How to Remove Highlight from PDF Smoothly|6 Practical Methods

Jose Henline
January 11, 2024 Preview 56 Preview 0
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Highlighter feature is an outstanding assistant when going through PDF files. It helps readers make sense of the key points easily. However, there are certainly situations where you need to remove highlights from PDF, for instance, to eliminate visual fatigue caused by too many highlights, to get a clean display before printing the final draft. 

Then how can we do it swimmingly? Rest assured! 6 viable approaches to remove highlight from PDF offline and online are available here. Let’s have a quick look at them.


Remove All Highlights from PDF Efficiently with PDF Software

Imagine you’re going to remove highlights from a large PDF that contains hundreds of pages, it can be a laborious task if you scroll down the page to find and delete the highlights one by one. Luckily, dedicated PDF software like Cisdem PDFMaster has the ability to get around the issue. With this app, you can locate and delete a specific highlight or remove all highlights from the whole PDF at one time, bringing great ease and efficiency to you.

Other than that, Cisdem PDFMaster is built with a wide array of other tools to edit and manage PDF documents, such as modifying the existing texts and images, adding and deleting objects (links, comments, shapes, stamps, watermarks, etc.), redacting sensitive information, creating fillable forms, perform PDF conversions and so forth. Simply put, it meets all your needs for PDF in your daily life and work scenarios.

Remove a Highlight from PDF

  1. Get Cisdem PDFMaster downloaded and installed to you Windows or Mac.
    Free Download Windows 11/10/8/7 Free Download macOS 10.13 or later
  2. Launch the program and import the highlighted PDF into it by clicking Open Files.remove highlight from pdf cisdem01
  3. Click on the highlighted text you wish to delete. Then a toolbox will appear. Tap the Delete icon, the selected highlight will be removed immediately.remove highlight from pdf cisdem02
  4. Additionally, to locate a particular highlight, choose the third icon from the toolbox, all the annotations will be displayed on the left panel orderly. It lets you delete the unwanted one by right-clicking > Delete.remove highlight from pdf cisdem03
  5. Finally, click Save icon to apply the changes. 

Remove All Highlights from PDF at Once

  1. Upload the PDF from which you desire to remove highlights as above.
  2. Select Annotation tab from the left toolbar, then all the annotations added to the PDF will show up.
  3. Hold down the Shift key and click the first and last highlight, hit Delete from the right-click menu,
  4. Now all the selected highlights contained in the PDF have been cleared.


Method 2: Remove Highlight from PDF with Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat has been gaining a decent reputation in the field of PDF since its release. It is indeed worthy of its name that has helped users solve massive PDF problems such as editing, converting, protecting, unlocking and e-signing. Not to mention, basic tasks like removing highlights from a PDF are a breeze for Adobe. 

It allows users to delete an unwanted highlight individually, along with clearing all the highlights at once. But sometimes, it may fail to remove if the text is highlighted outside of Acrobat, according to Adobe users.

A Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Remove Highlight from PDF in Adobe Acrobat

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat app, go to File tab and choose Open to input the highlighted PDF file.remove highlight from pdf adobe01
  2. Find the highlight you hope to clear, click on it, a toolbar will show over the text. Hit the Trash icon and the highlight will be removed at once.remove highlight from pdf adobe02
  3. To delete more unnecessary highlights, repeat the same steps.
  4. When you’re done, go back to the File tab and choose Save.remove highlight from pdf adobe03


Method 3: Remove Highlight from PDF with Foxit

As robust as the two aforementioned PDF editors, Foxit PhantomPDF provides an all-embracing way to deal with PDF files as well. With the aid of this software, users are enabled to insert, remove and modify highlights with ease. Besides, it improves the efficiency by removing several highlights from PDF in few steps. 

Follow the Guide to Remove a Highlight from a PDF

  1. Run the program of Foxit and open the PDF file from a place on your computer.remove highlight from pdf foxit01
  2. Under the Home tab, click Select Annotation from the Select drop-down menu.remove highlight from pdf foxit02
  3. Click on the text that you want to unhighlight, and choose Delete from the Right-click menu. remove highlight from pdf foxit03
  4. Ahead with File and save it in a new directory.remove highlight from pdf foxit04


How to Remove a Highlight from a PDF Free?

It’s no doubt that the above three professional applications do save you from tedious repetitive tasks, but all of them requires an installment and a subscription fee, which discourages many people. Fortunately, the following three methods enable you to remove highlight from PDF completely free. But one thing must be mentioned is that they support removing only one highlight at a time.


Method 4: Remove Highlight from PDF with Mac Preview

It’s good news for Mac users that the native program named Preview has the capabilities to remove highlights from PDF. It is the default viewer to open the PDF and image files. Also, it offers lots of markup tools to edit the file.

Few Steps to Remove Highlights from PDF Using Preview

  1. Double click the PDF file on your Mac, then it will be opened in Preview by default.
  2. Go to View tab and tick Highlights and Notes to display all annotations on the left hand.remove highlight from pdf preview01
  3. Hover your cursor over the highlighted area of text you’d like to delete, and choose Remove Highlight from Right-click menu.remove highlight from pdf preview02
  4. Repeat the third step to remove more highlights, when it’s OK, click File tab > Save to unhighlight the PDF.remove highlight from pdf preview03


Method 5: Remove Highlight from PDF Using Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is one of the most popular and well-reviewed browsers till now, which can also work as a PDF viewer. Less powerful as it is compared to PDF editors, it provides users with the basic editing functions of adding highlights, drawings and texts, as well as getting rid of them.

How to Remove Highlights from PDF in Microsoft Edge

  1. Open a new tab in Microsoft Edge, and drag your highlighted PDF file into the page.
  2. Select the Erase feature, put the eraser icon over the text from which you want to remove highlight. Click your mouse to clear them one by one.remove highlight from pdf micro01
  3. When finished, hit Save icon at the top right to save changes.


Method 6: Online Free Solution to Remove Highlight from PDF

Part of people are looking forward to removing highlights from PDF online, so as to save computer storage space. However, after testing a dozen of web-based PDF tools, we found that most of them only let users add and delete their own highlights inside the program except Smallpdf. Now check the instruction in details.

  • Step 1. Search Smallpdf in your favored browser and find its PDF Editor tool.
  • Step 2. Click CHOOSE FILES to upload the targeted PDF. Drag&drop also works.remove highlight from pdf online01
  • Step 3. Choose Mark up feature and hit on Select icon.remove highlight from pdf online02
  • Step 4. Click on the unwanted highlighted text. Select Trash icon from the floating toolbox to remove the yellow highlight.
  • Step 5. Download your edited PDF at the right corner of the page.


Still Can’t Remove Highlights from PDF Successfully?

Sometimes, you may be frustrated that none of methods listed above can help you to remove the highlights in PDF successfully. This normally occurs when the text is highlighted in the original Word document rather than the PDF. That means, the PDF viewer can’t recognize the highlights, let alone remove them.

If you don’t have the source document on hand, then only converting PDF back to Word can be useful. Thankfully, the software Cisdem PDFMaster you downloaded before also has the ability to process PDF-to-Word conversion. The steps are shown below if needed:

  1. Open Cisdem PDFMaster and upload the PDF containing highlights into the program.
  2. Choose Convert tab from the top menu bar, and select To Word as the output format.remove highlight from pdf cisdem07
  3. Choose a directory to save the converted file. The highlights will be removed automatically in Word document.


Final Words

Through reading the whole passage, removing highlights from PDF is definitely not a trouble any more. You can choose whichever method you prefer, since each of the above methods is truly workable. But if you expect to handle more PDF actions besides highlights removal, professional PDF editors such as Cisdem PDFMaster and Adobe Acrobat seem to be more to your taste.

Jose Henline
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Jose specializes in reviews, how-to guides, top lists, etc. on PDF, data recovery and multi-media. On his spare time, he likes to travel or challenge some extreme sports.

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