How to Underline & Highlight Text in pdf Files

Hey people!

PDF Files are considered to be the modern files now. They are special file types created for reading Books, Magazines, Special Documents, only Readable documents, etc. in the computer itself. Programs like Adobe Reader & Foxit Reader support these file types.

Now, while reading a PDF file, you may want to highlight or underline important text for your sake. If you're reading an educational pdf book, you're definitely gonna need to underline OR highlight the important text. Actually Underlining & Highlighting may be used separately for different PDF files.

Some pdf-s may be highlighted & not underline whereas the case could be opposite for other PDFs, i.e. they can be highlighted & not underline. Today I wanna explain that only: when to use highlighting & when to use Underlining, for your benefit. I mean, if you like me, cannot read something without underlining, so that it may help you a lot in future also, you're gonna need this.

Photo By Stuart Miles,


So the pre-requirements for understanding to highlight or underline text in PDFs are basic only. You're gonna need the PDF book, you wanna read AND a PDF Reader software. There are many PDF readers in the market. I'd like to explain with the one I currently use, Adobe Reader XI, for PC.


So while Reading a PDF Book on the computer, you'll come to know about 2 different types of PDFs, based on their Creation nature:

1. PDFs with Text readable to PC (Text can be selected)

Now, there are PDF books out there, whose text can be Selected. I'm talking about the same selection, that you use to copy & Paste Text. Here, the Highlighter tool provided in the Adobe Reader works.

The best way to bring up & use the highlighter tool is Open the PDF document & make sure you can select the text as you normally copy & paste the text (By holding left-click & dragging the mouse). Then goto View (in Menu Bar) >> Show/Hide >> Toolbar Items >> Comment >> (Tick) Highlight Text.

Afterwards, you'll get a permanent Toolbar Icon, the Highlighter, choosing it would change your Mouse Cursor to highlighter. Then whatever text you select, will be highlighted & after doing the Highlighting, make sure you save your PDF document before closing.

2. PDFs with Text Unreadable to PC (Text cannot be selected)- Scanned Images

So sometimes, PDF files are created by scanning a Book & then combining the pages together to make a PDF file. In this method of creating Digital Books, only image files are created & one CANNOT select from an image file, copy & paste it! It's like clicking an image of a document using Camera.

Now, since text can't be selected, Highlighter is no longer an option. But, yes there's a "but" here, the solution is there. An image's text can't be selected, but some drawing & editing can definitely be done on it. For that use the pencil comment tool in Adobe Reader.

Simply go-to View (in Menu Bar) >>  Comment >> Drawing Markups. On the left side of the page, Drawing Markup options will appear, where you can select the icon in the shape of Pencil. It's like a real Pencil. You can draw any shape anywhere & also underline the important text.

That's it about making sure your Important lines stay important in Adobe Reader.

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1 comment:

  1. I m having adobe reader 8 in my laptop but I m not able to highlight text as per steps mentioned above bcoz such options are not available in my laptop.

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