• Browsers
      eComma works with the two most recent versions of the following browsers:

    • Firefox
    • Chrome
    • Internet Explorer (Windows)
    • Safari (Apple)
    • eComma does not work with the following browsers:

    • Microsoft Edge
    • Opera (untested)
  • Computer Operating Systems
    • OSX 10.6 (Tiger) and up
    • Windows 7 and up
  • Some smart phone and tablet support, but not for all devices.


Tags and comments

A “tag” is a label that you can use to mark a word or series of words that interest you. A “comment” is a remark on passage of a text. You may use tags that previous readers have created or create your own.


Adding tags or comments

  1. Simply use your mouse to select a range of words in your eComma text.
  2. This will cause an annotation window to appear. The window is draggable and resizable.
  3. In the annotation window you can select either to create a tag or a comment for the selected words.
  • Tags can contain letters, single spaces, and symbols, but should be kept short or up to six words.
  • Comments are longer observations or questions about an eComma text section. To create a comment you select the comment tab in the annotation window (how to get to the annotation window: see first step above) and add your observation or question by submitting them.
  • You can also reply to another user's comment by clicking the reply link that will appear under the comment (you need to be logged in).
  • Edit and delete already submitted comments.
  • Tags can be deleted, but not edited.


eComma buttons

Use the icon buttons in the middle to navigate between the text's word cloud, tag view, comment view, and user annotation list.

Word Cloud

Tag view

Clicking a tag in the tag cloud will show all phrases in the text that have been given this tag, as well as which users have added the tag, and when. The tags are arranged in a “tag cloud”. The tags in the cloud are arranged alphabetically, and tags that are used more frequently in the stanza will appear larger.

Comment view

Clicking on the highlight button in the comment view will show all phrases in the text that relate to that comment.

List of user annotations

Clicking on the user name will take you to a list of all the user's comments and tags for the current text.


To Consider


  • Texts should not be longer than 200 words, to keep the annotation tool user friendly. If your text is longer you can break it up into several annotation texts and just number them (e.g. Faust 1, Faust 2, Faust 3, etc.)
  • If you are setting eComma up through Canvas or another LMS, by default annotation groups, texts, and student names are all hidden from the public. Only the teacher and students on the class roster can access this information while they are in Canvas. This makes eComma FERPA compliant. If teachers would like to make a text public, to stay FERPA compliant, the annotation text needs to be set up through the COERLL staff (see the "DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO AN LMS?..." section below).
  • Once a group has started to tag or comment a text, the text cannot be changed in any way or the annotations will not align with the sections of the texts that were annotated.
  • The eComma annotation tool relies on word boundaries to create the word cloud and the annotations. eComma does not work for texts that do not include spaces as it is sometimes the case with Asian literature.


LMS integration

(LMS - A Learning Management System such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, or other)

Students access eComma by clicking a special link from your Learning Management System (LMS) course (e.g. Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, and other). Below are the steps to be completed by LMS administrators and teachers.


Step 1

Submit the agreement form
Please fill out and submit the form at After we have processed your information, we will email you with information that you will need for the next step.


Step 2

Follow instructions for your LMS



    Add eComma as LTI tool provider (administrator):

  • On the Administrator Panel click on Building Blocks > LTI Tool Provider > Register Provider Domain
  • Enter eComma LTI settings:
    1. Provider Domain:
    2. Provider Domain Status:­ Approved
    3. Default Configuration: Set separately for each link
    4. Send User Data: Send user data only over SSL
    5. Select Two User Fields to Send: Role in Course & Name
      (Important! If not set, students' names will not display correctly.)
    Add eComma to course (teacher):

  • Click on Course Content > Build Content >Web link
  • Fill in the following settings:
    1. Name: This will show up within your course content as the link title.
    2. URL: (Include trailing slash!)
    3. Key/Secret: First, click the check-box "This link is to a Tool Provider". Then enter the information from email you received after submitting the agreement form .
    4. Enable Evaluation: No
    5. Open in New Window: Yes (IMPORTANT).


    Desire 2 Learn

  • Desire 2 Learn requires its users to contact the account manager to facilitate LMS integration of external tools such as eComma. After submitting the eComma agreement form, please contact your D2L account manager to start the integration process.


    Moodle and other

  • Instructions not available, but eComma can integrate with any LMS that supports LTI protocols.


Don't have access to an LMS?

COERLL can set up an annotation text for you. Email us at and provide the following information:


  • Text in digital format including the title (word doc, text file, or pasted in email in plain text format), so it can be copied and pasted into the eComma application. If text is long, it can be broken up into multiple eComma annotation texts. Please indicate where a long text should be divided by using text markers (e.g. [second part]).
  • Class id or name.
  • Semester, approx. date and time of class activity involving the eComma annotation text.
  • Email addresses of all group participants. Approximately a week before the eComma activity will take place, we will create the accounts for the participants on the eComma website. Once the accounts are created, each of the participants will receive an automated email with their individual log-in information. Teachers should announce this email to their student before they receive it, so they won’t miss it (some email servers might move the automated email to the spam folder).

Setting up an annotation text

After adding the eComma tool to an assignment or module in Canvas or to a course in Blackboard (see previous section for instructions), your LMS will add a link or button that will open the eComma tool. (NOTE: Do not try to add a link to eComma manually.)

When you click on the link provided by your LMS the eComma annotation tool will be loaded. On the landing page you will see the eComma logo, the name of your course, and three tabs. (NOTE: When accessing the tool for the first time, the three tabs might not be visible. Simply refresh the page and they will appear.)


  1. To add a new text to the group/class click on the "Add Annotation Text" tab.

  2. Add a title
  3. Split electronic text into paragraphs and enter each into an Annotation Text field. If you need more fields, add new ones by clicking the "Add another item" button. If there is only one paragraph, just enter all text into the first field. Use line breaks within a paragraph field to force line numbers at the beginning of the line.
  4. Select the group/class this text should be linked to unser Group audience.
  5. Click save. Edit a text after it has been created, by clicking on the Edit tab in Annotation Text View

    Group/Class View

    Annotation Text View


Downloading eComma comments

Download eComma comments data as XML or import the data into a Google spreadsheet.

To download an XML file of the comment data, simply click download comments button at the top of the comment view panel.


If you need to export the data to a spreadsheet format you will have to import the xml data to a Google spreadsheet in Google drive first. You will need a Google account to work with this method.

Obtain the text id ([text-id]) from the URL as shown in this screenshot (It is the number that follows /ecomma/node/):

Open a google spreadsheet and paste the following code into any cell:

(This will not automatically insert a header row.)


Copy-Paste eComma comments

Low tech approach:
Copy and paste comments from the eComma comment widget on the website directly into a Word Document.