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Annotate PRO for Google Chrome – 2018 Beta Program

After a couple of months of intense work we are rolling out a beta version of new features for Annotate PRO – especially for Google Chrome. The beta is invitation-only, so please contact us if you’d like to get in. Don’t worry – we anticipate pushing the code live by February 1, 2018.

Jump to the bottom of this page for screenshots…

What’s in the release?

A lot!

  • “The Feed” is now live. What’s The Feed? Access to all your comments created with Annotate. Why? You can use Free Form comments to create/extend your libraries. You can also review feedback by Group and Comment, filter by date, and (going forward) Google Docs and Canvas SpeedGrader users will be able to filter by feedback recipient (i.e. a student).
  • Custom integrations for Google Docs and Canvas SpeedGrader, including toolbars to make it easy to highlight text and search/click Annotate to add a comment. Annotate PRO can log all of your comments created with these solutions – without any extra effort on your part. Then you can review comments by student, use manual comments to create new libraries etc.
  • Our toolbar also works with Blackboard. The production release will include a toggle to turn the toolbar on and off, plus an option to display at the top of the screen vs. the right.
  • Much broader availability of Annotate in LMSs and other platforms. For instance, Canvas and Blackboard discussion posts and other “fancy text editor” text areas now should work with Annotate. Just be sure to click inside of them, so Annotate knows where you want a comment to go.
  • Analytics. Although you’ll need to use our web editor or Word app rather than our Chrome Extension. Ironically Google Charts don’t work inside of a Google Chrome Extension.
  • Payments. Individuals will now be able to license Annotate PRO and our libraries of comments. See LINK for pricing. We’ll always offer a 30-comment library for free, along with helpful content like our Motivation Station Edition.
    • Everyone signed up continues free until March 1.
    • Previous paying Annotate PRO customers get a year’s free access starting March 1 2018.

How do you get it?

  • Send us the Google email account you use to sign into Chrome. This is not necessarily the email you use to log into Annotate PRO.  We’ll add you to the beta list and then you’ll be able to visit to install the beta version of Annotate PRO. This link will only work if we add you to the list.
  • Log in with the same credentials you’ve always used.


  • Installing/uninstalling our apps does not affect your data or account.
  • You can keep the ‘production’ version of Annotate running alongside the beta. For your sanity you may want to disable it so you don’t have too many ‘A’ icons in your Chrome toolbar:) Here’s how:
    • In Chrome, visit chrome://extensions/. Find Annotate PRO and either uncheck the Enabled checkbox or click the trash can to remove it completely. You can always reinstall and log back in within seconds.
  • If you run into any problems/weirdnesses with this near-production version of the new Annotate, we’d deeply appreciate you sharing steps to reproduce and screenshots. If something feels ‘off’ it probably is – send us some details and we’re confident we can fix publish a fix within hours.
    • For instance, if a Library is greyed out, indicating you don’t have access to it, we can probably fix the issue in seconds.
  • Google Docs will pop up and ask you to grant read-only access to your Google Drive in order to see the author of the current document. Then we can associate feedback with that user, giving you a complete history of feedback.
  • What if I don’t see the toolbar?
    • Please send us the URL of the page on which you expect to see it. Your institution’s Canvas may be set up a little differently, or perhaps you’re using Google Docs embedded in another solution. We’re confident we can quickly tweak Annotate to support you. But the fantastic create-a-comment functionality also works from the popup (the green A icon in the menu), so you’re covered.

What are we looking for?

  • Any clear bugs – you clicked something and nothing happened or you get an unexpected result.
  • Feedback on friction – places where you weren’t sure what to do or felt Annotate was getting in the way.
  • Ideas for extending these basic ingredients to be more useful. For instance capturing a feedback recipient’s name, not just their email or LMS ID.
  • Opportunities to experiment with the toolbar in more places – Google Classroom, Schoolology, BrightSpace (D2L)…

How do you use it?

  • The most immediately impactful feature is the combo of a toolbar with Canvas, Google Docs, or Blackboard:
    • Google Docs:
      • Highlight text and click an Annotate favorite or use the search at the top of the toolbar.
    • Canvas SpeedGrader™:
      • Highlight and click a favorite (Canvas SpeedGrader)
    • Canvas and Blackboard:
      • Click in a text area (discussion posts, rubric feedback, grade comments) and search/click using either the Annotate toolbar or the A icon in your Chrome toolbar.
  • Click Edit in the popup menu then click Review your feed to access previous feedback
    •  A new tab will open and you’ll be able to filter the results. Capturing Recipient data will only begin with this release, but all your feedback created since September 2017 is captured in your Feed.
    • Notice that any ‘Free Form’ comments have a toggle next to them. You can flip one or more toggles, then click the Add button at the top of the column to add the selected Comments to a specific Library and Group. You’ll be able to give these Comments a label and even reword them a bit for easy reuse.You can filter by Free Form or Categorized so that only custom comments show.
      • Only Microsoft Word uses will have a lot of Free Form Comments at this point, but if you use Google Docs or Canvas SpeedGrader you’ll be able to log all of your comments automatically.
    • We’ll have pretty charts available in our web editor – ironically they don’t work inside a Chrome Extension. We’ll be implementing an alternate graphing solution so you can see them from inside Chrome.

Click any image below to see a bigger version…

In Google Docs, you simply highlight some text then click an Annotate Favorite or search for a comment…