Help get this topic noticed by sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or email.
I’m frustrated

how to synchronize ePub highlighting from iPad to desktop

The Apple support forum has not been helpful, so I am posing my question here. I have several O'Reilly ePub files in my iTunes library that are synchronized to my iPad. I use iBooks on the iPad to read these books, frequently highlighting sentences and bookmarking particular pages. I would like to be able to see the same highlights and bookmarks when I read a book in Digital Editions on my desktop. If the highlights and bookmarks are stored in the file, then this should be possible but it is definitely not working for me now.

If the highlights and bookmarks are stored in an external file on the iPad, then I guess this is wishful thinking. But that raises another question. If I replace an ePub file on my desktop with an upgraded version from O'Reilly, how do I get iTunes to resync the file and what happens to the highlighting and bookmark data in the external file?

Just to be clear: on my iPad, the settings for syncing bookmarks and collections are turned on; I have closed the iBooks app before synchronizing; the iTunes setting is to synchronize all books.

Thanks for your help.
1 person has
this question
  • Hi Marianne,

    The highlights and bookmarks are indeed stored externally from the EPUB file as part of the iBooks application data, which means that, unfortunately, you cannot transfer them over to Adobe Digital Editions or another ereader. Apple does provide support for syncing your bookmarks and annotations among your different iDevices, so you can preserve this information if you're reading your ebook on iBooks on, say, both an iPad and an iPhone/iPod.

    The issue of preserving your bookmarks/highlights when loading updated EPUBs to iBooks is somewhat thorny, and I've written a bit about it on O'Reilly Answers here:

    I hope that helps clarify things for you. Please let me know if you have further questions.

    • Thanks for your comments. They answered my questions and gave me useful information. It seems every step forward in technology introduces new problems. So for now, I'll keep a simple text file of reading notes stored in Dropbox. That's not as slick as highlighting sentences in an EPUB file, but at least I will have access to 'things-I-want-to-remember-and-find-again-easily' regardless of where I'm reading.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated