Bookshelf Online: Improvement to Sharing Notes and Highlights - July 31, 2017

Improvement to Sharing Notes and Highlights


Connect with your students, instructors, and peers faster with our new sharing updates!

Learning is a social experience, and often, so is studying. Collaborate with your peers on a study guide. Help guide your students by selecting key passages. Share with fellow instructors your insights.

After speaking with users, we have improved our sharing experience to help users collaborate more effectively.


What exactly is changing?

New Onboarding Cards

There are new onboarding cards explaining the updated flow as well as some tips and tricks suggestions on the way. Use these to help explore the new user interface!


Updates to the Highlight Manager

We are updating the Highlight Manager user interface.




Updates to the Sharing Manager

We are updating the Sharing Manager user interface as well.


From Subscriptions:                                                














To Following:


Updating the notes and highlights drop-down menu and notes making process








More details, please!        

Highlight Manager

You will continue to access this from two places: 1. the Tools drop-down in the Library view and the main menu within the text.




To add a highlight

  1. Click Add New Highlighter

  1. A new color will default populate with the color name, click save, and you are good to go.


Power User Tips:

  1. If you wish to edit the title, you can type in the preferred name in the text box.
  2. You can also elect to make the highlighter public by clicking the check box. This makes the highlight public. Anyone who is following you will be able to see highlights created with that marker. Use this feature to start creating a collaborative study guide!
  1. Directly click on any highlight in the menu to edit

Delete your highlighter by clicking remove, and from there, choose to permanently delete highlighter or merge it with another marker



Sharing Manager

You will continue to access this from two places: 1. the Tools drop-down in the Library view and the main menu within the text.


To Follow Someone

      1. Go to I’m Following, Enter their Email, and Click Add. You can choose to unfollow at any time



      1. Follow a link provided to you by the user you wish to follow. This allows for reference users (those without email addresses tied to their account) to share and collaborate with fellow users.

Users can find their unique code by navigating to My Followers. Should you wish to remove someone from your followers, you can block them at any time (note: the ability to block a user will follow after the release of these initial changes).







Drop-down Menu 

Access this by selecting any portion of text. Note shared Highlighters will have shared iconography notated below



Add a highlight

Select the desired text, and click the color highlighter you wish to use. That’s it! To delete, click on the Highlight and click the X.




Add a note

Select text, and start typing directly into the note field. It will auto save your note as you type! View your note by clicking on the highlight.


View a shared note: Shared highlighters are underlined. See the note attached to the marker by

hovering over the underlined text.




Wait, where are friends?

Given the new followers and following structure with the ability to block, we have retired the Friends functionality. If you currently have friends highlighters and followers, the rules and properties surrounding Friends will be respected and they will have specific iconography that includes a Star overlaid on the specific marker. Your Friends highlighter will NOT automatically become private or public. It will stay the same.


This is great, when will this be ready, and does it affect me?

These changes will be rolled out as they are ready, so some pieces may go live before others. However, all will be available for back to school this year and is going out to all Bookshelf users including those with branded sites.


Any other changes to sharing coming soon?

Yes, when we are working on receiving course information from your learning management system and auto-subscribing public faculty notes and highlights to students within their class. This will only affect schools and users who have a direct connection with VitalSource via LTI. New release notes will be sent when those changes are ready.