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We can navigate the annotations with the API. Instead of using the built-in annotation menu, let's create our own UI.

Back Next

This next example shows how to go through all annotations with a back- and next-button. At the same time, we're showing the contents of the annotation in a sidebar. This replaces the native notes, that we're hiding with annotation_tooltip_visible: 0.

This example does several things:

  • Get a list of all annotations with getAnnotationList
  • Keep track of the current annotation index and calculating the previous or next index
  • Go to a specific annotation with gotoAnnotation
  • Show the contents of the annotation in a sidebar

Get the list of annotations, just to find out how many there are. We need this to calculate the previous and next index.

api.getAnnotationList((err, annotations) => {

When pressing the back- or next-button we need to calculate the previous or next index. We can do that by keeping track of the current index and adding to or subtracting from. The index needs to loop around, meaning that if we're at the last annotation and we press next, we need to go to the first annotation. And vice versa.

// Get the previous index
currentId = currentId === 0 ? maxId : currentId - 1;
// Get the next index
currentId = currentId === maxId ? 0 : currentId + 1;

When we have the index, we can go to the annotation with gotoAnnotation.

api.gotoAnnotation(annotationIndex, {}, (err, id) => {});

Finally, we get the contents of the annotation with getAnnotation and show some of it in the sidebar. An annotation actually has a lot of data in it, but we're only showing the index, title, description and the thumbnail that Sketchfab generates in the editor.

Annotation event

I also want to detect when the user clicks a hotspot. We then display the contents of the clicked annotation in the sidebar. And we can use this event to update the current index. This means the user can navigate the annotations with the back- and next-buttons, and by clicking the hotspots.

api.addEventListener("annotationSelect", (index) => {
  currentId = index;
  showAnnotationDetails(api, index);