Looking for pdf app to highlight and extract text

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by kmichalec, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. kmichalec macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2010
    Hi all,

    I'm looking for a good app that allows you to highlight text in a pdf, and then export that text (and that text only, if possible).

    I've tried a number of them, but have not found one that works well yet. I tried Goodreader, but it adds a ton of other info around each highlight like page, that it's a highlight, the color and time stamp.

    I also tried PDF Highlight, and it worked well for highlighting, but when I went to extract, it changed all the text to strings like this
    "?‘ŽBŠŠB—Ž ˜›”B’œB‘ŽB™ž‹•’ŒB?—Ž›—Ž?BŠ—B—˜BŠB‹žœ’—ŽœœB›ŠŽB—Ž ˜›”BŽ’ŒŠŽB˜B
    Œ˜–™Š—’Žœ?B?˜BšžŠ•’¢B˜BœŽ›Ÿ’ŒŽB‹Ž ŽŽ—B¢˜ž›Bœ’ŽœBŠ—B‘ŽBŒ•˜žBœŽ›Ÿ’ŒŽB™›˜Ÿ’Ž›?B
    ?¡™˜œŽBœŽŒž›’¢B ’‘B›’œ”œB˜—BŠŠBŒ˜—’Ž—’Š•’¢BŠ—B’—Ž›’¢?".
    (I know the text is ok, cause Goodreader extracted the same text fine)

    I also tried RePaper +PDF, but that kept crashing every time I tried to load a large PDF.

    I've tried a few other free ones, but most don't have that feature included in the free version, and I'm getting tired of paying around $4.99 for each paid app, only to find out it won't work to do what I want.

    So I'm looking for a little help. I don't mind paying for another app, but I would like to know its going to do what I want before I do (demo versions would be nice, Apple and devs!).

    Any suggestions? I don't mind a little extra text around the highlights (maybe page number), but hopefully not too much more.
  2. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Have you looked in the GoodReader settings? You might be able to remove the stuff around.
  3. kmichalec thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2010
    Yes, I did check, but I didn't see anything related to that specifically. Goodreader allows the export of the highlights in what's called a Summary. This is a listing of all markups to a document, which appears to be why it includes so much info. I don't see any options to reduce or change what's in the summary, unless I'm absolutely missing something. If anyone knows of a way to do it in Goodreader, please let me know. Otherwise, still looking for other recommendations.

  4. Bleakley macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2014
    Have you tried scan+ from Smile software? (They also make text expander, good company.)

    Just did a quick pdf into scan+, hit OCR button, and then it gave an export text from this page or entire document option.... Might be what you're looking for.

    Unsure how easy it would be to highlight partial text to export though, might depend on the document.
  5. Bleakley macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2014
    Update: PDFscan+ with PDFPen will do it. Scan+ for OCR (even from a photo) and PDFPen for highlighting, annotating, and pulling specific text from the document. Scan+ can pull text, but only in full pages or entire documents.

    Pricey combination, but seems pretty flexible in my short trials. Little finicky for first attempts, fyi.

    Hope this helps.
  6. kmichalec thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestion, but the reviews on it are pretty abysmal. Nit sure if it's worth dropping almost $15 on it if it crashes all the time.

    Any other suggestions?
  7. highlightsapp macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2014
    If you have a Mac you can export them using an app I developed called Highlights. It is a PDF reader that does real-time conversion of highlighted text, comments and image selections to Markdown. There is no lock-in and you can save your notes to Evernote, DEVONthink or a range of file formats. It is available on the Mac App Store for 9.99$ now and I hope to bring it to the iPad sometime in the future:)
  8. ernieH macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2014
    PDF Expert? I don't usually copy/paste from PDF's on my iPad.....but just tried it and I can paste into the Notes and Message aps (it will carry hyphenated words from the pdf as is). [iPad 4, iOS 6.1.3 if that matters...:eek:...yes, I know] (PDF Expert is ver.
  9. boetsid macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2015

Share This Page