Highlighting the web

Users of my new online forecasting book have asked about having a facility for personal highlighting of selected sections, as students often do with print books. We have plans to make this a built-in part of the platform, but for now it is possible to do it using a simple browser extension. This approach allows any website to be highlighted, so is even more useful than if we only had the facility on OTexts.org.

There are several possible tools available. One of the simplest tools that allows both highlighting and annotations is Diigo.

You need to sign up for an account (beware of the annoying video that plays at the bottom of the screen), and install the Diigolet bookmarklet in your browser. Then you will be able to highlight any web page or add “sticky notes” to any page. When you return to a website you have previously highlighted, Diigo will recreate any highlights for you.

Screenshot from 2014-03-06 11:57:33

The above example shows a couple of sentences highlighted from OTexts.org/fpp/5/7/ along with a sticky note. The toolbar near the top of the screen can be made visible using the Diigolet bookmarklet.

Highlighting is possible by simply selecting some text, and clicking the highlight button at the top of the screen. Adding a sticky note is as simple as clicking the “Sticky note” button at the top of the screen. Then drag the note to wherever you want it. There are other facilities available as well.

The free account allows 1000 highlights or annotations per year, so that should be enough for almost all students.

If Diigo is not quite right for you, check out Webnotes, or one of the other annotation tools available.

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