Why can’t I find my PDF annotations?

Why can’t I find my PDF annotations?2019-08-07T12:25:11-07:00
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How can I see my PDF annotations in context?

When you add annotations to a PDF, you’re able to go back to them later to view, share, and edit them in context. How you view those annotations in context will depend on where the PDF is located:

If you’re having trouble viewing your annotations in context, try some of the solutions below. Still stuck? Contact us and we’ll help!

The PDF is stored on your computer

If the PDF you’re annotating is saved on your computer (for example, in your Documents folder or on your Desktop), then you’ll need to open the original document to view your annotations in context. Click here for our instructions for viewing and annotating locally-saved PDFs.

If you use the activity page to open the documents containing your notes, you’ll find that PDFs you have on your computer don’t have a link that lets you open them automatically. The picture below shows an annotation on a PDF stored on a harddrive, so the top-left corner says “Local file”. When you see “Local file,” you’ll need to follow the instructions linked above to open the PDF in your browser and activate Hypothesis.

The PDF is hosted online

When a PDF is hosted online, there is a specific URL associated with that PDF, which you can visit at any time (for example: https://www.scholastic.com/content/dam/teachers/blogs/mary-blow/migrated-files/annotating_the_text_-_student_notes.pdf)

When you return to that URL and activate Hypothesis (using the Chrome extension, the Bookmarklet, or through Via) your annotations will appear in context like they would for a web page.

You can also find your annotations on your activity page. The picture below shows an annotation made on the PDF linked to above. The link back to the PDF is located in several places on the page:

If you click “Visit annotations in context,” the PDF will load in a new browser tab and the Hypothesis sidebar will expand to show your annotations.

The PDF was shared via a file hosting service, like Google Drive or Dropbox

Download the PDF from the file hosting service and save it to your computer. Follow our instructions for viewing and annotating locally-saved PDFs.

If you attempt to follow a link to your PDF from your activity page and the link doesn’t work, try the following:

  • If the PDF was shared through an LMS like Canvas, log in to your LMS, navigate to the PDF, and activate Hypothesis.
  • If the PDF was hosted on a website, try searching the file name, DOI, or other information associated with the PDF to find a copy that is hosted elsewhere.

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