How to View All Annotations in a PDF on Mac

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1. Open the PDF document in Highlights

From the menu bar choose File > Open. Locate and select the file you want to open, then click Open:

Window for opening PDF file in Highlights on macOS 11 Big Sur

The PDF opens in a document window:

Highlights document window for macOS 11 Big Sur

By default your PDF and notes will appear side-by-side with the PDF on the left and the notes on the right.

If the notes pane is not visible:

2. Click on the Show Notes button in the top right corner of the toolbar

In the notes pane you will find all of the content of annotations you have added to the PDF including highlighted, underlined and strikethrough text, image selections and sticky notes. The annotations are extracted using specific rules, but you can customize the formatting.

By default the annotations are sorted chronologically by page, but you can create your own order by sorting using color categories.

In addition to containing all your annotations, your notes can have a header at the top with title, subtitle and a link. This is based on the PDF metadata which can be automatically downloaded for scientific articles and easily edited.

You can share your notes as files or save them directly to your favorite note-taking app by exporting right from the toolbar share action.

To switch back to viewing the PDF and notes side-by-side, tap on Both in the top toolbar.