About Online Annotation and Commenting

Blackboard automatically generates a PDF of student assignment submissions that can be viewed and annotated online through the course site's grading section. 

Font size and spacing in this PDF will often be different from the original document. Changes in page count and line-spacing may result.


Online annotation and commenting tools can be found on the Assessment Attempt page in both classic- and ultra-style course sites.

How It Works

You can use the toolbar at the top of the submission to draw or write on the document, type a post-it-note style comment, print, download annotated version, search the document, or add / draw lines from your personal feedback library.

attempt annotation toolbar

If you plan to read and / or annotate online, we strongly recommend you hide the right-hand details panel while you work.

Annotations are saved to Blackboard's PDF of the file, not the original file itself, as a result, an un-commented copy of the original file is always available.

Annotations are NOT included in automated archives.

Supported Formats

The following file formats can be automatically converted to PDF for annotation.

  • 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