Marker vs Highlighter: Difference and Comparison

In today’s era, we all have an urge to make our work look more presentable. There are various objects in the market we use to make our work look more appealing.

Highlighters and markers are one of them. They are used for various purposes such as work, leisure, education, etc.

Key Takeaways

  1. Markers produce solid, opaque lines, making them ideal for writing, drawing, and coloring.
  2. Highlighters use translucent ink, allowing the user to emphasize text without completely obscuring it.
  3. Markers come in a broader color range than highlighters, which have a limited selection of neon colors.

Marker vs Highlighter

A marker is a pen-like tool that has a broad, felt tip and is used for drawing or coloring on paper, cardboard, or other porous surfaces. Markers contain permanent ink that dries quickly. A highlighter, has a narrow, chiseled tip and is used for marking or highlighting text in books.

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A marker is an object used to write the content in a bold way than a normal pen. It is used on the surfaces on which a pen doesn’t work.

There are various kinds of markers available in the market. One of the usages of a marker is that they are used by a teacher on the whiteboard to teach students. 

A highlighter is a writing device used to highlight the written content and make it look more attractive. Things are highlighted using a highlighter to draw attention to the highlighted content because of its importance.

Highlighters are available in an abundance of variations in the market and different color varieties as well. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Marker Highlighter 
Invention Year 1953 1962  
Invented By Sidney Rosenthal Dr. Frank Honn 
Purpose To write content To highlight content 
Effect on written content It makes the content unreadable if used on already written content. It emphasizes the already written content and makes it highlighted. 
Ink used  The ink used in a marker is opaque. The used in the highlighter is transparent. 

What is Marker?

A marker is defined as a pen with a wide tip used for writing purposes on various things. The tip of the marker is made of porous fibers.

Due to the porous tip, it has its ink source. The outer body of the marker is made of aluminum, glass, or plastic, and the core of it is made of absorbent material. 

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A marker is provided with a cap that acts as a guard for its ink from drying out. The solvents which were previously used in the making the ink were Xylene and Toluene.

They are being replaced by alcohol-based inks because they had a strong smell and were harmful chemicals. 

A marker is known by different names in different countries. It is called by the name of ‘Texta’ in Australia and ‘Koki’ in South Africa.

In India itself, it is known by different names such as flow marker, marking pen, fine liner, etc. 

A marker is used for multiple purposes by different people. It is used by the professors to teach students by explaining things on the whiteboard.

It is also used for the craft by various people who are engaged in art-related work. 

Nowadays, there is a variation of markers that is present in the market. Some of them are permanent markers, whiteboard markers, etc. The usage of these different markers depends on the purpose they are used for. 

A permanent marker is a marker which used for writing on objects like plastic, metal, glass, etc. It is called permanent due to its water resistance.

A whiteboard marker is erasable and is used for writing on a whiteboard. Security markers are used to mark important data with invisible ink and can be identified if stolen.


What is Highlighter?

A Highlighter is defined as a kind of writing device which is used to highlight sections of text with the usage of vivid, translucent colors.

The sections of text are being highlighted to draw the attention of the reader when reread because of its importance. 

It is a marker that contains transparent fluorescent ink. The inks are made of fluorescent dyes such as pyranine, rhodamines, etc.

The highlighters are available in bright and vibrant colors. The reason for the colors being bright and vibrant is that it does not create a shadow on the page. 

Highlighters also have a variety of uses. Highlighters play a crucial role in the life of the students.

People, while studying, headline the text that is important, which helps them remember the important text while they revise it. Different colors of highlighters can be used while reading to denote different texts. 

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Highlighters also have a major role play in art. Various colors of the highlighters are used to create art which is called highlighter art.

Some of the ideas of highlighter art are rainbows, birds, flowers, etc. The drawings which require bright colors are a perfect candidate for highlighter art. 

There are various kinds of highlighters such as jumbo highlighter, pocket highlighter, gel highlighter, glitter highlighter, etc. Their usage varies according to their features. 

A jumbo highlighter is a highlighter with a thick barrel and with a thick felt tip to write. Pocket highlighters are like a pen and are easy to carry.

Gel highlighters are a bit bright in color, but it takes time to dry after being used. A glitter highlighter is used to add more style to the substance. 

highlighter pen

Main Differences Between Marker and Highlighter

  1. Marker was invented in the year 1953 in New York, whereas highlighter was invented in the year 1962 and was originated from Japan in the early 1960s. 
  2. Marker was the invention of Sidney Rosenthal, whereas highlighter was the invention of Dr. Frank Honn. 
  3. Marker serves the purpose of a writing device and is used to write content a bolder way, whereas highlighter is used to illuminate the written text for being emphasized due to its importance. 
  4. Marker being darker in colors makes the already written content unreadable, whereas highlighters make the already written content more presentable. 
  5. The marker consists of opaque inks, which leads to bold and dark colors, whereas highlighters use transparent fluorescent inks, due to which it does not create a shadow on the pages. 
Difference Between Marker and Highlighter



Last Updated : 15 July, 2023

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