Upload Your Photo and Profile to Canvas

Last update by State College of Florida Professor Floyd Jay Winters 08/18/2015


The Canvas Learning Management Suite allows users to upload a personal photo to their profile. This can help online classes feel more like face-to-face classes and can help teachers better recognize their students.


The first step is to make sure your photo is not too large: it should be about 300 x 300 pixels and less than 30K (see below). Photos from today’s digital cameras may be over 3000 pixels wide and over 3MB in size. See Save As, Cropping and Resizing below.


To set your Canvas Personal Preferences and upload your Photo:

1. Log on to Canvas

2. Click on your name or the Settings tab located in the top right-hand corner of any page in Canvas.

3. Then click "Edit Profile." Please take a moment to add a picture

4. You must Resize the photo (keep it less than 300 pixels wide) so that it is not too large (see below). Also Crop the photo so that you are recognizable – preferably only upper body. No group photos, but you may include one other significant person or pet if you make sure it is obvious who is who. That is, if we might confuse you with your mother or if your pet looks like you – draw an arrow pointing to you : -)


In summary, upload your Photo .jpg or .png file and your Profile to Canvas. If this is for credit or extra credit, when done Upload and Submit a brief note written in Microsoft Word (a .doc file) to the Photo [Assignment Dropbox] to let your professor know to check your Photo. Your photo can then be viewed by your professor and by your classmates by clicking the [Communicate] tab, choosing Course Roster, and then clicking Show Pictures link. But there must be a document of some type in every [Assignment Dropbox] in order to assign a grade.  But do NOT upload your .jpg file or .png to the Photo [Assignment Dropbox]. Upload the .doc note to the Dropbox.


* Reminder: It is very important that you do not upload a photo directly from a digital camera. An obvious way to reduce file sizes is to avoid inserting large graphic images and media clips. If you paste huge images into any file, the file will become huge. Screen captures and Windows .Bmp graphics are huge memory hogs. I often tell my students that .Bmp (the standard Windows graphics file type) stands for Big Memory Pig. The Internet uses .Gif (for drawings less than 256 colors) and .Jpg files (for photos with many thousands of colors). They are usually much more than ten times smaller in size than a comparable .Bmp file. If you use MS Paint (Start > Programs > Accessories > Paint) you can choose Save As, and under Save as type choose .Jpg or .Png to convert a .Bmp to a much more reasonable format and size.


If your file size is huge, delete the pictures in your current document and replace them with reasonably sized JPGs. Keep in mind that even some JPG files can be very large. Today’s megapixel digital cameras take high resolution images that can be 8 ½ x 11 inches in size (or even poster size), 2400 pixels or wider and about 900K to 2 MB in size.


Some numbers: Say the picture from your high resolution digital camera is 3000 pixels wide and you want to insert a small picture into the corner of your document. When you insert a 3000 pixel 2MB image into your document, you just increased a file that might have been 100K to a file size of over 2 or 3MB (2,000K-3,000K). Add a second image and it is now about 4MB to 6MB. If you use the resizing handles to make these huge pictures small enough to fit on the page the file size is still 4MB in size, because what you really did was to make the images appear smaller, but they still retain their bit size. However, if you resize an image before you insert it, you will greatly reduce your file size. Perhaps you might choose to make it a more reasonable 300 pixels wide. 300 is 1/10 of the width of 3000, but also 1/10 of the height as well and consequently you can actually make the file size nearly a 100 times smaller.


CROPPING: You can crop a photo several ways. Your Photo or Paint Editor may have a Cropping tool. For instance in Microsoft Office Picture Manager: Click the [Edit Pictures] button to use the Crop tool. If your program does not have a Crop tool, use the Select tool to highlight only the part of the photo that you want (for instance leave out the area below the shoulders and above the head). Then you can then copy this highlighted area and Edit > Paste As a New Image. This will make your face more visible and the file size smaller.


RESIZING: Most paint programs have a resize option – In the most recent version of Windows Paint (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint) click the [Home] tab, then click the Resize icon (or tap (Ctrl + W). In the older version of Windows Paint (Start > Programs > Accessories > Paint) choose: Image > Resize/Skew.

Other programs, such as PhotoShop, may simply be Image > Image Size or Image > Resize


Photoshop also has a wonderful feature to optimize the file size of an image:
Choose File > Save for Web & Devices


If you do not know what Paint programs you have on your computer – locate your image or photo file in the Windows Explorer, then right-click it and choose Open With – a list of Paint and Image programs on your machine will appear.