Using SCRIBE in Canvas

The Stanford Converter into Braille and E-Text (SCRIBE) tool is available in all Canvas course navigation menus, by default. This self-serve document conversion tool transforms text and image-based files into a variety of output options including audio, Braille, or e-text formats. For courses with the Canvas Files tool enabled, there will be a S icon (SCRIBE logo) next to files eligible for conversion.

Instructors are encouraged to take advantage of both SCRIBE versions or only use one or the other. For more information on the two ways to convert files to accessible formats, as well as the conversion results, please see:

Convert files using the SCRIBE tool
Convert files in the Canvas Files tool
Conversion results

Convert files using the SCRIBE Tool

If you do not see SCRIBE in your Canvas course navigation, customize the navigation to enable SCRIBE so students can benefit.

Steps to Convert Files

  1. Click SCRIBE from the left-hand course navigation.
  2. Select a course file from the drop-down menu.
    • Instructors and TAs will see unpublished files. Students will not see unpublished files. 
  3. Under Requested Conversion, select the desired conversion type.
    Buttons for four different conversion types

  4. Make a selection for all conversion parameters.
  5. When ready, click Campus email. The conversion will be sent to the email address associated with the user's Canvas account.

Instructors: Scan Modules 

By default, SCRIBE scans Modules for course file links. Instructors can disable Scan Modules to allow SCRIBE to only scan and display files in the Files tool.

IMPORTANT: If Files is disabled, files will not be scanned. If Modules is disabled, SCRIBE will continue to scan unless “Scan Modules” is disabled.

Scan Modules item checkbox selected

Disable SCRIBE from course navigation menu

If for any reason an instructor want to hide SCRIBE from your Canvas course navigation menu, customize the navigation to disable SCRIBE.

Workaround for students to Convert files not in Canvas SCRIBE 

The Canvas SCRIBE integration can only scan Files and Modules. When the Files tool is hidden, embedded course file links not in Modules (Pages, Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, etc.) will not be listed to students in the SCRIBE tool.

Inaccessible files requiring conversion can be made by going directly to The SCRIBE site allows users to upload files directly from their computer.

Convert files in Canvas Files tool

Steps to Convert Files

  1. Navigate to your course Files tool. If you do not see Files from the lefthand course navigation, your instructor may have hidden the Files tool. 
  2. Locate the file you would like to convert and click on the S icon (SCRIBE S logo) next to file.
    File example with the logo S displayed to the right
  3. Select the Conversation type from the drop-down menu and select any parameters for the conversion. 
  4. Once ready, click Email. The conversion will be sent to the email address associated with the user's Canvas account.

Disable SCRIBE in the course Files

If for any reason an instructor does not want the SCRIBE icon to appear in their course files, they can disable it on a course-by-course basis. Go to the course Settings > Disable SensusAccess Inside.

Option to disable SensusAccess from course settings

SCRIBE Conversion Results

  • Email includes a link to the converted file.
  • Multiple conversion requests will be sent as individual emails (one per file).
  • Larger files will take longer to convert. Shorter files should only take minutes.  
    • If a large file conversion is not delivered after 5 hours of the original request, please contact
  • Links to conversion files expire after 7 days.
  • Emails will come from

Comments from the Office of Accessible Education

  • SCRIBE is a self-service, automated tool offered in addition to - not in lieu of - accommodations.
  • Students registered with the OAE may continue to request alternate format accommodations through OAE | CONNECT.
  • Instructors interested in creating accessible documents can start with resources specific to Microsoft Office and Adobe, available through Stanford Online Accessible Program (SOAP).
  • Visit for best practices, FAQs, an e-learning course, and more.
  • Have questions about accessibility? Contact the Office of Accessible Education.