Creating, Managing, and Sharing Annotations

Matt Holmes
Matt Holmes
  • Updated

OnBoard allows you to create annotations directly on the pages within the meeting book. There are four different Annotation Tools: Highlight, Underline, Squiggly Line, Note, Free Text, and the Free Hand drawing tool. Annotations can be created from any of the supported web browsers or mobile applications. Notes created on one device can easily be referenced or changed on a different device!

Video - Meeting Book Annotations on the Web Browser

Video - Meeting Book Annotations on the Tablet App

The Annotation Toolbar

Once you have your Meeting Book open, (from the Calendar page, click a meeting, then click "Annotate" on the document toolbar above the Meeting Book to change into Annotate mode.


This will bring up the Annotation menu below the toolbar.


This toolbar has several functions. The left half of the Annotation Toolbar are the Annotation Tools that you can select.


The lighter section on the right half contains the selected Annotation Tool's Options. In this screenshot, Highlight is selected, so the Options show the different colors available for the Highlight tool.



To the far right side of the Annotation Toolbar are the Undo and Redo buttons for adjusting your Annotations from this session.


In this screenshot, from left to right, we have the Highlight, Underline, Squiggly, Note, Free Text, and Free Hand tools. Here are some examples on how each one of these can be used. (NOTE: Please keep in mind that the exact sequence of actions may differ between devices. Especially between a web browser on a computer and a touch-screen mobile device.)

Using the Highlight Tool

First click the Highlight icon. The Highlight Options on the right panel of the toolbar can be used to change the color to one of the 4 default Highlight colors.


Clicking the currently selected icon in the Highlight Tool Options will open a menu with several options to customize your current selection. It will have a preset set of colors to choose from, an option to select your own custom colors, and Opacity options.


Once selected, click and drag (or use your finger on a touch screen device) to select a block of text to apply the highlighter's color. You can also set your 4 top Highlight Tool Options to custom colors and alternate options as you see fit.


Using the Underline Tool

To the right of the Highlight Tool is the Underline tool.  The Underline Tool can be used to add colored underlines beneath text in the Meeting Book.


Similar to Highlight, the Underline Tool Options allow you to set 4 different custom colors to use, in case you need to mark text with different colors of underline to differentiate them.

Using the Squiggly Tool

Next is the Squiggly Tool, which acts just like the Underline tool in both function and the options available.


The main difference is that it adds a Squiggly underline. 


Clicking on your currently selected option in the Squiggly Tool Options on the right of the Annotations Toolbar will allow you to choose from several default color options, as well as allowing you to add a custom color, or change the transparency of your Squiggly underlines. mceclip16.png

Using the Note Tool

The Note annotation type will drop a note-looking icon on the page, but allow you to keep your typed messages related to that note just off the page.


The Note Tool Options offer a similar preset set of 4 colors to choose from, however clicking on the Note Tool Option you already have selected will present you with the familiar color selector, custom color chooser, and transparency options.


Click the Note Icon, then click the location on the page where you wish to drop this marker. Once placed, it can be moved around into a new location. With the newly placed annotation selected, a new panel will appear for you to begin typing your message. 


Using the Free Text Tool

Free Text allows you to type your own messages directly onto the document page.


Once the Free Text Tool is selected, click and drag a note box anywhere on your page, then begin typing your message! Each of the 4 Free Text Tool Options can be set differently for different styles or purpose.


Clicking on the selected Free Test Tool Option will allow you to adjust the annotation's font, size, color, alignment, background color, and opacity. 


Using the Free Hand Tool

The final tool available in the Annotations Toolbar is the Free Hand Tool.


Once selected, simply begin drawing on the page with your mouse or finger (for touch screens). 


The arrow at the bottom corner of the icon can be used to select the Free Hand drawing's color, line thickness, and opacity. 


Changing the Free Hand Tool's Options can allow a wide variety of lines and colors to be used!


Viewing Annotations from the Comments Panel

While viewing the meeting book in any of the applications, you'll be able to call up a multi-function panel typically from the right side of the screen. One of the tabs of this panel is called the Comments Panel. It keeps track of every location in the book where you've made annotations. From here, you can easily skip to the page these notes were made by clicking directly on the annotation in the list. This is also where annotations can be shared from (more on this below). Here's what the Annotation Summary Panel looks like in the web browser: 


For reference, here's that same view on the OnBoard iPhone app, which is a significantly smaller screen. 


Sharing Annotations with other Meeting Attendees

Annotations you have created in your books can be shared with other users who have access to the same Meeting. This also means that other users can share their Annotations with you! If you click on any Annotation in the Meeting Book, will have a menu appear with several options for the Annotation. To share an annotation, click the Share icon, then choose who you’d like to share the Annotation with, and then click Save. With an Annotation shared, these other users will be able to see the Annotation you’ve made when viewing the Book on their devices.


This will bring up the Share Annotations menu which will allow you to search for one or more users, select them, and then click Save to share!


Sharing Multiple Annotations at Once

You have several options for sharing multiple annotations at once.

When viewing your book, click on the "Annotations" tab on the top of your agenda. This shows all annotations you've made within the book. Click the "Select & Share" button to select your annotations.


Select all annotations with the "Select All" button, select all annotations in an agenda section, or select specific annotations. After you've selected the appropriate annotations, click the "Share Selected" button and choose who you'd like to share the annotations with.


You can also select multiple annotations on a single page. Use the Select Tool 2023-02-03_16-50-28.png and use your mouse to drag the selection box around the annotations you'd like to share in bulk. Or, you can hold down the Control(CTRL) key on the keyboard while clicking to select multiple annotations. Once selected, the menu will allow you to click to group annotations together. 


Once grouped together, use the Share Annotation button to share your annotations. 

Notifications for shared annotations will be delivered via email or as a push notification on the mobile or tablet app. 

Deleting, Editing, Grouping, and Filtering Annotations

Any annotation that you’ve created within the pages of your book can be styled to your liking. We can also control which annotations (if any) you’d like to see at any given time, or permanently delete them if they are no longer needed. Use the Annotation Filter at the bottom of the Web Viewer to choose which annotations you’d like to see. Select from All Annotations (yours and ones shared with you), Shared Annotations (only those shared with you), My Annotations (only ones you have created), and Hide Annotations (none at all).


If you’d prefer to permanently delete any annotation, just click the annotation to select it, then click the Delete button that appears in the menu above the selected annotation.

Any Annotation can be edited by clicking the Style button shown below. Opening this menu will allow you to choose a few different options, depending on the type of Annotation. For example, you can choose a highlighter tool’s color, as well as the line color and thickness of your freehand note tool.


Managing Annotations on Edited Documents

Microsoft documents in Meeting Books and Resource folders can be edited with OnBoard's Microsoft 365 Integration. Only Meeting and Resource Admins and Contributors can edit documents in OnBoard.

After a Meeting Book or Resource document has been edited, a banner will appear at the top of the page notifying you that annotations may have been impacted due to the edits. 


Annotations on edited documents will retain their initial position, and annotations can be moved or edited after a document has been updated. For more information on editing documents in OnBoard, review our article on Editing Microsoft 365 Documents. 


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