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Copy Highlighted Text in Pdf file

Sep 9, 2011 4:02 AM

Hi everyone,

 

Recently I downloaded the Adobe Reader X (version 10.0). This version allows me to highlight text (in yellow colour). However, If I want to copy a highlighted block of text (for instance to paste into a Word document), I am not able to do this. When I select the highlighted text and click on the right mouse click, it doesn't give me the opportunity to copy this text. Therefore, I was wondering whether I can copy the highlighted text in another way?

 

Thanks in advance for a reply.

 

Kind regards,

 

Sleighon

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2011 7:40 AM   in reply to Sleighon

    Same problem here. This is a nuisance.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2011 8:33 AM   in reply to Sleighon

    When I select the highlighted text and click on the right mouse click, it doesn't give me the opportunity to copy this text.

    Which options did you get?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 23, 2011 4:35 AM   in reply to What will work?

    Select the text (not the highlight) and press Ctrl+C.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 30, 2011 12:02 PM   in reply to AbhigyanModi

    I have this problem too. The problem is that I CAN'T "Select the text (not the highlight)". If I have a paragraph of text highlighted in a PDF and the selection tool enabled, when I mouse over the highlighted text my cursor changes from a standard cursor to four-sided arrow. If I click on the block of highlighting, the block itself is selected (not the text beneath it).

     

    So, to repeat, how does one select the text if it is already highlighted?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2011 2:08 PM   in reply to Sleighon

    Agreed. More than a nuisace, hindering productivity. Any solutions appreciated.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 4:17 PM   in reply to Spire8

    It's not very practical, but I got around this by selecting a larger area than the highlighted text I wanted to copy, i.e. starting before the part I wanted and finishing after it. Then pasting the whole lot, and deleting the parts I didn't want after pasting it.

     

    I don't understand why it's not possible just to copy highlighted text though, it seems ridiculous to remove the option!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 19, 2013 9:00 AM   in reply to sarahhelen123

    I don't understand why it isn't possible to copy highlighted text either.  The suggestion to expand the area beyone the highlighted section is great but, again, it is inconvenient and hampers productivity.  Simply put, it is a nuisance in adition to being stupid.  Not a characteristic that is often attributed to Adobe products!!!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 19, 2013 6:38 PM   in reply to g4tay

    I do not see what the problem is...

    1. highlight some text
    2. right-click on the document and click Select Tool
    3. select the (highlighted) text you want to copy
    4. Ctrl+C to copy
    5. paste it anywhere, e.g. in Word
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2013 9:27 AM   in reply to Pat Willener

    It seems you don't understand where the problem is. APPLY a highlight to the text, which is to say select it and use the Tools function to highlight the text. The text you've highlighted now remains yellow. Now, choose the same chunk of text you've highlighted and go to Edit, under which you will notice that the Copy function has been disabled. Once a section of text has been Highlighted the Copy function is disabled for that section of text. This makes no sense at all and is a considerable impediment to productivity for folks who use these functions together on a regular basis. Even with Adobe Pro XI this issue has not been resolved, when simple programs like Kindle apps get it right.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2013 10:03 AM   in reply to kaemus78

    Interesting problem. I think it's because annotations always see clicks in preference to the underlying page. Almost always.

     

    It's quite easy to select text which begins outside or ends outside a highlighted section.

     

    Click outside the highlight (or just before the beginning, or just after the end).

    Release the mouse (this isn't a drag action). The flashing cursor should appear.

    Now Shift+click inside the highlight. Text between the two points can be copied.

     

    I noticed this because for me it's a faster more accurate way of selecting text which works in almost all apps, so I often use it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2013 10:08 AM   in reply to Test Screen Name

    Yeah, that's one way to get around a flaw in the program, but it's inconvenient as it requires deleting the additional text when pasting. Also, if you want to copy a chunk of text that is embedded within a longer highlighted section it's even more of a nuisance.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2013 5:26 PM   in reply to kaemus78

    kaemus78 wrote:

     

    It seems you don't understand where the problem is.

    Indeed, I do not understand what the problem is.  When I tested it yesterday (using Reader 11.0.1) I actually took some screenshot, but I didn't think it necessary to post them.  I'll do it now.

     

    Opening a random PDF from My Documents

    hlc1.png

    then highlight some text

    hlc2.png

    apply the Select Tool (using right-click)

    hlc3.png

    select the same highlighted text

    hlc4.png

    copy (Ctrl+C) then paste it into an empty Word document

    hlc5.png

     

    Ok, the highlighting did not get copied over - is this the problem?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2013 7:14 PM   in reply to Pat Willener

    Perhaps the problem is that I use Mac, but this doesn't work with my system. Any highlighted text that I select cannot be copied. The copy function is disabled with any highlighted text. I don't know if this has any connection, but when I right click on highlighted text there isn't a Select Tool option. Still, when my cursor is in Select Tool mode (via the tool bar), and I select highlighted text, the copy function is disabled.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2013 7:27 PM   in reply to kaemus78

    I have the same issue with both Acrobat Pro 11.0.1 and Reader 11.0.1.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2013 8:06 PM   in reply to kaemus78

    kaemus78 wrote:

     

    Perhaps the problem is that I use Mac, but this doesn't work with my system.

    Ah, that's indeed a possibility - that the defect exists only on the Mac version.  I use, as you have noticed, Windows.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2013 8:24 AM   in reply to Pat Willener

    This is possible because you can put the cursor outside of the highlighted text. Now, try highlighting from somewhere in the middle of a paragraph, and using select tool, and try to select the higlighted line exactly. No more no less. You can't. You have to resort to selecting extra words along with the one in the highlighted area, and delete the unwanted afterwards. Freaking annoying.

     

    ado.png

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2013 9:40 PM   in reply to cryptdecrypt

    Are you also on a Mac?  On Windows I have no problems doing exactly that:

    Original paragraph

    chl1.png

    Select some text

    chl2.png

    Highlight it

    chl3.png

    Select the highlighted text

    chl4.png

    Copy it using Ctrl+C.

     

    I suggest that Mac users experiencing this problem report it at https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2013 3:51 AM   in reply to Pat Willener

    im on windows7.. are you doing it with keyboard? i want to hightlight and select both using mouse.. it is fine with keyboard.. it's just doesn't seem to work with mouse..

     

    EDIT: i just found it!! you have to be on READ MODE to be able to highlight and select easily using mouse.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 11, 2013 3:20 PM   in reply to cryptdecrypt

    @cryptdecrypt, wow, thanks for that solution! Yes, when you switch to Read Mode (ctrl+H), it's much easier to select Highlighted text.

     

    Ugh, it is a total user experience fail to try to select text after it's already been highlighted by the Highlight Tool. I was previously using shift+click, but it was still difficult.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 20, 2013 11:04 AM   in reply to bucky3824

    Agree completely that this is a user experience FAIL on Adobe's part.  Adobe developers - please think about it from the casual user's point of view.  Imagine the poor user clicking on every possible option trying to get this to work until they happen to stumble onto the fact that they have to be in "Read Mode" for this to work (and WTF is "Read Mode" anyway?).  Users shouldn't have to search the forums to figure out how to make something as simple as copy and paste to work, just because they have highlighted some text.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 26, 2013 8:43 AM   in reply to Pat Willener

    This function is horrible. the problem is not just we can't copy and paste but have to click several times to get it. for every extra click we make, we lose our time. there should be a short key while our right hand on mouse and left hand on keyboard.

     

    Also can we have an option to copy all or print all highlighted text for all pages or a range of pages. This would save a great amount of time.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 28, 2014 10:11 PM   in reply to Sleighon

    +1 on the almost complete fail on the user experience with the Highlight function in Acrobat.

     

    When reviewing a document, why does someone go to the trouble to Highlight text in the first place?

     

    Usually, it's because you want to draw attention for yourself and others to key phrases. In a business context, that almost always involves repurposing the content in other software outside the PDF rather than only sharing the annotated PDF with others.

     

    Why can one not simply right-click any highlighted area and select copy from a context menu? THAT IS WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO DO.

     

    In fact, let's go one further:

    The Comments List is useless. Once you've highlighted important text passages, the Comments List shows you each highlighting location with a timestamp as an entry in the list, but NOT THE HIGHLIGHTED TEXT! What is the point? For what percentage of Acrobat users is that the desired functionality?

     

    Why can I not spend the time while reading to highlight important passages and then EXPORT/COPY THE COMPLETE LIST OF HIGHLIGHTED PASSAGES? Again, this is what people want to do. And this threaded conversation is proof.

     
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