Link Selection Placement

External tools can be configured to be selectable as an LTI resource link during module item creation. The link_selection placement allows course designers (Admins/Instructors) to use the LTI Deep Linking flow to select an LTI resource from an external tool and associate it with a Canvas module item.

Note: This placement is enabled by default in Canvas for LTI 1.1. It can be removed by using the not_selectable configuration option (see External Tools API). For LTI 1.3, the placement will only be enabled if listed in the placements in the JSON configuration.


For configuration examples and links to the specification, please refer to the LTI Deep Linking documentation. Simply replace the assignment_selection text with link_selection in the XML (LTI 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2) or JSON (LTI 1.3) examples.




A user must be allowed to create Canvas module items and the tool must be configured to use the link_selection placement. While tools can be configured to use link_selection without deep linking, the workflow described here applies to tools that leverage deep linking with the link_selection placement. If a tool does not leverage deep linking, Canvas uses the URL configured at the tool-level or placement-level every time the tool is selected in step 2 below.

During module item creation:

  1. the user can select "External Tool" from the Add dropdown.
  2. They then choose the tool they want to select content from.
  3. Canvas then performs a Deep Linking launch request (if configured) to the tool and the user is presented with a tool-side UI to select or create a single LTI resource.
  4. The tool then returns the LTI deep linking message back to Canvas with a URL for the LTI resource. Usually this message contains a URL with resource identifiers in the url.
  5. When students view the module item, Canvas launches to the URL returned by the tool.
  6. If a resource identifier was provided in Step 4, then the tool will receive this in the launch and be able to render the correct resource.


All of these settings are contained for the link_selection placement: