How to Extract Kindle Highlights

How to Extract Kindle Highlights

Create your own copy of your highlights in any Kindle book.

How to Extract Kindle Highlights

Update: Amazon has changed the online location of the highlights in your Kindle library and (thankfully!) made it easier to copy-and-paste them: read.amazon.com/notebook. Most of the steps below are identical, or require self-evident adjustment.

When I read ebooks (usually from the Amazon Kindle store), I highlight large amounts of text. Rather than simply highlight a phrase here or there, I intentionally highlight enough of the text so that the highlights create a condensed version of the essential aspects of the entire book. It takes a little more time to get through the book, but I consider the value in increased retention of the content (and the ability to review over time) to more than make up for it. And Kindle makes extracting highlights easy. Here’s how:

1. Browse to the online Kindle web app

Browse to kindle.amazon.com and log in using the same account you use on your Kindle.

2. Locate the book you want to view

It may be easiest to search for it, then click the link that tells you how many highlights you have.

Locate the book

3. Copy all the highlights

Select all the highlights for the book and copy them to your clipboard.

Copy the highlights

Note: if you are an Evernote user, you may find it easiest to use the Evernote web clipper and clip the selected text into a new note. I use an intermediate step to clean things up a bit before archiving in Evernote (see next step).

4. Paste the highlights in a note or document

At this point, you can simply paste the highlights into a document or note.

I recommend pasting the copied text into a good text editor1 and running three “find-and-replace” operations to clean it up:

  1. Find Read more at and replace with “”.
  2. Find    • Delete this highlight and replace with “”.
  3. Find Add a note and replace with “”.

Replace text

Now your highlights should look like this:

Plain text

Select all the text in the text editor, copy it, and paste the notes and highlights into Evernote or a document. This provides unformatted notes with the Kindle location number so you can reference it again if needed.


Notes:

  1. If you are a Mac user, Textmate and Sublime Text 2 are great text editors. If you are a Windows user, never, under any circumstances use Notepad for anything. It is not a real text editor and was apparently created to increase the suffering of humanity. Use Notepad++ instead.