Same problem here. This is a nuisance.
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?
Select the text (not the highlight) and press Ctrl+C.
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?
Agreed. More than a nuisace, hindering productivity. Any solutions appreciated.
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!
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!!!
I do not see what the problem is...
- highlight some text
- right-click on the document and click Select Tool
- select the (highlighted) text you want to copy
- Ctrl+C to copy
- paste it anywhere, e.g. in Word
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.
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.
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.
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
then highlight some text
apply the Select Tool (using right-click)
select the same highlighted text
copy (Ctrl+C) then paste it into an empty Word document
Ok, the highlighting did not get copied over - is this the problem?
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.
I have the same issue with both Acrobat Pro 11.0.1 and Reader 11.0.1.
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.
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.
Are you also on a Mac? On Windows I have no problems doing exactly that:
Select some text
Select the highlighted text
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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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.
1 person found this helpful
@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.
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.
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.
+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.
In Acrobat, I highlight a section of text using the selection tool;
I then go to edit/copy (or command-C);
In Word or Safari or Chrome or Firefox...I do edit/paste (or command-V);
I then get a lot of "funny little boxes" with "?" simbols within.
Why? How to get back to standard copy/paste function?
pideja, This sometimes happen when a PDF does not have useful text you can copy You can think of it as fault in the PDF. It isn't a fault in Reader.
hold alt and shift
click and drag to select
ctrl c - copy
ctrl v - paste
thank you SO SO SO much, you just made my life a jazillion times easier!
I am on a mac. tex23's solution is good but not perfect. If you just hold shift while clicking, it highlights all of the highlighted text at once.
Yes! Please Adobe, your software is awesome except for this unfortunate flaw. When researching I like to read through a document and highlight particular passages of importance.. but when it comes to compiling my research by copying and pasting the highlighted passages in to a word document, I have no other option but to go back through and manually highlight those same passages from outside of the already specified highlighted area and manually delete what is not needed. It seems counter intuitive that parts of the text that are flagged as important aren't immediately easy to copy and paste?
I can't believe that no one answered this yet in almost 4 years. I guess we are basically without any REAL support here. You can hold down the SHIFT key and select but the selection is uncontrollable. I tried using tex23's ALT-SHIFT but on the OCRed document I am using, it selects random groups of letters column-wise. HUH?!
The correct solution, that is somewhat of a kludge, not to mention a PITA, is to temporarily turn off highlighting via a keyboard shortcut (OS X--can't find ones for 'Doze, sorry):
Now isn't that an intuitive shortcut? Now you can select down to the letter.
To turn highlighting back on:
That's it… Simple enough but it really shouldn't be required. Then again, I find all of Adobe's user interfaces seriously lacking. They apparently don't have human factors engineers or test their products with REAL users. For what they charge, that is unforgivable.
I hadn't seen the answer given by cryptdecrypt, which is to enter Read Mode, whatever that is. This is even better than toggling highlighting on/off and requires one shortcut, but two actual key events for on then off:
Ctrl-CMD-H (OS X)
What's better about this solution is it allows you to select as usual within the highlighted section without turning highlighting off. This way you don't have to keep toggling highlighting on/off many times while you navigate to highlighted sections and select text. You can leave Read Mode on until you want to highlight a new section, bookmark, etc.
This is 100% non-intuitive and should not be required at all.
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Now way! This actually works. I never knew what 'Read Mode' was for and still don't. Why would anyone need or want a separate read mode? I can read just as easily in normal mode, thank you. And why should I have to toggle read mode on/off just to be able to select and copy text from a highlighted section? Just one more Adobe annoyance IMO. But thanks for finding this and pointing it out.
On OS X the shortcut to toggle Read Mode ON/OFF is:
On 'Doze it's:
I wholeheartedly agree. Adobe's UI for any of their software is a total disaster. It is nearly 100% non-intuitive. You have to comb the menus or Google almost anything you want to do. And the solution is almost always a kludge like this one. If SHIFT worked properly, that would be OK, but it doesn't.
It's possible that as of September 12, 2016, a full five years after the original post, that Adobe has finally fixed this with its latest update. Some of the confusion for me stemmed from responses 10 through 13 or so. The steps I take:
Click anywhere on document outside of highlighted text.
Right click, then check "Select Tool"
Shift click within the highlighted area and select your text. It's twitchy - not precise. Might at first select the whole ******* paragraph, but try again - a little futzing, you can grab what you need.
Edit - Copy or Control C
Paste the text into your document, onto your wall, onto your forehead, wherever.
Sincerely hope this helps someone, somewhere in time.
Both the read mode Cmd + Ctrl + H as well as the Shift + Alt + Drag-select work arounds are superb.
However, I logged in specifically to state that this is still the pinnacle of bad UX I have yet encountered in Acrobat and the fact that this goes unaddressed by Adobe is outrageous.
no need to select outside what you highlighted as I read on other replies, you just have to hold shift and select, that is it.
doesn't solve my problem (copying 1000 such nuggets) but it's a start
I figured I would be able to export to word and then use the highlight there to isolate my results. I'm frustrated to note that underline comes out as a true underline, but the highlight is not a true - searchable - highlight. This leaves me with two options:
1) can I turn all highlights in PDF into underline (I think not)
2) what is the status of the yellow highlight which comes to word - what kind of item is it? I can't figure this out either. Thoughts, hivemind?
Highlights don't belong to text in PDF, they are just a box in the same place. So I imagine some kind of anchored graphic.