The copy-editor of the web

Annotator is an open-source JavaScript library to easily add annotation functionality to any webpage. Annotations can have comments, tags, links, users, and more. Annotator is designed for easy extensibility so its a cinch to add a new feature or behaviour. Annotator also fosters an active developer community with contributors from four continents, building 3rd party plugins allowing the annotation of PDFs, EPUBs, videos, images, sound, and more.

Download: 1.2.x stable 2.x pre-release GitHub

The annotator
Highlight text to annotate
View annotations by moving your mouse over highlights
Add the annotator to any page with the bookmarklet
Save annotations to AnnotateIt

Using Annotator

Simply select some text on this page and make a comment!

Adding annotation to any website is easy with Annotator. First, download the Annotator library, include it in your HTML.

Then, add the following javascript to initialize the annotator:

var ann = new Annotator(document.body);

Full instructions are in the Usage section of the docs.

To setup the default suite of plugins include annotator.min.css and annotator-full.min.js and call the "setupPlugins" method via .annotator(). For example:

var ann = new Annotator(document.body); 


Annotator has a simple but powerful plugin architecture. Plug-ins can also be included for adding functionality such as user permissions, tags, filtering and formatting.

The Annotator community has developed more than twenty plugins, such as:

For a full list of 3rd party Annotator plugins visit our plugin page.

How do I help?

We’re an open source project -- there are a number of ways to get involved. Here are a few:

  • Fix (or report) bugs: If you find an issue with The Annotator, have a look at our issue tracker, and file a bug. If you’re a developer, feel free to fork the project and submit a pull request.
  • Write documentation: If you find gaps in the documentation, you can pitch in there too. The process is similar: fork the project, edit the RST docs, and submit a pull request.
  • Write a plugin: If you’ve written a plugin, chances are your code will be useful to others. Please add a link to the wiki so people can find your stuff.

If you’re interested in our community, or you’re having trouble with something, please join our mailing list.

Who is using it?

More than a dozen projects rely on Annotator for their digital annotation needs and many are open source. A few noteables include, edX, Annotation Studio, and Peer Library. Please checkout our showcase page for a more complete list.

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