Often, we use the 'highlight' feature to draw attention or emphasize certain parts of our PDF documents. The highlight feature helps you color text in your document, making it easier to spot. However, it’s possible to over-highlight a document, which can be distracting to readers.

If you’ve over-highlighted your document or highlighted the wrong parts, you can still fix it. In this piece, we’ll examine all the ways to remove highlights from a document easily. You don’t need to be a PDF guru to remove highlights, all you’ll need is a PDF reader and the instructions below, and you’re good to go.

In today's post, you will learn how to:

  • Remove highlights from PDF
  • Remove highlights from PDFUsing Acrobat DC software
  • Erase highlight from PDF in Windows 10 using Nitro PDF
  • Unhighlight texts using Foxit PDF reader
  • Remove highlights with PDFEscape
  • Erase unwanted highlights using Smallpdf
  • Delete unwanted highlights with soda PDF
  • Unhighlight comments using PDFelement
  • Common FAQs and answers

How To Remove Highlights from Your PDF File.

Since PDFs are created and highlighted with PDF readers, you’ll need a PDF reader to remove the highlights. Each method below details how to remove highlights with different PDF readers.

Method 1. Remove Highlights from PDF with Adobe Reader DC (Easy)

Adobe Reader is conceivably the most used software for viewing PDFs. This program allows you to view PDF documents while offering basic annotation and highlighting features for free. Removing highlights using Adobe Acrobat DC software is a piece of cake as it offers the most straightforward method to eliminate highlights from your PDF texts.

To do this, follow these steps.

  • Launch Adobe, and select the PDF file you intend to work on
  • On the side panel, click on “comment”. You will see all the comments and highlights.
  • Click on the desired highlighted text. You will notice an icon which shows three dots. Click on it and select delete.
 Adobe Reader

After you have removed all the highlights, go ahead and save the PDF file. Yes, it is that simple!

Method 2. Remove highlights from PDF in Windows 10 using Nitro PDF.

Nitro PDF is a terrific application to view and edit PDF files on your Windows 10. Its features allow varied actions, including text and annotations additions or deletions. With Nitro PDF, you can seamlessly unhighlight texts in your PDF file without making major changes to your documents.

To delete Highlights using Nitro PDF:

  • Install and launch the Nitro PDF software.
  • Open the PDF document.
  • Instantly, all the highlighted parts of the PDF are visible. Choose any of them, right-click and select delete to remove the highlight.
Nitro PDF software.
  • On completion, save the file to your system.

Method 3. Unhighlighting texts using Foxit PDF editor

Foxit Reader is amongst the notable PDF viewers and editors available on PCs and some mobiles. This simple software allows for easy document editing via annotations and highlights. Do you have documents with sections that need to be unhighlighted? Foxit is to the rescue.

You can get your document back to normal in three simple steps

Step 1. Within the Foxit PDF editor, open the file with highlights which you need to delete.

Step 2. Select the “Comments” icon on the left panel. You will find a list of all the highlights.

Foxit PDF editor
Foxit PDF

Step 3. Right-click the selected highlight and then click delete.

click delete

Save your file and you’re good to go.

Method 4. Remove highlights with PDFEscape.

An all-encompassing tool for PDF documents is the PDFEscape which is especially suited to serve as a PDF reader, converter, and editor. This makes it possible to annotate PDF files and, in the same scope, can remove highlights from texts in a PDF document.

To remove highlights with PDFEscape:

  • Install and launch the software.
  • On the menu bar, select ‘EDIT’. Next, choose the highlighted text.
  • Click on the highlight and a small dialogue box will pop-up.
  • Select the trash icon to delete the highlight.

You can save the file after you have removed all highlights.

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Method 5. How To Erase Unwanted Highlights Using Smallpdf

Smallpdf is also a fine solution to opt for when you intend to remove highlights from your PDF material. Its main advantage is that you don’t have to download an app to use it. It is a web-based app where you can quickly remove any highlights. It’s pretty easy and quick

. You can do this by following these steps.

  • Click here to access the web page
  • You can upload your file by using the “choose files” button. You can select from your PC, google drive or Dropbox.  

  • On the next page, click on the desired highlight and a trash icon will appear on the top bar.
  • Tap on the "trash" icon to delete the highlight.
Smallpdf edit

  • On the top right corner, you’ll find the “Download” button. Select your desired location and save your file.

Smallpdf editor

Method 6. Say Bye to Unwanted Highlights with Soda PDF

Soda PDF is a handy desktop software for viewing and editing PDF files. It also has a function that helps you remove highlights from a PDF document. With the editing option, you can select the highlights you intend to delete without any hassles.

To do this:

  • Download and install the software.
  • Launch and open the file concerned by tapping the "Open file" option.
  • Click on "Edit" and select the highlight to be deleted
  • Right-click and then select them and choose the "Delete" icon to erase the highlight.

Subsequently, you can save your files by tapping on the save button and voilà! With these straightforward actions, you can get your material free of wanted highlights.

It is vital to state that while this is a simple way to remove highlights from your documents, there is a downside; the software is prone to crashes which can be a tad bit exasperating.

Method 7. How to Unhighlight using PDFelement

PDFelement is another application you can use to unhighlight your document. There are two simple ways to do this. You can either remove a single highlight or remove multiple highlights at the same time.

To remove a highlight.

  • Open your PDF file
  • You will find the "Comment" icon at the top of your screen; click on it to display the comment panel.
  • Right-click on the highlighted comment, then select delete.


Alternatively, to remove multiple highlights.

  • After displaying the comment panel, hold the 'ctrl' key while you click on the desired comments.
  • Then you can right-click and select delete.
PDFelement edit

Save your file and you’re done.

FAQS About Removing Highlight from PDFs

  • Can I Remove Highlights I Didn't Make Myself from A PDF Material?

Yes. If you have just downloaded or received a PDF file that has been highlighted, you can easily remove the highlights following any of the methods stated above.

  • Do I Need to Format My Document Before I Can Remove Highlights from A PDF Material?

You can remove highlights from any PDF material without having to format or alter the state of the original PDF file.

  • How Do I Remove Highlights from A PDF Without Using an Application Or Installing A Software?

Suppose you have reservations about installing new software or applications, probably due to storage issues and other concerns. In that case, some PDF online tools are available on the web for use without you having to install any software.

  • Do I Have to Pay to Remove Highlights from A PDF File?

Vastly, PDF editors you can use to erase highlights from your PDF documents are free, but a few might offer advanced features at a token. Be rest assured that the basic removal of highlights from PDF files comes at no cost.

  • How Do I Remove Highlights from Word Document?

If you want to know how to remove highlights from your word documents, click here.

There you have it. As much as highlighting tools come in handy while using a PDF viewer, certain situations require removing the highlights and rendering the document to its original form. Thankfully this is achievable by all the above-listed tools and methods. Feel free to choose whichever you feel most comfortable to attain the desired results.

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