University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Annotation Tools

When students annotate a work—text or multimedia—they engage more deeply with it, making valuable connections and constructing meaning. On this page, we've gathered a collection of web-based tools that can be used by individuals or collaboratively to annotate text and/or multimedia.

The CTL staff can help you learn to use these tools and to plan assignments and assessment strategies. Contact to request an appointment.

Annotate Text Files

Annotated PDFs – Using Acrobat (Windows) or Preview (Mac), add text boxes, highlights, comments, images, and even audio or video to your PDF files.

Annotation Studio at MIT – A site that allows you to easily upload a file and add text, images, or links to highlighted segments.

Annotate Maps

Google MyMaps – Add pins to Google maps. Pins can contain text, images, links, video.

Annotate Images and Video

ThingLink – Start with any image as a base (even an image of a map). Add interactive tags composed of text, links, images, videos.

» 6 ThingLink examples

» CTL tutorial

Touchcast – Record a 5-minute video (new version will be 20) with an option of using whiteboard or greenscreens. You can add content such as embedded web sites, videos, polls, images, maps, etc.

Vialogue or VideoAnt – Upload or link to a video. Add time-marked comments, interactive questions, polls, and reply to comments.

VoiceThread – Upload image, docs, pdf, video and collaboratively add avatars, identified text, audio, or video comments.

YouTube Annotations – Add clickable text or link overlays to your YouTube videos.


Brown, Matthew D. "I’ll Have Mine Annotated, Please: Helping Students Make Connections with Texts."


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