I have a pdf file containing annotations from someone else (I assume they are made in windows with some Adobe software, but I'm not sure).

They look like that: enter image description here

and can be displayed in Preview.appor Skim.appon the left of each page: enter image description here

However, I'd like to print them (together with the pages) and/or find a way to export them to a text document.

How can I do that?

5 Answers 5


This is probably too late but I think I know the answer, so maybe it'll help someone. What you probably want to do is

  1. Convert notes to skim notes
  2. Go to File > Export > choose File format either Notes as RTF or Notes as text.

This answers your 'export to text document' questions. I don't see how you could print the PDF together with the text in the anchored notes, though.

  • Looks like the newer versions of Preview.app have removed this very useful feature. Not found in Mac OS 10.13's Preview.app (v 10.0)
    – Demis
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 21:24

Skim has a "Take Snapshot" feature which allows you to print anything which is visually on the page. It also has a "Convert Notes" feature which turns PDF annotations into "skim notes" which you can then manipulate.

All of this is under the File Menu:

enter image description here

  • thank you. The "convert notes" feature lets me convert the notes to "real" skim notes, however to those which are displayed also only as a symbol on the page, so the real content of the notes is not displayed on the page and I still don't see how to print it (I also tried the snapshot feature). :-( Commented May 7, 2011 at 2:47
  • Weird, because when I used the snapshot feature I got a pdf with notes on page if they were skim notes, I can see the garish yellow boxes everywhere. As it is supposed to print out essentially a screenshot of the content(and you can see the notes in the screenshot) Commented May 7, 2011 at 12:40
  • I think it depends on the kind of note: The notes were automatically converted to an anchored Skim note which is represented in the document only by a symbol and is displayed in a separate window Commented May 8, 2011 at 14:22

I just ran into this problem using Mac OS 10.14.6

Loading in Preview with annotations and saving as PDF still left the annotations invisible in Chrome's PDF viewer.

So I did "Save as Postscript", then loaded the .ps file in Preview, and did "Save as PDF", and the annotations showed in Chrome.


There is a really simple yet robust tool for extracting highlights, notes and images from your pdf-files available at: http://www.sumnotes.net . Not only it supports various advanced features like exporting to DOC and TXT formats, but it also allows you to send extracted highlights into your Evernote account or email. All desktop browsers and operating systems are supported. We are in cloud, so no installation is needed. Try it out.

  • Welcome to Ask Different! Please read the self-promotion rules — you must include a disclaimer if you're promoting your own product.
    – grg
    Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 7:33

I faced the same problem. To resolve it I created a free service to extract annotations from PDF to CSV: http://exportpdf.info . It exports only sticky and text notes, it does not export highlights and images. You can edit/print CSV files with any major editor like Microsoft Excel or LibreOffice Calc.

  • This tool is sadly broken, popping up an error after uploading the file. "Error: server returned a error: Uncategorized exception occured during JMS processing; nested exception is javax.jms.JMSException: Could not connect to broker URL: tcp:// Reason: java.net.ConnectException: Connection refused; at 1515964904655"
    – Demis
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 21:22
  • 1
    Hi @Demis. This was my pet project almost 4 years ago. I didn't touch it since then, my apologies for that. Rebooted the server, seems it works now. Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 21:56

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