Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Exporting Kindle Notes and Highlights

I have my reasons for still liking paper books once in a while, but those reasons are slowing vanishing, and the benefits of electronic books are accumulating.

I read Pinker's mammoth The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined on the Kindle app on my iPad. I was grateful not to have to read the enormous paper version of the book. It was a fascinating read, and I made lots of notes and highlights on my Kindle app. (You can make notes and highlights with a Kindle device too.)

Whenever I finish a book, I "process" it. This means going through all the notes and highlights I made and incorporating them into the books I'm writing, the literature reviews I maintain, etc. For a book the size of Pinker's, this would take a few hours.

However, on the Kindle those notes and highlights are saved automatically. I just went to
logged in, and clicked "Your Highlights" at the top. It shows me all the notes and highlights I've made for every Kindle book I've read.
For Pinker, I had 164 highlighted passages, and a few notes. All of them were on this webpage for me to copy and paste into a googledoc. I still have to incorporate them, but I don't have to type them in.

Love it!

Added February 2013: They moved the link: https://kindle.amazon.com/your_highlights

Pictured: A bikeshare. Bikeshares tend to fail, I've heard, when helmet laws are in place. 

Bookmark and Share


CPD said...

I also would like to be able to create a document with all of my highlighted text and notes. I'm frustrated, though, that the Kindle.amazon.com page doesn't give me the entire highlight. Instead, it just lists a line or two. How have you gotten around this (short of going to the page of the book and recopying the text). This shouldn't be so cumbersome! Doesn't Amazon realize that any student or professor would love to be able to export their highlights and notes into a useable format?

Anonymous said...

This doesn't quite answer your question, but if you have a Kindle device, all the highlighted passages appear in full in a plain text file on the USB drive called My Clippings.txt. The one drawback: it jumbles together all your highlights and notes in one big file. I'm working on a perl script that can split it up again.

Maybe there's something available like that for the iPad version. Extracting highlights like that is definitely one of the greatest unexpected perks of my e-reader.

John said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Creating Kindle Books In-House Using Kindle Publisher Tools
Publishers can create Kindle books in-house from Adobe InDesign content, HTML, XHTML, and EPUB files by using the Kindle Publisher tools. Amazon officially supports these tools to convert files to Kindle Format 8. Kindle files created with these tools are designed to be compatible with current and future Kindle devices and applications. Files created with third-party software may not work properly on current or future Kindle devices and applications. book-on-kindle.com

Kris said...

I have the same question as CPD did - how can I see a page showing my highlights, but where the entire highlighted passage is shown - not just the first few words? I can't just copy and paste, since all of the highlighted passages are truncated! If anyone has found a solution to that, I would love to hear about it!

Jim Davies said...

Try this link: https://kindle.amazon.com/your_highlights

Do all of your highlights show up now?

Chris Maloney said...

I'm wondering if there's any way to re-import your highlights into another kindle device attached to the same account. I read this same book on Kindle for Android, and just recently upgraded my phone, and I'd like to see the highlights on this device. Has anyone heard of any solution to this problem?

BC said...

The notes on your book should be synced across all your devices.

I hope that Amazon will one day produce an XML file of all of our highlights and notes, so that we can simply download them to one place.

Dale Denham said...

Thanks so much, this is very helpful!

Gexton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hey Jim,

Thanks for sharing. It's always good to know how to get those highlights from a Kindle device.

Actually, there's an iOS app being launched in November that will address this issue. It's called Snippefy www.snippefy.com

The app let's you read and share your Kindle highlights and notes, all in one place.

Rod Gomez said...

Hi Jim, I have the same problem as Kris. My highlights end up getting truncated (even using the new site link you referenced), which I'm guessing has something to do with copyrights and usages laws or whatever. I've found the only solution to be copying and pasting directed from the Kindle app on my Mac and pasting into my preferred app. You know of any better ways?

Brian Turnbull said...

I've found a way to take highlights from 'my clippings' and turn them into OneNote notes via Word, works great for class notes taken from pdf's:

1. Highlight all entries wanted from 'my clippings'
2. paste into Word doc
3. Find and Replace, enable wildcards
4. find: ==========
replace with: ^p
5. Find: copy the exact title
replace: ^p
6. This is complicated, to remove the time stamps Find: (\- Y)(*)(\PM) for entries made in the PM or (\- Y)(*)(\AM) for entries made in the AM, if mixed you will need to separate into separate docs.
Replace: ^p
7. Find: ^13{2,}
Replace: ^p

I also edit paragraph spacing and use the 'Sentence Case' hotkey to clean it up. Then you can paste into OneNote and add bullets if you like. Very Handy

Jim said...


I would like to recommend http://www.clippings.io for managing your Kindle notes and clippings. As far as I can tell this is the best tool and it's completely free, enjoy!


Oliver Francescatti said...

Print Your Kindle Highlights with the Click of a Button

I just built a chrome extension that allows you to print / save your highlights to your local computer, Google Drive, or dropbox. You can find it at http://www.printmykindlehighlights.com

Cindy Dy said...

You are an awesome blogger. This is one of the best blog I had visited so far. Hope to read more post from you in the future. Keep it up. God bless.


sarah lee said...

I really enjoyed reading your article. I found this as an informative and interesting post, so i think it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the effort you have made in writing this article.