Acrobat DC Highlighting- How to highlight in a straight line...?

Community Beginner ,
May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016

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Hi all-

Our office recently installed Acrobat DC and we are becoming more familiar with it as we go...

For me, I receive large scanned document files that I have to read, highlight, redact, sometimes edit and comment.

I am able to use the highlight tool fairly easily, but is there a way to highlight in a straight line, rather than to have the shake of a hand make my document look unprofessional?  The highlighter gives me a circle for a cursor and it does not hug the text line at all.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks

Frank

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Comment markup and annotate , Windows

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016

The highlighter tool only works on actual text, it's not a free-form tool. If it allows you to select non-text or moves around when you move the mouse then it's not the highlight tool that you're using, but something else.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016

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The highlighter tool only works on actual text, it's not a free-form tool. If it allows you to select non-text or moves around when you move the mouse then it's not the highlight tool that you're using, but something else.

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New Here ,
Jun 03, 2016 Jun 03, 2016

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I am having the same issue as well.  Just last week the highlighter tool had a verticle bar as the selection tool and that would highlight in a perfectly straight line the same height as the text.  I didn't make any changes to the way Acrobat DC (latest version) operates but now the highlighter tool is a circle and wobbles all over the place making the document look crummy.  So...  there should be a setting to switch between free form and static but I cannot find it.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 03, 2016 Jun 03, 2016

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Like try67 mentioned already, that is not the highlighter tool. In order to use the highlighter, you need a document with live text and not a scan.

If you have no way to convert the scan to a text document, you can fake it a bit by using the "draw rectangle" tool. Draw your rectangle around the text,, select the rectangle, right-click and choose "properties then adjust the fill color and opacity until you get what you want. Then you can click "Make properties default" so you don't have to do that for every box.

For the original commenter, it sounds like you have Acrobat if you can redact items. If that's the case, run Optical Character Recognition on the document. Then you can use the highlight tool.

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Contributor ,
Jun 14, 2016 Jun 14, 2016

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This seems to be a new tool added to the latest release. Its default is orange-yellow (for me) but can be changed; it's a free-form tool; applies only to non-OCR pages/text. If you work on OCR-'d text you have to use the regular highlight tool. Useful in ways. If you have a circular cursor you are using this new tool; if not, it is square/rectangular. (If you pass the cursor over a page that is OCR'd, the circle appears on the non-OCR'd parts.)

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LEGEND ,
Jun 14, 2016 Jun 14, 2016

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Maybe you are looking at the wrong tool? The draw rectangle tool has been around since commenting using Reader has been available and can be used on either files that have had OCR (live text) or files that have not (scanned images).

But if your file contains live text, there really is no reason to use that tool for this purpose. Might as well use the highlighter. The Draw text tool is simply a workaround.

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Contributor ,
Jun 14, 2016 Jun 14, 2016

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The yellow marking (see below) was produced as described earlier; the circular cursor doesn't show on the screen shot. This is not the freehand draw tool; that's something else. And this highlight does not work on OCR'd text, unlike the draw tool, which does.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 5.06.59 PM.png

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LEGEND ,
Jun 14, 2016 Jun 14, 2016

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This is indeed a new type of annotation. Depending on where you look, it's a type of Ink (as reported by JavaScript), Pencil (as shown in the Comments panel), Highlight (as shown in the Properties Bar), or InkHighlight (annotation's IT [Intent Type]) annotation. The InkHighlight IT might be something that is being added to the PDF 2.0 specification as Adobe generally no longer adds new features like this to the spec.

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Contributor ,
Jun 14, 2016 Jun 14, 2016

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All very interesting sounding, but can you translate this into English (v. 1.0)?: )

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LEGEND ,
Jun 15, 2016 Jun 15, 2016

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As you mentioned earlier, this type of comment is a new feature that was recently added, so we're all discovering how to use it. I just wanted to add some additional observations.

It doesn't appear that you can do anything to restrain it to a straight line like you can with a line markup by holding down the Shift key. That might make a good feature request though.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 28, 2020 Jan 28, 2020

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I have had this happen a couple times & I found holding shift kept it straight, or was it control...it has been several months since I was restricted to it. It seems it does it over images....

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New Here ,
Jul 20, 2020 Jul 20, 2020

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Hi firstly I am facing problem in highlighting documents neatly in straight line or selecting the text and secondly the delete highlight option is also not working.. I have tried to delete the selected highlight but it just doesn't work..

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Explorer ,
Feb 12, 2020 Feb 12, 2020

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try67

I don't believe answer is correct.  I have the same problem where when I select the highlight tool, and it is definitely the highlight tool, sometimes I get the circle instead of a cursor to select text.  This does act like a free-form tool.  It makes all highlights look very unprofessional looking.  What is strange is that sometimes, the same highlight tool that I got the circle instead of the cursor, the highlight tool does give me the cursor.  I just got done highlighting a document using the highlight tool on a document and I got the cursor to highlight which was great.  But 15 minutes later when I opened the same pdf in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, I clicked on the same highlighter tool and I got the circle instead of the cursor.  This is so very frustrating.  It seems like there is no ryhme or reason as to getting the circle or the cursor to highlight.  Within that 15 minutes, nothing was changed with the pdf or my Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

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New Here ,
Aug 27, 2020 Aug 27, 2020

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How condescending: "...then it's not the highlight tool that you're using, but something else." As if we wouldn't know what the hell we're doing!

 

I can't tell you how many times I've encountered that blasted circle cursor and out of ignorance had to put up with or just give up on the messy freeform highlighting!!! I have come to find, from trial & error certainly NOT from any help on any Adobe help forum,  that when I run the enhnce scan with text regognition my problem with the circle cursor was resolved, so now I just do that first thing when opening a document in Acrobat Pro DC.

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Explorer ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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See my correct answer above:

 

This seems to be a new tool added to the latest release. Its default is orange-yellow (for me) but can be changed; it's a free-form tool; applies only to non-OCR pages/text. If you work on OCR-'d text you have to use the regular highlight tool. Useful in ways. If you have a circular cursor you are using this new tool; if not, it is square/rectangular. (If you pass the cursor over a page that is OCR'd, the circle appears on the non-OCR'd parts.)

 

If you OCR your text you won't get the imprecise ("messy") highlighter tool.

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Explorer ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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LATEST

or what acts like a highlighter tool (same width, color choices, etc.)

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 19, 2016 Jun 19, 2016

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If you are using the "comment" tool and have permission to edit then change to the "edit" tool and try highlighting from there.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 21, 2016 Jun 21, 2016

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Thanks for all the answers and tips. I found that for the documents that I receive (mostly scanned ie non-text files), I have to convert them from the scan "photo" to text using the green "edit PDF" link on the right of the page when I open the document. Once the document is converted, I can highlight, edit and add text using the links and options provided.  I suppose that if one receives a non-scanned regular PDF file, you will not need to take this step if you have permission to edit (assuming the drafter enabled a protection of some sort).


Still getting familiar with the new program, but feeling more confident with it.

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New Here ,
Jan 31, 2020 Jan 31, 2020

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Justin

 

I know yours is a very old post, however, your solution worked for me. I have been trying ot find a solution on and off for months. Thankyou for your post.

Did you ever find a better solution ?

 

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New Here ,
Oct 17, 2016 Oct 17, 2016

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Adobe Acrobat is terrible software - you'd think in 2016, they'd have figured out how add the ability to highlight in straight lines...Add a shift key function, like MS Paint at least...Terrible.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 28, 2017 Jan 28, 2017

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When I go to the edit pane the program forces OCR conversion.  When that happens I cannot highlight with the "circle" (which on mine straightens itself out), but highlights with a "square" and doesn't highlight what I want but jumps to the nearest text it "read".  I should be able to choose, not have it choose for me.  I think I know what I want to highlight better than this

program.

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Contributor ,
Jan 28, 2017 Jan 28, 2017

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The circle appears only when you start from a margin outside the text, regardless of whether you select the highlighting tool or not.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 28, 2017 Jan 28, 2017

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"The circle appears only when you start from a margin outside the text, regardless of whether you select the highlighting tool or not." 

It wouldn't let me highlight the area I wanted at all.  It completely went around it, yet on another area of the same document it let me highlight it (with circle curser) just fine.  I had click WAY outside the area I wanted to highlight in order to get to the area I wanted.  Otherwise the square came up and forced me to highlight some lettering that I didn't want to highlight.  This only happened after it tried to make my document readable.  -Which I didn't wan't anyway.

I went back to a previously saved version of my document and it let me choose the area I wanted to highlight like normal.  The edit pane shouldn't automatically change (to readable) every page you try to scroll past.  I know better now.  I know that I cannot edit my document.   I also know I won't purchase Adobe after my year is up.  Wish I hadn't purchased. 

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New Here ,
Jun 12, 2017 Jun 12, 2017

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You can make the yellow circle highlighter into a straight line by holding down control as you highlight. It looks wobbly as you're highlighting but straightens up once you're done. You do have to keep it pretty straight when you're drawing though.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 23, 2017 Aug 23, 2017

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[I am using Acrobat Pro DC]

Hold down the CTRL key while highlighting the text your want marked. If your line is reasonably straight, when you release the mouse and CTRL key, the application will then straighten it out.

Then you can actually select the highlighting as if it was an image, which it actually is, and move it around.  I have not figured out how to change its shape.

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