I am teaching a class that requires students to hand in multiple programming assignments in c++. I have to read through the source and point out their mistakes, suggest improvements etc. The corrected source has to be returned to the students in pdf format. However the pdf should only contain the relevant parts of the source. I.e. a small block of the code around each annotation.

Since the sources can be rather big I am looking for a tool to assist me in the annotation process.

Specifically I need a tool that can do the following:

  • Open multiple plain text files
  • Allow me to annotate the files (insert comments, underline stuff, etc.)
  • Create a digest of the source that contains all annotations and the source lines surrounding each annotation (similar to a diff) in pdf or any other printable format.
  • Linux is preferred but anything else is ok.
  • You forgot to mention, the tool should run on desktop, web, or...
    – meisyal
    Oct 23, 2015 at 11:08

1 Answer 1


Here's how we do it over on the Dark Side... I'm posting this as a non-domain-specific baseline (to be beaten) because my experience of this process is it flows pretty smoothly:

When I want to discuss some C++ code in writing with a co-worker, then I copy the relevant fragments of code from my development environment (MS Visual Studio), and then paste them either into a word processor (MS Word), or an e-mail program (MS Outlook). In both cases the font and syntax-coloring are preserved, and I simply write my critique around it. Sometimes I want to scribble on a code fragment - usually arrows to draw attention to a particular spot in the code - in which case I screenshot the development environment and paste into an image editing program (MS Paint), crop, add my scribbles, then copy and paste into Word/Outlook. I should also mention that it is very easy to generate PDFs from a word-processor-document.

I have used Open Source equivalents which are available on Linux of all the tools I've mentioned here, but not having used them all together in this fashion I'm not in a position to be able to recommend them.

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