There are several “types” of Hypothesis annotations:
- Page Notes
This article will explain the differences among these annotation types and patterns for using them.
An annotation is the digital equivalent of a marginal note. After you select text on a page, you can use the “Annotate” button in the adder that pops up or press the “a” key on your keyboard. The annotation anchors to its selection in the document, quotes the selection, and allows you to add comments and/or tags. Annotations may be public, group-visible, or visible to only you (for more information, please see our help article: Who can see my annotations?). Annotations are useful for attaching a note to a specific passage of text within a web page or document.
A highlight is the digital equivalent of swiping a yellow marker over a passage of text. After you select text on a page, you can use the “Highlight” button in the adder that pops up or press the “h” key on your keyboard.
Like an annotation, a highlight anchors to its selection in the document and quotes the selection. Unlike annotations, highlights are always private (visible only to you, when you are logged in to Hypothesis) and do not provide the ability to add comments or tags. Highlights are useful when you want to easily access a passage of text from search or profile pages but you don’t need to attach a note to it.
A page note is like a social bookmark: it associates comments and/or tags with a document without anchoring that information to a passage within the document. You can create a Page Note by using the “New Page Note” button in the Hypothesis toolbar. You can add text and/or tags to a Page Note, just like you can with an annotation. Like Annotations, Page Notes may be public, group-visible, or visible to only you.
Unlike a Highlight, an Annotation, or a Page Note, a Reply doesn’t refer to an annotated document. Instead it refers to one of those annotation types, or to a prior reply. You use the Reply link to create a reply. Replies must contain text or tags. Like Annotations and Page Notes, Replies may be public, group-visible, or visible to only you.