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Any way to skip the annotation windows? You also need to click save changes to pdf whenever you want to add something. Is there faster way to add highlight only using shortcut?



UPdated comments for release 3.3

A= Annotate with default highlight (Area or selected text) , much as it used to.
A alone Will NOT open edit window
Annotations [ HighlightColor = #RRGGBB ] from settings will be used for highlights

IF you do want to change an item color / delete / save then use SHIFT + A It is handy to add a highlights comments text on occasion (You can paste the highlighted text using CTRL + V). Note:-currently comments will not be shown with tooltip, unless permanently added with Save to PDF or save PDF as new name.

At end of session you should be asked / reminded to save all at once, (better if you want to remove or change some, as the file increase is then minimal for just the one save)


He asked if there is a way to skip the annotation window. Using the keyboard shortcut ‘A’ highlights the text and opens up the annotation window. Looking through the options / advanced options, there are no settings that can turn this off. Earlier pre-release builds didn’t have this feature, you could just highlight as you were reading and save the annotations when you were done. Many times, I myself forgot to save my annotations and lost my highlights, which is what this new popup window’s feature purpose feels like it’s trying to address. I think it would be better to open a prompt if the annotations haven’t been saved, asking the user if they want to save the annotations. In my opinion, a popup after every highlight is pretty annoying.


NOTE these comments have been superseded by updates

There are rarely any options or menu shortcut entries, for the work in progress features.
The old prereleases had a basic one function approach that needed external editing to change highlight to underline etc.

That was totally scrapped and replaced by a more extensive system from MuPDF where there is a static sidebar of options rather than a “pop-up” (that can be dismissed easily)

Coincidentally the A key is used in MuPDF-GL for invoking annotation menus without highlighting, However as I understand it, so as to maintain some consistency in the the interim in SumatraPDF it still allows for highlighting the selection (simple to delete highlighted entry if not wanted)

So the SumatraPDF enhancements over native MuPDF-GL are

  1. Automatic highlight of a selection when opening annotation menu.
  2. Floating annotation rather than modifying viewer window space (e.g. not disturbing current view)
  3. yet to be determined options (there are no user settings in MuPDF-GL)

Saving is a separate Issue, and I have raised the fact that with more than a handful of closure options, less than half will raise a user reminder to save to a new file (in the past there was always a temporary file option)


I’ve changed my AnnotationDefaults -> HighlightColor in the advanced options but when selecting text to annotate the default yellow always comes up. In addition, my custom highlight color can’t be found in the color drop-down list. This seems like an issue you may be aware of, but I thought I would just leave this here in case you weren’t.

@GitHubRulesOK you mentioned above that the A key is used in MuPDF-GL for invoking annotation menus. In earlier pre-release versions, the a key would highlight without invoking the menu. Were earlier versions not using MuPDF-GL? If so, was this a software design change aimed at standardizing sumatrapdf? Or was there a security concern with how earlier versions annotations were implemented? Just curious to hear your thoughts.

Side note: is there a way to download an older pre-release version that allowed you to highlight quickly and save the annotations at will? I much preferred that version of annotations and setting the custom highlight color worked in those versions. Thanks!


I moved your post here as most related to recent discussions

Annotation has always been a “Work in Progress” and the easy option to add a textual entry for highlights, was a long time boon (that I miss, since it worked across many formats not just PDF)

The legacy entry for choice of colour, as you note, is not currently used, but potentially could be expanded in the future ? we will have to wait and see if custom colors are allowed, however the listed ones are as set by the MuPDF library thus 100% comparable with those!

I can’t point you to any reliable safe site for legacy pre-release (the whole point is they were transitional and no longer available) You may find a \old 2019 version searching here SumatraPDF 11061 prerelease cbr page order bug but I cannot vouch how safe or useful those may be. Remember before A it was H and older highlight was independant of MuPDF-GL controls. It was coincidentally moved from H(ighlight) to A(nnotation) due to H being reassigned to cursor control.


Thanks for the response. Regarding older pre-release versions, if for example, i never downloaded a newer version that replaced the version with annotation I preferred, what would be the security risks of not downloading newer versions?

I just read your older comments mentioning how integrating MuPDF-GL forced you to use it’s functionality (highlight colors and annotation window)… Can you give those of us who want to set a custom color a separate shortcut (alt+a) or something to apply this to annotation and skip the popup window? Thanks!


Regarding security (and bugs) newer versions should protect you from poorly sourced files. If your sources are clean and well built, then there should be little in the way of risks. (Its very much down to the user avoiding badly crafted files)

I dont find the window a problem, if I make it small and to one side, I find it is currently useful to leave it open to change color on the fly and add notes in the comments box, Also serves me as a reminder to hit save at the bottom (once happy with edits) before closing for the next file.
There are several highlight related requests open at but progress adressing any one those is sporadic due to higher priorities


I see your point. Maybe it’s my personal preference, but I like to apply a certain custom color every time and dislike having the annotations make me choose to change it. For example, adobe, foxit, etc. lets you choose a custom color and highlight without interference from a popup. I like how sumatra is a low resource and “no-frills” pdf reader, but the current highlight feature is enough for me to go back to adobe for now.


I tried the old fork mentioned without any joy however the link above will lead to some \old (er) pre-release version with “extra features” (just ignore the latest)


The only github page for sumatrapdf seems to be the repository for the main version. There are plenty of forks from other users, but I don’t know which ones are pre-release. Can you link me an older pre-release fork before you implemented the annotation window?


see my first response to you it links to a discussion about prereleases


You installed this users upload and found that it is safe? It’s almost 300 m.b. lol. Pretty sketchy imo.


you only need 1 file from the “old” folder I would first try 3.2.11133 portable but install version has benefits


Sorry for the time lapse (one’s family has to be fed :slight_smile: ) but that most recent of the 3.2.1xx works for me with the A key but the 3.3x version clearly does not.
Remember to set SaveIntoDocument = false, first if thats the way you prefer to not modify the source PDF


i use turbotop, i make the sumatra on top. so even though the annoutions windows comes up, it goes to the back, I dont see it. (if you are also using a dictionary like wordweb or qtranslate, make those on top on turbotop too)


Thanks for the reminder, but others please note that “Turbo Top” and its smaller brother app “Launch on top” are flagged by virus total (that does not mean they have a “virus” but may have other undesirable functions)

There are many simple tools (including a simple small open source script) to keep the main SumatraPDF window on top as discussed in


Much has changed very recently so test out the latest Daily

As its just about ready to be released once bugs are fixed :slight_smile: any feedback on mis behaviour is welcome but enhancements will unlikely be added now.

See comment(s) at top of post but briefly:-
now A will not open editor (Shift A will)
custom Annotation color can be changed in settings.
Changes “should” instantly alter original file on confirmation that’s what you want during closure unless you use ctrl save as new name.

Beware its up to the user to protect/backup source PDF, since even tediously deleting all annotations is not guaranteed to recreate the initial File