highlighterYou are reading a web page, say a news story on the CNN website, and would like to share it with your friend. The article is interesting but a bit long and therefore there’s a possibility that your ‘busy’ friend may skip the stuff that you really want him to read.

In the good old days of paper, you could have used an highlighter pen to mark the important lines but now that the text has gone digital, so have the highlighter pens.  Let’s look at some of the best tools that let you add highlights and text annotations to web pages without installing any software.

One of the easiest tools for adding annotations to public web pages is the Awesome Highlighter.

Highlight Web Pages

As soon as you open a web page inside Awesome Highlighter, your mouse cursor will automatically turn itself into a highlighter pen – you just have to select a piece of text to highlight it. You can use different colors for highlighting and there’s also an option to add text notes to web pages – see example.

Next in the category is BounceApp – this is actually a service for capturing screenshots of full web pages and there are built-in tools to annotate these screenshots.

You just have to draw a marquee around the text that you want to highlight and these are numbered automatically – this will help in case you would like the other person to read the different highlighted sections in any particular order.

Webpages with Annotations

Since BounceApps uses the image format, the advantage is that the annotated web page will always be an exact replica of the original page. However, the associated downside is that other people won’t be able to select any text from your shared page – see example.

Finally, you should also check out the new WebKlipper service. Like the previously mentioned Awesome Highlighter, WebKlipper too lets you add highlights and text notes to any web page but here you can do that with the help of keyboard shortcuts – I find this a little more handy.

An advantage (or disadvantage?) with WebKlipper is that the annotated web pages remain editable even after sharing. For instance, if you highlight some text on a page and share it with me, I can add my own annotations to the same page and they’ll become visible to you as well. Here’s a quick video demo:

Related: Annotate Web pages with Sticky Notes