How to Annotate a YouTube Video

Add links, subtitles, promotions, and more to your YouTube videos

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Annotations are an easy way to add links, promotions for your website, or other videos, commentary, corrections, and updates to your YouTube video. Easily add quick annotations to your videos by clicking and typing. This isn't the only way to create annotations, but it's a simple method for quick notes.

YouTube ended these traditional annotations in 2017 in favor of end screens. This article has been retained for archival purposes.

How to Annotate a YouTube Video

Here's how to add extra features to YouTube Videos:

  1. Log in to your YouTube account, and go to the Watch page.

  2. Play the video to the place where you want to start the annotation, then select the Plus sign (+) on the bottom left of the video.

    If you don't see the link to add an annotation, make sure you are logged in to the correct YouTube account, and turn on the Annotations Editor toggle switch.

  3. Select an annotation type. Choose either Speech Bubbles, Notes, or Spotlights.

    • Speech Bubbles make speech bubbles like the ones in cartoons to indicate someone speaking or thinking.
    • Notes are rectangular text boxes and can be located anywhere on the screen.
    • Spotlights create rollover areas on the video. The note doesn't show during playback unless you roll over the Spotlight area.

    If you change your mind, change the annotation type later.

  4. Enter the annotation. If you make a mistake, you can correct it at any time.

  5. Select the chain to add a web link.

  6. Press the color wheel to change the note color.

  7. In the lower-left corner of the video are two triangles with a line between them. This represents the duration of the annotation with the beginning and endpoint. Drag the triangles on either side to adjust the timing.

  8. Press Publish when you're finished creating the annotation.

    Click the Trashcan icon to delete the annotation.

  9. Your annotation is finished and live. Add more annotations or double-click the annotation to edit it.

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