How to Create & Edit YouTube Annotations

Marissa Mele - January 22, 2014

YouTube annotations allow a video creator to layer text, links and hotspots over their video. These help to supplement information in the video by adding information, make the video interactive and enable engagement with the viewer.

Here’s how to create and edit annotations:

Step 1: At the top of your YouTube page, click the arrow next to “Upload.”

step 1 - create youtube annotations

Step 2:  Choose “Video Manager” from the drop down menu.

step 2 - create youtube annotations

Step 3: Choose the video that you want to edit and then click the down arrow to the right of the “Edit” button.

step 3 - create youtube annotations

Step 4: Select “Annotations” from the dropdown menu.

step 4 - create youtube annotations

Step 5: Click the “Add Annotation” button on the right. There are 5 types of annotations you can choose from: speech bubble, spotlight, note, title, and label. Once you choose an annotation, you will be able to change the font, the color, the size and the position of the annotation. You will also want to set the timing of the annotation by choosing the “start” and “end” time of when the annotation will appear in the video and the duration of the annotation (annotations should be between 5-7 seconds).

step 5.1 - create youtube annotations

You can also add a link to an annotation which allows you to link to another video, your YouTube channel, a video playlist, your fundraising site or to direct users to subscribe to your channel.

step 5.2 - create youtube annotations

Step 6: Once you have finished adding and creating your annotations, click “Publish.”

step 6 - create youtube annotations

An important thing to keep in mind is that annotations only appear on standard YouTube players and embedded players and do not appear on the YouTube chromeless player or on mobile, tablet and TV devices.

While YouTube annotations are a great tool for engaging with your audience, it’s important not to overuse annotations – you would never want them detracting from the video. For more tips on how to use annotations, check out our recent posts on the dos and don’ts of YouTube annotations.

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