"... an app that students, academics, and anyone who does substantial amounts of PDF-based research should try" -

Highlights is a fast and lightweight PDF reader (<10MB) packed with features to help with your research.

Free users have access to standard PDF reader features including document browsing, reading and annotating. There are NO ADS, time limits or tracking.

Context aware annotation popovers gives you powerful tools at your finger tips. Default annotation colors prevents you from having to repeatedly setting the color for the same type of annotation every time.

As you markup text and images the contents are extracted and sorted into notes. You can customize the formatting further and sort the annotations chronologically using your own color coding.

Convert images containing text or tables to actual text and tables using machine learning - letting you get to the underlying data with a single tap.

Copy annotations to the desired format — text markup as text and image selections as images, but tables as CSV and citations as BibTex.

Markup any reference and tap the link icon to look it up. Highlights will fetch DOI-links and even check if you have read the work already or have it in your reference manager library.

Export your notes as files (Markdown, HTML, TextBundle or PDF files) or open them directly in your favorite shoebox application (including Ulysses, Evernote, Bear, DEVONThink, Keep It, and Apple Notes).

• Dark mode
• Multi-window support on iPadOS
• Keyboard shortcuts and navigation
• Support for system Copy and Undo gestures
• Custom accent colors
• Apple Pencil double-tap gestures
• Power annotation tools

For a full list of features see:

The Highlights Pro subscription unlocks advanced features for extracting information including table and text recognition, customizability, citation lookups, Smart Copy and export options for other apps and easily editable formats.

Highlights Pro includes a 14-day free trial and is available for $2.99 (US) monthly or $24.99 (US) yearly (a 30% discount). You can cancel your subscription at any time. The subscription will automatically renew unless auto-renew is turned off within 24-hour prior to the end of of the current period.

Payments will be charged to your iTunes account and your account will be charged within 24-hours prior to the end of the current period. Any unused portion of a free trial period will be forfeited when you purchase a subscription.

For more information about Highlights Pro:

Privacy Policy and Terms:

What’s New

Version 2020.1.8

• Preferences window is now correctly centered on initial display

Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
48 Ratings

48 Ratings

iannleon ,

Cool app. Might choose to buy

Only problem is the context toolbar for adding annotations doesn’t always show up.

For example, on the iPhone you tap and hold and drag to make a selection. You would expect the tools would show up then. However, the tools only show when you adjust the selection.

Developer Response ,

It is optimized for iOS 13, but we agree there is still some room for improvement when it comes to the text selection:)

Jason 909 ,

Frustratingly not there yet

I want this to be my pdf note taking app so badly! Unfortunately I can’t give it more than 2 stars because its core functionality—annotating PDFs—is too buggy. Text selection goes haywire if your document has footnotes, so you wind up highlighting and pulling half a page of disordered text into your notes. There’s no ability to clean that up, too, so I keep finding myself stuck with important info I can’t highlight, which kind of defeats the purpose of this app. I’d be willing to pay for this to drive development and new features, but I’m not willing to pay to beta test core functionality. Hopefully this will improve in short order. I’ll update this if it does, because like I said, this app is conceptually what I’ve wanted for years and I hope it’s successful!

allshewrote ,

Please, I beg, let me edit the highlighter colors

Took me a second to figure out how to highlight (clicking the tool in the toolbar first rather than highlighting and clicking a color in the pop-up menu, oops)—but, guys. Guys, I would so deeply appreciate the ability to customize the colors. The ones at present are SUPER intense and neon and saturated; it pulls the eye TOO much and on top of that makes legibility more difficult since it messes with the contrast.

I want to keep poking around, especially with the seamless integration with Bookends. And maybe it's silly that color choices are standing in the way of me appreciating this app, but since highlighting is literally the name of the game here—some ability to tweak would go a long way in me keeping this around and upgrading.

Developer Response ,

Thank you for the feedback! Optional annotation colors are coming😊


Jonas Myren Ribe
5 MB

macOS 10.15 or later. Requires iOS 13.4 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating
In-App Purchases
  1. Pro - Monthly Subscription $2.99
  2. Pro - Annual Subscription $24.99
  3. Pro - Legacy Upgrade $24.99


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.