back to blog

How to Annotate a Website: Give and Get Comments with Ease

August 30, 2022
Ferdie L. Eusebio
5 minute read

Waiting for your client or team to approve the design that you made can be frustrating. Instead of using your precious time to do other things, you can be stuck holding your breath, waiting at the edge of your seat.

If you are a web designer and you need to bounce ideas to your client or your team, you can do so by annotating websites. This way, you can pinpoint specific areas on the web page that need to be changed or improved. This will help save time in the long run because you would have already identified the areas that need work before starting the design process.

Annotations are a fantastic way to add extra information and context to your website. By highlighting key parts of your design, you can help viewers to understand your thought process and make it easier for them to find the information they need. When used correctly, annotations can also be a great way to add a touch of personality to your site and make it more engaging for visitors.

However, as with any element of website design, it is important to use annotations judiciously and only add them when they genuinely add value. Overuse can quickly become overwhelming and detract from the overall goal. So, if you are thinking about adding annotations to your site, take a moment to consider how they will enhance the visitor experience and whether they are truly necessary.

In this article, we’ll discuss in depth what website annotation is, the types of annotations you can do, the different ways to annotate a website, as well as some examples.

Ready? Let’s get started.

What is Website Annotation?

Website annotation is the process of marking up a design and adding notes or comments to digital documents. When it comes to website design, annotation is used to communicate ideas and suggestions between designers, developers, and clients. It can be done using built-in annotation tools in your web browser or a dedicated website annotation tool. Since it can be shared with others, it’s a great way to collaborate on a website.

With website annotation, you can highlight text, draw shapes, and add notes to a website. This can be helpful when you need to remember something important on a website or you need to share your thoughts with others, especially when it comes to website design.

Website annotation is particularly helpful if you are a freelance web designer. By annotating a client’s website, you can quickly and easily share your ideas with them. They can also communicate what they want. This can save a lot of time compared to trying to explain your thoughts in an email or scheduling a meeting online or over the phone.

Why do you need website annotation?

If you are a web designer, you know how important it is to have a well-designed website. But what happens when you need to add new content to your site? Or when you need to change the way your site looks?

This is where website annotation comes in. Website annotation is adding notes and comments to your website. This can be helpful when you're trying to keep track of changes you make to your site or when you're trying to communicate with other designers about your work.

In addition, website annotation can help you avoid making mistakes that could damage your site. So if you're looking for a way to improve your workflow and keep your site looking its best, consider using website annotations for providing comments and feedback.

Types of Website Annotation

Designing a website is not only about creating beautiful visuals but also having an understanding of how your clients want to be communicated. Websites are like books — there are all sorts of different annotation types, each with its own purpose. Here's a quick rundown of some of the most common types of website annotation:

1. Manual annotations

Beyond the simple act of writing on a website, manual annotations can be used to improve your design and web browsing experience. By taking the time to add your own notes and thoughts to a page, you can better remember what you read and make it easier to find important information later on.

Also, by manually annotating a website prototype, designers can quickly and easily make changes without having to write code or create new versions of the design. This saves time and helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

There are a few simple ways to add manual annotations, and these are through the following:

  • Editing the HTML markup: If you're comfortable working with HTML, you can also annotate a website by editing the markup directly. This can be a great way to leave very specific comments or to make small changes yourself. There are ways to add HTML comments without having to change the website’s code, which we shall discuss later.
  • Highlight: Highlighters are a great way to draw attention to specific areas of a website. If you see something that needs to be changed, simply highlight it and leave a comment explaining what should be done.
  • Sticky Notes or Comments: Sticky notes are another popular annotation tool. They're perfect for leaving general comments or instructions, and they can be easily moved around if necessary. Just be sure not to stick them too close to important content, as they may obscure it!
  • Shapes: Sometimes, a simple shape can say more than words ever could. If you want to draw attention to a particular area, try using shapes like arrows or circles. You can also use shapes to leave general comments - for example, you could use a rectangle to indicate where new content should be added.
  • Text Boxes: Text boxes are often used for leaving more detailed comments. If you want to explain exactly what needs to be changed or why something isn't working, a text box is the way to go. Just be sure not to make them too large or small - you want your feedback to be easy to read!
  • Tags: Tags are a great way to categorize your annotations. For example, you could tag all of your comments as "design" or "content." This can be helpful if you're working with a team, as it makes it easier for everyone to see what needs to be addressed.

2. Screenshot annotations

We’re all very visual nowadays, and capturing screenshots is one of the most common ways to pass information or prove a point. A website screenshot is a digital image of what a website looks like at a given moment, allowing you to freeze what you see.

Screenshot annotations are images accompanied by text explaining the problem, proposed features, or changes. Screenshots can be helpful when you need to show someone what a particular website looks like without giving them the live link. For example, you might want to take a screenshot of a website before and after redesigning it to show your client the transformation during a presentation.

Alternatively, you might want to annotate a screenshot to provide further context or explanation. Website annotation tools allow you to highlight specific areas of an image and add text or other visual elements. This can be a helpful way to call attention to certain features or point out potential problems.

Screenshot annotation can also be used for educational purposes, such as when you need to provide students with a visual guide to a complex concept.

3. Collaborative annotations

Collaborative annotations are created using a shared document, where multiple designers can leave comments and suggestions.

This can be immensely helpful for website design teams, allowing real-time feedback and collaboration on a live site. It can also be useful for students or researchers working together on a project.

This is the most in-demand type of annotation today because designs are usually a collaborative effort, especially when the website represents a company or business. You can use collaborative annotations to discuss adjustments immediately and without having to explain yourself lengthily. As such, team members can review your feedback in their own time and at their own pace.

Each annotation type has advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the right one for each project. Manual annotations are generally best for small projects with clear design specifications, while screenshot annotations are better suited for medium-sized projects with more complex designs. Collaborative annotations are ideal for team-based projects where multiple designers work on the same page and where designs are more intricate and complicated than usual.

Annotating a Website Using Different Tools

Whether you're looking to provide visual comments or simply highlight areas that need improvement, annotating a website can be a great way to get your point across. When it comes to giving feedback on a website, there are a variety of different tools that you can use.

1. Built-in Tools in Your Web Browser

A few options are available if you want to annotate a website using the built-in tools in your web browser. Depending on which web browser you are using, the steps may be slightly different.

Here are the steps for annotating a website using the built-in tools in Google Chrome:

1. Right-click the web page and select "Inspect" from the drop-down menu.

2. The "Inspect" window will open at the bottom of your screen or at the right side.

3. Hit the "Elements" tab at the top of the "Inspect" window.

4. Hover your mouse over the element you wish to annotate.

5. Choose and right-click the element and select "Edit as HTML" from the drop-down menu.

6. A text box will appear with the HTML code for that element.

7. Add your annotation inside the text box and click "Save."

Your annotation will now be visible on the web page!

The steps may be slightly different if you use a different web browser. However, the general idea is the same: you will need to open up the "Inspect" window and find the HTML code for the element you want to annotate. Then, add your annotation inside the text box and click "Save."

However, this is only useful for a locally saved website. You can download the page and then send it over to others. But that’s a bit too cumbersome, yes? Don’t worry, there are a couple other ways to do this.

2. Dedicated Website Annotation Tools

In the internet jungle, there are a plethora of website annotation tools. But which one is the right fit for you? That depends on what you're looking to annotate. Are you looking to add personal notes to websites for future reference? Maybe you want to share your thoughts on a particular article with a friend. Or maybe you're looking to collaborate on a project with colleagues.

There are a variety of website annotation tools available, each with its own set of features. So how do you choose the right one? Here's a quick guide to some of the most popular website annotation tools:


Instacap is the fastest, easiest way to share visual feedback. Just take a screenshot or screen capture, annotate it and share it with a link—no logins or meetings required. With Instacap, you can avoid long explanations, countless screenshots, and endless meetings. Plus, you can annotate and screen capture in one step, so you can avoid opening multiple apps and photo editors.

You can share your visual feedback asynchronously, and everyone will be on the same page—literally. You can likewise get the product, marketing, engineering teams, and everyone else on the same page with Instacap.

How can you annotate websites using Instacap? It’s simple; just visit this page. Here you’ll be given a choice whether to use the tool without signing up by using the Chrome extension or by signing up with a Google account.

Instacap is at the top of our list because aside from its foolproof features and shareable options, it is also 100% free. What you will have to pay a premium with other tools, you can get with Instacap without a fee. is a tool that allows you to annotate and collaborate on the contents of the web. It's a great way to have discussions around articles, papers, or any web-based content. It is an open-source software made specifically for educational purposes. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use it.

First, create an account on You can do this by going to the website and clicking on the "sign up" button, and installing the browser extension. Once you have an account, you can start annotation by going to the "my librarian" page and selecting the "start annotating" button.

Now, go to the webpage that you want to annotate. In the sidebar, you can see two tabs: "annotations" and "options." The annotations tab shows all of the annotations on the page, while the options tab lets you change your settings. To annotate the page, simply select some text and click the "annotate" button in the sidebar. This will open up a new window where you can add your annotation.

In the annotation window, you can add your commentary in the "note" field. You can also choose who can see your annotation by selecting one of the three options under "visibility": "only me," "everyone," or "following." When you're finished, simply click the "save" button, and your annotation will be saved.

PageProofer is an online annotation tool that allows users to add comments and suggestions directly onto web pages. This can be useful for proofreading documents or collaborating on projects.

To use Pageproofer, simply enter the URL of the page you wish to annotate. Then, use the built-in tools to add comments, highlight text, or draw shapes. You can also invite others to view and comment on your annotations.

Once you're finished, you can export your annotations as a PDF or share them via a link. So whether you're working on a school paper or collaborating on a work project, Pageproofer can help you get the job done.

This tool has four pricing options, the cheapest of which is priced at $30 per month and the most expensive, priced at $100 a month. All plans include a 15-day free trial.

Evernote Web Clipper

If you need to annotate a website using a dedicated website annotation tool, one option is to use the Evernote Web Clipper. This is a free tool that lets you clip, annotate, and save web pages for later reference.

Here are the steps for using Evernote:

1. Visit Evernote's webclipper page and click "Get started."

2. Hit "Install now" and "Add to Chrome."

3. Evernote will be added to your Chrome toolbar.

4. Open up the website you wish to annotate and click the "Evernote" icon in your toolbar.

5. Evernote’s window will open up.

6. Click the "Annotate this page" button.

7. A text box will appear with the HTML code for that element.

8. Add your annotation inside the text box and click "Save."

9. Your annotation will now be visible on the web page.

Like the manual website annotation by Google Chrome, where the webpage is only locally saved, the same goes for Evernote. However, you can share a link to your saved page with anyone you want to share it with.

Evernote has a free option, though it can only sync up to two devices. Its paid plans go from $7.99 up to $14.99 a month, depending on the storage and number of users.

When it comes to website annotation tools, there are a lot of different options available on the market. However, not all of these tools are created equal. Some are more user-friendly than others, and some have more features. Ultimately, the best website annotation tool is the one that best meets your needs. So take some time to try out a few different tools, and see which one works best for you.

3. PDF Annotation Tools for Website Feedback

If you want to save a website as a PDF document, you can utilize a PDF annotation tool to annotate it. This can be helpful if you need to share the PDF document with others or if you need to keep a copy of it for yourself.

There are a few different PDF annotation tools available. Some of these are paid tools, while others are free. A few examples of such annotation tools are:

  • 1. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
  • 2. Foxit Reader
  • 3. Nitro Pro
  • 4. PDF-XChange Viewer
  • 5. SumatraPDF

How do you use these tools? It’s pretty easy, actually. Here are the steps:

  1. Install your chosen program on your computer.
  2. Open up the website you wish to save as a PDF document.
  3. Once the website is open, click "File" and then "Print."
  4. From the "Print" window, choose Save as PDF on the printer options.
  5. Open the PDF with your annotation tool and place notes as you wish, then save.

Your PDF document will now be saved with your annotations!

Examples of Website Annotations Usage

Regarding website design, annotations can be a practical tool for providing additional context and information. How would you know if your style works or if you have bad website design until you receive feedback?

Here are a few examples of how annotations can be used to improve the user experience:

  • A map of a website's features and content – Annotations can be used to create a map of its features and content, making it easier for users to find what they're looking for.
  • A visual sitemap – A visual sitemap can be created using annotations to show the relationships between different pages and content areas.
  • Annotated screenshots – Screenshots can be annotated to provide more information about the content or functionality of a page.
  • A site tour – A site tour can be created by annotating screenshots or images to highlight different features of the website.

By including annotations in website design, professional graphic designers can provide and receive valuable information that can improve the user experience. When used effectively, annotations can help make a website more intuitive and easy to use.

Who Benefits From Website Annotations?

Annotation tools can be a great asset for many people. They allow you to add notes and comments to specific parts of a web page, which can be helpful when working on a design project with multiple team members. Also, annotations can be used to provide feedback on a design or to brainstorm ideas for future changes.

Best of all, website annotation tools are usually free and easy to set up. So if you are looking for a way to improve your workflow and collaboration on web projects, give website annotation tools a try.

Here are a few examples of groups of people who can benefit from such tools:

  1. Website designers

By allowing designers to add comments and notes to a web page, website annotation can help clarify a page's purpose and identify potential problems. Additionally, website annotation can be used to track the progress of a project and facilitate collaboration between team members.

For example, if a designer makes changes to a web page, they can add a note detailing the changes that have been made. This allows other team members to see what has been changed and why preventing confusion and ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

Ultimately, website annotation is essential for any website designer who wants to create a user-friendly and efficient website.

  1. Web Developers

Any web developer worth their salt knows the importance of website annotation. Web developers usually add comments to the code in order to explain its purpose or to provide instructions for future development. These annotations don’t harm or change the code in any way, as long as they are placed within comment or annotation symbols.

While some might see annotation as nothing more than extra work, the truth is that it can be enormously helpful, both for developers working on a project and for those who inherit a project from another developer. Perhaps the most obvious benefit of annotation is that it can save a lot of time and effort by providing a clear explanation of what a piece of code does.

This can be especially helpful when working on a large or complex project with multiple developers, as it can help to avoid miscommunication and wasted effort. In addition, annotation can help to make code more readable and understandable, which can be invaluable for developers who are unfamiliar with a particular project.

By taking the time to annotate their code, developers can ensure that their work will be better understood and appreciated by those who come after them.

Annotating website code is hidden, though, and is not usually seen by others who cannot access the code themselves.

  1. Businesses

With the help of adding notes and comments to web pages, businesses can give their team members real-time feedback on the design and user experience of the site. This can help to ensure that the final product is more user-friendly and efficient.

In addition, website annotation can be used to track changes and monitor performance over time. This data can be used to improve the website on an ongoing basis, making it more effective and successful in the long run.

Apart from annotating your own business website, this can also be done when researching other businesses. Anyone who has ever done a research project knows the value of annotations. By taking the time to identify and record the most important information from a website, businesses can ensure that they are making the best use of their time online.

This is especially true when it comes to conducting competitor analysis. By carefully annotating a rival's website, businesses can gain valuable insights into their marketing strategies, product offerings, and even their organizational structure.

In short, annotations can be a powerful tool for any business that wants to stay ahead of the competition. And while there may be no such thing as a perfect annotation system, taking the time to develop a custom approach that meets the specific needs of your business is sure to pay off in the long run.

  1. Collaborators

When working on a website design project, it's important to communicate your ideas clearly to your team, so of course, website annotation can help in this aspect. This lets you add notes and comments to specific parts of the design, making it easy for others to understand your thought process.

Annotations can also be used to track changes and progress over time. For example, if you're working on a mockup, you can apply annotations to track which elements have been finalized and which are still in flux.

This can help prevent confusion down the line and make it easier for everyone to stay on the same page. Furthermore, website annotation is a valuable tool for any design team and one that can help make your collaboration more efficient and productive.

  1. Teachers and students

Annotations can be a helpful tool for both teachers and students. For teachers, annotations can help to identify areas that need further explanation or clarification. In addition, annotations can also be used to provide additional context or background information.

For students, annotations can help to improve comprehension and retention. It can also be a study aid, allowing students to review key concepts and ideas quickly. While some website annotation tools are designed specifically for educators, others are available for anyone.

Whether you are a teacher looking to improve your instruction or a student searching for a better way to learn, website annotation can be a valuable resource.

Final Thoughts on How to Annotate a Website

Annotating a website is easy! Just highlight the text you want to annotate, click the annotation button, and type away. Website annotation tools are great for leaving comments, asking questions, and sharing thoughts with others.

By using a website annotation tool, you can quickly and easily add notes, highlights, and comments to web pages. This can be extremely helpful when you are researching a topic, trying to remember something important, or collaborating with a team on website design.

So next time you're feeling overwhelmed by taking down notes for providing feedback or additional information, consider giving website annotation tools like Instacap a try. You might be surprised at how much it can help!

Get visual collaboration superpowers

New Articles