How to Highlight in Google Docs

Color highlighted text via mouse or mobile

What to Know

  • Desktop: Select the text you want to highlight. Locate the highlighter tool from the menu. Pick a color.
  • Mobile: Tap edit button. Select text, tap the highlighter icon > Highlight color, and choose a color.
  • Docs not only supports your standard yellow highlight but any color you can fathom since hex values are supported.

This article covers how to highlight text in Google Docs using a desktop web browser and the mobile app.

Highlighting Text on Desktop

If you're using Docs from the website, choose some text and then pick a color from the highlighter button.

Here's how:

  1. Select the text you want to highlight.

    Highlighting is sometimes used to mean selecting. If you want to select all the text, go to Edit > Select all or click and drag from one part of the document to another to grab everything in between.

  2. Locate the highlighter tool from the menu. It's in the same area as the bold/italic/underline section, to the text color changer's right.

    Google Docs highlighter button highlighted.

    If you don't see it, it's hidden in the overflow menu; find it through the three-dotted button on the far right of the menu.

  3. Pick a color. The text will immediately become highlighted.

    Highlighted text in Google Docs.

    If you don't see one from the list that you want to use, select the plus button at the bottom; you can adjust the hue or enter the color's hex value for an exact match.

Highlighter Add-ons

There are also Google Docs add-ons that provide highlighting functionality if you want extra features. Highlight Tool is one example that provides several options you can't get with Docs' built-in highlighter:

  • Save colors to a library. You could make a set called Answers, for example, and build red and green buttons for highlighting wrong and right answers in a school worksheet.
  • Choose a color set from your library to provide quick access to its buttons in the sidebar.
  • Import and export specific color sets or your whole library. You or someone else can then import the highlighter sets into Google Docs for color consistency between documents, great for collaborators.
Screenshot of the Google Docs Highlight Tool add-on sidebar

Highlight in Google Docs Mobile App

The mobile app requires a few more steps than the website to show the highlighter menu.

  1. With the document open, tap the edit button at the bottom to enter into editing mode.

  2. Double-tap a word to highlight it. To expand the selection, drag the buttons on either side to include additional text.

  3. Select A from the menu at the top, or the highlighter icon from the menu at the bottom.

  4. In the new menu at the bottom, scroll down, select Highlight color, and choose a color.

    Repeat steps 2–4 as many times as needed.

    Google Docs highlighter in the Android mobile app.
  5. Tap somewhere else in the document to exit that menu. If you're done editing, select the checkmark at the top left to save.

Was this page helpful?