Can't highlight text on pdf

I suspect that since the last update I can no longer mark text in PDF files and consequently also cannot copy it.
The files are displayed as PDF + Txt. It does not matter whether I want to mark the files in the standard preview or whether I have opened them in the enlarged view by double-clicking them.

Which version of macOS and DEVONthink do you use? A screenshot would be useful too, thanks.

Hello, I am also having this issue. Big Sur 11.6.2 DT 3.8.2

Some pdfs can be marked-up fine. Others cannot. The markup tools are grayed out.

The pdfs that cannot be marked up in DT can be marked up fine in acrobat, preview, and other programs. They are PDF+text.


And this is not unusual as there are many flavors of PDFs, not all fully compatible with Apple’s PDFKit… or at least the public version we have available.

  • Is it a publicly available PDF?
    • If so, where can we get a copy?


Replying to an old topic, but I have the same question. Here are two pdf links. The first one (stockpiling), I cannot highlight normally in DT3. The second one, I can.

I have a simple workaround when this happens. I open the pdf in Mac Preview, highlight it there, and save it. The highlights show up in DT3, and also I can then add new highlights in DT3.

Trivial issue perhaps, but it comes up fairly often for me.


Thanks for the follow-up!

Did you try using DEVONthink’s Data > Convert > toPDF (Paginated) on the problematic file?

PS: what browser are you finding these in and how are you getting them into DEVONthink?

Interesting. Data > Convert > toPDF (Paginated) does give me a copy I can highlight. Quicker than my old workaround. Thanks!

I use Safari with Clip to Devonthink 3.8.1, choosing the PDF (Paginated) option.

Mac OS 12.2.1

While we can’t guarantee it will work with 100% of PDFs, you’re welcome!

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Great! Thanks so much for solving this affliction.

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