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Create, Import, Edit and Share Annotate PRO Content

Editing your Annotate PRO (AP) content is the same whether you use the AP Chrome Extension, Microsoft Word app, or web app.

Create new Comments, Groups, Libraries and edit your existing content – or, potentially, content shared with you or licensed from 11trees.

To get started, click Edit in any of the AP solutions, then choose Edit Libraries or New CommentNew Group, or New Library. The editor will open…and you’ll be off to the races…

  1. Launch AP’s Editor
    This will feel easy after you do it once or twice…but it’s nice to have detailed instructions for that first effort!
  2. Creating Libraries
    Create Libraries to organize your feedback and knowledge. Then, if you’re part of an institutional or team license, share your hard work so others can use it!
  3. Import a Library
    Annotate PRO supports importing Libraries from TurnitinQuickMark Sets and CSV (Comma Separated Value) files. You can import up to 300 Comments at a time. It can be much easier to get AP content right in a spreadsheet, then upload and complete final tweaking using AP’s editor.
  4. Create a New Group, Sub-Group, or Comment
    Organize your content into Libraries, Groups, Sub-Groups, and Comments. Sub-Groups require a paid individual or institutional account.
  5. Edit Selected Comment
    This is the best view for quickly editing your Libraries as you’re using AP to create feedback and review student work.
  6. Make One-Off Comments Reusable
    One of AP’s neatest tricks is to help you get more value out of the time you invest writing completely custom comments to students – at least in Word, Google Docs and Canvas SpeedGrader.
  7. Edit a Specific Comment
    Basics of creating reusable comments including formatting, making comments inactive/active, creating Favorites, and moving comments to a different Group/Library.
  8. Edit a Shared Comment
    AP is fantastic at sharing Libraries so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Either through the AP platform or from colleagues (for site license holders), you might gain use of a Library authored by someone else. The author can define whether others can only use “as-is” or extend their Library (never editing the underlying content) by customizing it.
  9. Sort Comments
    We know! You want your content in your order. Easy-peasy…drag and drop then Update.
  10. Move Comments
    Comments can only exist in one Group/Library combination. But you can easily move Comments you create between Groups/Libraries. Simply select, click Move, and choose the destination.
  11. Edit a Specific Library
    Choose Libraries from the Edit menu to focus on one Library, add/remove Groups (if allowed), add/remove Comments, and sort both Comments and Groups.
  12. Edit, Sort, and Create Groups and Sub-Groups
    You may be able to customize Libraries shared with you by colleagues or licensed from 11trees. Whether others can “extend” a Library is defined by that Library’s author. If you do have the ability to edit you’ll be able to create customized versions of Comments.
  13. Share a Library
    If you get AP through an organization/institution, you may be able to share Libraries with colleagues. When you share, you control whether others can extend your content with their own and further personalize your content or use it exactly as you wrote it.
  14. Make Sure Changes are Available
    Finally, understand the differences between the AP Chrome Extension and Word app – they update slightly differently after you make changes to your content.

1) Launch the AP Editor

There are three ways to reach the editing experience…depending on which AP solution you’re using:

Annotate Chrome Extension

  1. Click the green A icon in your Chrome toolbar
  2. Log in to AP (if necessary)
  3. Click Edit in the menu
  4. Choose “Edit Active Comments” or “Edit All Libraries”

Annotate Word Add-in 

  1. Click the Annotate ribbon
  2. Log in to AP (if necessary)
  3. Click Edit in the menu
  4. Choose “Edit Active Comments” or “Edit All Libraries”

Annotate Web Editor

  1. Visit the AP Library page with your favorite browser
  2. Log in to AP (if necessary)
  3. Click Edit in the menu
  4. Choose Libraries or Selected Comments

Once you are in the editing environment you will see the following choices in the Edit menu:

  • Libraries – for serious editing!
    • Choose one Library at a time and see its Groups on the left and the Comments contained in any one Group displayed on the right. Change the name of the Library along with sharing and editing permissions. You can choose any active Libraries to edit. You can sort Groups and Comments within Groups if you are their author. You can create new Groups and Comments within Groups. You can make Groups and Comments inactive to hide them from use.
  • Selected Comments: for quick editing of your currently selected Comments
    • This view shows you Libraries that are selected for use and lists their Groups. Choose a Group to edit the Comments within it. Sort Comments, create new Comments, change their active/inactive status.
  • Add/Remove Libraries
    • View all Available Libraries, including ones shared with you by colleagues (for institutional clients) and Libraries available from 11trees for licensing. Change the status of a Library from Available to Active. Active Libraries show up in your Word and Chrome apps so you can use them to create feedback.

2) Creating Libraries

Creating a new Library is easy – we’ll even create a new Group and Comment within that Group to help get you started.

Once you’re in the AP editor just click New and choose New Library:

Libraries have three potential statuses:

  • Available
    • These Libraries can be made Active so they appear in the AP Word and Chrome apps for use. Libraries can be made Available to you by colleagues (for institutional clients) and 11trees (so you can license a Library).
  • Active
    • You control which Available Libraries become Active. Active Libraries show in the AP Word and Chrome apps for use providing feedback / inserting text and can quickly be Selected or deselected to make their content ‘live.’
  • Selected
    • Selecting a Library makes its content ‘live’ in the AP Word and Chrome apps – so you can use the Comments to provide feedback and add text using AP.

3) Import an AP Library from Turnitin or CSV

AP supports importing plain CSV files and also Turnitin QuickMark™ Sets. Click here for instructions on exporting QuickMark sets.

Here’s a link to a Google Sheet you can copy and use. There are two tabs – the first tab shows you how to upload without Sub-Groups and the second shows how Sub-Groups should be represented.

To upload a CSV file make sure:

  • The file has a “csv” extension.
  • There are four (4) columns with the following headings:
    • Group
    • Sub-Group
    • Commment Label
    • Comment
  • Sub-Groups are only supported with premium/institutional accounts.
  • Leave the Sub-Group entry blank for a given row if you want the Comment to appear directly under the Group.
  • You can import up to 300 Comments into a Library

After importing check the sorting of Comments is how you want it, Favorite Comments and finish personalizing your expert feedback!

4) Create a New Group, Sub-Group, or Comment

The simplest way to create new content in AP is to click the New menu choice in the editor (see the “three paths to the AP Editor” section above). This is especially true for creating new Libraries.

You’ll get a popup window where you can complete the required information.

New Groups and new Comments are probably best authored from the Libraries view, where you can see one Library at a time with its Groups listed on the left side of the screen and Comments for the selected Group listed on the right. On this view you can click New Group or New Comment to add content to the current Library.

NOTE: Pasting Word content directly into Annotate PRO will yield unpredictable results. Word formatting is not the same as HTML…If your content is pretty simple – sentences with bolding and italics and underlining – you may be okay. Bullets and more complex layout options in Word will not translate well. Better to author, from scratch, in Annotate PRO. Then your bullets and bolding etc. will appear in Word as you would expect. Or paste using Paste Special or Paste and Match Style.

In the screenshot below (click for a larger view) we can see:

  1. The Library header information is collapsed so we can focus on Groups and Comments. Click Selected Library Details to see the Library name and other info.
  2. Create a new Group or Sub-Group by clicking New Group in the Group area. To create a Sub-Group. specify a Parent Group.
  3. Create a new Comment by clicking New or New Comment in the Comment area. Note that the visible Comments are part of the selected Group (“Common Errors” in this example). 

Drag Groups to reorder them; change Labels and the Text of Comments as fast as you’d like. Your changes will save automatically.

5) Edit Selected Comments

This view is designed to give you quick access to ALL the content in your selected Libraries. Click Edit in the main menu, then Selected Comments. This view is useful for keeping open while you are using AP, so you can quickly tweak your content.

In the example at the right, three Libraries are selected (#1) out of 8 active Libraries. We can check off more Libraries or choose a Group from one of the Selected Libraries to see its Comments.

The Motivation Station Edition Library cannot be edited (#2) – as defined by its author (in this case 11trees).

Notice (#3) that you can Show or Hide inactive Comments and Groups and also Print (to hardcopy or PDF) and Export your selected Comments.

6) Make One-Off Comments Reusable

One of AP’s superpowers is the ability to store the comments you add to Google Docs and Canvas SpeedGrader. Or use the Translate feature in the AP Chrome Extension or the Free Form area in Microsoft Word to add a custom, one-off comment.

Just make sure Comment History is ON and then you can visit your Feed to save select comments to a specific Library.

Converting one-off, or ‘Free Form’ comments to become reusable requires a paid AP license. Here’s how to do it:

  • In the AP Microsoft Word app highlight some text in an open document or place the cursor, then enter a comment in the Free Form text area and click Insert.
  • If you’re using Canvas SpeedGrader or Google Docs just make sure make sure the History setting is ON, then AP will automatically save any comment bubble text you enter. To turn History on or off in the AP Chrome Extension click A, then the Gear, then Settings, then History and choose ON. Additionally, in SpeedGrader, AP will save all your rubric comments and overall SpeedGrader comments too!
  • In all other web apps you can use the text entry area in AP’s Translate or Free Form feature to insert a one-off comment that will be saved to your Feed. Just flip on Translate or Free Form  from Settings or the quick settings button in the right toolbar (the lightning icon). Highlight text or place your cursor, as you always would, then use the Free Form text area to type your text, then click Insert to make it appear.

    Focused screenshots of the Translate (in the main AP pop up) and Free Form (in the AP right toolbar) feature – enter your text and click Insert to record it in your Feed!

    Think of the feature as recording your custom, one-off comments so you can quickly go through them later and add the useful ones to your Libraries.

    To convert these comments just:

    1. Visit The Feed – from the AP Chrome Extension click A, then Comment Feed. In the AP Word app click the gear icon in the AP taskpane, then Comment Feed.
    2. You can filter by “Free Form” only. Toggle comments you’d like to make reusable, as the screenshot above depicts, then click Add at the top of the column of toggles. You’ll be able to choose the Library, the Group/Sub-Group, provide a Label and even tweak the exact language to make the feedback/comment more universal.

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    7) Edit a Specific Comment

    Editing Comments is as easy as clicking into a Label or Text area and typing.

    Notice that the text of the Comment allows for text editing – boldingitalics etc. See our article on formatting text to understand how different platforms (Word, Google Docs etc.) deal with text formatting. 

    Notice the green toggles labeled Active and Favorite below the text of the Comment. Click a toggle like this to flip it:

    • Inactive Comments do not show up in AP for Chrome or Word.
    • Favorite Comments appear as blue buttons in AP for Chrome and Word for quick access. They also appear in the top level of the AP for Chrome right-click menu.

    Notice that you can Select a Comment and then use the Move button to move it to another Library/Group.

    Annotate PRO will save your changes as you go…notice the small “All changes saved” message at the bottom of the screenshot.

    8) Edit a Shared Comment

    This screenshot shows the custom section of a shared Comment with the focus on creating a custom Label – the area highlighted with “Vague Thesis.”

    Notice that this Comment is set to the Default, which means that AP would use the default values in the Word and Chrome apps.



    To create a customized version of this shared Comment, edit the Custom Label and/or Custom Text. The Default toggle will automatically flip to Custom (you can flip it back if you want to use the Default). Your changes will save automatically.

    9) Sort Comments

    Click Sort at the top of the list of Comments to pop up a window that makes it easy to order your Comments.

    Once you’ve got the window open, drag to reorder then click Update Order to save your changes.

    You can also sort Groups within a Library – assuming you authored the Group.

    10) Move Comments

    To move Comments you have authored, flip each Comment’s Not Selected toggle to Selected.

    This toggle is in the top-right of each Comment’s row (#1 and #2). Then click Move in the Comments menu (next to Sort). You can move more than one Comment at a time assuming they share the same destination.


    In the resulting popup choose a destination Library (#3) and destination Group within that Library (#4). You can choose whether to edit the destination for your Comment(s) or continue editing the current Library.

    Click Move ‘Em!  to complete the move.

    Comments can only exist in one Group/Library combination.

    11) Edit a Specific Library

    Choose Edit then Libraries to edit Library names, Groups contained in a Library, and the Comments associated with Groups.

    You must have editing rights to a Library to edit and/or extend it.

    You can collapse the Selected Library Details panel by clicking on its title – to better focus on the Library’s Groups and Comments listed below.

    Once you select a Library from the drop down the details of that Library will appear. If you did not author the Library not all options will be editable by you:

    • Name
      • How your Library will appear in drop downs.
    •  Description
      • Additional descriptive text useful for searching and sharing.
    • Insert Name
      • The AP Microsoft Word 2016 app supports specifying the name that will appear on inserted comments. This is useful, potentially, for tutoring organizations that want a general name to appear in feedback, not that of a particular Microsoft user account. This feature is not supported in Google Docs (your Google account name will appear).
    • Availability
      • There are 4 potential choices, depending on your license level. “Active” means a Library is available in the drop down to be selected (checked off) for use. The choices are:
        • Not Active
        • Active (personal)
        • Active – Shared (informal)
        • Active – Shared (formal)
      • “Informal” means a Library is available to others for discovery and activation. You must have authored a Library to share it. Libraries shared this way will only be useful to others if they go looking for them. Note: once others begin using a Library that has been shared, access to that Library cannot be rescinded. Depending on your point of view, this is a feature or a defect (!). Feedback welcome!
      • “Formal” means a Library will automatically appear in a user’s drop down. The ability to share a Library in this way is only available to Annotate PRO administrators with an institutional license.
    • Extensibility
      • If you choose to share a Library, will those who use it be able to customize it for their own specific use? That is, will they be able to add new Groups, new Comments, and create custom versions of the default content?
      • Users will only be able to create personal content; they will not be able to edit the underlying, default content.
    • Selected
      • Does the Library appear as checked in the Annotate pop up (what you see when you click the green ‘A’ or type ALT-A)?
    • Translate
      • Does Google Translate appear as an option? Turning this off is only useful to save a bit of vertical space and also to decrease cognitive overload in new users.

    12) Edit, Sort and Create Groups

    In the Edit / Libraries view, after choosing a specific Library, you will see its Groups listed on the left side of the page.

    Click a Group to see its Comments displayed (#1). If you authored the Group it will be bolded and you can click the Edit icon in its row to edit its name and active/inactive status.

    Drag Groups you created to reorder them, then click Update in the Groups column.

    Notice that “Lit Review” has an edit icon (#3) and is bolded while “Organization” is not. The “Organization” Group was shared with the current user while “Lit Review” was created by the current user.

    Click New Groups column to create a new Group.

    13) Sharing Libraries

    Individual subscribers, including paid users, cannot share the Libraries they create.

    Only users who are part of an organization/institution can share. If enabled, individuals who are part of a Team or Institutional license can share informally – placing Libraries in a common area so others can discover and add them. Organizations with Institutional licenses have Exec Editor and Admin roles to make sharing even more efficient and valuable.

    When you share a Library you can define whether it is Extensible – meaning others can personalize it for their use including adding new Groups, new Comments to existing Groups, and tweaking existing Comments to suit their needs. 

    No one can edit your underlying content, even if you share it.

    If Extensible is toggled OFF and you share a Library others can use it, but they cannot add their own content to it or personalize your content.

    To share a Library:

    1. Visit Edit/Libraries
    2. Choose a specific Library – “Algebra” in the example below
    3. Click the dropdown to the right of the Name field. You’ll see 4 choices:
      1. Not Active
      2. Active (personal)
        Only you can see and use this Library
      3. Active – Shared (informal)
        Your Library will be discoverable by colleagues at your institution/organization.
      4. Active – Shared (formal)
        Your Library will automatically appear for all users at your institution/organization. Your choice of Selected will determine whether the Library is automatically chosen for them or not.Options 3 and 4 may be greyed out, depending on your license level and permissions. See the screenshot below for an example.

    IMPORTANT: changes to a Library do not automatically ‘push’ to users of that Library. AP refreshes automatically every 24 hours, so the maximum time someone might go without a change is 24 hours. Users can Refresh their content at any time (assuming they have an Internet connection) by clicking the gear icon and the choosing Refresh. AP will pull down any changes to selected Libraries.

    Sharing Formally is only available to Exec Editor and Admin users – roles defined by your institution/organization.

    14) Making Sure Changes are Available to You…

    Our Chrome Extension and Word Add-in behave a little differently.

    After making changes to your library you will always have to click Refresh in the Annotate PRO taskpane in Microsoft Word. Clicking Refresh will retrieve any changes and make them available in Word.

    If you are using the Chrome browser (recommended) to edit, any changes you make will automatically show in our Chrome Extension.

    If you are using a different browser, like Safari or Microsoft Edge, you’ll need to log out of AP and log back in to make the changes visible. We’ll be improving this aspect of our Chrome Extension in the near future (adding a Refresh button or similar).

    So you can keep the editing open, updating your content and seeing the changes appear in your AP app of choice…