Canvas - Cidi Labs Design Tools

Last Updated: 08/09/2019

What is Cidi Labs? 

Cidi Labs Design Tools is a suite of tools available within Canvas. It expands design options in Canvas to create more engaging and aesthetically pleasing online course environments in the Canvas LMS.

Cidi Labs tools include:

  • Content Editor Toolbox: Customize colors, layout, and other design elements on course pages, including course homepage.
  • Multi-Tool: Customize modules, build assignment templates, and bulk edit due dates
  • Upload/Embed Image tool: Quick image editing and resizing. This tool is also available to students.

Watch this video to see an overview of each tool

OIT made this tool available campus-wide based on positive feedback and recommendations from faculty participants in the Cidi Labs Design Tools pilot during Fall 2018.

Find Cidi Design Tools in Canvas

Cidi Labs Design Tools are available to all Canvas users who have editing access in a course (e.g. instructors, TAs, and course designers).

Content Editor Toolbox

Launch the Content Editor Toolbox using keyboard shortcut alt+shift+d for Windows or option+shift+d for Macs. To automatically launch Content Editor tools after first activation, select the gear icon at the top of the Cidi Labs toolbar, then change the top setting to Automatically launch Design Tools.

select the gear icon at the top of the Cidi Labs toolbar, then change the top setting to “Automatically launch Design Tools.”


Enable Multi-Tool from the Navigation tab in your course Settings. Scroll to the disabled items area, find Multi-Tool, and drag it to the enabled menu items at the top of the page. Reorder the menu as you'd like it to appear, then save changes.

Upload/Embed Image Tool

The Upload/Embed Image tool is located in the Canvas Rich Content Editor toolbar under More External Tools (blue downward arrow icon). Please Note: The Upload/Embed Image tool is also available to students anywhere they have access to the Rich Content Editor.

select the gear icon at the top of the Cidi Labs toolbar, then change the top setting to “Automatically launch Design Tools.”

How can you use Cidi Labs Content Editor tools?

Faculty participants in the Design Tools pilot used the Content Editor Toolbox to style various course pages in Canvas.

Lydia Lawhon, Masters of the Environment program

Nicole Jobin, History

Kevin Schaub, LEEDS School of Business

Accessibility features

Cidi Labs offers several accessibility features to help you create universally-designed courses, including:

  • Heading structure checker
  • Image/alt text checker
  • Link checker
  • Color contrast checker

The Cidi Labs and Accessibility guide provides more information on how each tool works.

Support Resources

Content Editor Toolbox “Get Help” panel

Get help menu screenshotFrom the Get Help panel in the Content Editor Toolbox, you can access several resources created by Cidi Labs. The Cidi Labs User Guide Canvas Course uses modules and content pages to guide you through each Design Tools feature. From the Get Help panel, you can also send your questions and feature requests directly to Cidi Labs and see recent release notes.

Homepage Best Practices guide

The Course Homepage Design Considerations guide contains tips to help you design welcoming, accessible, and informational home pages.

LTC Consultations and Trainings

Learning Technology Consultants in OIT are available to offer individual and group instruction on using Cidi Labs Design Tools.