"Highlights" app - export annotations to DEVONthink, etc.

Actually, Skim is much better than PDF expert<<

Dear all, I’ve installed this app, even if there are warnings in the present discussion, but it does the job, my highlights are correctly exported and linked to the original pdfs in DT. I have a question though: the “export” function in Highlights sends the notes to the global inbox, is there a way to send them in the current folder or at least to open a sorter? This way, I would have my notes with the pdfs, in the same folders and subfolders. Best

Imports are controlled in DEVONthink’s Preferences > Import > Destination. Select group will allow you to choose the group to send the file to.

If anyone looked this feature up again:

DEVONthink got this functionality under “Tools” to sum up all annotations as RTF or Markdown.


This summarization of the annotations of a .pdf is outstanding. I have been searching for such functionality for a while, trying every .pdf handling application that I can find. I’ve tried Highlights, but found that the annotations are not great, text is often miss-selected, and there is not clean way of exporting them.

Any chance that something like this is possible in DTTG? I can view and manipulate those .md files in the DTTG app, but am unable to create any summary of annotations on the iPad. Thank you.

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Not at the moment but noted as a feature request — which is currently a very long list already :slightly_smiling_face:


I bet . . . thank you!

Edit: A new function I discovered today is that you can share notes by share sheet or drag n drop (first select the notes text - then drag note to different app). I love it!

This app is fantastic and it is the only reason why I don’t return to Mojave. It is not abandonware - Jonas has released 8 updates in 2020 so far.

I use the iPad version daily.

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True. But you’re responding to a comment from three years ago when the app was in a protracted slough of inactivity.

Thats true, my mistake. Still, my experience with it nowadays is excellent.

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I just came across this app. PDF annotations are important for my workflow. As I understand, DT already has this functionality. Is there additional advantages that Highlights offers?

Impossible to answer. Get the app. Try it. If it provides an advantage to you, then keep it. Otherwise, delete it.

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Annotations from one are visible in the other so you can use both.

The biggest advantage of Highlights is that it can create a separate HTML/PDF/Markup document with all of your annotations as excerpts; it is a lot easier to review this way than DT3 annotations where you need to select each annotation and have it move to the corresponding page.

A very nice feature in Highlights is that it can export a freestanding HTML or PDF document (or other formats) which shows excerpts from your document with the annotations and also has embedded x-Devonthink links to open the original document in DT3. This degree of integration with DT3 is rare and arguably achieves capability notably beyond that in the default DT3 annotation app. You do need to subscribe to get this functionality ($3/month, $25/year), but if you were to stop subscribing your existing documents/annotations would still be fine.

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Thank you, this is very useful to know. I use Pdf annotations quite frequently in DT and copy them to my note in Obsidian. I will explore if this app can improve my workflow.

But DT3 can at least summarize highlights in one document by default. And annotations are summarised in one separate document.

I think a picture is worth 1,000 words in showing the difference. Highlights gives a much better sense of the original content in its summary. More specifically (and ironically) the Highlights app includes all forms of annotations in its summary, including images extracted from the original document. But the DT3 summary literally includes only text highlights, not images. [** You say that DT3 annotations are summarized in one separate document. Maybe you can teach me something - how do I do that? My understanding from past discussions including this one Exporting annotations with details to RTF or Markdown (get to Tinderbox) is that such a feature has been discussed but does not currently exist. ]

Highlights app Share to DT3:

DT3 “Summarize Highlights”:


Highlights > Preferences > Export > Install DevoThink script

Can someone please tell me the name/location of the requested script? Thanks

Highlights installs it in ~/Library/Application Scripts/net.highlightsapp.universal

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Here is a video you might like, incredible for using Highlights, DT3, and Tinderbox together: Tinderbox Training Video 58 - Annotating with Highlights App, Tinderbox, DEVONThink, and Zotero - Training Videos - Tinderbox Forum.