How to Highlight on iBooks: Taking advantage of the discounts available on the iBooks Store , you have decided to exploit the potential of your iPad as an eBook reader and to buy books on the Apple digital store; books that you will then find synchronized on your iPhone and on your Mac, thanks to iCloud. Despite some initial hesitation, you are very happy in reading books in electronic format, but now you need to highlight some passages in them but you don’t know how to do it.
Don’t worry: iBooks , the default application of iOS and macOS for reading digital books (now simply called Books ), includes a very practical highlight function that allows you to underline the most important passages of the eBooks with various colors, offering also the possibility of associating annotations to the latter. Something similar in some ways can also be done with documents in PDF format, as the application is able to act as a reader for this type of document as well.
So, if you want to find out how to highlight on iBooks , I can only suggest you continue reading this guide, which is dedicated to the topic. In the following lines, in fact, you will find explained how to carry out the operation in question on iPad, iPhone and Mac: I can assure you that, contrary to what you may think, it is really a breeze. Now, however, stop chatting and let’s take action!
How to Highlight on iBooks
Are you interested in understanding how to highlight on iBooks (or rather on Books) using the iPad, the iPhone or the Mac? Then follow the instructions you find right below.
iPad e iPhone
To be able to highlight on iBooks by acting from iPad and iPhone , the first step you need to take is to take your Apple-branded mobile device, unlock it, access the home screen and select the Books app icon (the one with the orange background and the white paper).
Now that you see the main screen of the app, access your collection of digital books by selecting the Library item at the bottom of the screen, and tap on the cover of the eBook of your interest.
If you deem it necessary, you can help you identify the eBook by tapping on the Collections item , at the top, and selecting the category of your interest or by changing the order in which the books are arranged, by pressing on the Sort menu , which is always found at the top, and selecting the option you prefer. You can also search by keyword by accessing the Search mail section below and typing the keyword in the appropriate field.
Once the eBook is open, go to the page where you want to highlight, hold your finger on the first word to be highlighted for a few seconds, then release it and use the two blue indicators that appear on the left and right to select the entire phrase of your interest.
At this point, select the item Highlight from the menu that is shown to you and choose the color to use for the selected phrase or word, by tapping on the icon with the colored circles attached to the additional menu displayed: yellow, green, blue, pink and purple. Alternatively, you can also underline the text by selecting the icon with the circle and the underlined “a” in the center .
If you want, you can also add a comment relating to the highlighted part of the text: to do this, select the cartoon icon from the menu visible immediately after highlighting the text, or tap on the highlighted part, type what you want in the new screen displayed and tap on the Fine item , at the top right.
If you then want to remove the highlighting made because you did it by mistake or because you had second thoughts, you can do it simply by pressing on the portion of text in question and, subsequently, on the icon with the dustbin attached to the menu that is shown to you.
When you want, you can quickly access all the various highlights made in the book, opening the book again, tapping anywhere on the screen (to call up the display of the reading controls), pressing the icon with the list at the top left and selecting the Notes tab from the newly displayed screen. By selecting the individual highlights in the list you will then be redirected to the part of the book or document in which they are found.
And what about the Mac ? How do you highlight on iBooks? The answer is soon given! First, launch the Books application on macOS by clicking on its icon (the one with the orange background and the white book ) that you find in the Launchpad .
Once the main application window is displayed, if you see the store, instead of your eBook collection, click on the Library button located at the top left. Then double-click on the cover of the book of your interest.
If you want, you can help you identify the book using the other tabs at the top or you can change the order in which your collection has been sorted by clicking on the Sort by menu , located at the top right, and choosing the option of your interest. You can also perform a keyword search by clicking on the Search field (located at the top right) and typing a keyword into it.
Once the eBook is open, locate the portion of text you wish to highlight and select it, by left clicking on the first word and, continuing to hold down, dragging the mouse pointer to the end of the text portion, then release the pressure.
Then use the menu that appeared on the screen to select the color to use for the highlighting. Depending on your preferences and needs, you can use yellow, green, blue, pink and purple by clicking on the respective colored circles . If you want, you can also underline the text by tapping on the icon with the underlined “a” .
If you deem it necessary, I would like to point out that you can also add a note to the highlighted portion of text, by choosing the Add note option from the visible menu after highlighting words and phrases, and then type the text of your interest in the post-it you see appear. on the screen.
If you then wish to remove the highlighting performed, perhaps because you did it by mistake or because you have changed your mind, you can do so by right-clicking on the text of your interest and choosing the item Remove highlighting from the context menu.
When you deem it appropriate, you will be able to access all the words and portions of text that you have highlighted in the eBook by opening the eBook again, moving the mouse pointer to the toolbar located at the top of the book screen and clicking on the icon depicting a post-it located on the right. You will then be shown the list of highlights and you can immediately reach the relevant part of the book by simply clicking on them.
How to highlight PDF on iBooks
iBooks (indeed, Books) can also be used as a reader for documents in PDF format and, even in this case, allows you to highlight portions of text, although the functionality offered is not exactly similar to that available for eBooks. If you are interested in this, go on reading: you will find everything explained in detail in the following lines.
iPad e iPhone
If you want to highlight a PDF that you have imported into iBooks on your iPad or iPhone , the first step you need to take is to start the Books application , go to the Library section of the same and select the document of your interest by tapping on its preview. .
If you can’t find it, you can filter the content view, making PDFs available only, by tapping on the Collections item at the top and selecting the PDF option from the next screen.
At this point, tap on the document, to call up the menus with the tools and buttons, press the button with the pencil at the top and then press the highlighter attached to the menu at the bottom. Then press on the colored circle located at the bottom right and choose the color you want to use to highlight your texts: yellow, green, blue, red etc.
Then, tap the point in the document where you want to start highlighting and, continuing to hold down on the screen, drag your finger over the entire word or phrase of your interest. If you want, before highlighting you can enlarge the part of the PDF you are interested in, so that you can more easily perform the operation in question, using the pinch to zoom (i.e. placing two fingers on the display and moving them outwards).
If you made a mistake in highlighting, you can “on the fly” undo the last action performed by tapping the left arrow symbol at the top of the screen. Alternatively, or in any case if you want to remove a highlight made later, you can do the same by selecting the eraser tool at the bottom of the screen and moving your finger to the point where you traced the highlight.
When the changes are complete, to save the changes, tap again on the pencil icon at the top of the screen, or press the left arrow symbol in the upper right part of the display.
As you can see for yourself, the tools offered by Books for editing PDFs are a bit limited. So, if you are not satisfied with the functioning of the application in this sense, I strongly suggest you read my guide on how to highlight PDF on iPad (also valid for iPhone), through which I have provided you with further useful resources for this purpose.
And on Mac ? How do you highlight a PDF using the Books application ? I’ll explain it to you right away. First, launch the application in question. Then, if your library is not visible, click on the Library button in the upper right part of the window and double-click on the preview of the PDF of your interest, which, by doing so, will be opened with Preview (the macOS default application for viewing and editing images and PDFs).
If you can’t find the PDF, you can help you search by selecting the Collections tab at the top and then the PDF item from the left menu. You can also help you with the search field located at the top right, by typing in the keywords of your interest.
Once the PDF is displayed, click on the button with the highlighter present at the top of the window, so as to enable the tool to highlight the texts, and press on the adjacent arrow to choose the color you want to use for the highlighting among yellow , green, blue, pink and purple.
Then, left click on the first word to be highlighted and, continuing to hold down, drag the pointer to the end of the word or the portion of text of your interest, then release the pressure on the mouse button. Done!
If you want, you can also add a note to the portion of text just highlighted, by right-clicking on it and choosing the Add note item from the context menu. Still from the same menu, you can later change the color chosen to highlight (by clicking on the colored circles ), you can enable the tool to underline the text (using the button with the “U” underlined ) and you can select the item Remove highlight ( to remove the highlighting).
To save the changes, simply close the Preview window by clicking on the button with the red circle in the upper right part of it.
If for any reason the Books + Preview combo does not satisfy you, I suggest you read my tutorial on how to edit PDF files with Mac, through which I have provided you with other useful tools for this purpose.