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Guide to getting started with Mendeley citation software.


One of Mendeley's most attractive features is it's built-in PDF reader and annotation tool. This tool allows for sticky notes, multiple colors of highlighting, searchable general notes, and more. The content on this page is abridged from Mendeley's Read, Annotate & Highlight Guide.

Annotations on PDF documents can be shared within private groups; see the Collaborate in Groups tab for more details.

Mendeley's PDF Reader

Mendeley's PDF Reader

PDF Tools: Key

  1. Text select – select text within your document, to copy/paste or apply highlighting.
  2. Pan – navigate around the document.
  3. Note – create notes at specific locations within the document (‘sticky notes’).
  4. Highlight – apply highlighting to text within the document.
  5. Color selection – select the currently active color; applies to notes and highlighting.
  6. Zoom – zoom into and out of the PDF.
  7. Sync – push any changes you’ve made to your library to the cloud for storage, making them available on other devices and computers.
  8. General notes – make notes on the current document. *Contents of ‘General Notes’ are returned in search results.*
  9. Tabs – each document you open will receive its own tab. Return to the browsing view by closing document tabs or clicking on the ‘My Library’ tab.
  10. Highlighted text – highlighted text within your document will look like this. Right click on highlighted text to modify or remove highlighting.
  11. Note – notes within the document will be represented by small icons. Click the icon to reveal the contents of the note.
  12. Note list – this section of the Notes tab lists all of the sticky notes created throughout the document.