Like many web-based services hypothes.is requires you to have an account and be signed in to use the service. hypothes.is accounts require minimal information: username, email, and password.
Luckily hypothes.is is not one of those crazy things that logs you out every fifteen minutes. Once you are logged in you will remain that way for quite some time. (I’m not sure how long, but weeks, possibly months.)
Getting it active in a browser
Now you need to get hypothes.is active in a web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Internet Explorer/Edge). Chrome provides the best user experience for hypothes.is via an extension that you install. Other browsers use what is called a “bookmarklet”.
The key difference is that the Chrome extension adds a button to Chrome for activating hypothes.is whereas the “bookmarklet” method of the other browsers creates a bookmark link which requires a little more handling.
Let’s have a quick look at these.
Install Chrome browser plugin
This the preferred method so we’ll look at it first.
Using Chrome navigate to the https://hypothes.is/ home page. On the home page will be the area shown in the following diagram.
Simply click on the “Install” button. This will pop up a window with information on the plugin, you will need to use the “Add Extension” button here to complete the install.
This will install a button in your Chrome button bar that you click to use hypothes.is
Install in Firefox, Safari or other browsers
Using your other browser of choice, navigate to the https://hypothes.is/ homepage.
The box in the diagram above will look mostly the same, but will have one small difference. Whereas above the button for a Chrome install says “Install” now it will say “Get Bookmarklet”.
When you click the “Get Bookmarklet” button it pops up the box shown in the following diagram.
As per the instructions in the box, you can either drag the bookmarklet to the bookmark bar in your browser, or you can right click on it and “create link”.
Dragging it to your bookmark bar has the advantage of putting it front and centre where you can find it when you want to use it. Creating a link usually puts it at the bottom of a link list and it may not be handy when you need it.
The key disadvantage of this bookmarklet options for other browsers is that as your bookmarks change and you maybe add other important bookmarks to your bookmark bar, this one may wind up getting shuffled off the screen.
In general you should use Chrome if at all possible.
via Plugin or Integration
The other way hypothes.is can become active on a web page is from the web page provider’s side of things. There many “plugins” and “integrations” currently available and many others in development. As a website owner you can use these to have hypothes.is added to your page(s) automatically when users load them.
As an example, you’ll notice that hypothes.is is already active on this page. This is because I installed/activated the hypothes.is WordPress plugin and asked it to load hypothes.is for this page.
I won’t spend any more time on this now, refer to the sources below if you want to see if there is an integration for your environment.
Aside from sounding cool when in nerdy company, this method requires no initial setup but is by far the most tiresome to use. You may have noticed in the diagram above the box that says “Paste a link…” in it. The idea here is to copy and paste the link you want to annotate, press the annotate button and then the page is run through the hypothes.is proxy server which will add the hypothes.is layer.
The final element to getting set up is making sure you are logged in. Logging in to either the website or the hypothes.is panel in your browser sets a thing called a “cookie”. Without getting too technical, a cookie is (amongst other things) something your browser looks for to see if you are logged in to a site. The same one works for both the hypothes.is and the panel. So, likely you are already logged in if you just created an account.
It will be fairly obvious if you are not logged in, the panel will look like this:
Of course, you just need to log in and then you are on your way.
Webcomic: xkcd: A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and Language, https://xkcd.com/1163/