Annotation by external PDF editor can't be imported

Hi all,

I have been testing the Zotero PDF editor since upgrade to version 6.

I read from the document that it is possible to import annotation embedded in PDF to Zotero through "File ➙ import annotations"

I am using MacOS Catalina, and Acrobat reader DC (version 2021.011.20039, latest one). I tried to underline a few terms in a pdf with Acrobat reader, then open in Zotero's reader.

In the show annotation (left panel), I can see those annotations come with a "lock icon" to indicate they were created by external editor and embedded in the pdf. I highlighted those entries and tried "File ➙ important annotations", however, nothing happened. I have no error message, and I don't see new entries in the "show annotation" panel, and for the existing entries they still show up with the lock icon.

I wonder am I missing certain steps to get it work?

  • Could you send the PDF file to with a link to this thread?
  • Hello,

    I tried to test further and found that it's the underline annotation causing the problem.

    The test:
    1) I used Acrobat reader DC to highlight a few terms, and also underlined a few terms

    2) I opened the file with Zotero PDF editor. I can see all the annotations with a lock icon. Underlined terms are showed as highlighted instead.

    3) "File ➙ import annotations" will only work with highlights in the PDF. Underline annotation remained locked and unable to import as highlighted.

    Highlight and underline are common ways of annotating a pdf file. I hope Zotero pdf editor could support underline annotation in the near future.

  • Hello. I'm also encountering this problem recently. I create some underline annotations using PDF Expert on iPad, but I cannot import them into Zotero. I think it's really necessary for Zotero to support underline and hope you could add this feature soon. Thanks!
  • +1 for an underline feature; was available in Zotfile: zotfile.pdfextraction.formatAnnotationUnderline

    I modified the extension: < p>< span style="border-bottom: 1px solid %(color)">%(content)< /span> (%(cite))< /p>

    The underlined annotation showed the text underlined in the extracted annotation note, in the color used to make the underline.
  • Hello, same issue here on Windows 10 + Xodo PDF
  • Underline annotations should be imported as highlights.

    @keyuanhuang @tristone13th If that doesn't work please send an example PDF file to with a link to this thread.
  • @martynas_b Is it possible to have underline annotations be imported as underlines, not highlights?
  • @-william- wow thanks a lot. That's awesome.
    Not only do the highlights extract within the app, but if the underlines are also not destroyed so you can restore them by viewing the pdf in another app. (within-zotero highlights will be absent as I understand, though)
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