Problems marking text on touchscreen


I’m using a Chromebook tablet to read papers using the paperpile beta viewer, and I’m facing a very annoying problem: it is almost impossible to select a sentence for highlighting/copying. Whenever the selection goes to the next line, it suddenly selects a lot more text, usually a few paragraphs higher. In practice, it means that highlighting is impossible.

Does anyone else face the same problem? What’s your workaround?


I often experience the same problem. Sometimes trying to select starting at the end of the desired section helps. Otherwise reloading the page sometimes fixes it. I’m using the web browser version on a Samsung Chromebook Plus (2017 version).
I’d love if Paperpile could fix this annoying behavior. I had chalked it up to a hardware issue, but with your shared experience, it seems to be related to the software.

I have this problem generally with PDFs. Can you try opening the same exact PDF in a couple other viewers (e.g. Chrome and Adobe Reader) and see if the text selection works differently in the Paperpile viewer than the other PDF viewers? (Also, does it happen for the same PDF on Mac or Windows with a mouse?) If it’s just Paperpile but not the other viewers then it should be fixable. For them to fix this, it would be helpful to point to a particular public PDF on the web, and particular text within that PDF, so their team can reproduce the issue.

My workaround is to web search with quoted phrase search to see if I can find an HTML version, and then copy from there.

The problem is not super consistent - it sometimes comes up and sometimes doesn’t. Here’s a case in which I struggle to select a sentence using the Paperpile viewer, but have face no problems when opening with the standard Chrome pdf viewer on the same machine:

One thing I noticed is that when it happens, the marker always jumps to the first line of the page.

Here’s another example:

it is almost impossible to highlight a text, but it works just fine on chrome’s PDF reader on the same device.

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Same issue with chrome browser on Surface Pro with pen, works mainly ok with the touchpad on same pdfs, on same browser. All in all, Surface pen and Paperpile not working together almost at all, drawing/highlighting by drawing (instead of long-press+wait) requires side-button press which is practically not possible. The little I revert to pen-based commenting happens now with Xodo pdf-reader, where it works decently.
Well, I decided to invest on iPad Air and Pen now, as the need is significant enough. I hope it works better.

Thanks for the input here, @Severi_Uusitalo, and apologies to OPs @Omer_Nevo, @Nick_Anderson and @kslays for not getting back to you sooner. We’ve had some other reports of buggy touch screen performance on our web viewer but no opportunity to prioritize solutions for the topic. I’m bringing this to the team’s attention, will reach out here with an update in the coming days.

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Hello all - touching base here to check whether you’ve continued experiencing these issues consistently? No updates to share on our end regarding this yet, but we do continue to gather PDFs presenting this sort of issue for further investigation and future development cues.

We encourage anybody still noticing highlighting/annotating problems to share the relevant file(s) via chat or email (

In Chrome when I highlight a line in a paperpile pdf, it consistently highlights the line above. Anyone else seeing this?

@Isaac_Kohane - is this while using a touchscreen as well, or in general? Have you tried playing around a bit with the browser’s zoom settings? Let me know.

As a follow up: I did purchase iPad Air, and Paperpile works great there. Slightly more frugal in features, e.g. little editing opportunity for pdf ref information etc, but I can manage those with the full Chrome version elsewhere. Has added my reading by making the library available and pdf:s easily annotated.
Another topic is that I wish there was referencing to e.g. Scrivener, like there is for Word.
But reg the main topic: happy with the experience of iOS Paperpile!

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It seems to be working now, but I did not change zoom settings (on Chrome, Mac, not touchscreen)

I can’t highlight text on Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 with S pen. Idk how else to do it because in Adobe highlighting feature works well once I chose that I want to highlight text. Here, highlighting feature is chosen but when I use S pen it does not do anything. Is there any instruction on how to do it? Maybe I am just doing something wrong. Thanks.

@Oksana_Kozlova we don’t currently support stylus/pens on Android as there are too many for us to work with. Although fully integrated pen support is only available on iOS and will remain so for the time being, I have added your +1 to the Android request on our internal tracker.

I get the point about Android, but should I be able to use the pen on a Surface Pro? Or is an iPad the only option?

@jmw as discussed earlier on this thread, we have not yet developed support for Surface pens either – it’s just not a topic we’ve had the resources to prioritize thus far.