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.