The present invention in the form of a computer software program provides for a method for annotating over static images or annotating over active application programs. In the case of static images, user-created objects can be created, manipulated and placed over static images. In the case of annotating over application programs in a structured system environment such as in a windows environment, an overlay program embodying the present invention provides an overlaying method allowing the user to switch back and forth between the active application programs and the overlay program. When the overlay program has control, a screen-size, transparent window is created and annotations are created in this window. This transparent window allows the user to see the application programs on the screen. Thus, when creating annotations on this window, a visual perception is created that the annotations are on the images displayed by the application programs. When the user finishes annotating, the user can switch back to the active application programs with the option to hide the annotations or to display the annotations over the active application programs.