Use and download bookmarks, notes, highlights, definitions and 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 appears, you’re in Flowing text mode.

Add bookmarks, highlights and notes

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, 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, long press the word. To select more than one word, use the blue sliders and then select a highlight colour.
      • To remove a highlight, tap the highlighted text and then Remove Remove.
  3. To add a note, long press 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.
    • To find all your notes, tap the centre of the page. Tap Contents Contentsand then Notes.

Translate, define or search for a word

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Play Books app Play Books.
  2. Open a book.
  3. Long press to select the text. To select more than one word, use the blue sliders.
  4. Select 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 that you’re reading.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Play Books app Play Books.
  2. Tap Menu Menuand then Settings and then Save notes, highlights and bookmarks in Google Drive.
  3. Name the folder where you’ll save your notes. By default, the folder is named 'Play Books Notes'.
  4. Tick the box and tap Done.
To rename your folder, re-open Settings in the Google Play Books app and make the change there.

Sync notes that you added before you turned on notes saving 

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

Find your notes, highlights and bookmarks

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open Google Drive Drive.
  2. Make sure that you’re signed in to the same account that you use for Google Play Books.
  3. Open the folder that 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 for this book or a set limit that is lower than the number of highlights that you’ve made.

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 Android phone or tablet, 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 only be saved 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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