Highlighting Like a Pro: Best Highlighters for School and Work


When it comes to helping you stay organized and focused on the most crucial information in your textbooks or notes, few writing instruments compare to the highlighter. But while every single kind of highlighter you find on the market may be carefully designed to serve a particular purpose, it goes without saying that they’re not all created equal. In fact, given the sheer number of types, colors, and features available, it can even be overwhelming to choose the right kind of highlighter for your specific needs.

So, if you’re not the kind of person to blindly buy whatever shiny new highlighter meets your eye first, here’s a handy guide to choosing the best highlighters for both school and work.

Types of Highlighters

  • Liquid highlighters: Utilising liquid ink, these highlighters have the widest selection of colors, tip features, and body designs. However, varieties with broad tips or wet ink flow may bleed through the paper, especially if the paper is thin or highly absorbent.

  • Gel highlighters: These markers use the titular gel stick and are more resistant to smudging and bleed-through, which makes them a great choice for thin or delicate paper. They are also less likely to dry out if left uncapped. What’s more: some gel highlighters also feature erasable ink that makes them ideal for temporary markings.

  • Pencil highlighters: As the name implies, these are practically very brightly colored pencils that don’t bleed through and need no drying time. They may, however, take several strokes to highlight a full line of text and are often better suited to underlining.

Interaction with Other Writing Media

Here’s something you may not have considered before: how does your highlighter interact with other writing media? Some highlighters, for example, may smear or cause other types of ink to smear, even if the text is dry. It’s thus important to test highlighters on specific ink and paper before using them on large portions of text.

Tip Styles and Special Features

Highlighters can come with several different tip styles, such as: 

  • Chisel tips
  • Extra-broad tips
  • Fine bullet tips

Some even boast surprisingly unique features, such as embedded windows that let you see the text as you highlight or specially-shaped tips that can make multiple kinds of lines.

Color Choices

Even if you use highlighters infrequently, you may have experienced what’s known as “show through” - where the highlighter ink is visible even on the other side of the paper. It’s hence important to choose highlighters that are bleed-resistant. However, beyond that, feel free to choose whichever color intensity suits your preferences best: be it soft and subtle or even eye-searing neons!

Best Highlighters for School and Work

Now that we've covered the different types of highlighters and their unique features, we finally come to the article’s subject. Let’s discuss the best highlighters for school and work by the three broad categories mentioned earlier in this blog:

  1. Liquid highlighters: These highlighters are the most popular - and with good reason. In addition to offering the widest range of colors, tip features, and body designs, they are also perfect for highlighting important notes and ideas and for color-coding documents. However, as mentioned earlier, you need to be careful of bleed-through when using varieties with broad tips or wet ink flow, especially on thin or highly absorbent paper.

  2. Gel highlighters: These are perfect for those who want to avoid smudging and bleeding since their gel ink makes them more resistant to either. While less precise, they are less likely to dry out if left uncapped, and some varieties, as discussed earlier, come with erasable ink. However, make sure you test them on different kinds of ink and paper before using them to highlight large portions of text.

  3. Pencil highlighters: The perfect choice for those looking for a more traditional approach. While they are perfect for underlining, it may take several strokes to highlight a full line of text. They are also slightly more opaque over text than liquid or gel options. 

In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all highlighter that works for everyone. It's hence important to consider your personal preferences and needs when choosing a highlighter for either school or work. Whether you prefer liquid, gel, or pencil highlighters, there is a perfect one out there just for you. You could even consider choosing from Linc’s wide range of carefully-crafted and cutting-edge highlighter pens to meet a range of different personal needs at an affordable price. Just remember the points outlined in this guide, and you'll be well on your way to highlighting like a pro in no time!