Can’t Select or Highlight Text in a PDF on Windows? Here’s How To Fix

To help separate important elements from unimportant information, readers highlight the text in a PDF document. Then, not only does it save time, but it also lessens mental stress while reviewing crucial information later. But you can only do this if the PDF editor lets you highlight text.  Discover the possible causes of text selection or highlighting stopping to function on a PDF in this article, along with a solution.

Why Is Text in a PDF Unable to Be Selected or Highlighted?

In most circumstances, if you’re working with a scanned PDF as opposed to a conventional one, you won’t be able to pick or highlight text. Other potential causes include the PDF file being restricted or completely encrypted by another person, issues with your PDF viewer.  In some cases, the highlight feature is deactivated in your PDF editor.

Also Read: Best Ways To Increase Productivity Around PDFs on Google Drive

Can’t Select or Highlight Text in a PDF on Windows? Here’s How To Fix

Method 1: Make A Few Preliminary Checks

Perform the following preliminary checks first, then proceed to the main fixes:

Step 1: Highlight the text as the software instructs you to.

Step 2: Sometimes an unexpected software error prohibits you from underlining text. This is why rebooting your PDF viewer could be beneficial.

Step 3: A PDF viewer should not be used to open the same PDF file twice. Close the same file in any other PDF viewers you may be using.

Step 4: To be sure the operating system is not to blame, restart your Windows device.

Step 5: Make sure that the PDF file was downloaded properly and that it wasn’t obtained from an unauthorized source.

Step 6: Finally, check to see if there is any corruption in the file that stops you from highlighting the information. By re-downloading the PDF from the source, you can verify this.

Continue with the next major fixes if the aforementioned checks are unable to identify the issue.

Also Read: How to Remove Highlights from PDF | Online & Offline Ways

Method 2: Change The Scanned PDF To A Normal PDF

If you are unable to select or highlight text in a PDF file, it is likely that the document is a scanned copy and cannot be altered. Is the PDF document in a scanned copy if you can’t pick or highlight text? If so, OCR can be used to transform it into a standard file. This is how:

Step 1: Visit PDF24 or a service like it that uses OCR to read text from files.

Step 2: Select the PDF file by clicking the “Choose Files”  button.

Step 3: Upload the scanned PDF document.

pdf ocr

Step 4: Give the tool time to finish processing.

Step 5: Download the PDF file that has been transformed.

Also Read: How To Replace Pages In PDF

Method 3: Check To See If The PDF Is Not Restricted

PDF Is Not Restricted

PDF encryption is an excellent technique to protect sensitive information from snooping eyes. Modern encryption tech makes it possible to password-protect PDFs and limit particular operations like printing and editing. Given that possibility, the PDF that prevents you from selecting or underlining text might likewise be limited to read-only mode. Verify any limits the PDF’s creator may have put on it by doing so. You can eliminate restrictions using a number of internet programs, like Online2pdf.

Also Read: How To Add Comments To A PDF File

Method 4: Examine The PDF Software For Problems

Despite the fact that this is quite clear, there may occasionally be a problem with your PDF viewer that prevents you from being able to highlight text in PDF files. To verify this, open a different PDF and choose the text to be highlighted.. It’s a software problem if it doesn’t function on the other file either.

To further verify the issue, try opening the same PDF in a different PDF viewer. Depending on the software you have, you may need to restart it, update it, fix corrupt files, or perform other pertinent fixes. The software’s main issue will be fixed, and then the feature will start functioning regularly again.

Also Read: How To Insert Blank Pages In Your PDF

Method 5: Reinstall The PDF Program

Did changing the PDF viewer fix the problem? Your main software is broken if this is the case. You should uninstall and reinstall the old software in order to resolve the unforeseen issue it is having. Any adjustments you have already made can be lost if you reinstall the software. So, before you do something, keep that in mind.

Also Read: How To Make A PDF Non-Editable Using Advanced PDF Manager

Advanced PDF Manager is an amazing application that helps you manage your PDF files with ease. Here are a few features of this software.

Advanced PDF Manager

  • Merge multiple PDFs into one file.
  • Convert PDFs to other file types like .doc.
  • Split a PDF file into many smaller PDFs.
  • Rotate Pages and Rearrange Pages of a PDF file.
  • Protect any PDF file with a password.
  • Insert Blank Pages and Duplicate pages into a PDF.
  • View the PDF in 4 different modes.
  • Print your PDF with simple steps.

Also: How To Duplicate Pages From A PDF And Create A New One?

The Final Word On Can’t Select or Highlight Text in a PDF on Windows? Here’s How To Fix

The inability to highlight text can significantly reduce productivity. Hopefully, the solutions in the post will help you address this bothersome problem and make the text again stand out. There will always be the choice to switch PDF viewers if nothing else works.

Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or recommendations. We would be delighted to provide you with a resolution. We frequently publish advice, tricks, and solutions to common tech-related problems. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Flipboard, and Pinterest.

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