Update to Hypothesis WordPress Plugin: Configure PDFs to Open with Proxy

By jeremydean | 9 June, 2016

We’ve seen lots of great use of our WordPress plugin in the past year, from bloggers activating Hypothes.is in addition to or place of comments to teachers using Hypothes.is to have students close read literature or offer peer review on each other’s writing. The University of Oklahoma is actually shipping WordPress to professors and students with the Hypothes.is plugin already installed as part of their Domain of One’s Own project. As Adam Croom of OU Create writes, it’s like “Medium-ifying” your blog.

Highlighting and note-taking with Hypothes.is
Highlighting and note-taking with Medium

The plugin simply injects the Hypothes.is JavaScript and can be configured in WordPress to appear across an install or on specific posts or pages (or not on specific posts and pages). Visitors will be able to see annotations and, with an account, create annotations, without the need for the Hypothes.is Chrome extension or bookmarklet.

Configuration options within Hypothes.is WordPress plugin settings

We’ve just made a very small but significant update to the plugin that will be useful, especially to educators: you can now make all PDFs uploaded into a WordPress install automatically open as “via” links–proxy links that wrap a page with the Hypothes.is sidebar. This means that readers of my blog can link away from an annotated/annotatable post to an annotated/annotatable PDF. I can activate this feature of the plugin simply by checking the box in the Hypothes.is plugin settings in WordPress.

This update will be especially useful for many of our teachers who have been using WordPress to host PDFs, but relying on their students to activate Hypothes.is themselves to annotate these PDFs. Now the Hypothes.is sidebar will be “always on” (though collapsed by default) on those documents. And if they also have students annotating HTML pages within WordPress using the Hypothes.is plugin, that experience will now be more seamless.

In long term we plan to make use of this nifty bit of code that injects Hypothes.is directly into PDF.js file. For the time being, though, these proxied PDFs are perfectly functional.


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