PDF Solutions: How to Unhighlight in Adobe When You Need to

Summary :

You are going to learn how to remove marks or highlights in PDF using Adobe or free pdf highlight remover. Besides, we will make you understand why your PDF can’t be unhighlighted sometimes.

Table of Contents

How to Unhighlighting in Adobe

How to Unhighlighting in Adobe

Having too many highlights in a PDF can make it look cluttered and distracting. Sometimes, when we decide to reuse a PDF file, the previous highlighters will not be suitable anymore, leading to the requirement of removing them.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the simple steps for erasing and clearing highlights in PDFs with Adobe software. But since Adobe products always ask for a premium to unlock more functions, we will offer some other free ways to do the same job.

How to Unhighlight in Adobe

Many people use Adobe Acrobat Reader to remove highlights in PDF documents, even though the free version of Adobe Reader lacks some of the sophisticated capabilities of a PDF editing program.

But as long as the free version can do the work, why not let it help you? Check out how to unhighlight in Adobe in the coming part.

Step 1. Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader > Left-click the highlighted line > Hit the dustbin icon to remove the highlighter.

Click the Highlighter in Adobe

Click the Highlighter in Adobe

Step 2. Navigate to the Save button > Select a proper folder and save your new file in which the highlighters have been removed.

Save Your PDF File

Save Your PDF File

There is no doubt that you can unhighlight or highlight in Adobe but at the cost of spending time registering and logging in. Besides, being the giant in the PDF editing world, Adobe is large and heavy. That means it eats the RAM of your computer while it’s running. We will introduce you to a powerful but lightweight program without any register requirement for removing highlighters in PDF in case you need it somehow.

Unhighlight in PDF with Free Alternative of Adobe

The all-in-one PDF solution that streamlines and eases your workflows is called PDFgear. You can effectively generate, edit, convert, combine, divide, compress, e-sign, and annotate PDFs. It rivals commonly seen apps like Preview for its fantastic functions.

Whether you need a handy, robust PDF tool for business, education, or personal use, PDFgear has everything you need. Learn how to unhighlight with PDFgear from the listed steps.

Step 1. Install PDFgear in Your Computer

Download PDFgear which is available for Windows, macOS, and iOS.

PDFgear – Free Unhighlight PDF Documents

PDFgear is your top choice for versatile PDF editing on Windows, Mac, iPad, and iPhone, with features like highlighting, annotating, watermarking, e-signing, drawing, password protection, and easy content removal.

Step 2. Right-click the Highlighter to Be Eliminated

Open the PDF file to be dealt with in PDFgear > Right-click the highlighter you aim to remove > “Delete” will show up > Click “Delete”.

Right-click to Remove Highlighters

Right-click to Remove Highlighters

Step 3. Save the Disposed PDF

Save the edited file or save it as a new PDF by clicking the universal “Disk” icon. No extra step is ever required.

Save the File without Target Highlighters

Save the File without Target Highlighters

What if your computer is exploding with various programs and you can’t install another one at all? Don’t worry. PDFgear has its online version which requires only the Internet to remove highlights in PDFs. Here is how.

Unhighlight in PDF Online Free

PDFgear online editor offers free assistance in PDF editing and annotation, cropping and merging, compressing, e-signing, etc. You don’t have to install anything on your computer and usually, you just need to give a few clicks to finish most of PDF related work like highlight PDFs.

Don’t forget this one especially when you are running out of your computer storage while the Internet works well. Here is how to unhighlight with PDFgear Online.

Step 1. Upload PDF Files on PDFgear Online

Go to PDFgear Online Editor > Upload your file by dragging a file from your folder on your disk or simply clicking the “Upload PDF files” shown below.

Upload PDF onto PDFgear Online

Upload PDF onto PDFgear Online

Step 2. Unhighlight the Unwanted Parts

Left-click to select the highlighter you want to remove > Right-click to show the drop-down menu > Choose “Delete” and that’s all.

Left-click And Right-click to Unhighlight

Left-click And Right-click to Unhighlight

Step 3. Download the PDF

Find the download button in the up right corner of the window > Select an output folder > Rename your edited file and hit “Save”.

Download the Unhighlighted PDF

Download the Unhighlighted PDF

Can’t Remove Highlights in PDF

There are occasions when you can’t remove highlights in PDF. The causes can vary. Understand the most commonly seen 5 causes to save your time wasted on figuring out what’s going on with your PDF highlights when you want to remove them.

1. The PDF is secured or encrypted – Security settings may prevent edits like removing highlights.

2. The highlights are part of the original scanned document – You can highlight in scanned PDF but when PDFs contain embedded highlights, they can’t be removed.

3. You lack editing permissions – If you have read-only access, you can’t edit the PDF to erase highlights.

4. The highlights are watermarks – Some highlights may be watermarks applied as background images and can’t be deleted.

5. You only have a printed copy – Physical highlights on paper obviously can’t be digitally removed.


How Do I Remove Highlighter without Adobe Acrobat Pro?

You can use PDFgear to remove highlighter as a free alternative to Adobe Acrobat Pro. It’s simple like no other. Download PDFgear > Open your file in PDFgear > Right-click the unwanted highlighter > “Delete” button pops out > Hit “Delete” and save your file.

Can I Unhighlight a PDF without Using an Application?

Yes, it’s easy to unhighlight a PDF with PDFgear Online Editor. As long as you have access to the Internet, you are free to remove highlighters in PDF without installing any application.

How to Unhighlight from a Word Document?

Select the highlighted text you want to unhighlight > Click the Text Highlight Color button – This will reveal a menu to change the highlighting color > Choose “No Color” to remove the highlighting. And just like that, the text will return to its original formatting without any highlighting.


Adobe just offers basic functionality to remove highlights from PDFs if you don’t plan to go for its premium version. Alternatives like PDFgear provide more powerful but free highlight removal tools.

So if you find yourself spending too much time wrestling with complicated Adobe products, why not lay back and try something easier?

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