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Canvas Best Practices

A guide for U-M librarians

Navigation Bar

The Navigation Bar is on the left-hand side of all Canvas course pages. For creators who are logged into Canvas, all options in the Navigation Bar are always visible.

But creators can choose to "hide" certain sections of the Navigation Bar for students, to make the interface less distracting. In the example below only Home, Badges, and Settings are visible to students. All the other options are invisible, as designated by the crossed-out eyeball.


To adjust the Navigation Bar visibility settings:

  1. Click on Settings at the bottom of the Navigation Bar
  2. Select on Navigation from the options at the top of the page


There are two ways to move things between Visible and Hidden in the Navigation Bar.

  1. Use the hamburger menu (three vertical dots) next to the tool you want to move and either choose "Disable" or "Move." The Disable option will move the tool to the hidden list at the bottom of the page. The Move option will open up a drop-down menu that allows more specific placing of the tool above or below existing tools.
  2. Use your cursor to drag and drop tools between the Visible and Hidden sections of the page. Drag and drop can also be used to re-order elements, if you want them in a particular order for your users.

Don't forget! Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click Save to preserve the changes you made.



The Canvas Dashboard shows all courses you created and the courses you are enrolled in or have been invited to. The default view in Canvas has colored overlays over each course.


This setting can be removed using the hamburger menu (three vertical dots) on the upper right side of the page. You will see Color Overlay has a check mark next to it. Click to remove the check mark and color overlay.


Now the images associated with each Canvas course will be clear.