Moodle: Grade assignments with Annotate PDF

Instructors can now provide detailed feedback on assignment submissions without downloading them by using the Annotate PDF tool. This feature allows instructors to leave digital comments on students' work.

Before you start, you will need access to the following:

  • An Instructor of record, Other editing teacher, or Non-editing teacher role in a Bryn Mawr Moodle course

Enable annotate PDF for an assignment

  1. Click the Edit mode toggle button in your course (if it isn't already on).
  2. Click +Add an activity or resource in the course section where you wish for your assignment to appear.
  3. From the list of activities, select Assignment.
  4. On the Settings page, edit the following features in the Submission Types menu:
    • Check the File Submissions box (required).
    • Set Maximum number of uploaded files to 1 (recommended).
    • Type .pdf in the Accepted file types box (recommended).


  1. Under Feedback Types, check Feedback Comments and Annotate PDF.

  1. Adjust the remaining settings as needed, then click Save and Display  or Save and return to course.

To enable this feature on an existing Assignment, click the Assignment name and go to the Settings page. From there, proceed through steps #4-7.

Mark with annotate PDF

  1. Open the assignment in your Moodle course page for which Annotate PDF has been enabled.
  2. On the Assignment page, click Grade.
  3. Submissions will open one at a time in an annotation window.
    PDF submission appears to the left, and submission information appears to the right with the feedback box to the bottom.

Note: Instructors can highlight, write, type, add stamps, and post notes in a PDF documents submitted by students when Annotate PDF is enabled. Instructors can do this on a computer, iPad, or other tablet.

  1. Select a tool from the annotation toolbar to mark the submission.
    Screenshot of toolbar for adding annotations
  2. Enter the Grade and any overall Feedback Comments. A part of your written feedback, you can add files, links, short audio (microphone button), or video clips (camera button).

  1. Attach any files you want to add to your comments through the Feedback files menu.

  1. Click Save Changes to save as you go or Save and Show Next when you are finished with a submission and are ready to proceed to the next one.
  2. To download a copy of any student's annotated submission, return to the Assignment page and find the Annotate PDF column. Pick the PDF you want to download and click its title. The PDF will download to your computer. 

Ensure students submit good PDF's

The Annotate PDF feature only works with PDF files. If students submit files in other formats, Moodle will try to turn them into PDF's, but these conversions are unreliable. For best results, have your students save their assignments as PDF's before submission. You can also force students to submit assignments as PDF's as part of the assignment settings.

Note: Some students may not know how to save, export, or print files as PDF's. Add a link to Save a File as a PDF to your Moodle course page or assignment instructions to help.

If your students need to submit handwritten work, make them aware of the following:


If you have any additional questions or problems, don't hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!

Phone: 610-526-7440 | Library and Help Desk hours
Email: help@brynmawr.eduService catalog
Location: Canaday Library 1st floor