Add-ons are great way to add a “special sauce” to your Docs, Sheets, and Forms!  I have several favorites I keep in my “bag of tricks,” but in a recent BetterCloud Monitor blog post, I discovered the Highlighting Tool and I was like, 

There is some serious capacity for usefulness in this add-on!  Here’s how to add on this add-on:

  1. In the task bar in Google Docs, select
  2. Add-ons → Get Add-ons → Find Jason Chin’s Highlight Tool
  3. Go ahead and add it!  Click “Free” and then give the add-on permissions:

  4. Open a Word document and let’s play with the Highlight Tool! From the Add-ons menu, select Highlight Tool → Start

  5. From here, the Highlight Tool works very much as you might expect.  You can highlight selections of the text using a sidebar along the right margin of your open document.  Choose your colors and assign labels!  In my example (click to see a larger version), I created highlight labels to use when doing a close reading of a new passage.

    There are SO many uses of this feature: main ideas, supporting details, important facts, inferences, rhetorical devices, etc:

  Here’s my finished example (click for a larger view):


Now for my FAVORITE part of the Highlight Tool — Once you (or in this case, your students!!) have finished highlighting/labeling the document, the user can click (1)Export Highlights →  By Color –> (2) New Document — (3) Link to document to create and provide a link to a NEW document with all the highlights, collected and organized by LABELS:

   –>         –>  


Here’s what the new document looks like (click to see a larger view):

Highlight Tools like this one are a useful resource for your classroom – use it to help students locate information from a text and organize it more effectively.  Students can use this tool to find and label evidence in research, create outlines, emphasize key words in a math problem, or YOU can use this tool to give student feedback on their work!

Contact me or your campus LT for more ideas for using the Highlight tool in your daily instruction!



The Highlighting Tool Add-On Might Just Be Your New Bestie