Highlighting text in a PDF document is a great tool that a few people are aware of. It is a very useful tool when working and studying online.

In the good old days, you would receive either a textbook or a manual. While you were reading you would take a highlighter and underline important sentences and paragraphs.

Have you ever found yourself needing to highlight important information and you couldn’t? Until a while ago, the only other was to print the whole document or many extracts from it.

Nowadays, ion modern text editors. You can use a digital highlighter. It allows you to color text in an electronic format like you would with a physical highlighter.

How to highlight text on Adobe: 

1. Open the file with the Adobe Acrobat program.

adobe acrobat highlight pdf

2. Click on the highlighter icon.

highlight icon adobe acrobat

3. Drag your cursor over the text you would like to highlight.

4. Once you're finished, click  'Download' to save your updated PDF.

Removing Yellow Highlights in Adobe.

  1. A single click on the highlighted text you wish to remove.
  2. A toolbar will appear with three options: add a note, color circle, and a dust bin.
  3. To remove the highlight, click the dust bin option. 

To learn more about highlighting in Adobe, you can watch this video. 


How to Highlight Text in Most PDF Editors 

The PDF format is one of the most reliable and trustworthy ways to send information.

One of the struggles is conveying your message in jargon heavy text and displaying important information.

1. Select the highlight tool

Click the comment tab 

Select highlight from the row that appears below the comment. 

2. Choose your highlight color 

Click on the color circle that is in the toolbar and find the color you would like to use.

You can also create a custom color 

3. Selecting your text 

Once you see the highlight bar on your screen, you can begin highlighting the text that you want to stand out. 

4. Finish your document 

Release your mouse button once you have selected your area of text.

5. Download 

You can then proceed to save your changes document. 

Editing existing highlights 

  1. Changing the color 

In order for you to change the color of the highlighted text using edit mode. You will need to click on the Edit from the Modes toolbar: View, Edit, and Select text bar will appear. 

Next, you can click on the Edit Mode and select the previous highlight you want to change.

If the highlight toolbar disappears you can click on the text you have already highlighted. The highlight toolbar will appear again.

  1. Changing color 

While you are still in edit mode, you can select the highlight toolbar and open the properties menu.

- Select Edit Mode 

- Click on your highlight and you will see a purple outline 

-Right-click your mouse button to open the toolbox and look for properties. 

Different Annotations Programs: 

Consider some other annotation PDF tools to highlight text in your documents:

  1. PDFelement Pro (Windows and Mac)
  2. Microsoft OneNote (Windows and Mac)
  3. Xodo PDF Reader (Windows and Mac)
  4. Adobe Acrobat Reader (Windows and Mac)
  5. Foxit Reader (Windows and Mac)
  6. Nitro Reader (Windows and Mac)
  7. PDF-XChange Viewer (Windows)
  8. Expert PDF Reader (Windows)
  9. PDF Annotator (Windows)
  10. PDF Max (Mac)

To learn more about highlighting in different programs, you can watch this video. https://youtu.be/CoNvti48nyg 

Delete all Highlights in your PDF File 

You will need to make sure that your select tool is enabled. Then you can right-click your mouse button and click “select all”. This will automatically select all the highlights you have made in your document. Then you can press the “delete” key on your keyboard and this will remove all your highlighted text.

You can then proceed to save your unhighlighted document. 

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Why Can’t I Highlight Text?

If you’re having problems with the highlighting tool the file may be composed of too many images and does not contain enough “actual” text. 

If you are not able to select the text with the text selection tool then you will not be able to highlight it either. You may need to consider other markup tools.  

Can I Print Only the Text That I Have Highlighted In My PDF?

It is possible, but you will need to have a feature called “Copy Selected text into highlight, strikethrough, and underline comment pop-ups are enabled before you begin highlighting your document.  

The Comment Toolbar 

There are many functions on the comment toolbar located in the Adobe program. 

Where to find the comment toolbar: 

  1. Open the file with the Adobe program
  2. Click the Tools tab on the top left-hand corner. Located underneath the file, edit, view, sign, window, and help bar.
  3. The comment option is the first option on the page.
  4. It can also be located in the sidebar of Adobe. It is the fourth option in the bar.  

The different functions in the comment toolbox

  1. Add sticky note

You will be able to type your text in a pop-up note. You can also use the select tool to copy and paste text from the PDF into the note. Then you can close the note and your text will remain.

  1. Highlighter 

Click and drag the cursor to select the area of text you want to highlight. Then click the highlighter option in the comments tab. 

  1. Underline Text 

Acrobat allows you to underline text within a PDF document using the Underline Text Tool. 

You can also use the Properties toolbar to underline text. If it doesn't come up automatically, hit Ctrl+e on your keyboard, to bring up the Properties toolbar so you can adjust some properties of the underline.

  1. Strikethrough 

This tool is used to either select the strikethrough option directly on the text and then press Delete. You can use the Comment toolbox, select the comments you want to remove, and then delete them.

  1. Add a note to replace text

This tool can be used for text edit comments to indicate where text should be edited in the document. Text edit comments do not change the actual text. Instead, they indicate which text should be deleted, inserted, or replaced in the document.

  1. Insert text at cursor 

This tool can be used to place your cursor where you want to insert the new text. Click on the Insert Text tool and the text field will pop up on the right of the screen. Type your comments in the text field and close. You will see a blue block on the screen and when you run your cursor over the box, your text will appear. 

  1. Add text comment

Click on the page on which you want to comment, and move your cursor to the position at which you want the comment box to appear. It will connect the box to the comment subject with a colored arrow. Type your text in the box and close. Your text will stay where you opened the text box.

  1. Add text box

Using the Text Box feature, you can add text on top of an existing text in a PDF document.

  1. Using drawing tool

The Pencil tool allows you to draw freehand shapes or text on the PDF document. The pencil annotations can consist of multiple marks or gestures. 

  1. Erase drawing 

If you make a mistake using the drawing tool or if you no longer what the drawing in your PDF you can select the erase drawing tool and remove it from the PDF. 

  1.  Stamps

Imprinting a stamp on your PDF document will allow you to label the document with important information. For example, the document's approval status, confidentiality level, or if the document is a draft.

  1. Add a new attachment 

You can attach your PDF documents and other types of files to a PDF. If you move the PDF to a new location, the attachments move with it. Attachments may include links to or from another document(s). Please be careful not to confuse attached comments with file attachments.

  1. Drawing tools

When marking up PDFs, a simple drawing can sometimes explain things much more effectively than a long-winded text comment. For example, if you need to tell an editor to move an image on a page, you can show the new location clearly with a drawing. The drawing tools are automated symbols and not free-hand drawing. 

  1. Keep tool selected

If you use the highlight comment tool frequently, you can keep this tool "sticky" while in use.

  1. Change Color

This function will change the color of the annotations you have made in your PDF document. 

  1. Change line thickness 

This tool can be used to increase or decrease the thickness of your pencil drawings in the PDF. 


The highlighting tool is a fantastic tool to use on your PDFs.

The tool allows users to turn a professional document into something that is easy to read and use. For those who actively work online and deal with digital paperwork every day the above-mentioned tools are a great way to help edit documents by highlighting, strikethrough, underlining etc.

This helps save time and also improves the quality of your work.  

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