Canvas@Illinois, What is DesignPLUS?

This article provides a quick introduction to the tools available with the DesignPLUS integration in Canvas and Canvas Catalog.


DesignPLUS is a suite of tools available to help instructors rapidly build and style course sites and content within Canvas. These tools are available to all instructors and teaching assistants using Canvas@Illinois ( or Canvas Catalog (

DesignPLUS is composed of 3 tools: the DesignPLUS Sidebar (Rich Content Editor tools), the Multi-Tool, and the Upload/Embed Images Tool. The "What Can DesignPLUS Do For You?" video below provides a brief overview of these tools.

Please note: This video features the Legacy DesignPLUS Sidebar. On July 23, 2024, we will default to the New DesignPLUS Sidebar (which provides the same functionality but has a different interface). If you are new to using DesignPLUS, we recommend starting with the new sidebar. To learn how to access the upgraded sidebar, see the following Knowledgebase article: Canvas@Illinois, Enable the New DesignPLUS Sidebar

DesignPLUS Sidebar

Using the DesignPLUS Sidebar, you can easily customize the content of pages, assignments, the course syllabus, discussion descriptions, and Classic Quiz descriptions in Canvas. The following list describes some of the things you can do to customize your content with the DesignPLUS Sidebar:

  • Style content with predefined themes
  • Insert boilerplate sections and content
  • Duplicate existing content pages
  • Style images, links, tables, and lists in the RCE
  • Check heading, image, and link accessibility
  • Adjust element colors, borders, margins, and padding
  • Add icons
  • Write objectives and other content supported by Bloom's Revised Taxonomy
  • Add accordions and tabbed content

To access the DesignPLUS Sidebar, please review the following Knowledgebase articles:


The Multi-Tool helps you set up a course shell quickly and efficiently. The Multi-Tool consists of 3 tools: (1) a template page creator, (2) a module builder, and (3) a due date modifier. The following list describes some of the things you can do with the Multi-Tool:

  • Quickly create a Homepage, publish it, and mark it as the Front Page
  • Create template assignments, discussions, pages, and quizzes to provide consistent structure
  • Create new modules or add to existing modules
  • Update assignment due dates, unlock dates, and lock dates - all from the same screen

To access the Multi-Tool, please review the following related Knowledgebase article: Canvas@Illinois, Enable and Access the Multi Tool

Upload/Embed Image Tool

The Upload/Embed Image Tool will help you easily and quickly upload and embed images for use in your course. This tool will also help you do the following:

  • Search for and access free, high quality images from Unsplash and Pexels
  • Edit images by cropping, flipping, or rotating the image
  • Edit the size of images based on appropriate predetermined ratios
  • Rename the file in your Course Files and add alt text

To access the Upload/Embed Image Tool, please review the following related Knowledgebase article: Canvas@Illinois, Enable and Access the Upload/Embed Image Tool

Keywordscanvas, designplus, cidi labs, design tools, multi-tool, upload image, embed image, open canvas, catalog   Doc ID121036
OwnerCanvas C.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2022-09-02 09:29:04Updated2024-07-05 10:06:30
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
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