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How to Extract Highlighted Text from PDF? (Online and Offline Ways)

If you're reading a PDF for class or work, you've probably come across some text that you think is really useful or interesting. Maybe you want to add the text to your notes, or you want to include the text in a report for your boss.

However extracting the text from the PDF can be a difficult process. If your PDF is scanned, old, or handwritten, you will not be able to highlight the text to copy and paste to a different document. Or if your PDF is very lengthy, it can take a lot of time and energy to copy the text you need to another document.

But we can help you make this process simpler and easier! In this article, we'll show you several different ways to extract highlighted text from PDF, and go over some frequently asked questions relating to this process.

Part 1. How to Export Highlighted Text from PDF on Windows and Mac With UPDF?

UPDF can help you extract highlighted text from a PDF on both Windows and Mac. Not only can UPDF let you extract highlighted text from a normal PDF, but you can also extract text from a scanned PDF.

We'll go over how to extract highlighted text from both a normal PDF and a scanned PDF in the next section. Make sure to click the button below to download UPDF and start your free trial so that you can follow along with the tutorials.

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Way 1. Export Highlighted Text from Normal PDF

If you are working with a normal PDF and need to extract some highlighted text, you can follow this method. This can be very useful if you're working with a long PDF and need to extract a couple pages, or if you want to use a lot of statistics and data from a PDF but don't want to manually copy all of the information.

Step 1 - Open PDF

Make sure you have already downloaded UPDF. Open UPDF, and drag and drop your PDF into the "Open File" area (or click on this box to manually search for your PDF).

On the left side, click "Comment" > "Highlight". Choose your preferred highlight color, and then highlight all the text that you want to export to a new PDF.

Step 2 - Export Highlighted Content

On the bottom right side, click "Comments List". This will show a list of all the annotations on your PDF, including the text you just highlighted.

Click on the annotation that you want to export, and then click the "Export to PDF" button at the top right of the window. Make sure the "Highlight' button is checked, then click "Export". Choose a location to save your new PDF file, and you're done!

Way 2. Export Highlighted Text from Scanned PDF

If you have a PDF that has been scanned from another source, such as a book page or a letter, you can use this method to highlight and export text into a new PDF. The steps are similar to above, but you will also need to perform OCR to make the text editable.

Step 1 - Perform OCR on PDF

In UPDF, drag and drop your scanned PDF into the "Open File" area, or click on the "Open File" area to select your PDF.

Before you can highlight anything, you will need to make the text editable by performing OCR. On the right, click "Recognize Text Using OCR". Adjust the settings to your preferences, and then click "Perform OCR". Choose a location to save your OCR PDF, and click Save. The new PDF with editable text will automatically open in a new window.

Step 2 - Highlight Text

Click on "Comment" > "Highlight", choose your preferred color, and highlight the text you want to export.

Step 3 - Export Highlighted Text

On the bottom right, click "Comments List" to bring up the list of all the annotations in your PDF. Click the annotation you want to export, then from the top right select "Export to PDF". Click the box next to "Highlight", and then click "Export". Choose a file location to save your PDF, and you're done!

UPDF has many other features to help with work and study. You can use UPDF's annotation features to add sticky notes, underline text, add comments, add stamps, and more. You can also use UPDF's powerful AI features to help you summarize, explain, translate, and generate content for your PDFs.

If you want to learn more about UPDF, you can read this UPDF review from Howtogeek and watch the below video guide.

Excited to try out all of UPDF's amazing features? Click the button below to download UPDF and start your free trial today!

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Part 2. How to Extract Highlighted Text from PDF Online Free With Sumnotes?

If you prefer to use an online-only tool to extract highlighted text from PDFs, you can use Sumnotes. Follow the steps below for this method.

Step 1 - Upload PDF

Navigate to Sumnotes, and click "Try Now". Click the "Import" button, select the PDF that you want to annotate, and click "Open".

Step 2 - Annotate PDF

Select the "Annotate" button after your PDF has uploaded. Click the highlighter tool, and highlight the text you want to export. Then click "Manage Annotations" to go back to the list of annotations in this document.

Step 3 - Export Annotations

On the annotation page, click the dropdown menu titled "Include", and select "Highlights only." Now you can download the annotated text as a .txt, .doc, or .xls file, or you can email the highlighted text.

Part 3. FAQS About Extracting Highlighted Text from PDF

Here are some commonly asked questions about extracting highlighted text from a PDF.

Q1. How to Extract Highlighted Text from PDF Using Adobe Reader?

You can follow these steps to extract highlighted text from a PDF with Adobe Reader:

Step 1: Open your PDF in Adobe Reader. Right click on the PDF and choose "Select Tool".

Step 2: Drag the tool to select the entirety of the text that you want to export. Right click on the selected text, and choose "Copy".

Step 3: Open your preferred text or PDF editor.

Step 4: Paste the copied text into the text or PDF editor.

This method works best for a small amount of text. If you want to export a large amount of text from a PDF in Adobe Reader, you will need to use Adobe's PDF Extract API, which is a little more complicated.

Q2. How to Extract Highlighted Text from PDF on a Mac?

If you have a Mac, you can use Preview to copy text from a PDF to another program. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open the PDF you want to copy from in the Preview app.

Step 2: Select "Tools" > "Text Selection", and then drag your cursor over the text that you want to copy.

Step 3: Select "Edit" > "Copy".

Step 4: Open your preferred text or PDF editing, and then paste the copied text into a new document.

This method is only good for a small amount of text. If you want to extract a larger amount of text, or more than one annotation, we recommend using UPDF since it works on both Windows and Mac.

Q3. How Do I Export Highlighted Text from PDF to Excel?

You can follow these steps to highlight text in a PDF and then export it to an Excel spreadsheet.

Step 1: Open the PDF in UPDF. Select "Comment" > "Highlight" and highlight the text that you want to export.

Step 2: Click "Comments List", and then "Export to PDF". Make sure the box next to "Highlights" is checked.

Step 3: Choose a location to save the new PDF with just the highlighted text.

Step 4: In UPDF, open the new PDF. Then click "Export PDF" > "Excel (.xlsx). Select a location to save your Excel file, and click "Save".

Q4. How to Print Only Highlighted Text in PDF?

You can follow these steps to highlight text in a PDF and then export it to an Excel spreadsheet.

Step 1: Open the PDF in UPDF. Select "Comment" > "Highlight" and highlight the text that you want to export.

Step 2: Click "Comments List", and then "Export to PDF". Make sure the box next to "Highlights" is checked.

Step 3: Choose a location to save the new PDF with just the highlighted text. Step 4: In UPDF, open the new PDF. Then click "Export PDF" > "Excel (.xlsx). Select a location to save your Excel file, and click "Save".

Final Words

Once you know how to do it, it's easy to extract highlighted text from PDF. You can use an offline tool like UPDF, which allows you to highlight text in both a normal PDF and a scanned PDF. Or you can use an online only tool, such as Sumnotes.

Once you've exported your highlighted text, you can then use UPDF to customize, annotate, translate your text, and more! Click the button below to download UPDF and try all of its features.

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