Use & download bookmarks, notes, highlights, definitions, & translations

Most books on Google Play Books use Flowing text mode to adjust to fit your screen when you change page features like font size or line spacing. You can take notes, add bookmarks, translate, define, and search for words.

Check whether you’re in Flowing text mode

If you highlight a word and a list of options shows up, you’re in Flowing text mode.

Add bookmarks, highlights, &  notes

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Play Books app Play Books.
  2. Open a book.
    • To add a bookmark, tap the top right of the page.
      • To remove a bookmark, tap the top right again.
    • To highlight text, touch and hold the word. To select more than one word, use the blue sliders and then select a highlight color.
      • To remove a highlight, tap the highlighted textand then Remove Remove.
  3. To add a note, touch and hold the word. To select more than one word, use the blue sliders and then Tap Add note Add note.
    • To edit a note, tap the highlighted text where you added the note.
    • To delete a note, tap the highlighted text, then tap Delete Delete.
    • To find all your notes, tap the center of the page. Tap Contents Contentsand then Notes.

Tip: You can't add notes on a sample book.

Translate, define, or search for a word

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Play Books app Play Books.
  2. Open a book.
  3. Touch and hold to select the text. To select more than one word, use the blue sliders.
  4. Tap an option:
    • To find a definition, highlight a word. Only one word can be selected.
    • To translate, tap Translate Translate. Select languages to translate to and from.
    • To search for the selection in the book or on the web, tap Search Search.

Turn on notes saving

You can find your Play Books notes, highlights, and bookmarks in Google Drive. Your notes are saved in a document specific to the book you’re reading.  

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Play Books app Play Books.
  2. At the top left, tap Menu Menuand then Settings and then Google Drive sync.
  3. Turn on Save your notes, highlights, and bookmarks.
  4. Name the folder where you’d like to save your notes. By default, the folder is named "Play Books Notes."
  5. Tap Done.

Sync notes you added before you turned on notes saving 

If you added notes before you turned on syncing, you’ll need to:
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Play Books app Play Books.
  2. Open the book you want to sync.
  3. Add a new note, highlight, or bookmark. This creates a new document with all the notes from that book.

Find your notes, highlights, & bookmarks

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open Google Drive Drive.
  2. Make sure you’re signed in to the same account you use for Google Play Books.
  3. Open the folder you created to store your notes. By default, the folder is named “Play Books Notes”.

Highlights aren't syncing

The publisher of this book hasn’t allowed the copy-paste feature, or they may have set a limit to how many highlights you can make.

Edit a notes document

If you edit a notes document in Drive and then add notes to the same book, your changes in the Drive document will be deleted. To edit and save to a synced document, make a copy of the document first.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the notes document.
  2. Click File and then Make a copy.
  3. Name your new document.
  4. Make edits to the new document.

Tip: If you add notes to a book, they'll be saved only in the original notes document. If you want them in your new document, you'll need to manually add them to the new document.

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