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Home / Reinstalling Sumatra removes favourites


Installed pre-release build of Sumatra, turns out it deleted my original config file which contained a very long list of favourites from all kinds of PDFs. This is IMO very stupid and infuriating (since when is it a wise thing to 1) reset settings with sumatra PDF update 2) store favourites in the settings file??)

My questions:

  1. Is there an easy way to recover those favourites?
  2. Is it possible to make it so the favourites are stored in the PDF file somehow?
  3. Turns out even after reinstall I still can’t highlight the text (someone on forums said I could after using pre-release build)?

Or should I finally find a good alternative to Sumatra PDF ?


There was a change in location between some versions to the old file with favourites so it may still be accessible.

using an explorer window enter into the address bar
if you see a file called SumatraPDF-settings (SumatraPDF-settings.txt)
as per standard practice back it up before editing or other changes
You should be able to then copy the backup into the new location
it is at your own risk to overwrite the new with old so if you made changes to the new one back that up also

The settings file is volatile that means that whenever you make significant changes you should guard a copy against windows corrupting it during update cycles.

Favourites were intended as a temporary way of tracking file and page locations.

One new feature under development is to have a .vbkm file with such groupings (currently only for pdf) and that is available to experiment with in the pre-release version as right click new bookmarks

Highlighting is currently going through changes so no guarantee it is there in every pre-release however just testing today’s version [SumatraPDF-prerel-12417-64.exe] it is still working the old way using Ctrl and left mouse or selecting text then in either case press A for annotate the coloured block

RE: highlighting a word of caution always backup the source file e.g. master pdf before adding highlights as currently you would not be able to remove them without using an editor.
To ensure you don’t affect the file don’t use save as but if you do want to save to a new pdf with highlights then do use save as


Thank you! Sorry for being angry.
Yes I recovered the file (they were in appdata/roaming) and highlithing sorta works except I need to figure out how to make it so it automatically saves the highlights when I close the PDF


Highlighting could improve drastically (and work is currently visible but not active in daily build)
Currently there are two settings

AnnotationDefaults [
	HighlightColor = #ff0000
	SaveIntoDocument = true

SaveIntoDocument = false means that a separate text type file is built alongside the pdf e.g my.pdf will also have my.pdf.smx in the folder as you use right click save annotations (you can easily delete or modify that highlight.smx file)

SaveIntoDocument = true (the default) may also build that .smx file as you go along but will also save its contents into the pdf when you use file> save as to a different name
beware the fact that if you overwrite the master.pdf then you cant delete those highlights
It is experimental and sometimes results can be unexpected