. Locate which tool you need help with, and then search the available guides for what specific action. Once located, click on it, and you will be taken to the step-by-step guide for that action.

Canvas 8Canvas 6