How to Highlight Text in PDF With Various Tools

Last updated on January 8, 2020 by Bryan

People often use PDF files, especially students, for educational purposes. Just like a traditional textbook, PDF books, or more known as e-books, have the same content as with their physical counterpart. In the old days, people used to highlight a part of the textbook to make memorization easier. This is mostly done by college students to aid them during exams. Since this is a proven way to improve the chances of information retention, PDF tools also include an option allowing users to be able to highlight text in PDF. Here we’re going to discuss about highlighting PDF using different tools.

Navigation of Contents
AceThinker PDF Editor

acethinker pdf writer First on the list is AceThinker PDF Writer, which is a very excellent PDF editing tool. It has the function to create, merge, resize, and even split a PDF file. Among its other features, is its ability to highlight a PDF file just like any other physical textbook. The advantage of using PDF highlighter is that it is always ready to use, and available anywhere. Also, it ensures that there will be no mess and unwanted marks on the PDF file. These are just some of the essential functions that the tool possesses. To learn how to use Acethinker PDF Editor to highlight PDF text, follow these steps.

Try It for Free

Step1 Install AceThinker PDF Editor

To install the tool, download its installer by clicking the download buttons below. Afterwards, run the installer on the PC and follow the instructions of the setup wizard.

launch the app

Step2 Start highlighting the PDF

After the installation, start the tool and from the main interface, click the “Open files” option and add the PDF that you need. Once the PDF is loaded onto the tool, click the “Comment” tab. From the “Annotation” menu, select the first option which is the “Highlight” option. You can now highlight the parts that you want from the editor.


Step3 Save the PDF file

To permanently apply the highlights that you made to the text, click the the “File” tab and select from either “Save” or “Save as” options.

save the file

Adobe Acrobat Reader

icon-adobe-acrobat Probably the most popular PDF reader in existence is Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. This is part of the Adobe product suite which has different tools for different situations. Like any other PDF reader tool, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC can do many things aside from being able to read a PDF file, like splitting, merging and other different functions. However, to have access to such functions especially the highlighting function, one must purchase the licensed version of the tool. It is not advisable for those who are looking for a cheap way to highlight their PDF. On the other hand, for primary usage alone, there is no doubt that Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is one of the top choices among other tools. Here are the steps on how to use the highlight function of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. To download the installer, visit the official website of the tool by clicking the link above. From there, click the download button and run the installer on your PC.

highlight the pdf

How to use Adobe Acrobat Reader

  • At first, you need to get the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed from its official website.
  • After installing Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, open the PDF file using it.
  • From the PDF viewer section, click the “Tools” button and select “Comment.”
  • Select the “Highlight text” option from the panel, and start highlighting the parts that you want.
  • Keep the newly highlighted PDF file by clicking the “File” tab from the toolbar.
  • Then, select “Save” to export the PDF file to your PC.

save the file

Preview on Mac

preview logo Preview is the built-in image and PDF viewer for Mac device. This is the most used PDF tool among Mac users because of its functionality, being an image viewer and PDF tool altogether. As an exclusive tool, it is packed with different essential PDF options that cater to different needs like highlighting a PDF. Also, it can edit and insert images to a PDF file which is a premium feature among PDF readers. Best of all, since it is built-in, Mac users can use it for free. Highlighting a PDF with Preview on Mac is easy; it can be done with few steps. Follow the steps below to learn how to highlight a PDF with Preview on Mac.

launch preview

User Guide

  • From the “Finder” application, click the “Application” tab and search for Preview.
  • Once the main interface appears, open the PDF document using its PDF reader function.
  • Once the PDF file is opened, click the tool highlighter located at the top-right part of the tool.
  • From there, you can set the color and other options for the highlighter.
  • Once done, you can now continue to highlight the text on the PDF file.
  • Click the “File” menu from the taskbar, then select “Save.” Next, enter the file name on file information box and hit the “Save” button from there.

add highlights

Foxit Phantom PDF

Foxit Phantom PDF is a desktop PDF editing tool that you can use to add highlights to text on a PDF document. Like any other PDF editing tools, Foxit Phantom PDF is capable of more that just adding highlights to text. It also has the ability to add texts, images and even add electronic signature to existing PDF documents. However, the tool is not entirely free because it has a premium version that needs to be purchased. On the other hand, anyone can try the tool without any restriction for a short duration by using the free-trial version. This gives users the option of enjoying all the features of the tool without spending anything. Overall, if you are looking for a capable PDF editor that you can use to hightlight PDF documents, then Foxit Phantom PDF is one of the safe choices. Follow the simple guide below to learn how you can use the highlight feature of Foxit Phantom PDF.

highlight text

User Guide

  • Click the link here to open the website of Foxit Phantom PDF on a new tab. From there, click the download button to get the installer.
  • Launch the installer on the PC and follow the instruction of the installer wizard. After that, launch the tool from the desktop by clicking the shortcut icon and then hit the “Enter” key from the keyboard.
  • Open the launch screen, click the “Open file” button, and choose the PDF that you want to edit.
  • From the editing panel, click the “Highlight” button from the “Comment” tab and start adding highlights to the texts on the PDF document.
  • Once done, apply the changes permanently by clicking the “File” tab and then hit the “Save” button.

Lastly, we have SodaPDF which is both a PDF editor and reader. This is another desktop tool that is used by professionals that utilizes PDF in their work. The reason why SodaPDF is a trustworthy editor, is because it has various professional editing options. Adding e-signatures, modifying texts and images are some of the feature of the tool on top of the “Highlight” feature. Additionally, the tool allows free trial usage, which provides access to its premium features for a certain duration. Additionally, once the free-trial has ended, users can still continue using features of the tool. This is by creating an account with SodaPDF and extending the trial duration. To learn how to use the tool, follow the steps below.

soda pdf

User Guide

  • Open the website of SodaPDF by clicking the link here. After that, download the installer and then run it on the PC
  • After that, launch the tool and from the main interface, click the “File” tab and then click the “Open” button.
  • Choose the PDF that you want to add a highlight to and then open it on the tool.
  • From the main screen, click the “Highlight” button and start highlighting the texts on the PDF document.
  • Save the changes that you made by clicking the “File” tab again, and this time click the “Save” button.

Back in the days, people used highlighters on textbooks to take note of essential details. This was proven to be effective, that is why every student owns at least two to three highlighter pen. However, with the presence of electronic books or e-books, more people switched from the physical book to digital format. To read these digital books, which are usually in PDF, special tools are needed. These tools, like the one mentioned above all, are equipped with options that can enhance these digital PDF files. One of them is AceThinker PDF Editor, an all in one tool for all your PDF needs.

acethinker pdf writer

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How to Highlight Text in PDF With Various Tools

May 7, 2019

Post By Bryan to PDF Writer

Last updated on January 8, 2020

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