Whether it’s for work, school, or personal use, annotating an article can be incredibly helpful for capturing important notes. Marking up documents will ensure that you can quickly find what you need. If Google Chrome is your browser of choice, there is no shortage of extensions to annotate to your heart’s content. Let’s take a look at some of the best options to get annotating on Chrome today.
1. Hypothesis – Web & PDF Annotation
The Hypothesis – Web & PDF Annotation Chrome extension is a general purpose one for web pages and PDF documents. You can use it to create notes, highlights, and replies. This is great if you want to make your research notes more organized and want to easily find stuff. You can also use it for discussions with friends or colleagues so you can collaborate privately.
On that note, Hypothesis allows you to leave both public and private annotations, so be careful you don’t make an annotation public by accident if a note wasn’t meant for public eyes. When you are ready to share your annotated documents, you can link to any notes or even a whole web page for others to review.
2. Awesome Screenshot
While most Chrome extensions in this space focus on letting you annotate text directly on the page, Awesome Screenshot is focused on capturing pages for offline use. With both full and partial screen capture available, it’s easy to annotate your screenshot with everything from circles, arrows, lines, rectangles and more. Adding text can be done whether or not you use a background color.
On top of that, you can also add a variety of background colors as well as switch between different fonts and font sizes. Is there something you want to blur on the page? You can do that just as easily, as you can highlight something you want to call special attention to. When you are done annotating, you can quickly save and share your annotated screenshot to your computer and share it with a friend, family or colleague.
3. Yawas – Web Highlighter
If you prefer to have more colors for highlighting different items, you will love Yawas – Web Highlighter. It’s another simple and straightforward web annotation tool, but what makes it different is that you are free to choose the highlight colors. Most of its functions, such as changing the highlight color, deleting highlights, etc., are accessible from the context menu and via keyboard shortcuts.
No matter which color you select for highlighting, all your changes are stored inside your bookmarks in Google or through Google’s built-in Chrome storage API. Whenever you open a web page you have already highlighted, all of those changes will be immediately present.
4. Kami – PDF and Document Markup
Kami – PDF and Document Markup is another feature-rich document annotation and markup extension. It works with Google Drive and Google Classroom and has tons of features, such as highlighting text, adding, underline, strikethrough, voice annotation, freehand drawing, inserting images, shapes, and signatures, offline mode, etc., but it’s not free.
It’s a very thorough professional app. If you are a teacher or student, this may be your best choice. If you are simply looking for a quick annotation tool, there are better options on this list. For students in particular, it’s worth noting that Kami does not collect or use your data in any way.
5. Diigo Web Collector – Capture and Annotate
For all Diigo fans, the Diigo Web Collector – Capture and Annotate Chrome extension is a blessing. You can use it to bookmark, archive, highlight, attach sticky notes, and mark up full pages and just portions. You can share them on Twitter and Facebook. It has some cool features, such as the ability to search your Diigo library simultaneously while searching Google or to show highlights automatically.
Nimbus is another screenshot-like tool that allows you to annotate a fragment, selected area or an entire webpage. Once you have your screenshot, hit the “Edit” button, and you can annotate to your heart’s content. Want to add graphics or text boxes? How about arrows or stickers? Highlighting text is available as well. Once you have completed all of your annotations, that’s when the benefits of Nimbus become notable.
You can upload your screenshot to Google Drive or Dropbox (premium edition), add a watermark (premium edition) or save it to Google Classroom. If you want to save your annotations to a PDF so you can easily reference your notations at any point, that’s possible as well. Perhaps the biggest benefit of using Nimbus is that you can record your screen to capture video and then annotate the video with its selection of shapes, arrows and rectangles.
While it’s easy to think every screenshot extension is the same, qSnap differentiates itself with a free price point even with all of its “premium” features. The most notable aspect is that it can take your annotated screenshots from a single site and combine them into a single document. It’s a huge timesaver that coincides with qSnap saving your snapped images to a “holding” tray for up to 30 days so you can quickly refer back to any screenshot. Outside of all of the extension features, annotating screenshots can be done with the extension’s built-in annotation tools: notes, highlighting, arrows, text boxes, cropping, circles and arrows.
Do you need to hide sensitive information on a page but still share it with another individual or group? That is no problem, as you can easily block out any information you don’t want to annotate or share. Once you have your document or screenshot properly marked up and ready for sharing, you can email directly from qSnap. Choose between JPG or PNG file formats as well as select from low, medium or high quality so images are completely legible.
Chrome annotation extensions come in many flavors – from small tools for simple text highlighting to full-fledged annotation and collaboration suites. Their features also vary, so if you try one and don’t like it, just try another and hope you will have more luck with it. Meanwhile, do also check out some of the best Google Chrome extensions to speed up browsing. You’ll also find useful Chrome flags for a more positive browsing experience.
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