How to highlight in Google docs

How To Highlight In Google Docs

In this Google docs tutorial, we will discuss how to highlight in Google docs? We will see the ways to Highlighting text in Google Docs.

Remember those school days where we use to color texts and enjoy reading long paragraphs. Scoring high with proper highlights and keyword tweaks. Yes, some old school memories are a gem and worth taking those with us as we move forward in life.

Reading can be quite painful, right?

How will you convince your audience to drive forward with your writing when the content is so long. Colors come into the picture here. Of course, that’s the reason blogs are evolved so much from the earlier days. Modern blogs come baked with lots of funny gifs, images, and awesome color patterns.

The same way, if you jump on the reader’s end. What would readers prefer to remember things, gain insights faster when they revisit, etc.? Exactly highlighting could be the perfect fit for most of us.

Almost any writing tool, including Google Docs, provides us with awesome highlighters built-in. However, it’s upon you to extend those functionalities with any advanced plugins or tools if needed. Trust me; Google Docs comes with lots of flexibility.

Cool, then how to do that? Let’s explore different ways one could highlight text in Google Docs and its advantages in this article.

When to use highlighting in Google Docs?

Google Docs is widely used among diverse communities, including school students, office peoples, teachers, freelancers, contractors, and so on. The reason for its popularity is it’s completely cloud-based and free to use. One can access it anywhere, anytime irrespective of the devices and convenient to use.

The main reason for highlighting in google docs is that colors add flavors to learning. What’s pretty obvious, though, is that color plays a vital role in creating a positive environment that fosters learning.

Using the right color, placement, and positive selection and can seriously impact feelings, foster attention and behavior when learning.

Thus highlighting in Google docs, can be a handy tool for remembering things, enabling quick recaps, and sharing cognitive insights easily.

How to highlight text in google docs in the browser?

Let us see how to highlight text in google docs in the browser?

Step 1: Open Google Docs desktop browser application in the browser of your choice

Step 2: Now open the document you wish to work within Google Docs application

Step 3: Read through the text, and place the cursor on the start of the text you wish to highlight

Step 4: Now, click and drag over the words to select those that need highlighting. Verify your selection once if you have covered all the words that need to be highlighted.

how to highlight in google docs
how to highlight in google docs

Step 5: Check for the little pencil icon on the toolbar. Usually, you can find it next to where you can find the text formatting options like Bold, Italic and etc.

You’ll be presented with a new color panel to choose from.

how to highlight in google docs
how to highlight in google docs

Step 6: Now select the color with which you wish to highlight. The entire selected text, whatever marked will now be highlighted.

highlight in google docs
highlight in google docs

Note: You’ll be presented with a color panel with some standard colors to choose from. You can always choose different shades from the custom panel available on click of the custom option.

Step 7: Choose the color shade that suits by dragging the control across shades. You can also directly input the hexadecimal value if already aware of.

how to highlight in google docs on ipad
How do I change the highlight color in Google Docs?

Step 8: Finally, click on Ok to apply the shade. 

How to remove the highlight from Google Docs?

Now, let us check out how to remove highlight from Google Docs?

Highlighting is most often used to mark text as important. But, things can’t always be cluttered. Say, you wish to share those without all those highlighting so that the document looks clean and simple.

Google Docs also provides us with the option to remove applied highlighting anytime preferred. 

Steps to remove highlight in Google Docs:

Step 1: Open the document that contains the highlighted texts

Step 2: Select the highlighted text by dragging the mouse over it 

Step 3: Again, click on the highlight option from the toolbar. 

Step 4: Now, the same color panel will appear. But, this time, select None from the color panel popup. Usually, you can find the option at the top.

how to highlight in google docs 2020
how to highlight in google docs 2020

Step 5: Finally, the highlighting will be removed. Verify if the formatting is applied. 

How to highlight text in google docs in the android/iPhone app?

The steps to highlight text Google Docs differ a bit when it comes to an android or an iPhone application. No worries, let’s explore that as well. 

Step 1: Open Google Docs app on your mobile phone.

Step 2: Now open the document for which you wish to format highlighting. 

Step 3: Select the area of the text that needs to be highlighted. 

Step 4: Tap on the pencil icon at the bottom to open the document in edit mode.

Step 5: Now, you’ll be presented with various formatting options at the top and bottom of the document. 

Step 6: Choose the A letter that you can find near the + sign at the top. 

Step 7: A new popup will slide up from the bottom of the document. The popup will have two tabs as text and paragraph. 

Step 8: Choose the color of highlighting from the Highlight color option available next to text color in the Text tab. 

Step 9: Tap on the color and click on the tick above to apply. 

Cool, the text will be highlighted and this is how to highlight in google docs on phone. To remove it, follow the above steps and choose None in the color panel. 

How to color code and organize ideas in a Google Docs?

As you keep using the highlighting tool available built-in with the Google Docs, you’ll notice that you end up with a random rainbow-colored doc at some point in your editing process. To organize it and make it standard, you need to put a lot of effort into copy-pasting stuff and organize them better. 

How to highlight in Google Docs using highlight tool

Thus highlighting tools come into the picture. Such external plugins, when added, allows one to use the highlight tool to color code specific content and export them into another document. 

This also enables users to share a set of self-created and personalized highlighters with other users. These allow multiple users to be on the same page and use the same highlighters and guidelines whenever required! 

Great time saver and collaborating tool when it comes to documenting. 

Steps to add the highlighting tool to Google Docs:

Step 1: Open Google Docs desktop browser application in the browser of your choice

Step 2: Now, click on the Add-ons option from the toolbar displayed above. 

This will open up a new drop-down menu below. 

Step 3: Choose to Get add-ons from it.

Google Docs Highlight Text

Step 4: Now, search for the highlighting tool.

Highlighting in Google Docs

Step 5: Choose one of your choices from the results opened in a new popup and click on install to install the add-on.

Highlighting in Google Docs addon
Highlighting in Google Docs add-on

Step 6: Google will then prompt you to grant permission for add-ons to access your documents.

Step 7: Go back to the add-ons now, and you’ll find the highlight tool available there.

Step 8: Click “Highlight tool.” Then select “Start” from the popup menu opened. 

Step 9: After that, find for the “Highlighter library” and click on it. 

Step 10: You’ll be provided with some text boxes. That would enable you to create a label and then choose a corresponding color for your highlights. 

Step 11: To choose another category, click the “+” button.

Step 12: Highlight the text and choose the corresponding color by following the same steps described above. 

Step 13: To create a separate document, click on the button labeled, “By color” under the title. Also, choose “Extract Highlights” at the bottom of the “Highlight Tool” menu.

Step 14: A new window will be opened. You will be presented with some options to select a destination for this information to be generated. 

Step 15: Chose a destination, and then click “Extract” to start extracting.  

Step 16: Then, click on “Link to document”. This will open up a fresh window that contains your highlighted notes, organized by color in a neat and organized document.

This is a great way to create a study guide of any document, and the tool becomes handy for anyone in need to isolate key information in a document.

Congrats! Finally, You’ve successfully highlighted and organized your Google Doc using the highlighter tool without much hassle.

How do you quickly highlight in Google Docs?

  1. Highlight a specific section of your document. 
  2. Go to the highlight button that is present on the toolbar.
  3. Choose the required color.

How to highlight everything in Google Docs

The below instruction will help you to know how to highlight all in google docs.

  1. Open your Google Docs document.
  2. Press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + A if you are using Windows or Press Command + A if you are using Mac.


  1. Open your Google Docs document.
  2. Click on the Edit menu –> Choose the Select all option.

How to highlight on Google Docs shortcut

There is no direct keyboard shortcut provided for highlighting in Google Docs. But You can use the below keyboard shortcut to select the text.

Ctrl + aSelect all
Shift + Left/right arrowFor extending selection one character left or right.
Shift + Up/down arrowFor extending the selection one line
Ctrl + Shift + Left/right arrowFor extending the selection one word

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Well, we have explored various ways in which one can highlight in Google Docs. Go and take a step forward in your next document creation process with the above-discussed tricks. Happy documenting!