Advanced Content Authoring and Reporting - How to set up annotation in Pressbooks with Hypothes.is

Pressbooks can be used to author and host basic course content with interactivity as well as more advanced content authoring and reporting (ACAR) features (such as H5P activities, Hypothes.is annotations and reporting).

If you're interested in these advanced content authoring and reporting features, we highly recommended requesting a consultation from the Learn@UW-Madison team to help you get started. 

This documentation is for instructors who want to create annotations in Pressbooks via the Hypothes.is plugin. Instructors can use Hypothes.is in Pressbooks to draw attention to specific passages of text within their Pressbook and share additional relevant information.

The first version of this document is copied with permission from the Pressbooks 101 documentation from the L&S Instructional Design Collaborative (previously knon as L&S Learning Support Services).

Activate Hypothes.is for your Pressbook

By default, the Hypothes.is plugin is not activated in Pressbooks. In order to activate the annotation tool, navigate to the administrative side of your Pressbook, click Settings on the left-hand menu, then click Hypothesis. This will load the Hypothesis Settings Page. The Hypothesis Settings menu includes:

  1. Highlights on by default – check this box if you want the annotation highlights to be turned on by default for your book.
  2. Sidebar open by default –  check this box if you want the annotation pane to be open by default on your book.
  3. Enable annotation for PDFs in Media Library –  check this box if you want to enable annotation for PDFs in your media library.
  4.  Content Settings  – these check boxes control where Hypothes.is is loaded on your book. They include the front page, blog page, parts, chapters, front matter, and back matter.
    A screenshot showing the Hypothesis settings in Pressbooks

  5. Allow – these fields allow you to apply Hypothes.is to specific parts, chapters, front matter, and back matter.
  6. Disallow – these fields allow you to turn off Hypothes.is for select specific parts, chapters, front matter, and back matter.
    A screenshot from Pressbooks showing more Hypothes.is settings

Register for a Hypothes.is Account

To use Hypothes.is you’ll need to register for an account.  To do so you’ll need to provide a username, email address, and password, and then click the Sign Up button. After that, you should receive a confirmation email with a link to click to validate your account.  If you don’t see this email check your Spam or Junk folder. After confirming your account, enable the Hypothes.is Chrome extension in your browser.

A screenshot showing the "SIgn up for Hypothesis" screen which includes fields to enter information for username, email address, and password.

Creating an Annotation

The first time you log into your Hypothes.is pane, the How to Get Started box is displayed. It offers explanations of the different button functions and how to use them.

A screenshot showing the "How to get started" screen in Hypothes.is with steps 1-6 detailed.

To create an annotation or highlight, start by selecting the text and then choose either annotate or highlight. Choosing annotation will open the annotation pane to a new blank annotation field. Selecting highlight will highlight the text you have selected.

A screenshot showing the Hypothes.is "Annotate" and "Highlight" buttons.

Annotation Pane Tour

  1. Filter, Sort, Share, and Account buttons
  2. Turn on/off highlights, create annotation buttons
  3. Text editor formatting tools – bold, italic, quotation, link, media, LaTex, numbered list, bulleted list,
  4. Preview annotation
  5. Tags Field – add multiple tags separated by commas
  6. Post button – you can use the drop-down button to easily switch between Public, Private, and Group posting

A screenshot showing the Hypothes.is annotation pane.

Once you’ve created an annotation it will appear in the annotation pane on the right side of the page.  It features the text that you’ve selected to annotation at the top, your annotation, and tags.

Annotation Tour

  1. The annotation itself. In the example below, we’ve added a map of Edinburgh, Scotland to provide a visual for the city’s layout.
  2. Tags added to the annotation
  3. The edit, delete, reply, and share buttons.

A screenshot showing the Hypothes.is annotation pane with an image of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the edit, delete, reply, and share buttons.

You can also adjust the width of the annotation pane by dragging it to left (wider) or to the right (narrower).

An animated GIF showing that you can adjust the width of the annotation pane by clicking and dragging the arrow to the left or right.

If you would like to use H5P with your Pressbook, please refer to Advanced Content Authoring and Reporting - How to create interactive content in Pressbooks with H5P. If you want to add H5P to your Hypothesis annotation pane, please reach out to the DoIT Help Desk.


If you are done creating your interactive Pressbooks content and you want to embed it in Canvas, you'll follow the next set of directions in Advanced Content Authoring and Reporting - How to export a Pressbook as a Thin Common Cartridge for use in Canvas.

See Also:




Keywords:content, authoring, pilot, pressbooks, write, book, interactive, multimedia, hypothes.is, annotate, annotation, highlight   Doc ID:84856
Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW-Madison
Created:2018-08-13 11:51 CSTUpdated:2021-12-13 12:51 CST
Sites:Learn@UW-Madison
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