How to Highlight in PDF for free


When you read a PDF, do you want to mark some key points? Or when you review the PDF files later, do you forget some important content of the PDF file?

At this time, you need a tool that can help you highlight the PDF files. Having stuff highlighted will make it very easy to find and comprehend the key points of the PDF files. I will introduce you five ways to highlight PDF both online and offline. I wish you can find a tool which can suitable for you from this article.

Option One – How to Highlight in PDF Online

Method 1 - EasePDF

EasePDF is a professional PDF converter with plenty of useful conversion tools. These tools are 100% free and easy to use. You can make conversion easy in this all-in-one PDF online converter.

Besides, the free online PDF converter can work well on many devices. Users can process files from their computers, tablets and mobile phones at any time and anywhere under an Internet connection.

Step 1. Open your browser and type into the EasePDF website. Then you can see the "Edit PDF" tool on the homepage. Click the "Edit PDF" button.

EasePDF Homepage

Step 2. Secondly, you have some ways to upload your PDF file. You can upload your files from your local device, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive or by pasting the URL link.

Step 3. Highlight your PDF with the highlight tool in the toolbar. You can change the color of the highlight tool. Then you can add and remove highlights as you need. Tools like adding text, editing the font format, creating a signature, uploading images are also supported in this edit toolbar.

EasePDF Edit PDF Highlight

Step 4. Save your PDF file. When you finished it, click the "Save" button. Your new PDF files will be ready to download immediately. You can not only download it but also can share it with your friends by copying and pasting the URL link that EasePDF creates for you.

Method 2 - Smallpdf

Smallpdf is the most used online PDF software and belongs to the 500 most visited websites worldwide.

When you highlight the PDF in this online software, don't need to worry about the security of your file. The safety of your data is 100% guaranteed thanks to an advanced level of security. Both of the websites and file transfers have state-of-the-art SSL encryption in place.

Step 1. Go to Smallpdf homepage. Find the "Edit PDF" button on the homepage.

Smallpdf Homepage

Step 2. Upload the PDF files that you need to highlight on this page. You can click on the "cloud drives" icons below the upload buttons to add files from Google Drive and Dropbox on the Internet or you can just drag and drop the files to the uploading area.

Smallpdf PDF Editor Choose File

Step 3. Highlight your PDF files by using the highlight tool in the toolbar. You can see many tools in the editing page, if you need to highlight the PDF, click the last icon in the toolbar then click the first "Highlight" icon in the toolbar below. You can also add text, images, shapes or freehand annotations as you wish by clicking the corresponding icons.

Smallpdf Edit PDF Highlight

Step 4. Edit your highlight texts in PDF. If you want to continue to edit the highlighted text, you can right-click the text. You will see five tools appear in a new toolbar box. You can read, comment, highlight, write and add texts by clicking the corresponding icons.

Smallpdf Edit PDF Highlight Text

Step 5. Download your edited PDF file by clicking the "Download" button which is on the upper right corner.

Method 3 - Sejda

Sejda is an online PDF editor. The website has many languages to choose from so that it can satisfy the needs of users in different countries. Files will stay secure, so don't worry about the security of your files. After processing, they are permanently deleted.

Step 1. Open your installed browser and go to Sejda > Edit, which can be seen on the top of the page. Then select it.

Sejda Homepage

Step 2. Upload the PDF file. Click the "Upload PDF File" button and select files from your local computer, dragging and dropping files to the page also works. You can pick PDF files from Dropbox, Google Drive or the URL too by clicking the drop-down icon.

Sejda Highlight PDF Upload File

Step 3. Highlight PDF. You can see the "Annotator" tool in the toolbar then use the PDF annotator to highlight text on PDF pages. You can continue to edit the highlighted text by clicking them, and then there will show up a toolbar. Change the color, hide all annotation, remove annotation are all supported in this edit toolbar.

Sejda Highlight PDF

Sejda Highlight PDF color

Step 4. Save your changes. Click the "Apply changes" button to apply the changes and then "Download" your edited PDF document.

Option two - How to Highlight in PDF Offline

Method 1 - Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

With Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, you can do more than just open and view PDF files. It's easy to add annotations to documents using a complete set of commenting tools. Although there isn't much you can do to edit PDF files in Acrobat Reader DC, you can highlight text for later reference.

Step 1. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software from its website and then open it.

Step 2. Highlight the PDF texts. Along the top of the screen, you will also see a toolbar. Select the "Pen" icon on the far right of the toolbar and choose the "Highlight Text" tool. Click the text you want to highlight. In this way, you can successfully highlight in PDF.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Highlight PDF

Step 3. Change your highlighted text color. By default, the highlighted text color in Acrobat Reader DC is set to a light yellow color, you can change the color by right-clicking the "Pen" icon then select "Show Properties Bar". Click the drop-down icon next to the color square, you'll see a palette with additional color options for the highlighter tool. Select the color you want.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Highlight PDF Color

Step 4. Edit the highlight texts. Select the texts that you want to edit. Then you'll see a blue outline on the highlighted text and then right-click them. In the new toolbar, you can delete, open the pop-up note, copy texts and so on. Click the corresponding buttons as you like.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Highlight Text

Step 5. Select File > Save to save your PDF changes.

Method 2 - Wondershare PDFelement

PDFelement is one of the top PDF highlighter tools available that let you edit a PDF document in many ways with ease. It comes with complete editing features that let you make modifications to pages, text, and images. It can also create and convert PDF files from different file formats quickly and easily.

Step 1. Download Wondershare PDFelement software from its website and then open it.

Step 2. Click the "Open File" button to select the file you'd like to highlight.

Wondershare PDFelement Upload File

Step 3. Go to the "Toolbar" tab and select the "Comment" button. You can see the "Highlight" tool on the fourth button of the toolbar. Use your cursor to select the text you want to highlight. You can also change the highlight color in this page by right-clicking the highlighted text. Delete, open pop-up, paste tools are also supported in this edit page.

Wondershare PDFelement Highlight Text

Step 4.When you have highlighted the text, you can save the changes. You can click on "File" and select "Save" to save your file.


Above is our recommended free Highlight tools, there are online and offline tools. You can freely choose one of them according to your preferences. If you have better suggestions for us, please contact us or just leave a comment.

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