[annotator-dev] How do I change an annotations colour?

Walker, Bernard Bernard.Walker at lsec.dnd.ca
Fri Jun 3 18:41:25 UTC 2016

If anyone is curious / looking for a way to do this, my solution to this was to modify the highlighter.js file; specifically the method highlightRange.  I added the following code:


                hl.style.background = annotation.color;


Additionally, I included this function when loading annotator:

function() {

                return {

                                beforeAnnotationCreated: function (annotation) {

                                                annotation.color = currentlySelectedColour;




I rebuilt annotator and used this new build.  If there is a better way, I’d like to hear suggestions, but this works fine for my purposes.

From: annotator-dev [mailto:annotator-dev-bounces at lists.okfn.org] On Behalf Of Walker, Bernard
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2016 8:04 AM
To: 'Randall Leeds'; annotator-dev at lists.okfn.org
Subject: Re: [annotator-dev] How do I change an annotations colour?

Modifying/overriding the “.annotator-hl” stylesheet isn’t what I’m looking to do.  I was hoping to give individual annotations specific colours.

For example, annotations by Bob could appear in blue, whereas annotations by Milton could be red.  Another possible usage scenario would be to give priorities to annotations via their colour.  Red being the most important annotations on the page and so on.

I have determined that I can get all the currently existing annotation elements on a page document.getElementsByClassName(.annotator-hl).  I can iterate through this list and assign the colour based upon the data-annotation-id for that annotation element.

The above approach works, but I do not know when to do it.  The annotationCreated event fires after my annotation has been sent to the storage, but before it is drawn on the page – I cannot apply the colour to the annotation as it is not a page element yet, and thus cannot be found.  The annotationsLoaded event fires after I have fetches the annotations from storage, but before they are elements on the page.

Is there some way to get a list of all the annotations from storage?  I could possibly use a ‘then’ to apply the colour to the annotation elements after the app.annotations.load() promise completes?

Suggestions are welcome.

From: Randall Leeds [mailto:randall at bleeds.info]
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2016 12:19 AM
To: Walker, Bernard; annotator-dev at lists.okfn.org<mailto:annotator-dev at lists.okfn.org>
Subject: Re: [annotator-dev] How do I change an annotations colour?

Trivial or not depends on your goals.

Presently, there is not a way to specify an inline style, though it could be added.

Annotator uses its own, external stylesheet.

Whether the stylesheet or an inline style is appropriate depends on the environment.

Being able to set a custom class on a particular highlight span would also be an acceptable enhancement to enable more granular styling.

If your need is simply to change the color of all highlights, you can modify the CSS to change the ".annotator-hl" class styles, or leverage the manner in which stylesheets augment and override to provide different styles for that class in your own, external or embedded stylesheet.

On Thu, Jun 2, 2016, 07:30 Walker, Bernard <Bernard.Walker at lsec.dnd.ca<mailto:Bernard.Walker at lsec.dnd.ca>> wrote:
I am currently using Annotator 2.x, and I’m trying to change the colour of an annotation.  The only listing of the annotation format I can find is for the 1.2 version (http://docs.annotatorjs.org/en/v1.2.x/annotation-format.html).  Nowhere in that format do I see a way to specify the colour.  Annotorious has a style field; does the 2.X version of Annotator have something similar?

One would assume this would be trivial?

Bernard Walker, MSc.
Land Software Engineering Centre (LSEC)
Senior System Software Analyst - ICE
Phone 613-995-5627

Cha toir a’bhòidhchead goil air a’ phoit.

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