Exporting text from Apple Books

I love Apple Books. I do a great deal of highlighting when reading in Apple Books, although I don’t know what to do with that highlighting or where it ends up. More annoyingly, I often come across a piece of text that I want to save in my Bear note of citations, but there is no way to export a longer piece of text from Apple Books. There is no copy function or share sheet as such for selected text. Most often I wind up typing the text over myself with Bear in slideover. Anyone else annoyed at this first world problem?

In the “Show Notes” panel of Books, there are a few sharing options.


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It’s my understanding that this is a copy-protection measure that publishers have some control over. I don’t think it’s an oversight! Like you, if there’s something I really care about, I end up retyping it more often than not.

Hmmm it must be tied to copy protection - I’ve just tried five books from different sources, and every one lets me share the selection from the context menu and also click on a highlight and share from there (rightmost icon in the options).

I can also open Books and Drafts in split screen and drag in text and/or Highlights from the text or the notes list in the ToC.

Alright thanks. I discovered the same on Apple Books on iPadOS. I can drag and then drop the highlighting into Bear. Thanks!

In the event you don’t get an satisfactory answer, I have a workaround.

Use Kindle app instead, you can highlight and then export highlights. I export via email and send them directly into Evernote.

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You can share excerpts of book text, and you can highlight text then make/review notes on highlights (which are, or at least used to be, added to the flash card study function as cards), but I don’t know how or if you can export those notes.

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I discovered that if I go to the Notes pane of the particular book then all my highlights are there. I hold with my finger on one and then drag it out of the app and into a Near note full of quotes. But I can’t do that when I just highlighted it on the page. It has to be from there

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But you should have a share sheet in the highlight itself right?

Check out readwise.io I believe they now integrate with books to download your highlights. I have been using it with kindle for about a year and absolutely love it.


Not when doing it on page

I believe there is a limit to that amount of text you can highlight/send as highlights, or there was last time I used iBooks. Also, lack of share sheet options. I read in various other readers because of that.

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Yeah it’s strange. Probably related to some copyright notion.

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