How do I use the Blackboard Inline Grading Tool Bb Annotate?

Tags grades

Blackboard Learn offers Bb Annotate for Inline Grading in both the Original Course and Ultra Course Views. Bb Annotate offers a more robust feature set to provide customizable feedback to students. Features include a sidebar summary view, freehand drawing tools, various color selections, and much more.

Bb Annotate Overview

annotate view

Document View Settings

annotate menu
Note: As part of the responsive design, the menu display changes based on the screen size. On medium and small screens, the Document View settings display the page number you're viewing. Annotation tools are stacked under the View Annotation Tools icon. On small screens, the Content Library is hidden.

A. Sidebar: View ThumbnailOutline, or Annotation views of the submission.

B. Pages: Use the arrows to jump to different pages in the submission.

C. Pan: Move the submission on the page.

D. Zoom and Fit: Zoom in and out of the submission or adjust the view to fit the page, fit the width, or select the best fit.


E. Annotation tools: Select each tool to view the tool properties.

  • DrawingBrush, and Eraser: Draw freehand on the submission with various colors, thickness, and opacity. Select the eraser to remove annotations. You can erase parts of a freehand drawing with the eraser or select the Delete icon to delete the whole drawing.
  • Image or Stamp: Choose a preloaded stamp or create your own customized stamp or image to add to the submission.
  • Text: Add text directly on the submission. You can move, edit, and change the text and select the font, size, alignment, and color of the text.
  • Shapes: Choose LineArrowRectangleEllipsePolygon, and Polyline. Each shape has its own settings to change the color, width, opacity, and more.

F. Comment: Provide feedback in comments. Your comments appear in a panel next to the submission.

Students can access the annotated files but won't be able to add annotations in their submissions.

G. Print or Download: Print or download the submission with the annotations.

Note: A known issue with some browsers' built-in PDF viewer may not display all your annotations. Please view annotated PDFs in a native PDF viewer such as Adobe Acrobat.

H. Search: Search the submission for specific text.

I. Content Library: Create a bank of reusable comments. You can add, edit, delete, and search comments in the library. You can also add a comment directly to the submission page from the menu. Select the plus sign to add a new comment to the Content Library. You can Place comment, Copy to Clipboard, Edit, or Delete content from the library. Type keywords or phrases to search for saved comments.

Highlighter: Select specific portions of the submission to highlight. As you highlight text on the submission, an additional menu opens. You can highlight, strikethrough, underline, squiggle, or comment on the highlighted section.

Working with Bb Annotate 

On the Assignment Submission page, supported file types open in the browser. You can view and annotate these document types in the browser:

  • Microsoft® Word (DOC, DOCX)
  • Microsoft® PowerPoint®(PPT, PPTX)
  • Microsoft® Excel®(XLS, XLSX)
  • OpenOffice® Documents (ODS, ODT, ODP)
  • Digital Images (JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIF, TIFF, TGA, BMP, HEIC)
  • Source code (Java, PY, C, CPP, etc)
  • Medical Images (DICOM, DICM, DCM)
  • PDF
  • PSD
  • RTF
  • TXT
  • WPD
Note: Office Suite Macros, such as Visual Basic, aren't supported.


  • Annotation sessions expire after one hour. You'll receive a warning message before your session expires. Your completed annotations, feedback, and files are saved on the page. When you return, you can resume working.
  • Animated gifs display only the first frame in the pdf viewer for annotation purposes. Download the submission to view the animated gif.
  • Original formatting and embedded images are preserved. If a student submitted an unsupported file, you're prompted to download it. Assignment submissions created through the editor aren't compatible with inline grading.
  • Bb Annotate is supported on current versions of Firefox, Chrome, Edge and Safari.

Highlighting and Annotating Document Text

Annotated document highlight

Within a document, highlights and other annotations can be made by selecting lines of text:


  1. Select the text you want to highlight or make other annotations of
  2. Highlight: This button allows you to highlight the selected text.
  3. Strikethrough: This button allows you to strike the selected text.
  4. Underline: This button allows you to add an underline to the selected text.
  5. Ribbed underline: This button allows you to add a ribbed underline to the selected text.
  6. Comment: This button allows you to add a comment that is related to the selected text.


Using the Annotation Tools



To access the annotation tools, click on the Annotation Tools icon in the toolbar (Icon with the pen and paper).

Annotation tools

After clicking on the Annotation Tools button, the toolbar will change to show the following tools:

  1. Drawing tool: This tool allows you to draw on the page. Additional options include the Brush tool and the Eraser tool, which allows users to remove drawings.
  2. Insert Image/Stamp: This tool allows you to insert an image on the page, or allows users to insert a stamp from the provided stamp library
  3. Text Box: Use the text box tools to create text boxes in the document.
  4. Shape tool: Use the shape tool to draw shapes in the document.
Annotation tools numbered
To toggle different tools, click the triangle button next to the tool to use different tools. After you select the tool, you can change  the appearance of the annotations you create.

Modifying or Deleting Annotations

Modifying annotation

Click on the annotation you would like to modify or delete: A toolbar similar to the one above will appear at the top of the page.

  1. Click on the trashcan icon on the left to delete the selected annotation
  2. Use the options on the right to modify the appearance of the selected annotation. The options available will vary based on the type of annotation.

Adding Comments

  1. You can click on any location in the document to create a comment. The location of the comment is indicated by a speech bubble icon.
  2. Enter your comment in the text box provided.
  3. Click the Comment button to create your comment
Adding comments

Deleting a Comment

To delete a comment, click on the comment you wan to delete, and click the Trashcan button to delete it.

Deleting comment



Article ID: 1327
Fri 1/15/21 6:39 PM
Mon 4/19/21 9:06 AM

Related Services / Offerings (1)

Blackboard is UIC's learning management system for course-related activities and grade reporting.