How to Annotate on Zoom: Step-by-Step Guide (with Photos)

zoom meeting

How to Annotate on Zoom: Step-by-Step Guide (with Photos)

Annotation is one of the exceptional features of Zoom. It allows users to be precise and draw attention to critical issues during the presentation. Annotation on Zoom only works when users share their screen or enable the whiteboard. Then, you can access all these wonderful features without setting up an account first.

The following sections will provide information on the benefits of Zoom and how to set up an account. But if you already know all these, move over to the second section where we explain in detail how to annotate on Zoom.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a video and web conferencing application. The application allows users to organize conferences, webinars, lectures, and meetings remotely with cutting-edge features like HD video and audio, built-in collaboration features, end-to-end encryption for all meetings, streamlined calendaring, and recording and transcribing. Zoom is compatible with almost all operating systems, like Android, iOS, and Windows.

Eric Yuan developed the web conferencing application in 2011. Its corporate headquarters are located in San Jose, California. The application witnessed an upsurge in users due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has maintained its leading role in web conferencing. As a communication solution, Zoom provides individuals, groups, and companies with continuous contact through video conferencing and features.

Why Use Zoom?

Zoom allows businesses and individuals to gather over 300 participants for a conference or meeting that can last up to 30 hours. Users can record their meetings and webinars for documentation purposes. This recording can be saved locally on your devices or in the Zoom cloud for 150 days. Plus, Zoom has excellent audio and video quality.

One attraction of Zoom is its intuitive user experience guided by brilliant features. These features allow users and participants to interact seamlessly with the applications. Zoom also gives the host or facilitator a powerful administrative dashboard. As an administrator, you can determine the laxity you want participants to have regarding whether they can use their microphone, share their screen, use annotation tools, and other features. Zoom also provides end-to-end encryption of the meeting.

Steps to Set Up a Zoom Account

Zoom is a great app that connects everybody, but you must connect with it first. Every new user must set up an account on the application to access its features. Below is the step-by-step guide on how to set up an account on Zoom.

Step 1: Download the Zoom app

Download the Zoom mobile application from your app store, i.e., Google Play Store for Android or the App Store for iPhones. Go to the Zoom website to get the PC application for your laptops. Click on any of the options above, and your download will start automatically.

Step 2: Register and Set Up an Account

You can sign up on the website or the installed app. If you sign-up on the website, you will only have to log in on the app. Note that the sign-up page will request personal information like your birth year. From here, the next page will request your email address to verify your account.

You must input your first and last name and password on the next page. Don’t forget to check the box For Educators if you’re representing an institution of learning. You now have access to the wonderful world of Zoom to yourself. You can now schedule meetings with your colleagues, set your profile to your preference, go for any plan that suits you, and enjoy the world of endless communication.

annotate on zoom
Set up your account by following the prompts.

How to Annotate on Zoom Using Windows PC, Mac, or Mobile

There are two ways to use the annotation on Zoom: Screen Sharing or the Whiteboards. Both features allow users to present to other participants. The Annotation feature on Zoom has tools like Select, Text, Draw, Stamp, Spotlight, Eraser, Format, Undo, Redo, Clear, and Save.

The following steps will show you how to access the annotation tools on the Zoom application on mobile phones and PCs.

Annotate Using the Screen Sharing

  1. Launch a meeting and click on the Share Screen icon at the bottom of the meeting page.
  2. Select the screen you would like to share and click the Annotate button on the green frame that pops up.
  3. Once the screen is shared, the annotation tool (pencil) will become available. Before we explain the various tools under the annotation, let’s review how to annotate through the whiteboard.
annotate on Zoom
Click Share Screen.
annotate on Zoom
Select Annotate.

How to Annotate through Whiteboard

  1. Click on the Whiteboards icon on the meeting page or you can also click on the Share Screen icon on the meeting page, then select Whiteboard.
  2. The annotation tools will automatically appear to you and you can select any of the options on the tool list.

Accessing the annotation tools on mobile phones is the same process as on PC. There are no differences. Activate screen sharing or whiteboard, and the Pencil/Annotation icon will be available instantly.

annotate on Zoom
Click Whiteboards.

Annotation Tools on Zoom

  1. Select: This tool allows you to adjust, resize, and select your annotations on the screen.
  2. Text: You can use this tool to insert text on the shared screen or whiteboard.
  3. Draw: This tool has different shapes and lines that users can utilize to bolster their presentations. For example, the highlighted square and circle draw transparent squares and circles.
  4. Stamp: This allows users to insert predefined icons like stars, hearts, question marks, and more.
  5. Spotlight: This allows users to point out sections of the screen or whiteboards to other participants. It includes a vanishing pen and arrow that displays once your mouse hovers on the shared screen.
  6. Eraser: As the name implies, this is used to clear annotations. Just click and drag it.
  7. Format: Users can use this tool to change the annotations’ color, line width, and font.
  8. Undo: This tool allows users to remove the latest annotation.
  9. Redo: Users can redo the latest annotations that they undid.
  10. Clear: This tool deletes all annotations.
  11. Save: Users can save the annotations in either PNG or PDF format. The saved file will be in the local storage.
annotate on Zoom
You have many annotation tools at your disposal!

How to Enable and Disable Annotation for Other Participants

If you are the host and want participants to annotate on Zoom either via the screen or whiteboards, follow the steps below. However, if your participants can annotate but are abusing it, or you want to disable it for any reason, this section will help you with it.

Enable Annotation for Other Participants

  1. After you have begun screen sharing, you will see various options. Click on the three dots (…) or the More icon.
  2. Click Enable Annotation for Others, and voila! Other participants can now annotate on the shared screen or whiteboards. Enjoy collaborative work with people.
annotate on Zoom
Click More, then Enable Annotation for Others.

Disable Annotation for Other Participants

  1. After you have begun screen sharing, you will see the below options. Click on the three dots (…) or the More icon.
  2. Click on the Disable Annotation for Others. Now, none of the participants can annotate on shared screens or whiteboards.
annotate on Zoom
Click More (or the three dots) and then Disable Annotation for Others.

How to Annotate in Zoom as a Participant if Someone Else is Sharing the Screen

When the host or other participant shares their screen or whiteboard on Zoom, you will be able to see a notice indicating whose screen you are looking at “You are viewing _____’s screen” at the top of your screen.

Click on View Options and there will be a drawdown with options. Within that, you will select Annotate. Although, you need to know that this option will only be available if the host enables annotation for participants.

annotate on Zoom
You can annotate the screen while someone else is screen sharing by clicking View Options, then Annotate, but it only works if the host has enabled it.

Check out this informative video tutorial on mastering the art of annotations during Zoom meetings. Whether you’re a teacher, presenter, or just someone who wants to engage more effectively, this video will show you step-by-step how to make the most of Zoom’s annotation tools.

Final Thoughts

Zoom’s in-meeting annotation feature allows you to ace the brainstorming and collaboration process since you can explain your thoughts to others while outlining them. Irrespective of the device, nothing can limit your access to maximize the annotating feature on Zoom.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you draw on Zoom as a participant?

When someone is scaring their screen, you will see a notice “You are viewing _____’s screen” at the top of your screen.

Click on View Options and there will be an options menu. Select Annotate from the options. Although, you need to know that this option will only be available if the host enables annotation for participants.

Can you annotate on the free version of Zoom?

Sure! The free version of Zoom allows users to annotate amongst a host of other features.

Does everyone see your annotation during a Zoom meeting?

Yes, all the participants in the Zoom meeting can see the annotation. Hence, most meeting hosts restrict other participants from accessing the features without permission to maintain order.

Can you annotate in Zoom browser?

Yes, the Zoom browser has the same features as the mobile and PC applications.

Can you annotate without taking permission?

This depends on whether the host enables or disables the annotation for other participants. If it is enabled, you can annotate without taking permission. If it is disabled, you will have to ask for permission before annotating.

However, some participants use third-party tools to bypass these restrictions. However, they offer a personalized experience without disrupting the ongoing meeting.

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