Highlight tool is not working in Acrobat Pro DC

New Here ,
Jan 18, 2018 Jan 18, 2018

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I recently installed the recent Adobe Pro DC updates. A simple yellow highlighting feature used over the years is now seemingly impossible. When clicking the highlighter, the text areas show myriad border lines and when I try to put the cursor in front of text I want to highlight, huge blocks of asymmetrical shapes are highlight in yellow instead of just the word or sentence I am wanting to highlight.

I am also finding other simple edit functions are not working properly.

Please advise.

Douglas Stewart

[Personal info removed by Mod: Email]

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Comment review and collaborate PDF , General troubleshooting

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Jan 18, 2018 Jan 18, 2018

Hello StewartWeb

We apologize for the inconvenience caused, as per the description above, Highlight tool is not working in Acrobat Pro DC, Is that correct?

Please check for any pending updates of Acrobat Pro DC(if any) from Help>Check for updates and reboot the machine after the installation of updates.

You can also repair the installation files of Acrobat Pro DC from Help>Repair installation(only for Windows), Reboot the machine after the repair.

If the issue persists, please reset the preferences

...

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 18, 2018 Jan 18, 2018

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Hello StewartWeb

We apologize for the inconvenience caused, as per the description above, Highlight tool is not working in Acrobat Pro DC, Is that correct?

Please check for any pending updates of Acrobat Pro DC(if any) from Help>Check for updates and reboot the machine after the installation of updates.

You can also repair the installation files of Acrobat Pro DC from Help>Repair installation(only for Windows), Reboot the machine after the repair.

If the issue persists, please reset the preferences of Acrobat, to reset the preferences refer to How to reset Acrobat Preference settings to default.

If the issue is specific to one PDF, please check the PDF properties once from File>Properties>Security and see commenting is allowed or not. If it's a secured PDF, you will not be able to add comments.

You may also try to disable the Enhanced security option once only for testing purpose but enable it back after checking the functionality. To disable the enhanced security option, refer to Enhanced security setting for PDFs, Adobe Acrobat

If the issue persists, please use Acrobat cleaner tool to remove the Acrobat Download Adobe Reader and Acrobat Cleaner Tool - Adobe Labs  Reboot the machine and install the Acrobat Pro DC from Download Pro or Standard versions of Acrobat DC, 2017, XI, or X

Let us know how it goes.

Regards,

Anand Sri.

[Edited response]

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New Here ,
Dec 14, 2018 Dec 14, 2018

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for some reason, i cant find the highlight tool. all i get is the inconvenient highlight text... this feature is useless for my field. 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 14, 2018 Dec 14, 2018

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The Highlight tool only works on text.

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New Here ,
Sep 03, 2022 Sep 03, 2022

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LATEST

I may have the same problem - - 9/3/22 -  My link in shared documents. https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:8bb7623a-38aa-4449-8687-cfefd2daa91a

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New Here ,
Jun 12, 2018 Jun 12, 2018

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Dear Adobe

I have the same problem as

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New Here ,
Jun 12, 2018 Jun 12, 2018

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I have the same problem as Douglas Stewart above.

I have been through 'check for updates' there are none;

'Repair installation' made no difference

I can't seem to find the Adobe file in AppData\Roaming\...no Adobe file so can't reset preferences

This is very frustrating as the highlighter tool to highlight text is such a simple and basic function for such and expensive software purchase and I have discovered that there is no-one at Adobe to speak to to resolve this. The only phone numbers listed for take you to third parties who could just be scam artists. Highly unsatisfactory and very poor customer service from such a big brand with such an expensive product.

Nevertheless, how can I get this defect in the product fixed without a complete overhaul of my computer.

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New Here ,
Oct 09, 2019 Oct 09, 2019

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HI! I had the same problem. when I clicked on the colour 'bucket' to change the colour the opacity slide at the bottom of the colour palette was set at 0%!!! When I moved the slide towards the 100% end the colour on the highlighted text appears!! SUGGESTION: When Acrobat DC is installed the default setting for opacity is set at 100% not 0%.

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New Here ,
Aug 18, 2020 Aug 18, 2020

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BRILLIANT! This was the problem and one I would have never figured out! Thanks for your help - wish ADOBE could provide this sort of assistance....

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New Here ,
Jan 22, 2021 Jan 22, 2021

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I agree, brilliant!!!  I couldn't figure out why no highlighting would show, but it turned out it was simply because opacity was set to 0%.  I moved it to 100% and hey presto, the highlighting appears!!!

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 13, 2018 Jun 13, 2018

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We are also seeing major issues, mainly crashing of Acrobat DC Standard on Windows 10 machines when using the highlight tool and also creating bookmarks.  We are running Acrobat DC (Classic track) Standard, version 2015.006.30418 (latest version/update as of June 13, 2018).

This issue has just started occurring in the last month or so.  Our temp work around is to do a repair on Acrobat DC and then reboot.  However the issue does appear to come back even for those users who we have repaired their Acrobat DC installs.  THIS IS NOT AN ISOLATED CASE. Basic analytics of this forum board should show that there is a def application bug/bad code or something in the Feb 2018 update that is causing this. 

however... we all know how Adobe support is.. lacking.. i will have to track down the exact issues and then find a fix and honestly, i won't share this w/Adobe at all.  I'll post this on my own personal blog.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 13, 2018 Jun 13, 2018

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how would you fix this for a company w/over 500 workstations and acrobat dc installs? what is cause of this bug?

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New Here ,
Jul 04, 2018 Jul 04, 2018

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I did full reinstall and this did not solve the problem.

Commenting is allowed

When I do search function it seems that indeed it cannot find words, so it seems that this is an image pdf.

What are the solutions in this case?

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New Here ,
Sep 14, 2018 Sep 14, 2018

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Has anyone in this forum received a remedy for this problem?    I have tried all the recommended fixes and nothing has worked.

Adobe,  are the programmers working on this bug?

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New Here ,
Oct 19, 2018 Oct 19, 2018

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After I recognized all the text, I didn't have any problems using the highlight tool.  Although, there are times that text cannot be recognized.

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New Here ,
Apr 19, 2019 Apr 19, 2019

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Hello, I have had this frustrating issue also.  I searched for a solution today and found this forum.  Since the offered solutions did not seem to work for others, I did more testing on my own.  I have found that it really depends on the type of file you are using.  For instance, I often obtain files from another company's portal.  I have three options to save these files as PDFs on my computer:

1) Print - Selecting "Adobe PDF" as my printer choice.  This is the one that causes issues for me.  The highlighter tool will mark large, irregular sections of the page rather than the lines of text I want.  It appears Adobe thinks this is an image and not a document, the "Find" function also will not find words in this case (even after using the "recognize text" feature).

2) Print - Selecting "Save as PDF" as my printer choice.  This method, for whatever reason, makes the text recognizable and I am able to highlight without issues.  Find function also works.

3) Download the File which auto-saves as a pdf and opens as a Chrome link.  I close the web page, then open the file from Adobe and am able to highlight without issues as the text is recognized.  Find function also works.

From what I've found, printing to "Adobe PDF" seems to cause the problems I'm having.  Method #2 works the best in my case.

If you are scanning a document in, you'll want to make sure your scanner settings are set to text/document rather than image/photo.  If you are opening a PDF from an email or similar source, and not downloading or saving it there may be other settings to look at. 

Hopefully this continues to work for me and will work for others as I know it's rather irritating!

Good luck!

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Explorer ,
Jun 05, 2019 Jun 05, 2019

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This HIGHLIGHTER TOOL ISSUE is BEYOND FRUSTRATING!    I've been using Acrobat XI for years &then suddenly the Highlighter tool began making large oval blobs on my PDF's.  I looked for solutions for months &  finally decided to try the trial version of Acrobat PRO DC.  Same issue.  Blobs on some PDF's and not on others. SO...  today...

I Phoned Adobe Acrobat PRo Support.  The first tech did not have a clue!  He got into my computer and spent half an hour wasting my time and my satellite download time looking at the program as if it was the first time he'd ever seen it!!!   After I gently concluded the call, I went for a walk to blow off some steam & then called back.  The second Tech also had no clue!!!   Or if he did, he was unable to explain it or resolve it after another half hour in my computer and looking at several different PDF's I had in my files.

  

Neither of the Techs I spoke with:

A: UNDERSTOOD that there was an ONGOING ISSUE with the Highlighter tool....even tho there are hundreds of people who have asked online about it for YEARS!  

B: Could figure it out.  When the second tech got into my computer he IMMEDIATELY zoomed down into the Registry so as to" 'fix' the registry issue"  but could not clearly tell me what it was !?!   I am reluctant to ever have anyone just twist things in the registry so I asked him to stop.   Then he poked around the program but could neither explain nor 'fix' the issue. 

~~~

I just now read the April 19, 2019 reply by Kerrip___... and now I have a glimmering of an understanding about how/why SOME PDF's arrive in a 'different' PDF format... Hmmmmm.

SO... since i always save as an Adobe PDF I tried Kerrip's "SAVE AS PDF"  (a 'generic form of PDF i guess.).. and by god!  The Highlighter tool worked perfectly the first time.

HMMMMMMM...   So.... Now... one question is:  Do I have to 'RE-save' every PDF in my computer if I want to highlight it?    I've tried the OCR feature & that sometimes works to 'fix' the issue.  but basically it doesn't.

VERY SAD TO SEE THAT ADOBE IS SO SCREWED UP that it cannot even fix an issue in it's own 'SAVE AS ADOBE PDF' feature!!! 

NOW my problem is:  Do I sign up for a monthly payment to support Techs that have no clue & programmers who can't design correctly in the first place OR FIX the issues? 

I've been thru this with ADOBE Bridge and Photoshop too.  HOWEVER, now two years into a subscription & countless numbers of calls and some very 'pointed' remarks in surveys about the issues, Adobe BR seems to have been  FINALLY 'fixed'.  I am 76 years old.  Do I really want to PAY Adobe so I can waste two more years of my life converting Adobe's PDF's?  I DO want to continue to do the research I am doing & reading the papers I need to read and then... well... so.... Aargh!   There has to be an easier way!  

Otherwise, this is just a revolving suction tool... and it's my time and $ that is being extracted! 

Hmmmmm.  Any advise gratefully accepted...

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Community Beginner ,
May 23, 2020 May 23, 2020

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Thank you very much. This offers a ray of hope. If it works, Adobe should reward you with a job offer as a part time consultant. 🙂 I will report back.

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New Here ,
Jun 21, 2021 Jun 21, 2021

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Thank you for this post. I had the same issue and the save as PDF instead of Print to PDF does seem to make the difference for some reason.

 

 

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New Here ,
Jun 30, 2021 Jun 30, 2021

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Thank you Kerip!

I realize you posted this a long time ago, but I had to say thanks because I was going crazy trying to figure out what had changed. In my work as a fact checker, I'm opening new PDFs all day long and highlighting every single one. In my search, the solution I found most often was to convert the image to text, which takes much too long. Now that I'm making sure I save instread of print, my issue is gone! What a relief!

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New Here ,
Jul 06, 2022 Jul 06, 2022

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You are an absolute genius! I was using print to cutewriter which caused the same issue for me! Your solution was amazing. I chose Microsoft print to pdf instead and I can now highlight. It's been almost a year I have been battling with this! THANK YOU!! 

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New Here ,
Jul 23, 2022 Jul 23, 2022

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SAME! So happy for thsi resolution.

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New Here ,
Oct 09, 2019 Oct 09, 2019

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HI! I had the same problem. when I clicked on the colour 'bucket' to change the colour the opacity slide at the bottom of the colour palette was set at 0%!!! When I moved the slide towards the 100% end the colour on the highlighted text appears!! SUGGESTION: When Acrobat DC is installed the default setting for opacity is set at 100% not 0%.

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New Here ,
Feb 10, 2020 Feb 10, 2020

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There are NOT two different highlighter tools.  The difference is that if the document has been OCR'd, the highlighter works in regular block text.  If the document has not been OCR'd the exact same tool is a free-form draw, that may or may not snap to a straight(er) line once you've drawn it.  If you don't want to look like you were highlighting after a few glasses of wine, just OCR your document, then highlight.  Once the document is OCR'd you'll be able to highight individual words or blocks of text in their entirety.  I have a document where some of the text OCR'd properly and some didn't, and in the same document the OCR'd portions highlight in blocks or straight lines, and the parts that didn't OCR properly (becuase someone marked over them) use the same highlighter tool in free-form (drunken) mode.

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Community Beginner ,
May 23, 2020 May 23, 2020

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I just bought the monthly subscription. Attorney. Working fine. Then the same problem! Worked with two adobe techs for over one hour. No solution. You would think they would be aware of this problem. Adobe says it can't help me untilo higher level techs perhaps are available on Monday. I am not a tech. This should have been solved before. I will keep researching community solutions. It would be ironic that the solution will be found here, but not from adobe techs. More than annoyed.

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