How do I compose and send a message?

Canvas recently introduced a new page design called the New Canvas User Interface (UI). This lesson may include two images for specific steps to show the difference between the two designs. Unless otherwise indicated, the functionality and location of the components remain the same. The view available to you is determined by your institution.

The compose message icon creates a new window in the middle of your screen.You can send a message to one person, such as your instructor, or multiple people in your course.

Note: Currently you cannot message users in multiple courses.

Open Inbox

Open Inbox

In the Help Corner, click the Inbox link.

Open Inbox in New Canvas UI

Open Inbox in New Canvas UI

If you are using the New Canvas User Interface (UI), in Global Navigation, click the Inbox link.

Compose Message

Click the Compose icon to start a new message.

Filter Course

Filter Course

In the Courses drop-down menu, select the course where you want to send your message. You can filter your courses by current favorite courses [1], more courses [2], concluded courses [3], and groups [4].

Note: If you filter your Course list by Concluded Courses, you will only be able to compose messages to instructors.

Add Recipient

Add Recipient

Add your recipient in the To field. You can type the recipient's name in the To field [1], or you can use the Course Roster [2].

Type Name in the To Field

Type Name in the To Field

When you start typing an individual's name in the To field, Canvas will automatically populate matching names. If multiple names appear, use the arrow key to select the individual you want to message. Then press Enter. The individual's name will appear in the To field, highlighted in light blue.

If you accidentally select the wrong individual(s), press Delete (on a MAC keyboard) or Backspace (on a PC keyboard) to remove the name(s).

You can also hover over a recipient name and click the white x to delete it from the To field.

To send a message to multiple recipients, type additional names in the To field.

If you accidentally select the wrong individual(s), press Delete (on a MAC keyboard) or Backspace (on a PC keyboard) to remove the name(s).

You can also hover over a recipient name and click on the white x to delete it from the To field.

Note: If you have a long list of recipients, the To field will only show 5 lines before scrolling is enabled. If you select the Send individual messages checkbox, individual messages for all recipients will be created.

Use Course Roster

Use Course Roster

To select an individual from the course roster, click the Address Book icon [1] next to the To field. From the address book, locate the individual and select his or her name [2]. Names are arranged by last name.

To navigate back to the course roster, use the arrow icon [3].

To send a message to multiple recipients in the course roster, press the command key (Mac) or the control key (Windows) and click the name of each recipient you'd like to add to your message. Pressing the keyboard key will keep the roster window open.

Send Message

Send Message

In the subject line field [1], enter a subject line for your message.

If you are sending your message to multiple recipients, but you do not want each student to see who else was included in the message, click the Send individual messages checkbox [2].

In the message field [3], type your message. All content is sent in plain text. Note that if you include a URL in your message, the URL will automatically become a clickable link after you send the message.

If you want to include an attachment or media file, click the attachment or media file icons [4].

When you are finished, click the Send button [5].