By Megon VenterTue. 12 Sep. 20233min Read

How to Highlight Text and Add Sticky Notes in PDF

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore how to highlight text and add sticky notes in PDFs and best practices for doing so.
How to Highlight Text and Add Sticky Notes in PDF

Whether reading academic papers, reviewing contracts, or browsing e-books, sometimes, we need to make annotations or add comments to PDFs to better understand, remember, or share important information.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore why you might want to highlight text and add notes in PDFs, best practices for doing so, and answer some frequently asked questions.

Megon Venter
B2B SaaS Content Writer
Megon is a B2B SaaS Content Writer with 7 years of experience in content strategy and execution. Her expertise lies in the creation of document management tutorials and product comparisons.

How to Highlight Text and Add Sticky Notes to PDF on Windows

Use the sticky note tool to annotate your document in minutes on your Windows operating system.

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!

Step 1: Open Your Source Document

Step 2: Click the "Tools" Icon

This will open our comprehensive editor suite.

Image Source: PDF Reader Pro

Step 3: Click the Highlight Text Tool.

Click and drag across text to highlight. Change the colors of your highlighter with the "Properties" panel on the right. 

Image Source: PDF Reader Pro

Step 4: Click the Sticky Note Icon

Change your sticky note color and icon using the "Properties" panel. You can also edit comments by clicking on the note icon again. 

Image Source: 
PDF Reader Pro 


How to Highlight Text and Add Sticky Notes to PDF on Mac

Leave handwritten notes on documents with ease using our powerful PDF tools on your Mac operating system. 

Step 1: Access Documents to Edit

Step 2: Click on "Tools" to Open Editing

Image Source: PDF Reader Pro

Step 3: Use the Highlight Tool

Click and drag over text to select and highlight it. Change the colors using the "Properties" panel on the right. 

Image Source: PDF Reader Pro

Step 4: Select the Sticky Note Icon

Click to place your comment anywhere in the document. Edit annotations using the "Properties" panel where you can change the icon and its color. 

Image Source: 
PDF Reader Pro 

“As a content creator, having a reliable PDF reader and editor is crucial. PDF Reader Pro’s editing and conversion tools help me easily navigate tasks for every client.”
Megon Venter
B2B SaaS Content Writer
Source: LinkedIn

Reasons to Highlight and Add Sticky Notes to a PDF

Before we dive into the "how," let's discuss the "why" of adding comments to PDF files. There are several reasons you may need to add to your PDF documents:

  1. Emphasize Key Information: Highlighting allows you to draw attention to specific text passages or data points within a document. This is especially useful when quickly identifying crucial information before editing documents.

  2. Annotate for Clarity: A PDF with notes lets you include comments, explanations, or reminders right within the document. This can be invaluable for making your thoughts clear or collaborating with others.

  3. Study and Research: Students and researchers often use highlighting and digital notes to mark relevant sections, jot down notes, or ask questions while reading academic papers and textbooks.

  4. Legal and Business Documents: Professionals in law and business frequently use these tools for reviewing contracts, agreements, and reports. Highlighting can help pinpoint critical clauses, while notes provide a platform for discussing changes or issues.

  5. Personal Organization: In your personal and professional life, you can use these features to create a digital version of your handwritten notes, ideas, and to-do lists, making it easier to manage tasks and priorities.

Check out our tips on how to highlight text in Foxit Reader.

"With PDF Reader Pro, the ability to convert, edit, and sign PDFs has never been more accessible and user-friendly."
Johan Müller
B2B SaaS Content Writer
Source: LinkedIn

Highlight and Add Sticky Notes to a PDF: Best Practice

When highlighting text and adding sticky notes to PDFs, it's essential to follow some best practices to ensure clarity and readability:

  1. Select the Right Tool: Most PDF readers and editors offer digital annotation tools for highlighting and adding notes. Choose a reliable and user-friendly PDF software, such as Adobe Acrobat and PDF Reader Pro. 
  2. Color Coding: Use a consistent color-coding system to highlight different information types. For example, you might use yellow for important facts, green for definitions, and pink for questions.

  3. Clear and Concise Notes: Keep your comments clear and concise when adding notes. Avoid lengthy explanations and get straight to the point.

  4. Organize Your Annotations: Use a table of contents or bookmarks to create an organized structure for your annotations within the PDF. This makes it easy to navigate and review your notes.

  5. Backup and Share: Regularly back up your annotated PDFs to prevent data loss. It's also a good idea to keep a separate file as an original before using the sharing feature to collaborate with colleagues or classmates.

  6. Consider Accessibility: If individuals with disabilities will access your PDFs, ensure your annotations are compatible with screen readers and other assistive technologies.


Highlight and Add Sticky Notes to a PDF: FAQs

How do I highlight text in a PDF document?

To highlight text in a PDF, open the PDF file in a PDF reader or editor that supports highlighting. Then, select the text you want to highlight, right-click (or use the toolbar) and choose the "Highlight" option. You can usually change the highlight color as well.


Can I highlight text in a scanned PDF or an image-based PDF?

Highlighting text in scanned PDFs or image-based PDFs is more challenging because the text isn't selectable. You might need to use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to convert the scanned text into selectable text before highlighting it.


How do I add comments to a PDF?

To add a note to a PDF, open the PDF in a PDF reader or editor, locate the section where you want to add a note, and look for the "Add Note" or "Add Comment" tool. Click on it, and you can then type your note, which will be attached to that location in the document.


Can I add hyperlinks in sticky notes to navigate to other parts of the PDF or external websites?

Yes, many PDF editors allow you to add hyperlinks within sticky notes. You can link to specific pages within the same PDF or external websites to provide additional context or references.


How do I edit or delete sticky notes in a PDF?

To edit comments or delete notes, open the PDF and locate the note you want to modify. Usually, you can double-click on the note to edit its content or right-click to delete it.


Are my highlighted text and sticky notes visible to others when I share the PDF?

It depends on how you save or share the PDF. If you choose to flatten the annotations (make them permanent) before sharing, others will see your highlights and sticky notes. If you keep annotations editable, they may be able to modify or remove them.


Can I highlight text and add sticky notes on mobile devices?

Yes, many PDF reader and editor apps for mobile devices offer the ability to highlight text and add sticky notes. Install the PDF Reader Pro app on your smartphone or tablet, open the PDF, and use the annotation tools provided.


Do my annotations affect the original PDF file?

No, your annotations typically don't alter the original PDF file. They are stored as separate layers on top of the PDF content. This means you can remove or modify annotations without changing the underlying document.


Can I export or print a PDF with my annotations?

Yes, most PDF editors allow you to export or print a PDF with your annotations included. This is useful for sharing your annotated document with others or for your own reference.


Are there any security concerns when adding annotations to PDFs?

It's important to remember security when adding annotations, especially in sensitive documents. Ensure you're using a secure and reputable PDF editor, and be cautious when sharing annotated PDFs to avoid unintentional data exposure.


Highlighting text and adding sticky notes to PDFs can greatly enhance productivity, organization, and collaboration. By following best practices and choosing the right software, you can make the most out of these annotation tools and unlock the full potential of your PDF documents.

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!