How to create annotations

Annotations can be utilised in a number of ways, from subtitles, to corrections, to interactive elements, to links in video credits and much more. To add annotations to videos:

  • Log in and click your channel icon at the top right of the page
  • Select Creator Studio
  • Open the Video Manager dropdown in the sidebar
  • Navigate to the video you wish to add annotations to and hit Edit
  • Select Annotations from the top bar
  • Click Add Annotation

At this point, you have a choice of several annotation types.

Speech Bubble:

Used to create a pop-up speech bubble containing text. Arrow direction is customisable. Can contain a clickable link.


Used to create pop-up boxes containing text. Can contain a clickable link.


Used to create title text with no background.


Used to highlight areas of a video. Text can be placed anywhere on video & will display when mouse is moved over a selected area. Can contain a clickable link.


Used to highlight areas of a video. Text will display in text box on mouseover. Can contain a clickable link.


Used to link to your storefront or individual products. Find out more about Merch annotations here.

Once you have decided on an annotation type, several customisation options will appear beneath the Add Annotation button. Firstly, a box opens to type the annotations desired text. Underneath this there are options to change Font Size (Options are 11, 13, 16 & 28), Font Colour (Black or White), and Background Colour.

Place the annotation by clicking and dragging with the mouse, then resize to fit the desired location. Each annotation can cover a maximum of 30% of the video.

Once an annotation has been placed, the times can be adjusted either by dragging the start and end times manually on the timeline, or by inputting an exact time in the Start and End fields below the text box.

Finally, the Link box will open an additional dropdown with several options, allowing you to link to a Video, Playlist, Channel, Google+ Profile/Page, Crowdfunding project or to take users directly to a Subscription page.

Annotations show on the standard YouTube player and embedded videos, but will not appear on Tablets, Mobiles, Custom Chromeless YouTube players or TV devices.


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