Using Annotations

The "Marginalia" annotation feature allows you to highlight passages of text and add margin notes to discussion forum posts.

Showing Annotations

A drop-down list at the top of the page allows you to display annotations for a specific user. Only users with annotations on this page are listed. If you wish to view and write your own annotatons, select My Annotations from the list.

Each annotation consists of a passage in the text (highlighted in yellow) and an associated note in the right margin. Hovering over either the highlight or the margin note will cause both to light up in red, indicating which note goes with which highlight.

Create an Annotation

Select a range of text in the content of a post. Then type Enter or click the tall narrow button in the right margin (it is faintly outlined, but lights up when the mouse pointer is over it). An edit box appears in the margin. Type in any margin note, then click elsewhere on the page or press Enter to save the annotation.

To edit one of your existing annotations, click on the note in the right margin. The note will appear in an edit box, and you can make changes just as you did when you created the annotation.

If you use the same margin note more than once, Margin can simplify retyping it by autocompleting the margin note as you type. You can accept Marginalia's suggestion, or ignore it and type over it.

Delete an Annotation

Click the small x next to the note text in the right margin.

Make an Annotation Private

By default, annotations are public - that is, they can be seen by anyone (in theory that could include people without Moodle logins) This is indicated by a small circle (○) in the margin next to the x delete button. To make the annotation private, so that only you can view it, click the circle. It will be replaced with a filled diamond (◆), indicating that the annotation is private. Click again if you wish to make the annotation public.

Discuss an Annotation

You may sometimes wish to comment on someone else's annotation, to turn one of your annotations into a more fleshed-out forum post, or to quote one of your annotations in a post you are writing. To do this, click the quotes (❛❜) next to the annotation. If you are already writing a forum post, Marginalia will insert the annotation text directly into the text you are editing. If not, Marginalia will open a new forum post for you and insert the annotation text there.

Viewing a Summary of Annotations

It is possible to view a summary of annotations for one or more forum discussions. To access it, click the summary link at the top right of the page.

Missing Annotations

Under rare circumstances (e.g. if someone edits an existing post), the annotation software may be unable to locate the text you highlighted when you created the annotation. In this case, the margin note is still shown, but the highlighted passage is not. In Firefox, a red exclamation mark next to the note indicates the problem; hovering the mouse over it displays the text of the original highlighted passage. You can always see all your annotations on the summary page.

Note that annotations cannot be deleted by anyone but you. Even if an annotated post or discussion is deleted, the annotations will still be available through the summary page.

Browser Support

Marginalia works with recent versions of the Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer browsers with Javascript enabled. Because of limitations in Internet Explorer, some features work better and faster in the other browsers.

More Information

For more information about annotations, see the Marginalia web site.

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