Bb Annotate: Inline Grading Tool

This guide pertains to Ultra Course View.

If your course is in Original Course View, see the Original Course View tutorial collection.


Annotate Overview

Use Bb Annotate for inline grading in your courses. Bb Annotate offers a robust feature set to provide customizable feedback to students, including a sidebar summary view, freehand drawing tools, various color selections, and much more.

Annotation sessions expire after one hour. You'll receive a warning message before your session expires. Your completed annotations, feedback, and files are saved on the page. When you return, you can resume working.

Video: Bb Annotate overview provides a tour of the Bb Annotate tools available for inline grading in your courses.

When to Use?

The annotation tool can be used to add notes to papers in the form of text, drawings, or stamps. This guide includes details on how to access this tool and utilize it when grading papers. Annotate is supported on current versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Below is a list of supported file types where the annotation tool may be used. These file types will open in the browser.

  • Microsoft® Word (DOC, DOCX)
  • Microsoft® PowerPoint®(PPT, PPTX)
  • Microsoft® Excel®(XLS, XLSM, XLSX)
  • OpenOffice® Documents (ODS, ODT, ODP)
  • Digital Images (JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIF, TIFF, BMP, TGA)
  • Medical Images (DICOM, DICM, DCM)
  • PDF
  • PSD
  • RTF
  • TXT
  • WPD

Important Note: Whenever possible, original formatting and embedded images are preserved "as is"; however, documents viewed in Annotate may appear differently than how they appear in the original program. If a student submitted an unsupported file, you're prompted to download it. Assignment submissions created through the editor aren't compatible with inline grading.  This altered appearance may apply to page numbers, indentations, headers, footers, and line spacing. For Excel documents, charts may not render correctly or may not use the correct numerical data for the chart. If original formatting is required, the documents should be saved and submitted in a PDF format which will preserve the original formatting or the submitted file may be downloaded and viewed offline within the original application.  Animated gifs display only the first frame in the pdf viewer for annotation purposes. Download the submission to view the animated gif.

See Also:

How do I Access Annotations?

1. Select your desired assignment.

2. Select the “Submissions” option in the top-right corner.

3. You will see a list of student names. Select the first student whose assignment you plan to grade.

4. The document will appear with a bar above it. This bar contains several tools that you can use to annotate the paper. See below for a labeled display of how this bar will appear.

Below is a labeled display of how the menu appears on a wide screen.


As part of the responsive design, the menu display changes based on the screen size. On medium and small screens, the Document View settings display the page number you're viewing. Annotation tools are stacked under the View Annotation Tools icon. On small screens, the Content Library is hidden.


Menu Options from Left to Right

Editing menu

  • Sidebar: View Thumbnail, Outline, or Annotation views of the submission.
  • Pages: Use the arrows to jump to different pages in the submission.
  • Pan: Move the submission on the page.
  • Zoom and Fit: Zoom in and out of the submission or adjust the view to fit the page, fit the width, or select the best fit.
  • Annotation tools: Select each tool to view the tool properties.

    Your selection for each tool is saved between submissions.

  • Drawing, Brush, and Eraser: Draw freehand on the submission with various colors, thickness, and opacity. Select the eraser to remove annotations. You can erase parts of a freehand drawing with the eraser or select the Delete icon to delete the whole drawing.
  • Image or Stamp: Choose a preloaded stamp or create your own customized stamp or image to add to the submission.
  • Undo: Undo or revert the last thing you did.
  • Redo: Repeat the last thing you did.
  • Text: Add text directly on the submission. You can move, edit, and change the text and select the font, size, alignment, and color of the text.
  • Shapes: Choose Line, Arrow, Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, and Polyline. Each shape has its own settings to change the color, width, opacity, and more.
  • Comment: Provide feedback in comments. Your comments appear in a panel next to the submission.

    Students can access the annotated files but won't be able to add annotations in their submissions.

  • Print or Download: Print or download the submission with the annotations.

    A known issue with some browsers' built-in PDF viewer may not display all your annotations. Please view annotated PDFs in a native PDF viewer such as Adobe Acrobat.

  • Search: Search the submission for specific text.
  • Content Library: Create a bank of reusable comments. You can add, edit, delete, and search comments in the library. You can also add a comment directly to the submission page from the menu. Select the plus sign to add a new comment to the Content Library. You can Place comment, Copy to Clipboard, Edit, or Delete content from the library. Type keywords or phrases to search for saved comments.<

    The Content Library is only available in SaaS environments.

  • Highlighter: Select specific portions of the submission to highlight. As you highlight text on the submission, an additional menu opens. You can highlight, strikethrough, underline, squiggle, or comment on the highlighted section.

As part of the responsive design, the menu will appear differently based on the screen size.  On medium and small screens, the Document View settings will change to display the page number being viewed, and annotation tools will be visible under the View Annotation Tools icon.  On small screens, the Content Library will be hidden within the Annotate Tools icon as shown below:

Sidebar View

The side menu can display a thumbnail view of the document, an outline, and a list of the annotations made so far.

Document View Settings

From the view settings, you may jump to a specific page, zoom in and out of the document, or adjust the view to fit the page.


  • Drawing, Brush, and Eraser – The drawing and brush tools allow you to freehand draw on the document using various colors, thickness, and opacity.  You’ll have the option to either erase pieces of the freehand drawing or delete fully using the trash icon.
  • Image or Stamp – You may add an image or stamp to the document. There are a set of pre-loaded stamps or create your own customized stamp.
  • Comment – Comments can be added to the document to provide feedback and will appear to the right of the submission. You and other graders can add additional replies to a comment.
  • Text – You may add text directly on the page.  There are additional options to move, edit and change the appearance of the text, including font, size, alignment and color.
  • Shapes – There are 6 options for adding shapes: Line, Arrow, Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon and Polyline.  Each option has its own customization settings to change the color, width, opacity, and more.


Custom & Existing Stamps

How to Add and Place Custom Stamps

1. Under the "Images" icon, select the stamp option.

2. Select “Custom Stamp”.

3. Enter your text, add a date or time, and choose your desired color.

4. Select “Create Stamp”.

5. To use your stamp, follow step one. This time, your stamp will appear as the first option in the "Existing Stamp Designs".

6. Selecting your stamp will place it in the middle of the document. Click and drag the center of the stamp to move it around the document. Use the blue dots surrounding the stamp to resize it. Changing the size of the image will also adjust the text to match the space within the stamp.

Using the Content Library

The content library can be used to add and save comments to be reused for other document submissions. This function is useful for reoccurring comments that may be used across several different assignments. As a side note, you may use comments saved in the content library in other courses.

1. Select the “Content Library” icon.

2. Select the plus icon to add a new comment.

3. Type a comment. You may also select or create a category for said comment. Select "Add Comment" when you are finished.

4. Once you have added a comment, it will appear under the search bar. Select the three dots icon on the right side of the comment.

4a. The menu options also include an edit and delete function. Use the “Edit” option to modify the comment’s text. Doing this will not edit the content of existing or already placed comments.

4b. Use the “delete” option to discard the comment. Deleting the comment will not remove existing comments made on documents.

5. Select “place comment” to add this item to the assignment. Click anywhere in the assignment submission to add this comment. Click "Save" once your comment has been placed.

Content Library Category Creation and Reusable Comments

To create or access Content Library Comments click on the Content Library button

Click on the plus sign button to access/create categories or enter new comments directly into the Content Library

Create categories or enter new comments directly into the Content Library

Once created select and place your comment


Other Functions

  • Download – When downloading, it is recommended to view annotated PDFs in a native PDF viewer such as Adobe Acrobat.
  • Search – You may use this option to find specific words or phrases.
  • Print – This function can be done directly through the annotation option list.
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Article ID: 36954
Wed 3/8/23 11:14 AM
Wed 4/12/23 10:16 AM