I want to select part of the highlighted text in Adobe Acrobat. By using the select tool, when I want to select part of highlighted text, it selects all the highlighted text. For example as in the picture depicted,I want to select just first sentence from the highlighted text. Is it possible or a way to do this ?

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If you turn on the "Edit Text & Images" in the "Tools" panel in Adobe Acrobat, you should be able to select text inside highlighted region and right-click to do cut/copy/paste. I just tried on my laptop using Acrobat 11.0. Hope this can solve your problem. Not sure if Adobe Reader can do the same.

  • I have Acrobat Pro 9. I couldn't find it. Is it a new feature in Pro 11? – Prasanna Aug 31 '14 at 8:02
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    Yeah, it's working. But somehow dangerous! Maybe the text eliminated or changed without my notice! – hamed Aug 31 '14 at 10:12
  • I don't think there be another solution. So, the bounty is yours ;) – hamed Aug 31 '14 at 10:15
  • @hamed: I agree it is somehow dangerous, but cannot think of better solution. – phe0113 Aug 31 '14 at 20:17
  • @Prasanna: I think Acrobat changed the interface since version X, this function should be called something like "TouchUp Text" before. – phe0113 Aug 31 '14 at 20:18

Some workaround for this very old bug.

Toggle Read Mode

On OS X: Ctrl-CMD-H

On windows: Ctrl-H

Use block selection

Shift + Alt + Drag-select

  • In "Read Mode", I was able to simply select text within a highlight (block selection was not what I needed). – drevicko Aug 23 '17 at 14:06
  • same. Using read mode allows selection. No block selection necessary. – filups21 Jul 3 at 18:16

Devid's solution will work for quotes at the beginning or end of highlighted text, but not more generally.

If you are tied to Adobe software for highlighting, but are willing to try another PDF reader for reading and selecting text, the desired result works in SumatraPDF: I am able to take a file that contained highlights in Adobe Reader and use SumatraPDF to select and copy any text within the highlighted text.

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    I know with the other pdf viewers I can do this, but adobe acrobat has a lot of feature that they don't have. There should be some option in adobe! no? – hamed Aug 25 '14 at 23:29

It is possible but not perfect. Click with the mouse on the text before or after which is not selected to place there the cursor. Now use the keyboard keys ↑ , ↓ , → , ← to move the cursor to the part of the area you want to select and hold down Shift while you move ↑ , ↓ , → , ← on your keyboard to select the part of the highlighted text you are interested in.

  • Isn't anyway to do this with mouse cursor? I need to select the text so many times. – hamed Aug 25 '14 at 23:27
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    @hamed This is the only way to do it in Adobe Reader. There is no hidden option because this was probably not intended by the developers at Adobe. You could report this as a bug. – Devid Aug 26 '14 at 13:06

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