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Highlighter & Co: Adding digital notes to documents

Annotation features in DocuWare

DocuWare offers lots of handy tools for annotating documents or highlighting elements. Find out more about them – like how you can add annotations to several layers and show/hide them all with one click.

In the DocuWare Viewer, you can write notes on documents or highlight details just like on paper. Using this for internal notes is especially beneficial. Comments are placed – just as with a digital stamp  – not directly on the document, but rather on layers that simply overlaid. You can have up to five levels of these transparent foils. Unlike on paper, the original document remains completely unchanged and can be viewed, printed or sent at any time without annotations.

Annotation features – overview

Annotations in DocuWare can be found in the "Annotations" section of the Viewer's toolbar. If the tools are grayed out, you only have read-only permissions to the opened document. If you don't see any or not all of the features, you can adapt them your viewer settings. 

Add text notes:  Use the type tool to add written notes to a document. As soon as you select the tool, you can set the font, color and size of the text and view it by clicking on "Preview". Then simply place the cursor on the document and start writing. You can also edit text in this way later. Simply double-click on the text with the edit arrow activated.

Add text annotation

Highlight or draw: The highlighter and freehand line allow you to write or draw on the document  with a mouse or, if you're working with a laptop with a touchscreen or tablet, with a digital pen. As with all other tools, the line width and color can be set as desired. The settings are saved until you change them again. 

Highlight elements

Apply lines, arrows, and shapes: You can also use the line and arrow tools. In addition, the rectangle and oval shapes can be used as a frame, as a solid cover, or as a transparent color. The flat transparent rectangle is suitable, for example, for highlighting larger areas on a document. 

Highlight large area


Save annotations

To save annotations, click the "Save" icon in the "Tools" section. 

3_Save annotations


Move and delete annotations 

Annotations can be moved or deleted at any time. Just click the edit arrow in the annotation tools, and then click the note you want to move or delete. Or remove them with the delete key or the "Delete Object" cross tool.   

Delete annotation


Annotate on multiple levels

As mentioned above, annotations in DocuWare are never placed directly on the document, but always on an additional layer. A total of five annotation levels are available for this purpose, which you can use independently of each other via the buttons 1 to 5 in the "Display" section of the Viewer's toolbar. If not all buttons are visible, you can adapt via your viewer settings. 

Annotations at different layers

For example, working with multiple levels of annotation is useful if you want to add internal notes as well as information intended for customers. Even if a document has already been stamped several times, it might be easier to add more notes on a brand new layer:

  • You can see which level you annotate by looking at the pencil icon. 
  • You can tell which layers are displayed by the fact that the corresponding button is highlighted in light blue. 
  • You can tell if there are annotations on a layer by the fact that each button is underlined. 

In the example above, layer 1 is the current editing layer. In addition, level 2 is displayed. Layers 3, 4, and 5 are hidden. There are also annotations on level 3 that could be displayed by clicking the button. 

Print, download, or send documents with or without annotations

When sending, downloading, and printing from DocuWare, you can decide whether to do so with or without annotations. There is a small but subtle difference depending on where you call up the feature:

  • Viewer toolbar: Here you have the option to print, send, download as a PDF with visible annotations. This is ideal for controlling which annotations are applied to multiple annotation levels. The layers with internal annotations can be easily hidden when sending a document to customers.
  • Context menu of result list, mailbox, folder or list: You‘ll find the option PDF with all annotations. Further details can also be found in in this article

7 Share with visible annotations


Merge annotations with document 

You can also merge all annotations with the original document. However, this step cannot be undone and the document will then no longer be available in the original. Only in version management with automatic versioning will a new document be created when the document is merged with the annotations and the original will be preserved as such in the archive.  To merge, use the tool of the same name in the "Display" section:

Merge layers