Highlights and Notes in Apple Books Mac

The Apple Books app is a terrific tool for, of course, reading books. But the app has extra features that you might not know about. For example, you can open PDF files in Books and annotate them. In addition, you can make notes and highlight passages in books. This is awesome for textbooks or references.

The nice thing about making highlights and notes in Books is that those items sync with other devices where you sign into Books with the same Apple ID. So you can make notes in Books on your iPhone when you’re out and about and then have them handy when you get home to work on your Mac.

If you haven’t used these features before, we’re here to help. Here’s how to use highlights and notes in Apple Books.

Using highlights and notes in Apple Books

Here’s a summary of the sections we’ll cover in this tutorial, so you can jump to a specific spot if you like.

Highlights in Books on iPhone and iPad

Open the book on your iPhone or iPad in the Books app and then follow these steps to add or remove highlights.

Add a highlight

1) Tap and hold to select a word and then drag to capture more text if needed.

2) Select Highlight from the shortcut menu.

3) Tap the circles on the far left to pick a color.

Books iPhone Add Highlight

4) Tap anywhere on the screen to close the highlight window.

Remove a highlight

1) Tap and hold the highlighted text.

2) Select Highlight from the shortcut menu.

3) Tap the trash can.

Books iPhone Remove Highlight

Notes in Books on iPhone and iPad

Open the Books app on your iPhone or iPad to the book where you want to add or delete notes and then do one of the following.

Add a note

1) Select the spot in the book where you want to add the note.

2) Tap and hold the text to display the shortcut menu.

3) Tap the arrow on the right of the shortcut menu to see the other options and pick Note.

4) Type your note and tap Done.

Books iPhone Add Note

 

Alternatively, you can select Highlight from the shortcut menu, pick the Note icon, and type your note.

Books iPhone Add Note with Icon

Remove a note

In Books, notes are associated with highlights. So you can either remove both or just the note itself.

1) To remove both, tap and hold the text for the note and highlight to bring up the shortcut menu.

2) Select Highlight and tap the trash can.

3) Confirm that you want to remove both the note and the highlight by tapping Delete.

Books iPhone Remove Highlight and Note

1) To remove the note only, tap and hold the note marker or the associated text and pick Note from the shortcut menu.

2) Delete all of the text in the note and tap Done.

You’ll see that your text is still highlighted, but the note and its marker are gone.

Books iPhone Remove Note

View highlights and notes on iPhone and iPad

Any highlights or notes that you add in Books on iOS will appear in the same place.

Tap the center of the screen to open the controls menu and select Notes.

You’ll see a list of highlights and notes along with the page numbers. Tap to visit the page with the highlight or note if you want to make edits to it.

To delete a highlight and note, swipe it from right to left and tap Delete.

Books iPhone Show Notes

Highlights in Books on Mac

Open the Books app on your Mac to the book where you want to add or remove highlights, then do one of the following.

Add a highlight

1) Select the text that you want to highlight by holding your cursor and dragging through a word, phrase, sentence, or paragraph.

2) You should see a shortcut menu appear immediately. Choose a color in the menu and it will apply as a highlight. You can also choose the red underline option if you prefer.

Alternatively, you can pick Edit > Highlight and pick a color from the menu bar.

Books Mac Add Highlight

Remove a highlight

If you want to delete a highlight in Apple Books later, this is super easy.

Select any part of the highlighted text and click Remove Highlight from the shortcut menu or click Edit > Highlight > None from the menu bar.

Books Mac Remove Highlight

Notes in Books on Mac

Open the Books app on your Mac to the book where you want to add or delete notes and then do one of the following.

Add a note

1) Select the spot in the book where you want to add the note.

2) Right-click or hold Control and click to display the shortcut menu. Pick Add Note.

Alternatively, you can select text and click Edit > Add Note from the menu bar.

3) When the tiny window opens, type in your note. Click away from the note to close its window.

You’ll see a marker in the book where you added the note.

Books Mac Add Note

Notice that the note you add also adds a highlight to the text in the same color. You can change the note and highlight color by opening the shortcut menu again and picking a different one.

Remove a note

To delete a note and/or its corresponding highlight, right-click the text that the note is attached to and when the shortcut menu displays, select either Remove Note or Remove Highlight & Note.

Books Mac Remove Note

Keep in mind that if you only choose Remove Note, that highlight will remain attached to the text.

View highlights and notes on Mac

Any highlights or notes that you add in Books on Mac will appear in the same place.

Move your cursor to the top of the Books window to open the controls menu.

Click the Show Notes button on the left. You’ll see a list of highlights and notes along with the page numbers.

Books Mac Show Notes

  • Click the page number to jump to that spot in the book.
  • Click an existing note to edit it.
  • Click Add Note to add a new note to the highlight.

When you finish, just click the Show Notes button in the controls menu to close the list.

Wrapping it up

By using highlights and notes in the Books app, you can have wonderful references right at your fingertips. Use different colors for specific topics or assignments, jump to particular pages for those items quickly, and see your highlights and notes on all of your devices.

Are you going to take advantage of these features in the Books app? Let us know if you have tips of your own you’d like to share!