How Do I Annotate My Zoom Screenshare?

Quick Links: | Prerequisites | Instructions | Troubleshooting |

Zoom's annotation feature enhances interaction during meetings by allowing participants to write or draw on shared screens, making collaborative sessions more engaging and productive. This guide will walk you through enabling annotations in your Zoom settings and using annotation tools as both a host and participant. Understanding how to use these tools effectively can transform your virtual meetings into interactive, collaborative spaces.


  • A Zoom account with access to the Zoom web portal.
  • Appropriate permissions to alter settings in the Zoom web portal.
  • A device capable of running Zoom with annotation support (PC, Mac, tablet).

Step-by-Step Instructions

Enable Annotation from Your Zoom Portal Settings

Before using annotation, make sure it's enabled in the Zoom web portal.

To enable annotation:

  1. From your browser, access the Chico State Zoom portal,
  2. In the navigation panel, click Settings.
  3. Under Meeting (Basic), verify that Annotation is enabled.
  4. If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, click Turn On to verify the change.
  5. Important: For security purposes, a best practice is to only allow the person who is sharing a screen to annotate. If desired, you can also change this setting during the screen share by selecting Security > Allow Participants to... Annotate on Shared Content.

Annotating Your Screen as Host

After sharing your screen or whiteboard, annotation controls will appear. If you do not see the annotation tools, select Annotate (if sharing your screen) or Whiteboard (if sharing a whiteboard).


Accessing Annotation Tools as a Participant

While viewing a shared screen or whiteboard, select View Options then Annotate at the top.

zoom screen sharing bar for participants with arrow pointing at View Options

Available Annotation Tools

Zoom provides a comprehensive set of annotation tools that allow users to draw, highlight, and write on shared screens during meetings. These tools are accessible when sharing a screen or whiteboard and include:

  1. Mouse: Deactivates annotation tools, allowing you to use your cursor as a regular mouse pointer. This tool is highlighted in blue when active.
  2. Select: Available only to the person who has started the shared screen or whiteboard. It allows you to select, move, or resize annotations.
  3. Text: Enables you to insert text onto the shared screen.
  4. Draw: Offers various drawing options, including lines, arrows, and shapes. Special features within this tool include the disappearing pen and a more precise arrow for drawing attention.
  5. Stamp: Allows you to place predefined icons, such as check marks or stars, onto the shared screen.
  6. Spotlight / Arrow:
    • Spotlight: Only available to the screen sharer. It turns the cursor into a spotlight, highlighting areas of interest on the shared screen.
    • Arrow: Replaces the cursor with a small arrow, useful for pointing out specific annotations or areas on the screen. Clicking inserts an arrow displaying your name, helping identify your annotations or points of interest to others.
  7. Eraser: Enables you to erase annotations you've made.
  8. Format: Allows you to change the color, line width, and font of your annotations for customization.
  9. Undo/Redo: Undo or redo your last annotation, helping correct mistakes or revisit previous steps.
  10. Clear: Clears all annotations from the shared screen.
  11. Save: Available only to the person who started the sharing. It saves all annotations as a screenshot in the local recording location.

annotation tool


  • If annotation tools are not appearing, ensure that the annotation feature is enabled in your Zoom settings.
  • For issues with using annotation on a tablet, ensure your device is compatible and check with TLP for any specific setup requirements.

Still need help? Reach out to Canvas support or the Technology & Learning Program for further assistance.

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Article ID: 99215
Tue 2/25/20 12:24 PM
Wed 2/28/24 3:37 PM

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