Frequently Asked Questions
I just installed the extension, but nothing has happened. What am I supposed to do?
Until a highlight is made on a page, no change will be visible. To highlight text you must select it, then right click on it, and then choose a style that defines the highlight. From now on, clicking the Pen icon in the toolbar will show snippets of the page’s highlights.
What else does the Pen icon in the toolbar do?
It allows you to scroll to any of the page’s highlights, remove them, copy them, or choose their style. If there are no highlights on the current page, or if the icon is right-clicked, the extension management options are shown, most notably Options.
If it is greyed out it means highlights can’t be made on this type of page (for example, a PDF file, or the Settings pages).
If there is a red & white Exclamation Point over it, that means one or more highlights stored for the page could not be restored onto the page when it was last reloaded.
I reloaded the page, but the highlights didn’t reappear!
Sadly, this can happen. The extension fundamentally relies on the page being EXACTLY the same each time it’s reloaded, both in appearance and in its invisible internal structure. There are countless ways a web site can break this. Perhaps an advert is slightly differently placed each time it is reloaded, or a section of text has been added. The change is rarely obvious, and many times imperceptible.
In other words, you can never completely rely on the highlights being restored on the page after reloading it. As a general rule, the fancier the page is, the greater the chance there is for highlights not to be restored after it is reloaded.
However, the textual contents of the highlights should still be available from either the toolbar popup window (by clicking on the Pen icon), the Summary page, or the extension’s Options page.
Note: Please don’t contact me regarding this issue, as there are literally millions of sites that will fail, and there’s nothing I can do about it anyway.
The toolbar’s Pen icon was once visible, but now it has disappeared!
It might be hidden in Chrome’s main menu. Click on the menu button in the far right corner, then, assuming it’s visible at the top of menu, right click on the pen icon, and choose Show in Toolbar.
How do I see a full list (aka a Summary, containing more than just snippets) of all the highlights on a page?
Click the Pen toolbar icon, then click the 3-line menu button (also known as the Hamburger menu) at the top left of the popup window, then choose Open in New Tab in the Summary Page section of the menu.
Why are my highlights not synchronised between my computers?
Synchronisation requires me to pay for a server, write the server, secure the server, and comply with myriad privacy laws, none of which I can be bothered to do. So I’m afraid you’re stuck with using the Backup & Restore functions of the extension’s Options page.
How are the highlights stored?
A database is created, associating a page’s URL with the position on the page of the highlight, its style, and its text. When the page is next reloaded, its URL is checked, and if it matches an existing record (or something similar), it attempts to restore the highlights in the same position. If any part of this sequence is not possible, the highlights can’t be restored.
Note that highlights are only stored on the device they’re made on. They aren’t sent anywhere, synced, or backed up (unless it’s part of a some other backup routine). So if they’re lost, they really are lost.
How do I remove highlights from a page?
Either by clicking the Close (x) button shown when the mouse is moved over the highlight on the page, or via the popup window shown by clicking on the Pen icon, or via the extension’s Options page (you can also right-click on the Pen icon, or click the Cog icon in the Pen icon popup window to access the Options page).
To quickly remove all highlights on a page, use the Remove All Highlights item in the menu at the top left of the popup window shown by clicking on the Pen icon.
How do I see all the pages I have highlighted?
Either via the aforementioned Summary page, or using the extension’s Options page. Pages are listed under the Pages tab.
How do I save the web page to a file, with the highlights ‘baked into it’?
Save it as you normally would (using Save on the Files menu, but you MUST to use the Web page, Complete format in the Save dialog box.
How do I highlight pages that are stored on my computer, rather than the Internet?
By default, extensions can’t access files saved on your computer. It only works for actual web sites. This is a security measure.
To override this, and allow the extension to restore the highlights, go to the Chrome Extensions page, and enable Allow access to file URLs on the extension’s Details page.
How can I make and restore highlights in Incognito mode?
As with the previous question, Chrome disables extensions in Incognito mode unless manually overridden. You can enable it via the Extension’s Details page, enabling the Allow in Incognito option.
Keep in mind that by making a highlight on a page whilst in Incognito mode, the URL of the page is stored in your list of highlighted pages. So make sure you’re OK with this previously private URL potentially becoming public.
How do I assign a keyboard shortcut to create a highlight?
The extension uses Chrome’s built-in Keyboard Shortcut mechanism. In Chrome’s Extensions page, there is a link named Keyboard Shortcuts. From here you can assign a shortcut to any of the first ten highlight styles.
Note that there is a limit of 10 shortcuts because Chrome requires the amount to be declared up front when the extension is published, not as it’s being used. And 10 seems as good an amount as any other.
How do I access the main Chrome Extensions page (not the extension-specific Options page)?
Any of these will do:
- On the main menu (at the top right of the browser), in the More Tools section.
- If you use a Mac, it’s also on the Windows menu.
chrome://extensionsin the URL bar.
- If the highlighter icon is present in the toolbar, right click on it and choose Manage Extensions.
In the name of security/speed/whatever, I’d prefer to only enable the extension on certain sites. Is that possible?
Yes. All extensions can be restricted by site, via the Site Access section of the extension’s Settings page. If you choose to enable the extension by Click, highlights will only be restored when the toolbar’s Pen icon is first clicked. Up until that point, although Super Simple Highlighter appears in the right-click menu, it will not function as it requires the extension to be fully enabled (by clicking on the icon).