EaseUS PDF Editor

An all-in-one PDF editing software to create, manage and convert PDF files easily.

  • Easily merge, split, insert, extract, delete pages from PDF documents
  • Edit, compress, encrypt, sign, OCR, annotate PDF files with ease
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Free Download | Top 12 PDF Highlighter For Windows/Mac

Vanessa Chiang updated on Sep 18, 2021 to PDF Editor Tutorials

It's indisputable that PDF is the most used format by businesses today to share important information. There are times when one needs highlighting in PDF to emphasize the content so that other readers can note it quickly. In cases like this, a PDF highlighter comes in handy! Yes, with the use of a document highlighter, highlighting specific information in a PDF file will be as easy as plucking low-hanging fruit. 

Unfortunately, not all PDF highlighting tools can perfectly perform their tasks without compromising the file quality, and many users don't know how to pick up a suitable one. For this reason, this post will offer you a list of the best PDF highlighters on Windows, Mac, and online. Thus, read further to find out the one that's best for you. 


PDF Highlighter for Windows


Free PDF Highlighter Online

1. EaseUS PDF Editor 

Compatibility: Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7

The first one on this list is EaseUS PDF Editor. This top-leading PDF highlighter for PC lets users highlight important content in a PDF document without much effort. Plus, it supports a vast array of basic and advanced features, ranging from PDF editing and converting to PDF protecting.

Hence, whether you want to highlight PDF, annotate PDF documents, add bates numbers and signatures to PDFs, merge, encrypt, or split PDF files, etc., this tool can be just perfect for you to get the job done efficiently.

EaseUS PDF Editor has a highly intuitive interface, making it easy to navigate. Everyone can use this program for reading and highlighting PDF files effortlessly, and it's easy to use for even beginners. Don't miss it if you are finding a program to highlight PDF.

Key Features:

  • PDF OCR free for easy editing of scanned PDF documents
  • Efficiently highlight PDF without compromising its quality
  • Annotate, sign, and encrypt PDF documents easily
  • Remove watermark from PDF or add it to PDF

This all-in-one software offers you more tools than mentioned above. Do you want to have a try? Click on this button for PDF highlighter free download.

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Detailed Steps: >> How to Highlight in PDF

How to highlight PDFs with the software mentioned above? There is a tutorial that will walk you through highlighting PDF step by step. 

2. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC 

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

Another popular PDF highlighter for PC and portable devices is Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. This tool supports lots of features, helps ease the process of handling your PDF document, and even comes in handy when you're looking to process a complex document.

By virtue of its flexibility in editing multiple pages and editing text in scanned PDF, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC makes it possible to process PDF files in batches, even scanned ones. Plus, this tool has a clean and concise interface, making it easy to use for all people.

adobe bcrobat pro dc


  • Comment and share a PDF through the cloud
  • Compress and reduce PDF size
  • Offer quick searching through text indexing


  • It can be a little expensive
  • Lags sometimes

3. PDF Annotator 

Compatibility: Windows

PDF Annotator is another tool that enables users to create, edit, and share PDF files anytime. It offers all the basic features of any PDF editor tool. It has a great user interface which makes it very wanted by students, teachers, or other professionals. As you can understand its functions by its name, PDF Annotator is good at highlighting in PDF and adding various marks to PDF effortlessly.

pdf annotator


  • Annotations can be edited easily
  • Simple interface


  • Limited features

4. Nitro Reader 

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Nitro Reader ranks high among the Adobe Acrobat alternatives, and millions of consumers have used it. What you get by using Nitro Reader is a complete set of PDF editing tools so that you can regard it as a PDF reader that allows highlighting and notes. You can easily share all the files as well as sign them or fill forms. For critical documents that need extra protection, this PDF editor supports encrypting your files with a password.

nitro pdf


  • A PDF reader with highlighter
  • It makes collaboration easy through the Nitro Cloud
  • User-friendly interface


  • No mobile app
  • Relatively expensive

5. PDF Xchange 

Compatibility: Windows

PDF Xchange is yet another editing tool with all the basic capabilities of a competent PDF editor app. It also allows users to sign their files and supports scanning, image editing, PDF highlighting, and more. It is a well-supported software that provides embedded fonts, images and makes going through different documents easier. You get all the features it offers by downloading PDF XChange editor and PDF XChange viewer, which are 2 different products.

pdf exchange


  • Intuitive interface
  • Sign documents digitally
  • Immediate OCR scanning


  • Need to pay for upgrades
  • Support is not always stable

6. Sejda PDF Desktop Pro 

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Sejda PDF Desktop Pro offers PDF editing tools that will make your life a little bit easier. It provides a wide range of services, including merging, splitting, converting, compressing PDF files, and highlighting on PDF. The best part is that you can profit from all it offers in both the online browser version, although with some limitations, and on the desktop version. With its slick interface, it makes the experience of editing pretty easy.



  • Support highlighting in PDF easily
  • Split, rotate, and merge PDF
  • Edit PDFs without lag
  • Smooth interface


  • Its capabilities of editing are limited

7. PDFPen 

Compatibility: Mac & iOS

PDFPen is well known among Mac users when it comes to PDF editing services. It stands out, especially for its great OCR scanning feature. It can recognize and differentiate scanned documents from the already editable text, even for larger files. Other features including all basic editing capabilities such as creating, editing, and highlighting on PDF easily. 



  • Excellent OCR function
  • Offer a wide range of editing tools
  • Process even larger documents


  • Text from the OCR is not always clean
  • Available only for Mac & iOS

8. Foxit Reader 

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Foxit Reader is another PDF tool that, from its name, enables you to read PDF files and create PDF files. There are also several other features, but it mainly focuses on doing the only several tasks, which Foxit Reader does best. In this case, something worth mentioning is that Foxit Reader is much smaller than Adobe Acrobat, and you can use it for free. 

This is a powerful PDF reader with highlighter that you cannot miss. 



  • A PDF reader that allows highlighting and notes
  • Very lightweight and fast
  • Includes a PDF printer


  • It's not made to support advanced PDF features

9. Soda PDF 

Compatibility: Windows, iOS

Soda PDF presents itself as an easy-to-use editing program to highlight PDF. It offers you many tools, including creating, editing, commenting, e-signing, highlighting in PDF, and others that you would expect from a similar service. It offers both the online version as well as the desktop one. It comes with a variety of tools and allows you to work on your files, even offline. 



  • User-friendly interface
  • Integration with cloud storage
  • Wide range of editing tools


  • Most of the features need individual purchasing
  • OCR doesn't always work well

10. Smallpdf 

Compatibility: Online

Compared with online tools, the desktop software introduced above is powerful and versatile. Users who need more advanced features may regard desktop software as the best choice, but that is not true for everyone. To save storage space and avoid the speed-down of computers, some people prefer online PDF highlighters. More importantly, most online PDF highlighters are free to use, such as Smallpdf.

Smallpdf can be considered as an online PDF reader with highlighter tool that enables you to open a PDF file and annotate it with ease. It offers you two highlight modes, i.e., "Freehand highlighter" and "Text Highlighter." The previous one enables you to draw on the PDF freely, while the latter can only highlight text in the PDF.

smallpdf free online pdf  highlighter


  • Free PDF highlighter online
  • Two types of highlighter are available
  • Support adding shapes, lines, and arrows to PDF
  • Insert images into PDF easily


  • Lack of some advanced tools

11. Xodo 

Compatibility: iOS, Android, Chrome Extension

With Xodo, besides the usual editing capabilities that any other editor provides, you also profit from its great feature of smart integrations. Once you connect it with Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive, not only can you share them on the cloud, but it automatically updates all the changes that are being made into the document in real-time. Of course, you can easily create, edit, share PDF files and export them in different formats. 



  • Real-time synchronization with the cloud
  • Smooth interface
  • Fast service


  • The reading version is not as good as the editing version

12. PDF2GO 

Compatibility: Online

This is also an online PDF editor with PDF highlighting tool. Unlike other online tools that allow you to highlight the PDF freely, this tool only lets you highlight rectangular areas. But the PDF annotating tools it offers you are very diversified. Besides those frequently-used ones, like rectangle, ellipse, arrows, and lines, it also supports adding dashed lines and polygons to PDF. 

After editing, this online tool allows you to upload the output file to the cloud directly or download it to your device. If the file size is too large, you can download the output PDF as a ZIP file.

pdf2go online free pdf highlighter


  • free PDF highlighter online
  • Support converting output PDF to ZIP file
  • Support splitting and merging output PDFs
  • Insert text and images into PDF easily


  • Limited file size
  • Limited files per conversion


A powerful PDF editor that helps you edit the PDF content and highlight important information is necessary in today's world. We suggest EaseUS PDF Editor as the best PDF highlighter for PC since it is user-friendly and comes in an all-in-one package among all the above options. If you need a tool for highlighting in PDF, don't miss this one. Click on this button for a free download. 

FAQs About PDF Highlighter for PC

Perhaps you still have many questions about highlighting a PDF on your Windows PC or Mac. Don't worry. Those FAQs can solve some of your questions.

1. How do you highlight a PDF on a PC?

First of all, you need a great highlighter for PDF, such as EaseUS PDF Editor. There is a tutorial for highlighting a PDF with this software, and you can follow it to edit your PDF files.

How to Highlight PDFs Step by Step:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS PDF Editor. Then, click on the "Open Files..." button to import the PDF you want to highlight.

Step 2. Navigate to the "Comment" tab in the top toolbar, and choose the "Annotations" option.

Step 3. The first tool under "Annotation" is PDF highlighting tool. Click it and select the text you want to highlight. 

Step 4. If you want to save the highlighted PDF file, click on "File" > "Save" to do that. 

2. Which is the best PDF highlighter for PC free download?

There are many optional apps for highlighting PDFs on Windows/Mac/online, and you can select a suitable one from the list of the top 12 highlighters for PDF.

Top 12 Highlighter for PDF: