Here are 3 best free software to extract highlighted text from PDF. You can specify a PDF file in these software and they will export the highlighted text to a TXT file. These software scan every page of the PDF file to extract the text. Also, you can specify any specific page in some of them to extract text that you highlighted earlier. Some of these software organize the final text in the TXT file by pages. And some of them just extract the highlighted text and save it as it is. In the following list, I have added a PDF reader, a free software, and command line tool to do the same. You can easily open the PDF file in these tools and extract the highlighted text easily.
These tool are useful in many cases. If you often study from PDF files, then you usually highlight some important part of text from PDF. And later if you want to extract that, then it may be difficult as there are no straightforward tools to do it. That is why I have compiled this list of 3 free software. These software take a PDF file from you and then you can easily extract highlighted text from any page.
3 Free Software to Extract Highlighted Text from PDF:
Foxit Reader is one of the best PDF reader software out there. It is a tabbed PDF reader and has tons of features in it that you can use to deal with the PDF files. And one of the features of Foxit Reader is that it can export the highlighted text to TXT file. And the best part is that you can do that in just one click. When you export the highlighted text from a PDF file, then it saves the text according to the pages. However, using Foxit Reader, you cannot export highlighted text from any specific page. It extracts highlighted text from each page and then save to a text file.
If you have Foxit Reader already installed, then it is good otherwise ,get it from above link. Open your PDF file in it which have some highlighted text in it. After that, go to the Comment tab. From the Comments section, find the Export options and then simply export the highlighted comments. Also, here it gives an option to export all annotations from the PDF file and save that as FDF file.
PDF Highlights Extractor
PDF Highlights Extractor is a free and open source software to extract highlighted text from any PDF. This software allows you to extract highlighted text from any page of PDF. Also, you can opt to extract highlighted text from the entire PDF in one click. It takes a PDF file from you and then shows the output on its interface. After that, you can export the highlighted text that it extracts to a TXT file. Apart from TXT file, you can even opt to export the highlighted text to Excel file in just a single click. It creates a simple text file and add all the highlighted text that it finds in the specified range or page of PDF.
This software works with Java, so make that it is installed on your PC. You can get it from the above links and then open it directly after downloading it. First, specify the source PDF file from which you want to extract the highlighted text. Next, hit the Extract button and it will list the text that is has extracted. You can see that it extracts the text according to the pages. Finally, to save the text, simply click on the Text or Excel button from the below toolbar. After that using the save dialog, you can save the file to any location on your PC.
DyAnnotationExtractor is a command line tool to extract highlighted text from PDF files. This tool basically extracts all the annotations from PDF and save them in a text file. Apart from extracting highlighted text, you can use it to export comments or notes as well. When you use it on a PDF file, it extracts all the annotations and save them in a text file including highlighted text. In the text file, it saves the highlighted text first that it extracts from the whole PDF file. You cannot opt to extract highlighted text from specific pages of a PDF file.
Just like the tool above, this tool also requires Java. And after making sure that Java installed, you can follow these steps to see how this tool works to extract highlights from a PDF file.
Step 1: Get the ZIP file (DyAnnotationExtractor-1.0.2-dist.zip) of the tool from this URL. After that, extract it and open the command prompt in the same folder.
Step 2: Now, run this command line this. For convenience, I will recommend to you put the source PDF file in the folder of this tool.
DyAnnotationExtractor.bat -input "input PDF file path" -output "out put file path"
Step 3: After running the above command, it will create a text file in the same directory. You can open that and see the output of the command.
This is how you can use this simple tool to extract highlighted text from a PDF file. And it is actually very easy to do that if you have a good experience working with command line stuff. However, the only limitation that I see is its inability to extract text from specific pages of a PDF. This is a useful tool only in case you want to extract the highlighted text from an entire PDF file.
Wrapping things up…
There aren’t much tools to easily extract highlighted text from PDF. Most of the tools are paid or some of them don’t work on Windows. And after so much digging in Google, I could find only these three tools that I have explained. In my opinion, you can use Foxit Reader if you want to get all the highlighted text from a PDF. And if you want to extract highlighted text from specific pages, then you can try PDF Highlights Extractor freeware. So, if you are looking for some free software to extract highlighted text from PDF, then you can try these tools.