Vault includes robust annotation capabilities, allowing you to add or reply to annotations in your browser. There are six different types of annotations: Image, Text, Sticky Note, Line, Link, and Anchor annotations. Each annotation has two parts, the selection on the document, and the note, which includes any comments you made. Limited annotation functions are available for video files. See Annotating Videos for details.
Changes to Annotations with Action UI Enabled
When enabled, the Vault Action UI provides several important enhancements to annotations in Vault. Primarily, annotations and replies are now edited in place, in the annotation itself, instead of within a dialog on top of the document’s content. If a user clicks outside of an unsaved annotation, when no user input exists, the annotation is canceled. If unsaved user input exists, the user must either confirm to dismiss or cancel to continue editing the annotation.
Comment annotations use new, more visually distinct colors. Existing annotations display the new colors and each old color is mapped to a new color by the system.
Other changes of note include:
- Distinct note type icons (image, text, sticky, line ) are now replaced by a single Comment icon .
- Page Level Annotations (created by Bring Forward Annotations) now have their own distinct icon.
- Auto Link and Approved Link annotations now have distinct icons; Approved Links also display a check mark.
- Resolving an annotation is now performed by clicking on a checkmark icon in the Info Card, and reopening is performed by clicking on a flag icon which appears in place of the checkmark when resolved.
- Line annotation placemark styling is moved to the Info Card, to be consistent with other annotation types.
Note: Vault Action UI is not applied to Notes View.
You can toggle between cursor modes to create text/image annotations, line annotations, and link annotations, or to navigate within a document. While in the text/image, line, or link annotation mode, clicking on the document creates an annotation. In the navigation mode, clicking allows you to drag the document within the viewer.
Text selections can be up to 200 words and image selections must be within the boundaries of a single page. Sticky comment annotations cannot be created over text. To add image, text, or sticky comment annotations:
- Open the Doc Info page and click View annotations in the viewer panel.
- Click Select annotation tool and select the text/image annotation cursor mode.
- If the area contains selectable text, highlight the text. Vault supports whole word selection only. If not, click and drag to select an area for an image annotation. Single click in an area without selectable text to create a sticky comment annotation.
- Optional: Change the style of your text or image annotation by selecting from the styles drop-down menu. For image annotations, you cannot change the style after saving the annotation.
- Type a note in the dialog that appears.
- Optional: If you want to notify a user about an annotation, add a user mention by typing “@” and the beginning of their first name, last name, or Vault username in the Comment field and selecting from the list of users.
- Optional: If your Vault has tags, click on tags to apply them to the annotation. Admin users can configure tags.
- Click Save.
Vault cancels annotations when you click outside of an unsaved annotation and no input exists. If unsaved user input exists, you must either confirm to dismiss or cancel to continue editing the annotation.
Note: Internet Explorer 11 does not support the ability to manually resize the Comment field in Create Annotation and Edit Annotation dialogs.
How to Add Line Annotations
To draw a line on the document (line annotation):
- Open the Doc Info page and click View annotations in the viewer panel.
- Click the Select annotation tool and select the line cursor mode.
- Click and drag on the document to create a line.
- Optional: Click and drag again to create additional lines in the line group. You can also resize and move individual lines or the entire line group.
- Optional: Modify the color and width of the line using the options that appear alongside the cursor mode selector.
- Optional: Type a note in the dialog box that appears.
- Optional: If your Vault has tags, click on tags to apply them to the annotation.
- Optional: If you want to notify a user about an annotation, add a user mention by typing “@” or “+” and the beginning of the first name, last name, or Vault user name and selecting from the list of users.
- Click Save. Once saved, you can move the annotation to resize, and move individual lines or the line group.
Line annotations do not appear correctly when a page is rotated in the document viewer. Make sure you are viewing the page in its original orientation when adding line annotations.
In some cases, line annotations appear cut off after editing.
How to Add Link Annotations
Link annotations are made up of two components: links and anchors. Links and anchors are reviewed in Using Document Links & Anchors.
Vault notifies you when users:
- Add a reply to your note annotation
- Add a new note or reply to an existing note on a Favorite document
- Mention you in an annotation
Vault only sends notifications for new user mentions. Vault does not send notifications if a user edits a note with an existing user mention.
Vault limits the number of notifications from a single annotation event, preventing redundant notifications. For example, if you respond to another user’s note annotation and mention them, that user will only receive one notification and one email. An Admin can configure the notification and email text.
When creating or replying to an annotation, you can mention another Vault user in your annotation to send them a notification about your annotation. While Vault allows you to mention one or more users, you cannot mention groups. You can only save an annotation if all mentioned users have View Content and View Document permissions. User mentions do not grant any permissions.
After you save an annotation with a user mention, Vault sends a notification and an email to the mentioned user. If you mention a user more than once in a single comment, that user will only receive one notification and one email. An Admin can configure the notification and email text.
Annotation Color Selector
You can select a color from the palette in the Edit Annotation dialog. Vault stores and uses that color for your notes, replies, and text highlighting until you select a different color. If your document role has a required color, your Admins have defined a color for you and you cannot edit this.
Annotation styles change the way the selected text displays on the page. To change between styles, click the text icon.
- Highlight displays the selected text highlighted.
- Insert underlines the selected text.
- Strikethrough strikes out the selected text.
- Revise Text shows a dashed underline and highlight on the selected text and automatically inserts the selected text into the note field.
- External Link highlights the selected text and makes it an active hyperlink to the URL you enter.
Once you or another user has added an annotation, there are various actions available:
- Edit allows you to change any part of your annotation. This option is only available to the user who created the annotation. You can edit your reply on another user’s annotation if your reply is the latest.
- Delete removes any annotation or reply. This option is only available to the user who created the annotation. If replies exist, the original creator can delete the original annotation, which also deletes any replies. You can delete your reply to an annotation if your reply is the latest. Once deleted, annotations are not recoverable.
- Move allows you to move your annotation.
- Hide hides the annotation temporarily. This action works differently from the show/hide options in the Filter menu. To show an annotation that you’ve hidden this way, you must reload the document viewer. Other users will continue to see the annotation.
- Resolve annotation (checkmark icon) adds a Resolved attribute to the annotation. By default, resolved annotations remain visible. You can hide them using the Filters menu. You cannot resolve Link and Anchor annotations.
- Reopen annotation (flag icon) removes the Resolved status for an annotation.
Annotations are attached to a specific location on a document. Click the All Actions menu and select Move to move an annotation. You can move annotations in the following ways:
- Comment or Link Annotations with Text Selections: Moving the annotation changes which text is selected. Editing can also change a text selection into an image selection.
- Comment or Link Annotations with Image Selections: Moving the annotation can move or resize the selected area. Editing can also change an image selection into a text selection.
- Comment or Link Annotations on Videos: Moving the annotation adjusts the time signature and the selected area.
- Sticky Comment Annotations: Moving the annotation moves the sticky note icon. Although you can’t create a sticky comment over text, you can move it over a text area. Note that you cannot resize the sticky comment icon.
- Line Annotations: Moving the annotation can move the line group to a different location on the document. When moving a line group, you can also add, remove, or edit the lines in the group.
- Anchor Annotations: If you have the Manage Anchors permission, you can move any anchor annotations that do not have inbound references.
After moving the annotation, click the Checkmark icon to save or the X to cancel your changes.
Note Position Menu
From the document view, you can choose where in the viewer your notes display.
- Overlay: Notes display on top of the document rendition, next to their related annotation. You can drag and drop the notes to temporarily move them within the page.
- Sidebar: Vault zooms out of the document rendition to make room for a sidebar within the viewer where the notes display. Notes align, space permitting, with their selected text or area on the document. Selecting an annotation brings the related text/area and the note into focus in the viewer.
How to Hide Annotations
If you need to add an annotation to an area where there are already multiple annotations, there is a shortcut key to help you hide all of the annotations quickly. Pressing the shortcut a second time makes the hidden annotations visible again.
- On Mac®: Use [Option] and [,]
- On Windows™: Use right [Ctrl] and [,]
You can also hide all annotations or specific types of annotations from the Filters menu.
You can you use the Filter menu to show and hide annotations based on various criteria:
- Note: Show only unresolved or only resolved annotations.
- Placement: Show annotations that have a text or image selection in the document, or show page-level annotations without a text or image selection.
- Links: Show link annotations by type - Document, Permalink, or anchor. Filtering permalink annotations is only visible in Vaults with linking to permalinks enabled.
- Author: Show annotations created by yourself, or show annotations created by other users.
- Tags: Show only annotations with specific tags.
You can also click Filter Anchors to show only anchors that are used by specific selected documents. This option opens a dialog where you can search for and select documents. Vault will hide all anchors not used by one of the selected documents. To view all referencing documents, expand Anchors in the document before clicking Filter Anchors.
Vault remembers and re-applies most Filter menu settings for each user, across all documents, browsers, and sessions within a single Vault. The only Filter menu settings not saved are Hide/Show Annotations, Filter Anchors, Author, and Tag. When you view a document in annotate mode, Vault displays the number of annotations you’ve hidden with either the shortcut key or filters.
Bringing Forward Annotations
If your configuration allows this, you can bring forward link, note, anchor, and line annotations from previous document versions, dramatically reducing the effort required to maintain annotations throughout a document’s lifecycle.
There are two options in Vault to download and view a document’s annotations offline. The first, the PDF with Annotations download option, is available on all Vaults. This option gives you a read-only version of the annotations. The second, Export Annotations, requires that your Vault uses the offline annotations feature.
To download the PDF viewable rendition showing annotations in the margins, navigate to the the Doc Info page or Library, then click the file icon and select PDF with Annotations.To include resolved annotations in the download, set the checkbox in the Download with Annotations dialog. Vault includes the annotation notes in the margin of the downloaded PDF. Note that this does not include anchor annotations.
Note: There is a known issue where Vault does not place annotations properly on a downloaded PDF with annotations if one of the pages is larger than 8×11. If this occurs, please contact Veeva Support.
You can download a CSV file of notes for any document version that has a viewable rendition and at least one annotation. To download notes, navigate to the Doc Info page, open the All Actions menu, and select Download Notes. The CSV file downloads automatically.
The following permissions control your ability to annotate documents:
Ability to create, move, reply to, resolve, reopen, edit, bring forward, or delete note annotations.
Ability to access the Download Notes action. You must also have a Full User license type to access Download Notes.
Application: Viewer Administration: Manage Anchors
Ability to bring forward anchor annotations, or move or delete empty anchor annotations.
Application: Document: Download Rendition
Ability to download documents with annotations.
Annotation Color Mapping in Action UI
Every annotation in Vault retains a record of the color value assigned at the time of creation or last update, whether a legacy color or a new color associated with Action UI. For annotations with legacy color values: Vault maps the legacy color to a near-equivalent Action UI color, and displays the annotation using the new color.
Vault does not allow you to add, remove, or edit annotations on archived documents.