How to Highlight a PDF on Mac

Charlotte Daniels

Mac, Tutorials

How to Highlight a PDF on Mac

Highlighting text in a PDF can be an essential tool for studying, organizing information, or simply making important points stand out. If you’re a Mac user, you might be wondering how to highlight a PDF on your device. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process step by step.

Step 1: Open the PDF File

To get started, open the PDF file that you want to highlight using the default Preview application on your Mac. You can either double-click on the file or right-click and select “Open With” followed by “Preview.”

Step 2: Select the Text

Once your PDF file is open in Preview, use your cursor to select the text that you want to highlight. Click and drag your cursor over the desired text area to create a selection.


  • To select a single word: Double-click on the word.
  • To select a whole line: Triple-click anywhere within that line.
  • To select multiple lines: Click at the start of the first line, hold down Shift, and click at the end of the last line.

Step 3: Highlight the Text

With your desired text selected, go to the “Tools” menu at the top of your screen and choose “Highlight” from the dropdown list. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut Command + Control + H instead.

The selected text will now be highlighted in yellow color by default. This allows you to easily identify and locate important information within your PDF document.


  • To change the highlight color: Right-click on the highlighted text, select “Markup,” and choose a different color from the options provided.
  • To remove a highlight: Right-click on the highlighted text, select “Markup,” and click on “Remove Highlight.”

Step 4: Save Your Changes

Once you have finished highlighting the necessary text in your PDF, it’s important to save your changes. To do this, go to the “File” menu at the top of your screen and click on “Save” or use the shortcut Command + S.

If you want to keep a copy of the original unhighlighted PDF file, use “Save As” instead and provide a new name for the highlighted version.

Step 5: Review Your Highlighted PDF

You can now review your highlighted PDF document. The highlighted text will remain visible whenever you open the file in Preview or any other PDF reader.

Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to highlight a PDF on Mac using the Preview application. This simple yet powerful feature allows you to emphasize important information within your documents, making them easier to navigate and study.

Remember, highlighting is just one of many annotation tools available in Preview. Feel free to explore other features such as adding notes, underlining text, or drawing shapes to further enhance your PDF reading experience.

We hope this tutorial has been helpful! Happy highlighting!

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