Write notes on student work

This article is for teachers

You can use Classroom’s drawing and writing tools to add feedback directly onto student work. You can underline words, highlight text, draw shapes, and leave notes on Google Docs files, and Adobe® PDF®, and Microsoft® Office® documents.

Note: Drawing and writing tools are only available in the Classroom mobile app for Android and Apple® iOS®.

How to write notes

  1. Tap Classroom Classroom.
  2. Tap the class and tap the assignment.
  3. Tap Student Work.
  4. Tap the student's name and then tap their attachment.
  5. Tap Edit Write.

    Click Edit

  6. Make any notes or drawings. For details, see Use the drawing and writing tools.
  7. To save your notes, tap Save Save or Save.

    If you don’t want to save your changes, tap Back Back and then Discard.


  8. (Optional) To open the student's work in Google Drive, tap New tab New tab.


How notes are saved

If the original file was It's saved as
Google Docs file Separate PDF
Office document Separate PDF
JPG or PNG image file Edited file that replaces original
PDF Edited file that replaces original

Use the drawing and writing tools

Choose a tool

You can find all tools at the bottom of the app screen.

Tool Use it to
Select Select Select a note to resize or move it.
Erase Erase Erase a note.
Write Write Write or draw lines with a pen. You can change the width of lines with pressure.
Mark Mark Write or draw lines of even width with a marker.
Highlight Highlight Highlight text or images.
Add text Add text Add a text note.

Change a tool's color or size

The write, mark, and highlight tools are available in different sizes and colors. 

  1. Double-tap Write Write, Mark Mark, or Highlight Highlight to see the color and size options.

    Choose color and size

  2. Tap the Up arrow Up arrow to show additional colors.

    Choose color

Add a text note

  1. Tap Add text Add text.
  2. Drag your finger to create a text field.
  3. Enter your message.
    • To make the text larger, pinch 2 fingers apart.
    • To make the text smaller, pinch 2 fingers together.
    • To resize the text box, tap a corner and drag it.

Erase a mark

  1. Tap Erase Erase.

  2. To erase a mark, tap it. 
  3. (Optional) To delete all marks on the page, double-tap Erase Erase and then Clear page.

Resize or move a note or image

You can immediately resize or move a new note or image. To resize or move a saved note or image, you need to edit it first (make a change to it) before you can select it.

  1. Add a text note or image.
  2. Tap Select select and tap the note or image.
  3. Pinch 2 fingers apart or together on the note or image to resize it.
  4. Drag the note or image to move it.

Zoom in or out on a note

  • To zoom in, pinch 2 fingers apart on the note.
  • To zoom out, pinch 2 fingers together on the note.
  • To pan over the drawing, drag 2 fingers across the page.

Undo or redo actions

  • Tap Undo Undo to immediately cancel an action. You can use it repeatedly to undo consecutive actions.


  • To redo an action, tap Redo Redo. You can use it to redo consecutive actions.
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