Skip to main content
  • Subscribe by RSS
  • Ex Libris Knowledge Center

    Annotating PDFs in RefWorks: OCR

    Created By: Jessica Spears
    Created on: 10/13/2020

    PDFs can be annotated by using the highlighting and notes tool in RefWorks. To open the tools, simply double-click on the citation in RefWorks. This will open various tools you can use to highlight (the A icon) and make notes (the speech bubble icon or the notebook paper icon). You can make changes to the citation using the pencil icon.

    If you notice that the function does not appear to be working for your document, that is a good indication that it has not been properly OCRd. OCR, which stands for Optical Character Recognition, enables your text to be read by the computer. Without going through this process, your text cannot be highlighted within RefWorks.

    The directions below can help you work through this issue.

    1. Visit

    2. Add your document under "Upload Image or PDF File". 

    3. Ensure that the box is checked beside "Auto-enlarge content". 

    4. Under Create Searchable PDF, select “Create searchable PDF with invisible text layer.”

    5. Under Select OCR Engine to Use, select “Use OCR Engine1.”

    6. Select “Start OCR!”

    7. After the process is complete, you will select the “Download Searchable PDF” link.

    8. Download the PDF.

    9. Upload this new OCRd PDF to your RefWorks record.

    After going through this process, you will be able to annotate your PDF within RefWorks. 

    • Was this article helpful?