This might be a possible duplicate of many questions in here. But the thing is none of them have a solid answer.Also they were asked way back and some are closed. This post Retroactively copy highlighted text into comments in a PDF freminded me of this question that I could not find a solution for for a long time.

So this is the requirement.

I highlight pdf documents in tablet often (android). I have loads of them. Just before I make an office presentation (Being a business analyst I have to do this a lot), I would like to read through the summary of it. So I am looking for a free preferably open source tool/software which can generate a summary of my highlighted text. Something similar to option 5 below but free.

Also this post will help in listing out options to those who are looking to extract comments from pdf. So if you know any more options please list it down.

What have I found out

These are the possible options

1. Skim

But not available for windows

2. pdf-highlights-extractor (http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfhex/)

Pros A free utilty available from source forge

Cons: Highlighting is inaccurate

3. Some Adobe scripts from the pdf Adobe exchange

pros Free

Cons - cannot handle more than 10 or 20 annotation. For more the machine hangs

4. Proprietary software

  • Adobe Acrobat (Not Reader), PDF exchange viewer etc

Cons - A setting needs to be set 'Copy selected text to comment,strikeout and highlight popups' before highlighting... I have a lot of pdfs highlighted without this setting. - Also this setting cannot be made in tablets. - Proprietary and not free - Not available in tablets.

5. PDF Comment Extractor (https://pdfcommentextractor.wordpress.com/)


  • Provision to copy old highlight texts to comment pop ups retroactively..
  • Provision to copy highlight texts to comment pop ups for highlights made from a tablet.
  • Provision to specify delimiters in the comment generator.
  • Single file processing and bulk processing
  • Provision to split different colour highlights to different files
  • Search and Highlight a particular string in the pdf

Cons - Not free 100Rs in India and 15 USD outside - Needs to install java

6 Some proprietary tool (link posted in the question mentioned above)

Cons - Costs 75 dollars - Many highlights are missing in the copying process

2 Answers 2


I think this answer (by me) offers the exact (and free) solution:



Docear might be what you are looking for. Highlight the text in pdf and docear will import them into a mindmap. The highlights are already well managed and can again be reorganized with ease. It is free, open-source and it can handle lots of documents. enter image description here

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