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Mendeley for PDF Annotations

  1. Sign up for Mendeley by visiting:
  2. Once you complete your signup, you'll be prompted to download Mendeley desktop (or the iOS or Android app).


   3. Open Mendeley Desktop and add your PDFs to your library.

Mendeley desktop software interface with add icon at top left

  4. In your Mendeley library, click the PDF icon or double click the file name to open a document.

open document by clicking on PDF icon in your Mendeley library

5. Read, Highlight and Annotate.

  • Select tool – use this tool to select text within your document. You can use this to apply highlighting, add a note (see below) or copy and paste relevant passages.

 Read, Highlight and Annotate

  • Pan tool – use this tool to navigate around the document. Click and drag to scroll through the document
  • Note tool – use this tool to create a sticky note at specific locations within the document. Click wherever you want the note to appear. Select the color from the dropdown at the top of the note popup. Once your note is created you'll see a note icon on the paper at the location where you created it.  Your note will display in the private annotations field on the right. 

Select color from triangle dropdown at the top of the note popup

  • Highlight tool – use this tool to apply highlighting to text within the document. Change colors by right clicking on the highlight.
    • Use the dropdown menu that appears next to the tool to switch between text-based highlighting and rectangle-based highlighting. The latter can be useful for images, graphs, charts, or large sections of text.
  • Zoom – use these buttons to zoom into and out of the PDF.
  • Sync - use this button to force Mendeley to perform a sync. This will push any changes you’ve made to your library up to the cloud for storage, making them available on other devices and computers.
    • You should sync frequently in order to ensure that your most recent changes are saved to the cloud.
    • See How sync works for more details.
  • General notes – use this field to make notes on the current document. These are not located to a specific position, unlike ‘sticky’ notes.
    • You can use rich-text formatting to apply bold, italics and underlining for emphasis.
    • Note that the contents of ‘General notes’ will also be returned in search results.