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When reading a pdf file, I use different colors for highlighting; for example to distinguish different ideas.

Is it possible to have a number of colors readily available when using pdf-tools. That is after highlighting, right-click > change color

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  • It is. Every time you choose another color, it will get added to the 'readily available colors' (the listed colors after navigating to change-color). Does that answer your question? Jul 3, 2022 at 8:45
  • No, it does not answer the question because that way the colors for highlighting have to be selected every time you open emacs and that is what I would like to avoid
    – user25482
    Jul 3, 2022 at 13:30
  • A yes... I see. Well, it looks like @whitetrillium already posted a nice solution indeed! Jul 4, 2022 at 15:18

1 Answer 1

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  1. Set your preferred colours
(setq pdf-annot-color-history '("red" "yellow" "blue"))
  1. While viewing the pdf file, do M-x pdf-annot-minor-mode
  2. Do C-c C-a m, which is same as M-x pdf-annot-add-markup-annotation
    • press ENTER.

      This chooses highlight as your choice. You will be prompted for a color with Color (default red).

    • Now, keep on pressing M-p (previous-history-element) until you see the color you want.

      Press ENTER to choose the color

With regard to choosing among "historical candidates", it is convenient to go with some completion framework.

  • If you are using helm, when prompted for a color, do M-x helm-minibuffer-history and select from the pre-configured colors.

I am using M-g M-h for helm-minibuffer-history. This is my own custom binding.

Here is a screenshot of what I see when I do C-c C-a m RET M-g M-h RET,

Choose color for PDF annotation using helm

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  • Thanks for the detailed answer. (setq pdf-annot-color-history '("red" "yellow" "blue")) is what I was looking for
    – user25482
    Jul 4, 2022 at 4:07

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