<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Annotation.jpg” />There are some web apps that are completely unremarkable, but they surprise us with their utility. What if you wanted to send someone a specific part or line of a web page (instead of the entire page) as a link? A click on the link should then take the receiver directly to that specific part of the web page. Sound familiar?
Citebite and Awesome Highlighter are the web apps that satisfy our double requirements of simplicity and utility.
Yes, you might compare Citebite and Awesome Highlighter to some of the other bookmarking and annotating tools that are crowding the web each day. Most prominently, you can compare it with the online bookmarking Diigo. These two may not be killer apps just yet, but they have some things going for it. Let’s dive into Citebite and Awesome Highlighter and see them in action.
An Example of Citebite in Action
Let’s take a sample webpage and put Citebite through its paces. Here’s a section that I liked from an article on Zen Habits that I wanted to share with some friends. All I have to do is –
Select that chunk of text and past it in the first field on the Citebite page.
In the second field, copy-paste the URL of the webpage.
Click on Make Citebite to get the unique URL. As the screen below shows, this is what is displayed.
Send it across to your friends. When your friends click on the Citebite link, it takes them to a cached version of the page on Citebite’s own server. The important section is highlighted in yellow for reference.
The cached page preserves the entire webpage as it is and you can browse through it normally. The advantage of serving a copy of the original page is that even if the original page is removed or there is a downtime, you and your circle gets to view the page with the annotated chunk of information. You can bookmark this page as any other normal webpage.
Citebite makes available a bookmarklet and a Firefox extension that makes linking to a section of a webpage a quick one-two click job.
An Example of Awesome Highlighter in Action
[NO LONGER WORKS] Awesome Highlighter also lets you highlight specific part of a webpage and then gives you a link that points to it. But it goes a step further by also letting you register and save your highlighted pages. We have covered it but it’s worth a second look.
Enter the URL of the webpage and Awesome Highlighter displays the page with the highlighting toolbar on top. Use the pen to highlight the relevant passage and click on Done. You can also add a small note to the highlighted text for reference.
The automatically generated link takes you to the highlighted and annotated page.
Awesome Highlighter also provides a Firefox Add-on and a bookmarklet. But it also gives us a few extras like the option to register and view all our highlighted pages. Plus, the stats page lets you know how many people viewed your marked text.
Awesome Highlighter also makes it easier to share with the options as shown in the screen.
Uses of Citebite and Awesome Highlighter
Using the highlight and link function straight from your browser, you can quickly share relevant sections with others. It’s a time-saver for collaborative teams.
Highlighting relevant portions of long and text heavy articles and linking them turns them into quick and easy research tools.
Citebite and Awesome Highlighter can be used by educators and students for annotating and sharing parts of web pages.
These two free web apps could also be time-saving tools to highlight errors and typos on webpages. Instead of taking a screenshot or emailing the error, a direct Citebite link to the error could do.
Citebite and Awesome Highlighter are simple tools. But where would you place them in the wide and varied pantheon of annotation tools? Tell us about the tool you use to annotate web pages on the go.
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