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Question: Pages for Mac. Not retaining text hi-lights on PDF exports

I have the Question?

And most importantly, now the answer!


I too was tearing my hair out trying to figure why highlighted text in 'Pages' (for Mac) disappears when exporting to a PDF. I tried to answer the original post, but could not access for some reason, possibly because it was too old.


Hoping this reasonably straight forward workaround may help some people until Apple/Pages sort out the issue.


So here's my fix:


1. Select the text / sentence / para in your Pages document you wish to highlight.

2. Select 'Layout' in the formatting pane, (between 'Style' and 'More'.)

3. Right down the bottom you have a 'background' colour selector.

4. Select a 'pastel' highlight. You can even reduce the opacity via the slider.

5. Save doc and export to PDF. Your text 'highlight' should be retained in whatever PDF reader you fancy (fingers crossed.)


It's ruff n ready... but it works!


Cheers - Mark Mc

Macbook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.5.6)

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May 29, 2018 11:04 AM in response to Mark McIlvena In response to Mark McIlvena

What you described is just what it says it is — a paragraph background, not a proper text highlight.


A proper text highlight in Pages v5/6/7 is found on the Style panel, and is the on the Advanced Options menu that descends from the gear icon in the text attributes bar (B I U *). Prior to Pages 7.0, it was known as Character Fill Color, and currently, with Pages 7.0.1, it is named Text Background.

May 29, 2018 11:04 AM

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May 29, 2018 3:08 PM in response to VikingOSX In response to VikingOSX

Thanks VikingOSX, but what happens when you export to PDF?

My highlighting disappears... as is the case for many others complaining on these forums.

My workaround tip is 'ruff n ready' but a quick fix which may help some people out if they are experiencing the same problem.

Thanks for your comment. - Cheers Mark

(I should point out that I am using an old version of Pages, on an old Mac running an old OS..... because I'm old.

This issue may have been resolved in later releases)

May 29, 2018 3:08 PM

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May 29, 2018 6:50 PM in response to Mark McIlvena In response to Mark McIlvena

When you post, explicitly state the version of Pages, and the operating system that you are using, and that your post applies too. It helps put things in context, as many versions of Pages have been released in the last 10 years, and not all are compatible with one another.


  • Pages application menu : About Pages
  •  menu : About This Mac

May 29, 2018 6:50 PM

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Question: Pages for Mac. Not retaining text hi-lights on PDF exports