Extract Highlights Plugin

Hey !
I have encountered the exact same issue. I’m reading many academic papers atm which are structured in two columns and I was looking into highlight extractions. The plugin works perfectly for single columns documents but not so well for two columns ones. @akaalias have you had any chance to look into it ? I’d be willing to share some example PDfs with you if that can help. I’m pretty new to obsidian so I could be a mistake on my part but I doubt it.
Anyways thanks a lot for the plugin. It looks like it could fit my use-case perfectly (if we can resolve this issue).
Have a good one.


New Obsidian user and not sure if I’m missing something. With nothing selected, using the highlight hotkey merely inserts ====, the same as it does with the plugin off. Mac version 0.11.3.

@akaalias Firstly, thank you for your amazing work.

I have (had) a problem with … well, I don’t know with what, it is such a jumble to figure out if it is Obsidian, or your extract plugin. In any case, the toggle feature would not work. I tried uninstalling/reinstalling to no avail. Finally your ALT + SHFT+ H suggestion did the trick. Works like a charm. And it no longer uses three === but only two == now to highlight the text. Why this happens/happened will probably be a mystery shrouded by time. :wink: But for the moment I’m a happy camper.

I wonder if you really appreciate how useful this plugin is to those of us trying to use Obsidian? Many plugins are fun and interesting and provide value, but this is an amazingly useful thing. It really ought to be incorporated into the core product. If you think about it, if Obsidian is meant to be a tool for Zettlekasten workflow, then this function is ESSENTIAL. It is amazing that it is not already in the basic product.

Now if only someone would fix the automatic title creation for a Zettlekasten note to distinguish between “literature” notes, “fleeting notes”, and “permanent notes”. Wouldn’t that be the cat’s meow? :wink:

Someday, in your copious free time :wink: you might have a look at unscrambling Zotero. I mean, that thing is a hot mess! You need a basket full of plugins to fix its eccentricities.

Thanks again for your tireless work.


You need to go through the document and highlight selected text. Then, when you are done, use the extract highlights function (under the command palette) to copy all highlights to your clipboard).

I’ve just discovered this plugin and I think it will be a great help to me. Thank you.

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Hi, first of all, I really like this plugin, probably my favorite of all. Thanks for the effort.

When highlighting text, I much prefer using instead of ==…===, that’s why I would like to keep the “Use bold for highlights” option enabled all the time, but I found that it automatically disable itself every time I exit Obsidian, which means if I want to extract the bold highlights, I need to go to settings and enable it every time, which can be a bit annoying.

I hope this can be fixed in future iteration, thanks again.

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Thanks for a great tool! Is it possible to extract highlights from all files in a folder or indeed from all files? Appreciate any help.

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Hi Alexis, Hope you’re well and thanks for the Wonderfull soft you’re delivering. I used in March the “extra pdf highlights” and it worked well, but now it’s not working . Please can you help me ? certainly I am doing something wrong… Thanks in advance for your help. Cheers, Paul

Hi there. Great plug in!

I’m using it to make a quick summary of large chunks of text, but i didn’t find the possibility to include the title of the paragraph (not of the entire note) above the highlighted text, even if isn’t highlighted.


Paragraph 1

Bla bla ==bla==

Paragraph 2

text =text= text


Paragraph 1

  • bla

Paragraph 2

  • text

I didn’t find any way to do this in the options, but i think is an essential option to preserve the structure of your note.

Hello! I love your plug-in for Obsidian. I use it as an easy way to grab text and summarize my highlights. I wanted to know if “extract highlights” could add to a “highlights” file as I continue to work through a document that is too large for me to read in one sitting.

My process: I read some text in a file. I highlighted sections of text. I extracted higlights. A new document with my highlights was created. I went back to the original file and highlighted some more. I extracted highlights. Nothing happened. The new highlights weren’t weren’t dropped into the highlights file. However, I discovered that I could delete the highlights file and then the extract process would be successful and create a new highlights file. BUT I don’t want to do that because I like to make my own comments on the highlights file.

Example of the Feature that Interests Me

You might find the functionality you want with the Note refactor plugin. It does many things, but one of them would be to copy text selections into another note. It could be a new note that you copy to, or an existing one.

If you have Alfred, you can use a workflow to wrap the selected text in <mark></mark> with a hotkey.

It would be great if we had more control of the output. I’d like to not have the pulled highlights as a series of bulleted items, but just text with newlines.

Thank you for your enthusiastic efforts.

Can you add a new feature.
1、After highlighting a sentence, at the end of this paragraph, add a custom opening block reference mark, for example: ^ffxxx;(ff is a custom field,xxx is a random 3~4 numbers)
2. copy all the block references with ^ffxxx in the article with one click, and combine them into [[article title #^ffxxx]] to facilitate copying to the beginning of the article.
3, if possible, made similar to the form of “TASKS” plug-in, just a small piece of code can be automatically generated at the beginning of the article; for example, enter a small piece of code, you can automatically generate the highlighted block quote for this article :smile::


The advantages of this are.

  1. many times the highlighted sentences will be modified in the future, and changes can be made in real time using block references.
    2, the use of custom blockquote identification, easy to extract specific highlighted paragraphs; in addition, in other notes, if you want to quote the highlighted content of this article, just enter the article title ^ff can quickly find the highlighted paragraphs.
    3, the combination of "article title #^^ffxxx is advantageous, in addition to convenient to copy to the beginning of the article, but also convenient to copy directly to other notes.
    4, if the future can be real-time display of the highlighted block references, so that the future in the notes of the highlighted changes, or new highlighted sentences, can be automatically updated, will be very convenient.

For example

Edit View:

These are the highlighted passages in the article:

Does the plugin extrat PDF annotations yet ?

I checked the plugin, and it only extracts highlights. But my highlights are always with notes close to them in pdf.

This looks like a really useful plugin, thanks for your efforts. I use a variety of PDF highlight extractors already, and it would be great to have this integrated into Obsidian.

Suggestion: Add the option of including the page header as well as the page # in the extracted highlight. This would mean e.g. that the chapter title or document heading of part of the PDF would be associated with the highlight, and would give it context. Personally I need this as I review large medical files with reports from various people, and this would help me associate the highlight with the relevant section.

Followup - I belatedly realized that I could simply highlight the header and achieve this result (of providing context to the highlighted passage).

New user here (Roam refugee). This is an fantastic plugin, thank you so much!!

Just wanted to share my use case and feature suggestion.

When I’m reading, I am usually reacting to the text on the go. So, when I highlight, I immediately want to write down my thoughts or arguments before moving on. If I wait until I’ve done all highlights and extracted, then I’ve forgotten all that juicy stuff.

So, my solution now is this: after highlighting a section of text, I add in a commented note just before the highlight wrapping mark. e.g.

==This is the author's highly provocative sentence.%%This is my immediate take on it.%%==

This way, once the highlights are exported, I have a series of highlights with my notes appended (snuck in?). Also, since my annotations are comments in the accepted Obsidian format, they don’t show if the original text is exported/viewed.

This in itself is enough, but I’ve also experimented with a few global text replacements on the resulting output to separate out my notes, i.e. removing the closing %% and replacing the leading %% with a newline-indent-bullet, so I get an extracted highlight like so:

- This is the author's highly provocative sentence.
    - This is my immediate take on it.

It would be pretty cool if the plugin could do this for me, or allow me to specify opening and closing text strings to identify my notes (i.e. just put them on a new line after the highlight and let me specify text strings to replace the leading %% and closing %%). It might even be useful to be able to put the comment above the highlight, so that the highlight acts more as a kind of reference for the comment. e.g.

- This is my take.
    - This is the author's highly provocative sentence.

In any case, thank you for your amazing work!

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First, thank you for this plugin, it saves me so much work with copying … :wink:
I might be a little late for the party, but still I would like to propose 2 feature additions:

  1. Would it be possible to integrate different Hotkeys for
    a) creating a Summary of an Article, Book, aso,
    b) creating a MOC
    c) creating a “Note Explosion”

Reason: All three lead to quite different working processes and goals. And they might even be useful in different ways on the same “base-text”. A Summary might be some kind of lecture note, in which one might add or link some terms or propositions for explanations. A MOC (in which you would have to rewrite the Note-Titles anyway) should be a GOTO-Place for certain contexts. And “atomizing” a text might be the starting point for rethinking and rewriting the content (as the Zettelkasten-method proposes).

In case making it three hotkeys is not feasible, there also is the user input option, where the plugin simply asks what it should do with the content:
a) create a Summary
b) create a MOC
c) Explode/Atomize the content (and create a MOC)
This might even be the better way to handle this.

  1. Would it be possible to associate the different options with different templates?
    That would be really cool!

Anyways, thanks a lot for a really helpful plugin, that saver a lot of useful time and work!


Somehow I never considered putting my comments inside the highlights! I’ve been putting them immediately after the highlight (these are mainly notes on my own in-progress work), but inside might be better. Thanks!