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How to Highlight PDF in Google Drive? (Steps with Pictures)

Highlighting a PDF document is a crucial as it helps make the important information pop out of the PDF documents. And for highlighting your PDF documents, you need to pick a tool. You may search around to find a tool and may not know that you can highlight PDF in Google Drive.

So, here we will share the step-by-step guide on how you can highlight PDF documents in Google Drive and an alternative tool that will be a better choice for you.

Part 1. How to Use Google Drive to Highlight PDFs?

Google Drive is the Cloud storage service provided by Google for free to every user who signs up with a Google account. This 15GB of free storage is linked with all the applications associated with your Google account, and most people use it as their dedicated cloud storage service as well. Surprise to many, it can also help highlight PDF documents.

Although the Google Drive application itself cannot highlight your PDF documents, it can redirect them to other apps where you can highlight them and save them packed in PDF form. The app that we will use here is Google Docs, and below is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to use this method for highlighting your PDF documents.

1.  Open the PDF file in Google Drive.

The first step is opening the PDF document in Google Drive. If you don't have the document already uploaded in Google Drive, then you can click the "+ NEW" button present on the left top of the interface to upload your PDF document. Once you have the PDF uploaded to Google Drive, you can "right click" on its thumbnail and click the "Open With" option. In there, you need to click "Google Docs". Now, the PDF document will automatically open in Google Docs.

open with google docs in google drive

2. Select the text you want to highlight with the cursor and click the highlight button from the top.

Now, we will head to the Google Docs tab and click the text to select it. For a single word, we will need one continuous stroke of the cursor while holding the "left click" to highlight multiple lines, words, or sections together. We can hold the "Ctrl" or "Shift" buttons along with the cursor to select multiple text instances. Once you have selected all the text, you will click the "highlight color" button from the top and then pick a color. As you click on a color, the whole selected text will be highlighted in that color.

highlight color for your content in google docs

3. Download the document as PDF.

Remember that the PDF document was converted to a Google Docs document, so we need to save it back to PDF, and for that, we click "File," then "Download," then "PDF Document." Now, the document with highlighted text will be converted back to PDF, and it can be used on any PDF viewer tool.

save as pdf in google docs

Although you can highlight text in a PDF with Google Drive using this method, it is not the most efficient option since you face a lot of issues. The biggest issue is that the document will lose its formatting, and when converting it back to the PDF format, the original formatting will not be restored. Moreover, if your PDF originally came with interactive elements, chances are that we will lose them too, so they will be there visibly but will not be interactive anymore. Due to such productivity and efficiency issues, you must look for an alternative way to highlight your PDF documents. We have shared an effective PDF highlighting tool below that does not bring any issues and meets all your requirements.

Also Read: Edit PDFs In Google Drive

Part 2. How to Highlight PDF with UPDF?

UPDF, when compared to Google Drive, offers a comprehensive experience on Macs, iOS, Androids, and Windows devices. The most important benefit is that you can highlight your PDF documents without losing their formatting.

Additionally, UPDF brings a lot of other PDF highlighting and annotation features, including:

  • Adding comments to highlighted text
  • Adding notes to PDF
  • Using stickers next to highlights to add information
  • Continuous highlighting with customized colors

With all these PDF highlighting features, you get a complete and very easy experience when you pick UPDF. Here is the step-by-step detailed guide on how you can highlight your PDF text with UPDF without losing the original formatting:

1. Open PDF document on your PC with UPDF

Click the below button to download UPDF. Open UPDF on your computer. Then, go to "Open File" to open PDF in UPDF.

Windows • macOS • iOS • Android 100% secure

open file in updf

2. Go to Comment mode and select Highlight.

First, click "Comment" to open the annotation options in UPDF since those are only available in Comment Mode. Secondly, you need to click the "Highlight" button to select the highlighter tool in UPDF.

select highlight button

3. Highlight text and save once you are done.

Click, hold, and strike on the content with the cursor to highlight it. You can highlight individual words, sentences, and whole paragraphs this way. Once you are done, save the document by pressing "Ctrl + S."

Final Words

Highlighting PDF documents is always helpful whether you deal with physical documents or digital copies. While highlighting is simple with physical documents, the process gets slightly different with digital tools since you need to use a PDF tool that supports this feature. Luckily, there are lots of tools that support highlighting PDF documents, but to pick the right one, you must check if it provides a reliable experience with a comprehensive feature set or not.

With the guide to Highlight PDF in Google Drive that we discussed here, you can easily to hightlight PDF in Google Drive per your need. But if you need a better experience,  UPDF is the much better choice in every scenario thanks to the well-designed backend that maintains the formatting and brings a reliable and fluent process for highlighting your PDF documents. So, if you also have some PDF documents that you need to highlight, download UPDF today.

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