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This guide describes the many e-book resources available through the NU Library and how to use them.

Annotating & Highlighting PDFs

Most of the Library's e-book databases allow you to download a PDF copy of the e-book chapter or section. Once you have downloaded and saved a PDF version of the e-book, you can use Adobe Reader to annotate and highlight text. These tools are also called markup which are part of the comment and review features.

A basic overview of these features is presented on the Adobe Reader Help site page, Share, comment, and review. A simple video is also available on Adobe TV called How to markup text quick and easy.

1. Access the tools for highlight and annotation or “sticky note” on the tool bar or the right side menu by clicking Comment. See the images below:

Adobe Reader toolbar showing the tools for highlight and annotation.


 Adobe screenshot showing the Comment option.

2. To highlight, simply select the text you want to highlight with your mouse and click the highlight icon Adobe Highlight Icon  OR you can click the highlight icon first, and then select the text you want to highlight.

3. To use the annotation or “sticky note” feature, simply click on the icon in the toolbar and place the “sticky note” wherever you would like in the document

Adobe Reader screenshot showing the Sticky Note tool..

4. You can right click on any highlighted text or sticky note for additional features, including deleting your changes.

 Screenshot of the Adobe Reader Right Click menu.


5. To save your markup click the Save icon. The first time you save a PDF with new markup, you will be prompted to select the location and the name. To avoid having the same PDF in different versions, we recommend saving with the same name. You will see a dialog box asking you if you want to replace the previous version:

 Screenshot of the Adobe Save As dialog box.

Select Yes and now your PDF will be saved with your changes. You can add additional markup each time you open the file, but you will be prompted to either change the file name or replace the existing file as you add new markup.

Other free mark-up tools:

PDF XChange Viewer – compatible with Windows and Mac
PDFescape - compatible with all browsers including Safari
Nitro - For Widows only
Foxit - Most features available for Windows
Skim- Compatible with Mac OSX 10.6 or higher

Ebook Central - Highlights, Notes and Bookmarks

In Ebook Central, you already have an account, so you can start highlighting or taking notes as soon as you open the book.  To see your notes later, just visit your Bookshelf.

Ebook Central screenshot showing the annotating and highlighting features.

Ebook Central screenshot showing the Export Notes option.

1. Annotation Pane

The Annotation Pane contains all highlights, notes and bookmarks in a book, arranged by page and type. You may delete an annotation by clicking on the trash can icon and this will remove the annotation from the book and from your bookshelf.

2. Highlights - Pop-up Menu

Select text on a page and choose to highlight in yellow, blue or pink from the pop-up menu.

3. Highlights - Toolbar

Use the highlight icon in the toolbar to highlight text in yellow.

4. Add Note - Pop-up Menu

Create a note by selecting text on a page and choosing the note icon in the pop-up menu. Type your note and click on Save.

5. Add Note - Toolbar

To add a note to the whole page rather than selected text, use the note icon in the toolbar.


Click the bookmark icon in the toolbar, or the upper right of the page, to bookmark a page.

7. Export Notes from Bookshelf (2nd Screenshot below)

Notes can be exported from your bookshelf. Find the book in your bookshelf, select the More icon and click on Export Notes.