a.nnotate.com – an online annotation tool

One of my goals this summer was to find a tool for collaborative annotation of pdfs. Annotating plain text is easy; there are a lot of tools for it, starting with Google Drive. But pdfs are more complicated.

This one, a.nnotate.com, looks promising. It doesn’t seem to do all the very many things I would like it to do, but it does seem to do quite a bit:

  • Pdfs, images, and screenshots of webpages can be annotated
  • Documents can be shared individually or in group folders
  • Annotations can be shared and replied to
  • Annotations can be tagged

It’s hardly perfect. The biggest qualm I have about adopting it is that it’s a freemium service, and free accounts limit the number of documents that can be uploaded (though not how many annotations can be made).

I also would love if collaborator annotations would be hidden until a student added his/her own, so they wouldn’t be influenced at first, nor would feel some pressure to find a blank spot to annotate once the “good” spots were already taken. I have a feeling, though, that I’ll never find that feature, except on hard copies.

I would also love if students could color code their annotations. While It’s possible to change the background and font colors of annotations, the colors are only seen when someone opens up a note, not when someone looks at the page.


One thought on “a.nnotate.com – an online annotation tool

  1. Interesting. I’m curious to know why .pdfs in the first place? Are there ways to “rip” the text or parts of the text for “transformative use”? Could you use GDocs or other platform to OCR the .pdfs and then have more flexibility?

    At any rate, the tool looks good, and surely someone is going to execute a .pdf platform that’s as good as GDocs, at least.

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