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How To Enable Highlighting In A PDF

This informative piece will guide you through the process of adding highlights to your PDFs effortlessly. We understand the importance of efficient document management, which is why we'll be demonstrating this using FormatPDF's powerful Highlight tool. Whether you're a student looking to annotate lecture notes or a professional reviewing crucial reports, this article will provide step-by-step instructions to ensure you can highlight and emphasize key information within your PDFs. Let's dive into it!

Imagine being a researcher poring over a lengthy academic paper – by using highlighting, you can pinpoint important findings and concepts for easier reference. For students, highlighting key passages in textbooks or lecture notes simplifies revision and knowledge retention. Professionals collaborating on reports or project documents can utilize highlighting to emphasize critical data points for team members. Furthermore, highlighting proves invaluable in legal and business contexts.

We're thrilled to guide you through the process of using FormatPDF's intuitive Highlight tool. Our step-by-step instructions will ensure a seamless experience as you learn how to highlight important sections within your PDFs. Not only will we cover the basics, but we'll also provide you with valuable tips and advice on maximizing the effectiveness of your highlighting. Let's get to it!

How To Enable Highlighting In A PDF Step-By-Step

Here's a step-by-step guide to highlight a PDF using FormatPDF's tool:

  1. Go to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/highlight-pdf/
  2. Upload the document you want to highlight by following the on-screen instructions.
  3. Once the upload is complete, look for the "Highlight" or "Annotate" option in the tool's menu bar and click on it. This will activate the highlighting mode.
  4. Click and drag your cursor over the text you want to highlight.
  5. Choose a color that stands out for your highlighted text. You can select from a range of colors in the pop-up menu.
  6. After you've highlighted the desired text and made any necessary notes, make sure to save your changes using the "Download" button!

Tips And Tricks About Enabling Highlighting In A PDF

Here's a bullet-pointed section of tips and advice for enabling highlighting in a PDF:

  • Use OCR for Scanned PDFs: For scanned PDFs that aren't text-selectable, run them through an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tool first. This will convert images of text into actual selectable text, making them highlightable.
  • Prioritize Legibility: Select a highlight color that contrasts well with the document's background to ensure the highlighted text remains easily readable.
  • Highlight Sparingly: Reserve highlighting for essential information to avoid cluttering the document and detracting from its readability.
  • Consider Color Coding: Utilize different highlight colors for various categories or themes within the document. This can aid quick reference and organization.
  • Use Notes for Context: When necessary, add notes or comments alongside highlights to provide context or explanations for yourself and others who might read the document.
  • Mind the Opacity: Adjust the opacity of the highlight to strike a balance between making the text stand out and maintaining the document's overall aesthetics.
  • Review and Edit: After highlighting, take a moment to review your annotations. Ensure they accurately represent the key points and concepts you intended to emphasize.
  • Experiment and Explore: Don't hesitate to experiment with different highlighting techniques and colors until you find what works best for your reading and referencing needs!

What Programs Allow You To Enable Highlighting A PDF

Each of the following programs provides a range of features to enable highlighting in your PDFs. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can choose the one that best suits your requirements for document annotation and review.

On A Computer

Here's a section explaining the programs that allow you to enable highlighting on Windows, Mac, or Linux:


  • Adobe Acrobat Reader: One of the most popular readers, Adobe Acrobat Reader, offers basic highlighting tools that are accessible and user-friendly.
  • PDF-XChange Editor: This versatile editor for Windows provides powerful highlighting capabilities, along with various annotation options for detailed document markup.
  • Foxit Reader: Foxit Reader offers intuitive highlighting features and a wide range of annotation tools to enhance your reading and reviewing experience.


  • Preview: Built-in to macOS, Preview allows you to highlight text in PDFs. Simply select the text and use the highlight tool from the annotation toolbar.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader DC: Available for Mac as well, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC provides comprehensive PDF annotation features, including highlighting, for a seamless experience.
  • Skim: Skim is a lightweight PDF reader and annotator for Mac that allows you to highlight text and add notes to your documents.


  • Okular: As a popular PDF viewer on Linux, Okular offers highlighting and annotation capabilities, making it a reliable choice for reading and editing PDFs.
  • Evince: Evince is another Linux PDF viewer that supports highlighting and annotation, contributing to an effective document review process.
  • Master PDF Editor: This Linux-compatible PDF editor lets you not only highlight text but also add various annotations, making it suitable for more advanced document management.

On A Tablet Or Mobile

Here's a section explaining the programs that allow you to enable highlighting in a PDF on Android or iPhone:


  • Adobe Acrobat Reader: Available on both Android and iOS, Adobe Acrobat Reader offers a mobile version with highlighting features that let you mark up and annotate PDFs on the go.
  • Xodo PDF Reader & Editor: Xodo is a versatile app for Android that not only enables highlighting but also provides comprehensive annotation tools, making it suitable for in-depth document markup.
  • Foxit PDF Reader: The Foxit PDF Reader app for Android offers a user-friendly interface along with highlighting and annotation capabilities for efficient PDF interaction.


  • Adobe Acrobat Reader: As mentioned earlier, Adobe Acrobat Reader is available on iOS devices as well, allowing you to highlight and annotate PDFs with ease.
  • GoodReader: GoodReader is a feature-rich PDF app for iPhone that supports highlighting, annotation, and advanced file management options for an all-in-one solution.
  • PDF Expert: PDF Expert offers a seamless experience for highlighting PDFs on iPhones. It boasts a wide array of annotation tools, making it suitable for professionals and students alike.
Meet Maggie, a writer who's made a name for herself in the world of technology writing. After graduation, Maggie landed her first job at a tech company, where she quickly realized her passion for writing about various topics, including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and web development. Today, Maggie writes for FormatPDF.com. When she isn't writing about technology, she enjoys traveling, trying new foods, and spending time with her family and friends.
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