To those who are used to the traditional, felt-tipped, fluorescent-yellow version, a dry highlighter may seem like an oxymoron. However there are actually many variations on the dry highlighter, used to set off or draw attention to passages in a book or other document.
One common version of the dry highlighter looks much like correction tape. A small dispenser lays out a colored, translucent strip of tape over the words to be highlighted. The tape is available in all colors, but like the traditional highlighter, the most popular color is bright yellow.
Other names and versions of the concept include dry line highlighters, dry mark highlighters, drylighters and dry highlighter pencils. These include the use of fluorescent-colored lead, much like a colored pencil, or a waxy, crayon-like material. However, some users complain that these types of dry highlighters require too much back and forth marking to completely cover the area, as opposed to the single swipe needed with a thicker wet highlighter.
A dry highlighter has several advantages over a traditional highlighter, which uses a fiber-tipped pen to distribute wet ink. With dry versions, there is no bleeding or smearing, either of the highlighter ink itself or of the words underneath. The pen won’t dry out and you don’t have to wait for its lines to dry to write over the top of it or to close your book. Dry highlighters won’t leak in your backpack or purse or desk. Many versions are refillable and completely erasable, able to be rubbed off with an eraser or similar object. This feature makes them particularly attractive to students, who aren't able to leave permanent marks in a text book.
The product continues to grow in popularity at Judeo-Christian bookstores, Web sites and more since dry highlighters won’t bleed through the ultra-thin pages of most Bibles. Manufacturers even market the dry highlighter in “Bible highlighting kits,” often with slogans such as “God is love” on the clip.
A dry highlighter can be purchased at most office supply stores or online. Manufacturers such as Sanford, Avery and Tombow sell dry highlighters for roughly the same price as typical highlighters. Brands such as Levenger can cost nearly $50 US Dollars (USD), plus costs for shipping and future ink refills.
In customer reviews, many people rave about the benefits of dry highlighters over felt-tipped versions. Others claim that regular crayons or colored pencils are less expensive and work just as well.