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How To Change A Highlight Color In A PDF

If you’ve landed on this page looking for an easy, fast way to change a highlight color to your PDF, then you’re one of many people hoping to perform this task.

PDF files display content in a digital format and are known for their capability to hold universal style and information found in the source file. It means that no matter what device, browser or program you use to open your file, it will retain the same format.

Although, for all its versatility, editing a PDF is not as easy or as straightforward as you might like to think. Luckily, there are online tools that you can employ nowadays to help you get the job done. One such tool is FormatPDF’s online PDF highlighter. Once you’ve uploaded your document, you can make edits to make it look how you want.

Perhaps you’re working in a professional capacity or on an assignment and you’d like to alter your file before your transfer or email it over, or maybe you’d like to alter your file for your own benefit and peace of mind; whatever the reason, it can be done! This article will outline step-by-step how to use FormatPDF’s online tool and also present some alternative methods. Let’s begin.

How To Change A Highlight Color In A PDF Step-By-Step

To edit a PDF, you can upload it to our online tool where you will be able to make changes to it. It’s as simple as uploading your file and using the program in your browser to make changes. One of the great benefits is that you don’t need to download any programs or software.

If you’re ready to make changes to your file, follow the guide below:

  1. Head to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/highlight-pdf/
  2. Upload your file by clicking the "Select PDF file" button. Alternatively, drag and drop your document into the box that states, "Or drag and drop the PDF here”.
  3. The file will upload in a matter of seconds and will appear on screen. You will have access to all the tools, which includes various options such as altering the highlight color.
  4. Once you’re happy with the changes you’ve made, you can download your file to receive it. It will take a few seconds for you to receive your file.

What You Need To Know About Changing The Highlight Color In A PDF

Before you begin, you may want to consider the following points. Read on for some key factors to bear in mind:

  • A PDF displays the exact same content and layout no matter the operating system or device used to open it – making it incredibly versatile and shareable.
  • PDFs are integral when it comes to sharing and transferring files, but it’s difficult to edit one. However, you can get around this problem by employing an online tool to perform edits.
  • Once you’ve finished altering the highlight color on your PDF, you can go ahead and use our online tool to compress your file or make further changes.

Alternatives To Change The Highlight Color In A PDF

FormatPDF provides everything you need to alter your files, though you may wish to explore other options. We’ll analyze some of the best alternatives you can use to change the highlight color of your file using a PC and smartphone and different operating systems such as Mac, iOS, Windows, Linux and Android.

Options To Change The Highlight Color In A PDF On Your PC

It will come as no surprise that different operating systems have different options. We will analyze some of the available options for users of the following operating systems: Window, Mac and Linux.


Windows users can use Adobe Acrobat for editing, though you may need to pay a fee or take out a free trial to do so. The steps to change your document in Acrobat are outlined below:

  1. Open a file in Acrobat.
  2. Select ”Tools” > ”Comment” to open the Comment toolbar. The comments that you add to the document are displayed in the right panel. Select the Highlighter from the menu bar at the top.
  3. Highlight the text and select “Properties”.
  4. Make your selection from the color panel and click “OK”.


Mac users can use the default Preview app to edit their files. Open the PDF you want to change in Preview and select the text you want to change. Click the down arrow next to the Highlight button, then choose a highlight color.


For Linux users, the program GIMP may provide a good alternative. However, using GIMP you can only alter one page at a time. Once you’re happy with your changes, you will have to save in GIMP format and revert to PDF after you have exited the program.

Options To Change The Highlight Color In A PDF On Your Smartphone

Smartphone apps provide access to a number of powerful editing tools right in the palm of your hand. Whether you’re using an Android or iPhone device, you can locate an app in the phone’s app store to help. Here’s how to look for an app to help you complete your task.


iPhone users can use the App Store to search for a third-party app. Simply look for a PDF editing app and download/install it to your device. In the descriptions, look for an app that will allow you to change the highlight color. You will be able to perform a number of other editing tasks should you require, such as converting to another format, adding a signature or rotating the pages.


Android users can use the Adobe Acrobat Reader app to help with edits; however, you will require a paid plan to change a highlight color. This will mean you need to take out a paid plan to use the app. Basic editing is free, though you need to pay for anything more advanced.

Becky is a freelance tech writer with over 8 years' experience writing for print and online. She is often found heavily caffeinated and accompanied by a laptop occupying local coffee shops, bars, co-working spaces and, frankly, anywhere she can get a strong cup of coffee. She enjoys collaborating on different projects ranging from tech to travel and everything in between!
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