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(Last Updated On: October 23, 2018)

Assignments can be annotated directly within Moodle and the grading interface has a variety of markup tools including comments, highlighting, drawing, and stamps.

Annotate PDF in Moodle

Example of an PDF assignment in editor mode.

1. Click on the assignment to be graded.

2. Click on “Grade” under the “Grading summary” section on the assignment page.

3. This will launch the grading interface.  The grading interface is divided into an annotation pane on the left and a smaller grading pane on the right to enter a score and other feedback.  At the top of the annotation pane you will see a row of editing tools.


moodle_pdfannotate_searcomments_icon[Search comments] button.

moodle_annotatepdf_comments_icon[Comments] button (l.) and Comments color drop-down menu (r.).

moodle_pdfannotate_selection_icon[Selection] button. Click [Selection] button and then click on an annotation in order to move or delete that annotation. This does not apply to deleting comment boxes which have their own delete option.

moodle_pdfannotate_drawingtools— Drawing tools buttons (left to right): [Freehand], [Line], [Rectangle], [Oval], [Highlight], and Annotation color drop-down menu.

moodle_pdfannotate_stamp_icon[Stamp] button (l.) and Select stamp drop-down menu (r.). Choose a “stamp” (a pre-defined set of graphics) from the Select stamp drop-down menu then click the [Stamp] button to annotate the PDF with that stamp.


Using the Comments Quicklist

You can create a Quicklist of comments for a list of stock comments that you repeatedly use to give feedback.

  1.  To add a comment to your Quicklist, enter text into the “Comments” box, click on the [Edit comments] button in the upper right corner of the “Comments” box and select Add to quicklist from the list. moodle_annotatepdf_comments_quicklist
  2. To use a comment from your Quicklist, add a “Comments” box, click on the [Edit comments] button and select the comment you wish to add from the list.

 Your Quicklist of comments can be used on different assignments within the same course as well as in different courses.


Saving Annotations and Notifying Students

Annotations are saved automatically once they have been created.  There is no need to take any additional action to save your annotations.  Once you have finished annotating a submission, use the Change user navigator at the top right of the page to move between submissions.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you do not wish to notify a student that you have finished grading their submission, uncheck the Notify students box at the bottom of the page.

Students will be able to see the annotated PDF when they navigate to their Assignment submission regardless of whether you choose to notify them or not. If you do not want the student see the annotated PDF, do not click the “Save changes” button until you are ready for the student to see it. Alternatively, you can hide the assignment on your course home page and then make it visible again when you are ready for students to view your feedback.

Searching for comments in an annotated PDF

After an Annotated PDF has been actively “saved” (see above discussion), instructors or students can search the comments by clicking on the [Search comments] button from the toolbar.  When a specific comment is selected, the user is taken to that instance of the comment in the annotated PDF.

Leaving the Grading Interface

To leave the Grading Interface, click on either the assignment name or the course name in the upper left corner of the page.