“Panic”, an Apple software developer, has released one of the nicest browser extensions I’ve ever seen. Coda Notes makes it very easy to markup a web page with your own comments and highlights. The annotated page can then be emailed to whomever you like. To use Coda Notes you’ll need the very latest version of Safari - 5.0.1.

Once you install it, Coda Notes adds a little leaf button 3 to the Safari button bar. When you click it, a toolbar slides down and the current web page goes into edit mode. You can draw on the page using a pencil tool (in green, red or blue), you can draw using a highlighter (in yellow, purple or blue), you can change the text on the page or you can put sticky notes with text on top of the page.

When you’re done, click the Send button and the whole page rotates to reveal a postcard on the back. You can email the annotated page with comments to whomever you wish.

Here’s a quick view of an annotated page after it was received in email:


Coda Notes is already very slick and very useful, but a few flaws keep it from replacing Skitch for me. The first is that it doesn’t have a tool to draw boxes and arrows yet. The second is that you can only annotate and send the visible portion of the web page. It would be much more useful if you could scroll up and down the entire web page.

One more thing to keep in mind if you make use of the Coda Notes extension, all emails are routed through the Panic servers. Panic has a good reputation and state up front that they don’t keep images, but if you’re at all concerned about security, don’t email your images.