All You Need To Know About Highlighter Sizes

BY Measurement Of Team - May 10, 2023 I 7 MIN READ
Highlighters, post it note papers, scissors and other stationery items on a surface


Highlighters are markers with special ink that are visible when writing over any existing writing. These are also known as fluorescent markers. We generally use these markers to highlight important passages of texts. They make our notes pointier.

With a variety of shapes, colors, and tip dimensions, there are so many types of highlighters. That you might get confused about choosing the right one. So, here is a guide with all the important facts about highlighter sizes that might help you in making your decision a little easier.

Types Of Highlighters

Highlighters come in a variety of sizes and types, just like pencils do. Primarily, these variations are based on the structure, inks, colors, and tip shapes. The three main highlighter kinds are ink type (liquid), gel, and wax (pencil).

Some of the common highlighters we use and see are described shortly below.

Photos used from Faber-castell, Amazon, and Kawaiipenshop

Jumbo Highlighters

The most commonly used highlighters are the jumbo highlighters. These are the large highlighters within the thicker barriers. They can create large and thick outlines. However, they can be a little hard to hold because of their thickness.

One of the popular brands for jumbo highlighters is Monteverde.

Pocket Highlighters

Compared to jumbo highlighters, pocket highlighters are tiny in size. With the shape of a regular pen, they are comfortable to hold and easy to carry.

Gel Highlighters

These types of markers are made of ink-free technology. This gives it a bright, clear mark that doesn’t bleed through the paper. One of the most popular brands is Sharpie.

Glitter Highlighters

These markers have sparkles and shining (nontoxic ink) features to make the stroke glitter. They are great for marking on cards to make design or lettering arts.

Multi-Colored Highlighters

These highlighters are made with any neon color. And there are tons of variations in these colors. The unique feature of multicolored highlighters is that we can get all those colors in a single highlighter.

Erasable Highlighters

You can also find highlighters that are erasable. Erasable highlighters work just like a pencil. If you make any mistake in your stroke, you can erase it to make a new one.

Eco-Friendly Highlighters

Like any other common item, highlighters should also be eco-friendly. That’s why different brands or manufacturers produce eco-friendly highlighters. These types of highlighters are made of ink and have paper barriers that can be recycled.

Pastel Highlighters

A pastel highlighter differs from a traditional highlighter. These provide a soft and light color tone. These highlighters are great for extensive underlines and facilitate comfortable reading, because of the lighter color tones.

Pen-Style Highlighters

These are simply combinations of highlighters and pens. These have features of narrow barrels and removable caps. Pen-style highlighters are more comfortable to handle.

Confused by all these types? Let’s look at the best features of each type of highlighter: 

Highlighter TypeBest feature/best for
JumboIdeal for highlighting large areas of text
PocketPortable and compact, perfect for on-the-go use
GelGood for use on glossy paper or surfaces
GlitterGreat for use on greeting cards, art projects, or anything that needs a little extra pizzazz
MulticoloredIdeal for color-coding different sections or categories of information
ErasableIdeal for temporary highlighting or marking up documents that need to be edited later
Eco-friendlyIdeal for anyone looking to reduce their environmental impact
PastelGreat for adding a touch of color without being too bold or distracting
Pen styleGreat for annotating and highlighting small sections of text


There are no standard dimensions for highlighters. Because different highlighters have different lengths, widths, and heights and are made of different materials.

For example, jumbo highlighters are shorter but wider. Pocket highlighters can be thinner but longer than jumbo highlighters. There are also pocket highlighters that are shorter than the jumbo highlighters.

Photo by Robert Owen-Wahl on Pixabay

Also, different brands have their measurement for their highlighters.

For example, yellow chisel tip highlighters are the most commonly used highlighters. Faber Castell has their Yellow Chisel Tip highlighter with a dimension of 6.69 in length, 4.72 in width, and 0.79 in thick (17x12x2 cm). In comparison, the same highlighter of the Sharpie brand has a dimension of 5.1x3.1x2.3 in (13×8×5.8 cm).

Common highlighter colors

Highlighters come in many colors. Most of the time it’s yellow, pink, blue, green, or any neon color. But there are also others that have a more subtle color.

Tip Dimension

The tip of the highlighter is added to the top of the clear pen barrel. You might’ve heard another word for it, which is called “nib.” The ink flows out from tips (or nibs) when we use the highlighter. Tips are made of polyethylene or polyester beads (lightweight plastic).

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Tip size depends on the type of highlighter you have. Tip sizes are measured in millimeters and range from 0.03 millimeters up to 50 millimeters.

Tip Shapes

Photo taken from Faber-castell, Amazon, Sharpie and kawaiipenshop

Highlighters tips are available in four main types of shapes. I mentioned them below.

Window Tips

These types of tips are thick and flat-shaped. You can fully cover texts with little strokes and cleaned after highlighting.

Chisel Tips

This is the most common type of highlighter tip. These are as flat as window tips, but a little shorter. Chisel tips can make both thicker and thinner lines, commonly used in calligraphy and lettering arts.

Bullet Tips 

Unlike the other rectangular highlighter tip, bullet tips are a bit rounded at the top, like bullet-shaped. Therefore, they are good for highlighting and underlining or circling texts.

Double-Ended Tips

Double-ended tips or dual-tipped highlighters have features of 2 different colored tips at the same time. So that you can easily switch up between colors without changing the highlighter.

Kokuyo Mark+ 2 Way Marker Pens are the most popular brand for double-ended tip highlighters.

Does Tip Shape Matter?

Yes, highlighter tip shape matters. To make specific strokes of desired levels of shade, the shape of the tips matters a lot. For example, chisel tip markers are great for calligraphy and other forms of art that employ them. On the other hand, bullet markers have thinner tips. So, they are ideal for writing or coloring smaller areas.

How Long Does A Highlighter Last?

This question has no obvious answer. Because it depends on the type and how often we use it. An average highlighter has around 0.33 ounces of ink (10 milliliters). If we use a highlighter regularly or every day, an average-size highlighter should last for about weeks.

Photo by jakob5200 on Pixabay

If you buy a thicker one, it can last months. If you don’t use your highlighter every day, it might last longer than this. But remember, remaining unused for too long can cause them to dry up.

How To Choose Your Highlighter?

When looking for a highlighter, consider the ink type, the brightness level of the color, tip smoothness, durability, ergonomics (comfort level of holding it), intended use and price.

If you want a long-lasting highlighter to keep on, gel highlighters are the best. They don’t dry out as quickly as other kinds of highlighters.

While considering ink type, you should also take into account the smear level and bleed possibility of the highlighter. Gel highlighters take longer to dry and risks the printed text getting smeared. However, it doesn’t bleed to the other side of the page.

However, fast-drying highlighters with thin tips are the best option for study purposes. As our textbooks have many words close together, this will allow you to highlight specific sections without the ink bleeding through the paper of your books.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

And for the color, choose the color that suits you. For example, you can choose a blue highlighter if you gravitate toward cool tones. Because the color blue symbolizes calmness, peace, and relaxation. If you prefer warm colors, you can pick yellow or orange. Or get any other neon color you want.


Highlighters help us keep our notes organized and make our work and tasks easier. It is good to consider things like highlighters’ size, type, and the tips they have before purchasing them. So be picky and get your perfect highlighter.

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