Highlighting/annotation of PDFs as a core feature of Obsidian?

I was wondering if highlighting and annotation of PDFs will ever become a core feature of Obsidian. The current workaround is to use a plugin that makes this possible. But it would be nice to have this feature as a core feature in Obsidian (like it is in Logseq). Is there a reason why the developers do not have this feature on their roadmap?


I can’t speak to Logseq’s prioritization patterns, but generally speaking the Obsidian developers focus on things things that are hard for plugin developers to do, like the mobile app, or things that are “table stakes” functionality that most users can reasonably expect to have even in safe mode, like tags.

Logseq has a much larger team than Obsidian’s, which leads to different design decisions being made. Most of the time something gets pulled into Core, it’s because there’s a good reason for the feature to be core instead of a plugin.

It might help your feature request get traction if you can explain what about the current plugin is insufficient for you and why you’d like this to be in core — instead of any of the other plugins that could be pulled into core, like for instance dataview or style settings.

Developer hours aren’t infinite, so knowing more about why this matters to you will help with prioritization.

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last month I was looking for a solution to highlight PDF books while reading them on my iPad but came up short.
Just got an email from @janpeeters recommending the annotater plugin
I tested it and it does provide a pretty good experience highlighting, annotating and tagging PDF files


Hello @EleanorKonik. Thank you for your reply and for giving me some insight into the situation for the development of Obsidian. :slight_smile:

There is a plugin that works very well with Obsidian called obsidian-annotator (as @udracing has also noted). It has most of the features I seek in having highlighting/annotation as a core feature. I am very thankful to the developer of this plugin who has spent considerable time and effort to make the plugin work.

But that is somewhat my concern, especially when looking at the short- and long-term. The ability of Obsidian to highlight/annotate PDFs is in the hands of one developer who may or may not be able to continue work on it in the future. So, the reason I wrote the original post to ask if the feature was on the developer’s roadmap.

There have been various discussions on having this feature in the Obsidian forums for a very long time, for example; Create a note that linked to a specific paragraph in a pdf.

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I hope this is implemented in the future. We need pdf area highlighting in Obsidian. Not everything is text, sometimes you need to add graphs and diagrams in a book.

Right now one workaround I do is to convert pdfs to markdown. Really hoping obsidian adds this feature themselves.

I just downloaded annotater and input my default folder location for my PDFs but I’m a bit lost from here how to get the PDFs into Obsidian so I can highlight them. Dragging and dropping allow them to show but no options to highlight, annotate, etc appear. Can you provide some assistance?