• Home
  • 5 Methods to Export Kobo Highlights and Notes [Common Solutions]
make kobo notes

5 Methods to Export Kobo Highlights and Notes [Common Solutions]

November 24, 2021 terminator 0 Comments

If you have a Kobo and you’re hoping for an easy way to export Kobo highlights and annotations so you can view them in an editable file (word, txt, etc.) on your laptop, the following 5 methods will save you a lot of time (and deserve your trial).

Method 1. Change the Kobo eReader.config file

First, connect your Kobo eReader to your computer via the USB cable.

Secondly, go to the Kobo device folder(called KOBOeReader).

KOBOeReader

Tips

Failed to find the device folder? You can search for it in Explorer (Windows) or Spotlight (Mac).

Thirdly, open the file Kobo eReader.conf with your text editor of choice. It’s located in the .kobo/Kobo folder on the Kobo drive.

Kobo eReader.conf

Tricks

If you failed to find the folder on the Mac computer, press [Cmd + Shift + .]. This should show the hidden files.

Furthermore, add the following code to the file at the bottom, making sure that they are indeed on two separate lines:

[FeatureSettings] 
ExportHighlights=true

Continue, save the file. Make sure the extension is .conf and not .txt

edit kobo eReader.conf

Finally, safely eject your Kobo from your computer.

Now, go back to your kobo eReader. When you touch and hold over a book on your Kobo, you will see an extra option, “Export highlights”.

exported kobo text

Select a file name and save a .txt file in the device’s root directory. You can also copy the kobo highlight text from the Kobo to anywhere.

Important tips and suggestions

  • Sometimes, long highlights are truncated in the .txt file, so they are incomplete.
  • This method only works with Kobo eReader devices.
  • Noticed that this no longer works on library books, for example, books borrowed through Overdrive or sideloaded via ADE.
  • When you want to search one book’s highlight, you have to go through all the books you’ve read one by one.
  • Someone reported that it’s not so easy to find the exported highlights as a result of a recent firmware update. That means you have to go searching to find the exported text file.

Method 2. Export Kobo annotations from Adobe Digital Editions

You know, Kobo books can also be downloaded directly via Kobo official site online, and the downloaded file type will be acsm and they can only be opened via Adobe Digital Editions.

Like other reading apps, ADE also supports books’ highlights and notes when reading, and saves the file in the “My Digital Editions” folder on the computer, along with a separate note file folder called “Annotations”. 

By default, each book that you noted or highlighted will generate a .annot file.

My Digital Editions Annotations

Open it with your text editor of choice. 

The <target> label includes the contents that you highlighted, and the <content> label includes what you noted (wrote down). 

It needs a bit of reformatting and editing if you would like to get the full highlight contents. Though there’s no way to simply convert the .annot file into a readable .txt file, you can either try to copy the contents to text or strip the XML tags in a text editor.

Important tips and suggestions

  • Opened the .annot file but found nothing? Reopen the book via ADE first, and then reopen the note file later, you will find all of the contents in the note file now. When you repeat this step, be patient.
  • This method only works for people who use Adobe Digital Editions to read Kobo eBooks and make notes.
  • This method doesn’t work with Kobo KEPUB files. Apparently annotations do sync wirelessly between the ereader and the desktop and mobile apps for kobo bought books at least. However, they won’t sync to ADE. That means, if you have made notes and highlights via the Kobo app, you neither find your kobo notes nor export them via ADE.
  • Besides kobo eBooks, ADE supports more eBookstores’ books, such as google play books. I mean, if you also use ADE to read non-Kobo books, when you try to export your kobo notes, you should remember which book is from the kobo store and find the dedicated book’s note file. 
  • Exactly speaking, this is not a good way to read the Kobo annotations and easily manage them.

Method 3. Use Kobo Utilities plugin in Calibre

Calibre provides a number of useful plugins to help us manage our eBooks, and Kobo Utilities is the one which helps export kobo highlights from kobo devices.

To start with, you must import the plugin to Calibre. Open Preferences -> Plugins -> Get new plugins and install the ‘Kobo Utilities’ plugin. Then restart calibre.

get new plugins kobo utilities

Once imported, the usage for most functions is to select one or more books in the library or Kobo device list and select an option from the plugins menu.

Select a book when Kobo connects. Open Kobo Utilities, fetch annotations for Selected book, click on the copy to Clipboard, but don’t close the window. Paste into wherever you want the highlights + annotations. Close the popup window.

Important tips and suggestions

  • This method works with Kobo eReaders only. If you don’t have a Kobo device at hand, it’s not possible to sync and export your notes via the Kobo app using this method.
  • Since this plugin directly update the database on the Kobo device, so if anything goes wrong, the database could get corrupted.
  • It also takes time to reformat and edit annotations after you paste them into a document. 

Method 4. Use kobonotes online service

Kobonotes is a note extractor for Kobo books. It’s free to use. 

Steps are easy. Create one account, and then import the dedicated .sqlite file to its main interface. Soon it will recognize and display your highlights and notes under each kobo book.

thekobonotes

Where can we locate the .sqlite file to upload into thekobonotes.com?

If you noted via Kobo for PC app, import the correct file from this path,
C:\Users\…\AppData\Local\Kobo\Kobo Desktop Edition\Kobo.sqlite

If noted via Kobo for Mac app, import from this path,
/Users/…/Library/Application Support/Kobo/Kobo Desktop Edition/Kobo.sqlite

If noted via Kobo eReader, connect your Kobo to computer and find the file,
\.kobo\KoboReader.sqlite

Important tips and suggestions

  • This method works for both Kobo eReaders and Kobo desktop apps.
  • Notes/highlights on sideloaded books are only stored in your device, they won’t be backed up online.
  • It’s likely that the online service doesn’t sync the full sqlite file. 

Method 5. Use iSummersoft Note Converter

The iSummersoft Note is a professional Kindle / Kobo eBooks note exporter and converter tool. With its easy to use interface and tiny functions, it owns a number of positive reviews.

Benefits of this tool:

  • Works with kobo notes and highlights (on Kobo for PC Mac app and Kobo devices).
  • Also works with Kindle notes and highlights (Kindle eReaders).
  • Supports those sideloaded books to your Kobo device.
  • Display, edit, delete, search and organize your notes.
  • Export highlights and notes to ePub, PDF, TXT, Word, and AZW3/Mobi format so that you can export and send these to any major note taking apps (Evernote, Readwise, Notion, etc.) or even Kindle eReaders.
isummer note

When conversion finished, it will pop up a window which shows the conversion successful. Click on Yes and then “Output” button, you will find all of the exported notes with your target formats.

note isummer

That’s all. Choose the one you like most. Once they are on your computer, you can use them however you like. You become the sole owner of the Kobo highlights you’ve worked hard to create. 

leave a comment