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Highlight Tool
Use "Highlight Tool" for additional highlighting needs in Google Documents. Create and edit customized highlighters that automatically save.
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Use "Highlight Tool" for additional highlighting needs in Google Documents. Create and edit customized highlighters that automatically save. Use these highlighters to highlight selected text.  Export the highlighted text to a separate document by sequence or by color.

"Highlight Tool" is not specific to but can be used to organize essays, categorize ideas, or emphasize important facts. The highlighters on the sidebar allow users to easily highlight selected text as well as understand what the meaning of those colors.

"Highlight Tool" also enables its users to share a set of personalized, self-created highlighters with other users. These allow multiple users (especially teachers and students) to be on the same page and use the same highlighters and guidelines! Thus, this add-on allows for efficient communication of ideas especially in a school environment.

For additional information, view

Thanks for reading this and using Highlight Tool! If any issues arise, please report the issue and include your name and email address (this is optional but it enables me to communicate with you to get specifics and follow up on errors I may not have realized before). This can be done by going to a Google Document -> "Add-ons" -> "Highlight Tool" -> "Help" -> "Report an issue"

COPPA Compliance/Privacy Concerns
This Google Add-on:
-Does not sell in-app products nor advertise to its users (completely and will always be free)
-Does not collect nor store any information about the user or his or her Google Documents
-Does not communicate with the user unless he or she has submitted an issue report/has emailed me

Feel free to email me at if you have more specific concerns.

*Big thanks to Devin Hess for collaborating with me and providing many great ideas that has made the add-on the add-on it is today. I believe I have documented and cited his ideas in the patch notes below.

***Patch Notes***
- Refactored everything
- Added support for extracting highlighted text from tables
- Cleaner Highlighter Library UI
- Added support for unhighlighting tables
- Removed usage of cookies

-Fixed bug with "Export Highlights" ("\r" doesn't work well with TableCell.appendParagraph(text))

-Export Highlights now has the option of choosing the destination document (current document, new document, or other document given a url)
-'Expand All/Minimize All' button has been added to the library (Devin Hess)

-Import Highlighters and Auto-import feature on start now pop up a dialog that displays all sets and their highlighters found within the document
   -Users are now able to select which sets they want
-Thanks to Devin Hess once again

-Extended swapping to individual highlighters within sets in the 'Highlighter Library'
-Add-on now warns users of 'duplicate sets' (sets with the same set name) when importing a set in and asks if they would like to override the preexisting set or to keep both sets
  -Both ideas by Devin Hess once again! Thank you!

-Fixed 'Create Highlighters', 'Import Highlighters', and auto-import on 'Start' not saving when the user is new (no sets have been created in the 'Highlighter Library' (thanks Jana Mobley)
-Added 'Associate' drop-down: users will now be able to quickly add their current highlighters on their sidebars to their documents as a 'highlighter block' (thanks Devin Hess again)
-Switched the position of the 'Create Highlighter' and 'Highlighter Library' buttons on the sidebar
-'Import Highlighters' now scans for more than one block. Users can now import multiple sets/libraries at a time.
-'Auto-import' feature now scans the document on start up for highlighter set blocks, then asks the user if they want to import these sets
-'Settings' can be found under "Add-ons" > "Highlighter Tool" > "Settings" and users can turn off the 'Auto-import' feature if they find it annoying
-'Swapping' within a library is now enabled! Users can now rearrange their library to fit their organizational needs! Hopefully users find this feature useful and will no longer have to delete sets to rearrange their library!
--Once again, thanks to Devin Hess for these suggestions.

-'Import Highlighters' feature now automatically sets that imported set as the user's current set on the sidebar. The sidebar will now restart automatically after using this feature to prevent possible errors

-Added "Sets/Library" functionality. Users are now able to create "sets" of highlighters and store "sets" into a "library". For example, students can create a set for "History" and a set for "English". Hopefully this allows users/students to organize their texts/docs more effectively.
-Major thanks and shoutout to Devin Hess once again for this amazing idea!

-Added website

-Hopefully resolved all issues concerning highlighters not being created, edited, or deleted. From my vision/knowledge, I see a few places where errors can be generated; however, these errors should not arise unless you are intentionally trying to break the add-in. (No longer using DocProperties for polling, using SessionStorage now).

-Added a "Un-highlight" button due to popular demand. 
-Added a "Share Highlighters" and "Import Highlighters" feature! This will allow users to share their set of highlighters with other users. This will hopefully be especially useful for teachers who have a set of highlighters given a specific assignment and want their students to use the same guidelines and highlighters. Thank you to Devin Hess for the idea!
**Please provide feedback on these two items if you have time as they are new and have only been tested by me!

-Fixed bug with no-text highlighters. Highlighters created with no label or text should now work without any errors.

-Fixed sidebar size issues; should now automatically resize itself to encapsulate all of the necessary buttons and add a scroller to the highlighter key.

-The created "Saved Highlights" document is now formatted in a grid for easier viewing and organization
-The initial text in the "Export Highlights" dialog popup is now unclickable until the link/url is retrieved
-Highlighters/Buttons should no longer overflow (added scrolling) 

-Fixed issues with "Export Highlights" being slow
-Added additional attributes to text for "Export Highlights"
December 31, 2016
Pretty much useful. I only hope that it could have 2 more features, one is to jump around the same highlighted texts within the doc, export function is cool, but I also want to see the bigger picture easier by jumping to the texts highlighted in same colour. Another is that I have my personal preferences on colours and I would like to create different set of highlighters with the same colours quickly but just change the names. Would be great if I can directly duplicate an existing set to a new set, then rename the set and the usages of the colours. Thanks for the great work anyway!
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A Google User
February 20, 2017
you can already highlight with no add ons just go to help and type hight light
October 21, 2016
This is awesome. I just shared it with my junior high English teachers and they love it. What a useful tool.
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October 3, 2016
Suggestion: Why not make a shortcut for highlighting? And give an option to edit the shortcut (key presses, like Ctrl+l) So you don't have to move your mouse to the right every time you want to highlight. Awesome App overall
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October 5, 2016
Great suggestion! Unfortunately, I don't believe Google provides me the tools to do that so this feature will not be added unless I find a way to do this or someone directs me to a resource on this.
September 4, 2016
When I downloaded it, I could only use it by making a new document. I couldn't use it on the previously made documents.
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June 29, 2016
I love this tool - it is so easy to use and I've shared it with other teachers at trainings who see the applications. From the language arts perspective, you could make highlighter libraries for fiction, non-fiction, revision or anything you are working on. Students can readily label their documents before submission or when sharing them with peers, and even use the labels to find key points which, when exported, becomes their pre-writing! It's so useful and I am so glad I stumbled upon the recommendation. Thanks for creating and sharing - and the new feature of exporting to a specific document is awesome.
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June 17, 2016
Sometimes when I export highlights, the new document is not in my drive. I have to click the "Add to My Drive" button. Any idea what is causing that?
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June 27, 2016
This issue should be fixed now. Thanks for bringing it up!
April 9, 2016
A useful feature would be to automatically add the name of the original file somewhere in the file you get when exporting by color or sequence. Thanks.
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April 4, 2016
Impressive. Great for revision, self-review, sharing etc. The key in a classroom is that students can rate different ideas/words/topics with different colours and then create a stsndalone document with only the highlighted ideas/words/topics, ready for a revision session. See Aaron Svoboda's 'Formative Assessment' article. Use the traffic light colours - red, yellow green - for NoIdea, IthinkSo, IgetIt and when they export the highlighted words in colour order, both teacher and student can see/record where they are up to. Presto, self-assessment! And they can create and now they can even share their own set of colours; and use their own names or yours (Verbs, Nouns etc; Easy, Hard; Subject, Object; Supposition, Assertion, Evidence etc). What about providing a standard set of (eg traffic light) colours so we can start right in there? Also, Firefox didn't display the colours in the same order I created them... Is this intentional or can it match? Not bad for Free, thanks JasonChin!
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April 5, 2016
Sounds like a good idea, when I have time I'll make the default set of highlighters to be something more useful for students/education. Do you have any examples or specific requests that would be universally useful for all students? As for the creating highlighters in the same order, they definitely should be created in the same order as you created them. If this issue comes up again or if you're able to replicate it, please tell me what you did, so I can fix it!
February 2, 2016
Easy to use and very helpful! Great for many uses- and I love the labeling key that comes when exporting highlights! Great tool to have whether you will need it often or not. I'd recommend this to anyone. From Teachers and Students, to people who just love to organize their research! Thank you muchly! ☺
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January 5, 2016
Great for my students to use. I like the fact that we can make a key.
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