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Grade Assignments Using Annotate PDF

This tutorial shows how to create an Assignment that uses the Annotate PDF Tool which allows instructors to grade assignments without downloading them.

Note: It is not recommended using this tool to provide feedback for an assignment that students will need to revise, work on further, etc. This is because students will receive the feedback in the form of a PDF, which they won't be able to edit.

To create an Assignment with Annotate PDF:

  1. Follow the instructions to Create an Assignment
  2. When you get to the settings choose Submission Types, Feedback types, Grade settings, as described below:
Submission types
    1. Make sure the File Submissions box is selected.
    2. In the Accepted file types area, add .pdf. (Note Annotated PDF grader will also allow you to annotate Word docs)

Feedback Types
      1. Make sure the Annotate PDF box is selected. 
      2. Make Comment inline Yes (Default is No).

  1. After you've finished setting up the Assignment, click  to view it.

Marking with Annotate PDF

Graders can highlight, write, type, and add stamps and post notes in a PDF document submitted by a student when Annotate PDF is enabled. They can use a mouse, trackpad, or WACOM tablet to make handwritten markings when using a computer or an iPencil, stylus, or finger when grading on an iPad or other tablet.

  1. Click the assignment you would like to grade from within your course.

  2. In the Grading summary area, click  or (however you typically prefer to navigate through grading). If you have chosen to View all submissions, you will then click on a specific student's submission.

  3. The submission(s) will open one at a time in an annotation window as shown below.

  4. Select a tool from the annotation toolbar at the top of the window to mark the submission.

  5. Enter the Grade and any overall Feedback comments in the pane to the right of the annotation window. In addition to typing feedback, you can add files and links, or record short audio (microphone button) or video (camera button) clips.

  6. Click  or  when you are ready to proceed to the next submission.


  • If the document in annotation window is blank, the conversion to PDF failed (for a file submitted in a different format) or Annotate PDF could not read the PDF file. You will need to download the file using the link in the pane to the right of the annotation window and add annotations outside of Moodle.
  • To save a copy of your annotations and feedback outside of Moodle, click the Download Feedback PDF link beneath the Feedback Comments box.
  • The Annotate PDF feature only works with PDF files. If students submit files in other formats, Moodle will try to convert them to PDF so that you can mark them, but this conversion process does not work reliably or well. For best results when using Annotate PDF, have your students save their assignments as a single PDF file before they upload them
  • You can force students to submit assignments as a single PDF file using the settings recommended in Enabling Annotate PDF for an Assignment above.