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Release Notes – Annotate PRO for Google Chrome

Annotate PRO updated! Please log out and back in, then refresh any open pages.

Your version of Annotate PRO (AP) just updated.

To make sure you get all the changes, please log out and log back in…then refresh any open web pages. Thank you!

Okay…What’s new?

You can find the most recent features and fixes below plus review earlier updates.

Also, you should know about the AP for Google Chrome Beta Program. Visit this page to try new features before they’re released to all users and also “roll back” to a previous version of AP should we discover a nasty bug in the latest and greatest.

October 8, 2020 (v 6.0.2 - new PRODUCTION version of AP)

These are the October 8, 2020 production release notes for the Annotate PRO (AP) Chrome Extension.

This was a large release to support sorting and coloring Favorite buttons, improvements to AP’s interaction with Canvas, better support for rich text editors, better support for toolbars across a wider set of solutions, Moodle support and the addition of “Free Form” comments.

If you have AP installed from the Chrome Webstore you will automatically get the update. If you are running a beta version you should uninstall the beta and reinstall from the Chrome Webstore.

If you need to “roll back” to a previous version of AP or want to try a new version visit our Beta program here.

Detailed release notes:

  • Trial and paid individual/institution users can now sort and color Favorite buttons.
  • Comment History in Canvas SpeedGrader is faster.
  • AP now interacts with Rich Text Editors (like the ones in Blackboard, Moodle, D2L, Schoology and Canvas) more accurately, placing your selected Comment wherever your cursor is located rather than at the end of the text.
  • AP now works seamlessly when commenting on Google Docs inside Google Classroom.
  • Improved toolbar support for D2L, Blackboard and Schoology.
  • Free Form text entry area so you can simultaneously add a new chunk of text to a document or message and add it to your Feed, then quickly make it reusable by adding it to an existing Library.
  • On demand updating of content. Make all the edits you want to your content then, when you return to a page running AP, your content will update automatically. You can always click the ‘A’ to open the AP popup, then click the gear icon and then Refresh to bring down any changes.
  • Bugs, speed improvements.
July 10, 2020 (v 6.0.1)

These are the July 10, 2020 production release notes for the Annotate PRO (AP) Chrome Extension.

This was a small release to fix a bug related to new user sign up. Since it came right on the heels of our big 6.0.0 release we’ve combined release notes.

If you have AP installed from the Chrome Webstore you will automatically get the update. If you are running a beta version you should uninstall the beta and reinstall from the Chrome Webstore.

If you need to “roll back” to a previous version of AP or want to try a new version visit our Beta program here.

This is a BIG release! Thank you for your feedback and patience…in 6.0.1:

  • Much, much faster AP experience; annoying reloading of toolbars eliminated (you’ll be the judge though!)
  • Dramatically improved support for Brightspace (D2L), Google ClassroomMicrosoft Teams (web version), Microsoft Word Online and Schoology LMS
  • Toolbar support for Gmail, Microsoft Outlook (web version) and Slack (web version)
  • Single Sign On for Microsoft accounts (to match our Google SSO support)
  • Support for Google Translate
  • New Double Wide feature
  • Optional “Toolbar Everywhere” option (which may cause AP to overlap an underlying page but could be great for those using platforms beyond our regularly supported set of education solutions
  • Fixed Canvas SpeedGrader issues introduced with the April 25, 2020 release of Canvas.
  • One-click commenting support for Canvas SpeedGrader and Word Online
  • Access to ALL settings from inside the AP Chrome Extension
    • Toolbar location (off, right, top, right & top
    • Toolbar “Double-Wide” – make the AP sidebar wider. Great for wide monitors!
    • History (off, on-anonymized, on-student history)
    • History location (off, right toolbar, top toolbar, right & top toolbars)
    • Search options (search Comment Label and Full Text, Search only the Label)
    • Google Translate on/off
    • One-click Commenting
  • Bugs, speed improvements
August 29, 2019 (v 5.6.0 - Bugz! Support for 11trees' Canopy plus Microsoft Teams (beta)

Back to school!

We’ve fixed lots of little things and also added support for our new Canvas LMS discussion board and student engagement solution, Canopy.

January 2, 2019 (Annotate PRO 5.5.0 - Sub-Groups, improved editing...)

We were busy over the holidays…in this release:

  • Improved handling of links
  • Improved handling of plain-text destinations (carriage returns converted to spaces)
  • Beta support for Google Sheets & Google Slides
  • Better Gmail & LinkedIn functionality
  • Improved support for sub-Groups
  • Google Translate support
  • Massive improvements to the editing experience!
  • Bugs
August 24, 2018 (Annotate PRO 5.4.1 - AP goes FREE for everyone!)

Creating an unlimited number of Libraries, with Groups and Comments, is now completely free. Whether you use Google Docs, Canvas, Blackboard, Gmail, Microsoft Word or some crazy combination of those solutions…you can use AP to quickly add text from banks of reusable comments. Oh yes! Visit our pricing page to learn more about free vs. paid features.

We now have enough advanced features, like The FeedComment Histories and AnalyticsForms, and sharing (for institutions) that we can afford to offer the killer app for feedback – totally free.

We’ve also got dramatic improvements to our History feature for Canvas SpeedGrader users:

  • Access detailed History plus overview data for a specific student – from the AP toolbar. See below for a screenshot.
  • With History ON AP now saves text made in rubric comments – oh yes!
  • With History ON we are now saving the Canvas course ID, course name, assignment ID, and assignment name to your Feed. We haven’t built filters or reporting around this yet, but the important thing is that we head into the fall term with the data being captured. So you’ll soon be able to look at feedback distributions by class or by assignment in a class.

You can now CTRL-ALT-A to jump into the AP toolbar search area while using most webapps (Google Docs, Canvas etc). So highlight text, then CTRL-ALT-A to jump to search, type a few characters, arrow down to select, hit Enter and boom! Your comment will appear just as if you’d laboriously typed it. Then tweak/edit/personalize to suit…

In Google Docs you can now add text to the BODY of a document. Just click where you want the text to go (make sure you don’t highlight a space or two, creating an “insert comment” button – that will make AP create a regular comment bubble), use AP as always, then click back to your selected spot and Paste – your comment was placed into the clipboard and you can CTRL-V/CMD-V, right-click, or Edit/Paste to place it into the document. Full HTML (fancy text)!

Also various bug squashing, performance improvements etc.

As always, feedback and ideas and constructive criticism welcome!

Annotate PRO’s new History view. Click on the student’s summary/avatar area in the AP toolbar (1) and review pie charts summarizing previous feedback PLUS the full-text (in reverse chronological order) of all previously created feedback.

June 27, 2018 (Annotate PRO 5.3.1)

Finally! Fancy editing of Comments is here…!

Read our updated Editing Your Annotate PRO Content page and also how AP Comments appear in different solutions – like Microsoft Word vs. Gmail vs. Google Docs.

We also released the first version of AP Forms – so you can create multiple placeholders to prompt yourself or others to enter additional text.

Along with other, smaller enhancements and fixes, we’ve also improved support for Canvas SpeedGrader in full screen mode – so you can see and use the AP toolbar (on the right) even when in full screen. Cool!

Sharp eyed users may notice that editing is now handled by our secure website, not pages inside the Chrome Extension. The difference should be invisible to you…but it means that we now have one editing experience across Chrome, Microsoft Word, and web – making it easier for us to improve AP and create new features.

As always, feedback and ideas and constructive criticism welcome!

April 12, 2018 (Annotate PRO 5.2.2)

Well! We’re cheating a little…we’ve had a whole lot of incremental releases since last November including:

  • The ability for individuals to license Annotate PRO (yes!)
  • Toolbars
    • Now Annotate PRO will appear beside Google Docs, Blackboard, Canvas and potentially any platform it can compliment. The toolbars can be collapsed and give you quick access to search, scrollable lists of all Comments organized by Group, and Favorites. Just CTRL-S from almost any webpage to jump to the Search box!
  • The Feed
    • The Feed captures all of your choices made in Annotate PRO – giving you a heat map of where you’ve provided feedback. If you turn on Comment Histories you can automatically save all of your free form comments in Google Docs and Canvas SpeedGrader, then use those comments to create new library content.
    • You can filter by date and, with Comment Histories ON, by recipient. So the next time you’re sitting down for a student conference, calculating term grades, or writing a recommendation letter you’ll be able to scan ALL of your feedback – across multiple assignments. 
  • Comment Histories (Google Docs and Canvas SpeedGrader)
    • This feature, for Google Docs and Canvas SpeedGrader, is an option (it defaults to OFF) that makes it easy to capture all comments you provide to students.
    • When using Canvas SpeedGrader, Annotate PRO saves the comments you create (either with Annotate PRO or just by typing a new comment) to your Feed with the student’s name and Canvas ID. So you can easily review a history of previous comments – great for conferences or, using the Annotate PRO top toolbar, quickly checking previous feedback while commenting on new work. 
November 5, 2017 (Annotate PRO

Remember, remember! 
The fifth of November, 
The Gunpowder treason and plot; 

Sorry – couldn’t resist a little Guy Fawkes Day tribute. Nothing like a holiday where you burn a dude in effigy!

So for our users in the UK: Happy Guy Fawkes!

For everyone else? Welcome to sorting!!! And also a new role: Executive Editor.

Yes. Finally. You can sort Groups and Comments.

Some caveats:

  1. Simplest case: if you authored the Library, Groups, and Comments you can sort everything.
  2. More complicated: if you’re using one of 11trees’ Libraries you can sort any/all Comments and any Groups you add. But you can’t sort the underlying Groups that came with the Library. Their author put ’em in that order for a reason!
  3. Slightly more complicated: if you’re using a Library shared with you by a colleague you may be in the same situation as #2 OR, if that colleague turned off Extensibility, you may not be able to sort/reorder anything.

See Step 3 in the Editing Your Annotate Comment Library in Google Chrome support page for a screenshot and further explanation. We hope it’s quite intuitive (drag, drop, click Update) but feedback always welcome.

An ‘Executive Editor’ is an institutional admin. Currently, these users need to be set by 11trees – just email us! An Executive Editor can share Libraries in a ‘formal’ way, choosing to force a Library or Libraries to show up on a user’s list of Active Libraries, even making a Library automatically ‘selected.’

This feature only applies to site license institutions with Institution or Institution+ subscriptions.

September 26, 2017 (Annotate PRO

Huger update!

Support for multiple Libraries, sharing Libraries, creating new Groups and new Comments is HERE!

You can read about editing your Libraries here.

Creating new Libraries is covered here.

Or, if you like to watch rather than read, check out this brief video walkthrough.

Feedback welcome!

Next up? Ordering Groups and Comment plus implementing a payments system to allow purchases.

Good news: we’ve bumped the forever-free plan to 30 Comments across (up to) three Groups. And our paid features will continue to be free until we build a payment flow. 

May 26, 2017 (Annotate PRO

Big update!

We’ve implemented a login step for Google Chrome users.


We want to make it easy for teachers to move seamlessly between our solutions for Microsoft Word 2016 and the web, so we needed to make it possible to sign into Annotate PRO for Google Chrome with an email address (not just your Google email address).

If you’re at a school with GSuite (that uses Gmail, Google Apps etc) then we’re adding two clicks to your initial login process but you can still use Google sign in to authenticate and get to your account.

We squashed some bugs, did some clean up work under the hood…We added highlighting of the cell currently being edited to help new users understand the library editing process.

Next up? More flexible libraries and the ability to create new groups with new comments…Shooting for the end of June.

As always: feedback welcome!


April 22, 2017

We were working under the hood on this release, laying the groundwork for quickly adding custom libraries for new clients.

Improvements you’ll see as a user:

  • Better messaging when saving a library (when you see the ‘save’ message your changes are really saved, not just sent off, and gerbils are fed and happy.
  • Annotate PRO ‘Popup’ (the little window that pops open in Chrome) optimized for speed and to minimize calls to the database.
  • Improved resiliency of the context-menu selection method for adding Comments.
  • Improved handling of different sorts of text entry areas.

This last item is a big deal – we’ve optimized for the following commenting scenarios:

  • Google Docs (comment bubbles)
  • Google Classroom (discussions posts and other text entry)
  • Word 2016 Online (comment bubbles and text insertion anywhere in a document)
  • Dropbox (commenting on documents using the Dropbox viewer)
  • Crocodoc in Canvas and Blackboard LMS platforms (commenting on documents viewed with Crocodoc)
  • The new viewing and annotation features coming from Box

As always: feedback welcome!


March 30, 2017

Lots of polish and speed improvements in this release:

  • Improved messaging on Edit Library (to clarify length restrictions)
  • Tab order optimized for speed
  • Free Form Comment box to facilitate Google Translate

Also…Google Translate is now available…

While Google Translate is no silver bullet, it has become far more accurate over the last six months. Our goal is to make it easier for teachers to provide feedback in a different language and, crucially, to provide dual language feedback.

So you could respond to a student in English but include a translation into their first language.

  • Open the Translation (beta) panel and choose the language of origin and the destination language. Both default to English.
  • Choose Single or Dual, to indicate whether the Comment should be just translated (Single) or provided in its original form and with a translation (Dual).
  • Search, type in the Free Form panel, or click a Favorites button to add a Comment.
March 9, 2017

Just some minor polish and squashed bugs in this release…

  • Fixed right-click (context) menu weirdness for free users.
  • Improved authentication and sign on process.
  • Improved handling of quote marks (single and double) and other characters.
March 2, 2017

Lots of great stuff in this release! To celebrate the return of Annotate PRO for Microsoft Word we put extra effort into dramatically improving our Chrome Extension:

  • Keyboard shortcut: ALT-A on Mac/Windows should open the Annotate PRO popup and…
  • FULL TEXT SEARCH! Yes, open the popup and your cursor will automatically appear in the search box…start typing and Annotate PRO will surface matching comments (either custom or default).
  • Access to your Favorites from the popup
  • Much nicer editing of the library
  • Better support for various text input areas on websites.
    • We’ve always optimized for commenting on Google Docs, but Annotate PRO should work more confidently in many other places. Like Gmail, various webforms and text entry areas (imagine blowing through discussion posts in your favorite LMS).