Help! I need to upload a picture as a PDF from my phone

As we move to file upload questions in quizzes, and take home assessments increasingly students are solving problems on a physical piece of paper, and then taking a photo to upload it to Canvas.  

If a student uploads and image using the canvas app, not all of the speed grader features are available and rather than having a nice rectangular page to mark, you may be faced with trying to follow a solution on a poorly cropped trapezoid.  


What if you could improve your marking experience, without creating too much of a headache for your students?  


Introducing Microsoft lens – a free app (available on iOs and Android) which allows you to take a photo, change the perspective (ie turn the page back into a rectangle) and save it as a PDF to one drive 


From the canvas app (or your desktop) up you can then upload the PDF directly from your one drive  



I’m interested how do I do it?  


  • Canvas Student App
  • Microsoft Lens App 
  • Microsoft One drive App 

Available from the App store or Google Play store


Did you know?

All staff and students have a Microsoft account, and can install the office suite of products on multiple devices. The current RMIT licence allows you to install on 5 desktop computers (PC or Mac), 5 tables, and 5 smartphones).  



Once you have your answer or response on a piece (or multiple pieces) of paper.  

  1. In a well lit space, use Microsoft Lens app on your phone or tablet to take a photo, make sure you whole document is within the orange box 
  2. Adjust the perspective and copping, by moving the dots, to capture and transform your piece of paper to a rectangle.  
  3. If you need to add a second page press the add new button 
  4. Once you have captured all the pages for your solution click on the orange done arrow  
  5. Add a tile and select the formats you want to save your file in by having ticks in the relevant boxed (make sure you include PDF).  
  6. Then press save 
  7. Your file will now be saved to the places and file types you indicated. (current options allow you to save photos or PDFs word documents or PowerPoint files and add items to one note).  
  8. From within Canvas or the Canvas app you can navigate to your one drive, find the office lens folder, pick the specific file you want to include and upload them 

Submit the file as an answer to the question or task.  



More information:

Looking to create file upload questions – have a look at converting an in class test to online

Need help with using speed grader – have a look at this introduction to speed grader site


Downloadable instructions:

How to use Microsoft Lens