How to highlight and notate books with iBooks for iPhone and iPad

How to highlight and notate books and PDFs with iBooks for iPhone and iPad

iBooks is a great way to keep your books organized all in one, easy to access, place. Whether you have books to read for leisure or store textbooks and other informational material, iBooks natively gives you the ability to notate and highlight content whenever you'd like for reference later.

Here's how:

How to highlight content in a book with iBooks

  1. Launch the iBooks app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the book that you'd like to highlight something in.
  3. Find the text you'd like to highlight and hold down on it. Now drag the anchors so the text you'd like to highlight is within it.
  4. Tap on the highlight option in the pop-up menu. You can now choose different highlight colors and edit how you'd like the highlight to appear. Then just tap out of the menu when you're done editing settings.
  5. That's it. The text will now be highlighted for reference later.

How to notate content in a book with iBooks

  1. Launch the iBooks app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the book that you'd like to notate something in.
  3. Find the text you'd like to add notes to and hold down on it. Now drag the anchors so the text you'd like to reference is within it.
  4. Tap on the right arrow in the pop-up menu in order to bring up additional options.
  5. Now tap on the Note option and type your note. When you're done, simply tap the Done button in the upper right hand corner.

How to access notes and highlights in a book with iBooks

  1. Launch the iBooks app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the book that you'd like to view highlights and notes for.
  3. Tap on the Contents icon towards the upper left. (It's next to the Library button.)
  4. Tap on the Notes tab. Here you'll see a list of everything you've notated or highlighted in that particular book or PDF.

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 9 comments. Add yours.

bhertz82 says:

i don't believe any of this applies to PDF's.

pelu2104 says:

That's correct, this doesn't work in my PDF's. I wish it would work though.....

thatguykc says:

While highlighting doesn't work on PDFs, I like the highlight feature for iBooks and exporting notes to Evernote via email for easy reference from anywhere.

TranceMist says:

Disappointing. I read this and hoped that I could get off of the very ugly but very capable GoodReader... :-/

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Doesn't work with PDFs, sorry guys, just a habit with iBooks stuff for me to type "books and PDFs" - constructive criticism is welcome but everyone makes mistakes. No need to get bent out of shape. Thank you for pointing it out, it is fixed - derogatory comments deleted.

Freek Sanders says:

Can happen to anyone. Just like the ominous mail-without-attachment-mistake everyone makes.
If you're ever interested in looking at annotating pdfs on iPad, let me know. We recently launched our app, Easy Annotate, which does exactly that.

Troy Bassiri says:

There actually is a way to convert the PDF's to ePub files. That way you will be able to highlight.

This site has a very simple step by step guide on how to convert PDF files to ePub files that will work in iBooks and allow you to highlight.

Simplehelp.net has a great guide on how to convert pdf files to epub files. I suggest going to simplehelp.net and then searching "convert PDF to epub". I would post the link but I am not allowed to comment here with "spam".

cur4thaich says:

Hey is there any way to highlight like one word and have it automatically highlight every instance of the word in the entire book?

ChereF says:

How do you remove highlighting or underlining?