Lesson 1: Adding Annotations and Helpful Highlights

"No, no! Adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time."
- Lewis Carroll

Hello! Welcome to the Owl Eyes guided walkthrough. I am here to help you take full advantage of the tools Owl Eyes has to offer.

First off, let’s talk about annotations. The gray page icon in the right margin denotes the number of annotations in each paragraph. You will notice that, by default, all annotations made by Owl Eyes experts are already highlighted. If you click on any of these highlighted sections, the annotation box will pop up from the bottom of your screen. Click on this section of text, read through the annotations there, and then come back here.

Now you try:

Start by selecting this entire paragraph. Great! Now a little gray box will appear with three icons in it: a highlighter, a notepad, and a question mark inside a bubble. These are your highlight, annotation, and quiz-question tools; we’ll come back to them shortly. Click or tap anywhere outside of this highlighted paragraph to deselect this section.

Now, let make a highlight. Select this sentence, then click the highlighter button. So easy! You've made a highlight. Highlights will not appear in the annotation window, but you can easily convert them into annotations at any time by clicking on your highlight and clicking the notepad icon in the popup menu. This will allow you to read through a text, highlight important details, and go back through to annotate the highlights when you've finished reading.

Now, let’s make a annotation! Select the entire next paragraph, then choose the annotation tool. Remember, that’s the one that looks like a notepad. 

Fantastic! Annotations can be insights you, or others, have made into a specific part of the text. Have you ever been flipping back and forth through a book trying to find that one passage you underlined for class? No more! The great thing about Owl Eyes annotations is that they are searchable and sortable. But how?  Below the annotation box select ‘View More Options’. Voila! Here you can choose how to sort your annotations with tags such as Character Analysis or Facts. If you’re an educator, you can even see what Common Core Standard applies to a specific text. Above the tags, you’ve probably noticed the check box that allows you to submit your annotations to Owl Eyes. If you check that box, we here at Owl Eyes will read your annotation and may even incorporate it into our library so others can learn from you! Let’s make our first annotation now by selecting the annotation box and typing this sentence:

“Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the cat. ‘We’re all mad here.”


Great! Now, pick any tags you would like to associate with your annotation by checking the boxes next to them, then click ‘Save Note’. Now, click the little 'x' in the right-hand corner of the annotation window to dismiss it.

A job well done! Hard work gets me hungry. I’m going to make a sandwich. Click the ‘Next’ button below when you are ready, and I’ll meet you in the next chapter. Toodles!


  1. This is the annotation window! It will appear any time you select the page icon next to an annotated text. If a text has multiple annotations, the most recent annotation will appear first. You can navigate between annotations by using the arrows to the left and right of the annotation window. Click the arrow to the left to view a previous annotation.

    — Ian, Owl Eyes Staff
  2. Great job! Annotations are a unique part of reading on Owl Eyes. They can be used to share thoughts and ideas with your classroom or book club, look up facts about a passage, or save an idea you have for later. You can dismiss the annotation window at any time by using the 'x' in the upper-right corner of the window. Let's do that now.

    — Ian, Owl Eyes Staff