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How do I remove highlighting from a previously-created document in Adobe Acrobat DC?

Community Beginner ,
Nov 08, 2015 Nov 08, 2015

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First let me say that I have read many posts on this topic and watched YouTue videos and none of them seem to work for the latest version of Acrobat DC.  I created a document with some text highlighted  in September 2015 using Acrobat DC and now in November of 2015, I cannot remove the highlighting no matter what I do.  Sometimes I will see the "Delete Highlighting" option when I right click after selecting the text, but even when I select that option, it will not remove the highlighting.

Any ideas??? (I am definitely out of them!)

Thanks in advance for any assistance!!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Nov 09, 2015 Nov 09, 2015

If you highlighted the text outside of Acrobat then you need to remove it there as well, and then create a new PDF.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 09, 2015 Nov 09, 2015

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Do you see the highlights as individual comments in the Comments List panel?

If so, they may be locked. Right-click one of them and selected Properties. If the "Locked" box is ticked, un-tick it and click OK.

Now try to delete it again.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 09, 2015 Nov 09, 2015

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Hello,  First let me say thanks for responding!  Second, I probably should have provided more details, so here are a few that might explain my conundrum a bit better:

  1. This document was created using Adobe Acrobat DC in September as I mentioned; what I left out is that I used the "Prepare Form" utility in Acrobat and highlighted some text for later attention (a placeholder of sorts).
  2. The form is fillable and has a couple of buttons (Submit Form; Clear Form).
  3. I saved the document to the cloud.  After getting a new computer, I opened the form again to continue working on it.  This was just last week in November.  I mention the timing in case any updates were made to Acrobat in the interim.
  4. I have no comments in the document; zero, zip, so locking doesn't seem to be an issue.
  5. The problem now is that I cannot select the highlight itself - it seems to float as background color irrespective of any text, but Acrobat doesn't show any markup, watermark, image or any other type of object as existing in the document.  The document doesn't seem to recognize the highlight as existing, but it certainly shows up in every mode (print, edit, prepare, preview, etc.).

If I've left anything out that might help, let me know.  At this point, I could easily have re-created the form from scratch, but this is something I expect I will need to do in the future as well, so am hoping to discover the correct process to remove a highlight on a previously-created form.

Thanks much for your help!

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Community Expert ,
Nov 09, 2015 Nov 09, 2015

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So you're saying the files still contain the highlights but there are no comments in the Comment panel?

Did someone else open these files in a different application, or flatten them? This kind of thing does not happen by itself...

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 09, 2015 Nov 09, 2015

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Hi,

I highlighted the text, there was no association with a comment at anytime - I used a MSWord document when preparing the form and believe the highlighted text existed there, but I may have highlighted the text in the Acrobat form.  (I can find the original MSWord doc and check, but it is on the old computer.)

No one else has access to the document or the Adobe DC account.  I am not sure what you mean by flattening the document and I have not opened the Acrobat form with another application.

Thanks!

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Community Expert ,
Nov 09, 2015 Nov 09, 2015

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If you highlighted the text outside of Acrobat then you need to remove it there as well, and then create a new PDF.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 09, 2015 Nov 09, 2015

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I suspect that's the issue!  I will get the original file off my old computer and verify that, but I do believe that must be the problem.  Sorry to send you down a rathole!

Thank you!

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 10, 2022 Jun 10, 2022

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This (despite being marked as "The Correct Answer") does not help if you don't have the source document.
@martyb26265147 has the real solution.

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New Here ,
Oct 12, 2017 Oct 12, 2017

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Low tech solution - nudge text box to the right or left so the highlight is sticking out on side - then you can click on it and delete it and move the text box back where it belongs.

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Explorer ,
Nov 08, 2021 Nov 08, 2021

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This one worked for me - thanks!!!!!

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New Here ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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This one worked for me as well. Thanks!

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New Here ,
May 05, 2022 May 05, 2022

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This is an effective and direxct answer for this issue, Thank you for sharing. 

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Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2022 May 20, 2022

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Thank you for the low tech answer.  It's the only thing that worked for me as well. 

 

Why is there not a highlight function in the FORMAT window to the right of the document when you select "Edit" at the top of the menu ribbon??? There is a text colour option but not the highlight.  It's a pain when you have an entire document to do.  

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New Here ,
Oct 05, 2022 Oct 05, 2022

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Message from the future: you continue to be a hero for this recommendation.

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New Here ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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LATEST

This one was easy and it worked. Thanks!

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New Here ,
Sep 12, 2018 Sep 12, 2018

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Just had to deal with this problem and after poking around the internet I figured out a solution that doesn't need the original source document. Right-clicking the left-hand tool bar and selecting Content will pull up a hierarchy of every text and shape object in the document. Find the container for the highlighted text, expand it, and you should see at least one "Path" object. One of these will be the highlight, which you can just delete. You'll have to go line-by-line through the whole document but it'll work.

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New Here ,
Oct 08, 2018 Oct 08, 2018

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Yes! Thank you so much!!! Go to the "Content" menu and then keep drilling down until you see the Container and then path, then delete.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 26, 2020 Aug 26, 2020

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This is the appropriate solution to make the changes within Acrobat without having to open the document in another program. Just keep expanding the hierarchy and you'll find the elements you want to delete. You can click on each element in that tree and it will highlight it in the document for you so you know what you're deleting.

 

Thanks for the solution, martyb!

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New Here ,
Oct 20, 2020 Oct 20, 2020

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I signed in and left my first comment ever on here just to "like" your solution. Rockstar!

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New Here ,
Jul 12, 2021 Jul 12, 2021

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Thank you so much!!!!

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New Here ,
Dec 14, 2021 Dec 14, 2021

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3 years later and this still works WONDERFULLY. Thanks!!!!

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New Here ,
Feb 11, 2022 Feb 11, 2022

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Thank you!

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 10, 2022 Jun 10, 2022

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Perfect. IMO, THIS is the correct answer.

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New Here ,
Jun 16, 2022 Jun 16, 2022

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Thanks Marty! This is the correct answer! 

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New Here ,
Jun 28, 2022 Jun 28, 2022

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I LOVE YOU. Thank you so much!!

 

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