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How to Highlight PDF on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide for Easy Annotation (macOS Sonoma Supported)

Learning and reading documents carefully requires applying specific techniques such as underlining and highlighting the essential parts. Many readers highlight their PDF documents to note down the critical concepts or extract relevant information. So finding the right PDF annotator is a crucial thing. Below are three methods to highlight PDF on Mac, and quick and simple steps that can improve your learning experience.

Why Can't I Highlight My PDF on Mac?

Are you finding it difficult to highlight PDFs on Mac? If yes, there can be relevant causes of this problem that we have fetched below that prevent you from editing the PDF file:

  • Many users are not aware of the "Text Selection" tool on Mac that allows the editing and changing of a PDF file. Through this tool, you can select the text on a PDF easily and can highlight it. However, if you don't know how to navigate this tool, you won't be able to highlight the selected text.
  • Due to security purposes, many PDF files are protected by a password to prevent intruders from editing the file. If you come across a password-protected file, it means that the owner of the PDF file has restricted the editing, and as a result, you can't highlight the text on the PDF.
  • If you are trying to select a text embedded in an image, you won't be able to select and highlight the actual text on it. The reason is that many PDF tools don't support highlighting the text image as you can't select the content on the image.

Also Read: How to Highlight a Scanned PDF

Way 1: How to Highlight PDF on Mac with UPDF

Reading and annotating PDF files on Mac requires a skillful PDF annotator like UPDF for Mac that can perform various actions on your PDF file. UPDF, a PDF annotator for Mac, has numerous options to add annotations to the file in a delightful user interface. When it comes to highlighting any particular part of the PDF, UPDF allows you to make any specific text stand out quickly. Download it now and let's get into the instructions.

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how to highlight a pdf on mac with updf

The steps to highlight PDF on Mac are as follows:

Step 1: Import PDF File

To initiate the process, begin by downloading and launching the tool UPDF on your computer.

Click to open its main user interface and tap on the "Open File" button displayed on top. Select the PDF file from the browser that you want to highlight and import it into the tool to proceed.

Step 2: Choose the Comment Tool

On the menu bar on top, select "Comment" by clicking on it in the left toolbar which will display various options to add annotations.

how to highlight in pdf on mac with comment feature

Step 3: Highlight the PDF on the Mac

UPDF has two ways for you to highlight the PDF on Mac, you can choose any one which is convenient for you.

  • Select Text in PDF to Highlight: Choose the content in PDF and a toolbar will be opened. Tap the "Highlight" tool and then you can also select the color of the highlight.
highlight pdf on mac in pdf
  • Select Highlight Tool on The Top Toolbar: From the displayed options, tap on the "Highlight" icon and select the highlighting brush color. Now, apply the highlighting tool to the text that you find important.
how to highlight on a pdf on mac with updf

Once done, press the "Command + S" buttons from the Mac keyboard to save the recent changes in the PDF file.

That's the solution to highlight PDF on Mac with UPDF. If you are satisfied with this solution, download and upgrade it now, and don't miss the big discount, which is the best offer of the year!

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Video Tutorial on How to Highlight PDF on Mac

Way 2: How to Highlight PDF on Mac in Preview?

Preview is an app for the Mac operating system to view and annotate PDF documents conveniently. This app also includes annotation tools through which you can add notes and highlight important text while reading a document. By reading the following steps, you will get a clear picture of how to highlight a PDF on Mac through Preview:

Step 1: To start the process, open your Preview app on the Mac and browse the PDF file that you want to highlight. Also, you can import the PDF file in this app from your iPhone, iPad, Camera, and Scanner directly by tapping on the "File" option from the menu bar.

Step 2: Select the text you want to highlight and then click on the "Pencil" icon displayed on the top toolbar. Thus, the app will automatically highlight the selected text.

how to highlight on mac pdf with preview

Step 3: If you want to change the color of the highlighter, click on the arrow adjacent to the highlighter icon and select the color you want to apply.

highlight pdf mac with preview

Way 3: How to Highlight a PDF on Mac with PDF Expert?

Another reliable tool for Mac users to read and view PDF files along with editing options is the PDF Expert tool. Like other PDF editors for Mac, this tool also comprises key features to utilize annotation tools to highlight PDF Mac text in a well-designed interface. You can choose the color of the highlighter tool and can easily apply it to the selected part of the PDF.

Step 1: Launch PDF Expert on the PC and import the PDF file by tapping on the "Select File" button or dragging and dropping the PDF file on the interface.

how to highlight in pdf on mac with pdf expert

Step 2: Tap on the "Annotate" tool and click on the "Highlight" icon. Now select the part of the text and drag it to highlight it. If you want to change the color of the highlighter, pick and apply the colors from the toolbar given on the right side.

how to highlight a pdf on mac with pdf expert

Comparison with 3 Ways to Highlight PDF

UPDFPreviewPDF Expert
SystemMac, Windows, iOS, and AndroidMacMac, iOS
PriceYearly: US$35.99
Perpetual: US$55.99
Free (Limited color of highlighter)Yearly:
Squiggly line, Text Callout, Stickers, Text Callout
Add and edit watermarks, background
Convert Scanned PDFs with OCR
Replace pages
Extract pages
Share PDF via a link
Create a PDF from Capture

Based on the comparison table we can see that UPDF is the ultimate winner. Compared to Preview, UPDF supports more features. Compared with PDF Expert, UPDF is not only cheaper but also more comprehensive. Here's the How-To-Geek site that has a review of UPDF that tells you details about UPDF from an objective point of view. You can check it out to learn more.

Also Read:

Wrapping Up

While reviewing or proofreading the PDF file, many Mac users highlight the important details given in the content for their ease. If you don't know how to highlight PDFs on Mac, this article has listed some top-rated PDF editors for you. Moreover, if you don't want to download a program on your device, you can also highlight PDFs online. But you need to note that if your file size is too big, it cannot be uploaded to most online tools. To ensure the best results in a great responsive manner, we would recommend UPDF as the ultimate PDF tool for macOS. Download it now and start highlighting PDFs immediately.

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