Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Staedtler Textsurfer Classic Highlighter

I don't use highlighters often, but I've long admired the Staedtler Textsurfer Classic for its shape and bold design.  It has a flat, wide shape - similar to that of a carpenter's pencil, but larger - approximately 12cm long when capped and slightly over 2cm wide.  While this would probably not be an ideal shape for a pen, it works great for a highlighter and looks great as well.  The Textsurfer is flat so that it won't roll off your desk, its chunky shape makes it easy to locate by feel alone in a crowded pencil case, and its wide clip allows you to easily clip this highlighter to your notebook.

The Staedtler Textsurfer Classic has a bold chisel tip that produces wide, crisp lines.  Some highlighters feel a bit mushy on the tip but this one is very firm, and because it is fairly wide (nearly half a centimetre), it should have no problem completely covering most lines of text.  It always annoys me when I'm using a highlighter that produces lines that are too narrow to completely cover a standard line of printed text.  If underlining is more your style, then using the other side of the tip produces a fine crisp line that is perfect for underlining.

I also love the bright green ink of this highlighter.  It is a light, bright shade of green, but is not really fluorescent.  (I must apologize for the photos in this post; it was impossible for me to accurately capture the colour with my camera, which insisted on making the colour appear duller that it really was.  In real life, the colour is much brighter.)  Fluorescent colours are fine, but they can be a bit harsh and hard to look at.  The Staedtler Textsurfer Classic is great because it's not fluorescent but is still bright enough to really stand out on a page.  And it is light enough so that your text or writing can still be easily read beneath it.

One of the selling points of this highlighter for me is that it is marketed as inkjet safe.  This was very important to me back in university, as most of my class notes were posted online and I printed them out at home on my inkjet printer.  Highlighters that smeared the ink were very annoying, and this was the main reason why I stopped using highlighters for several years and switched to underlining with a coloured pen instead.  The inkjet safe aspect is not as important to me now, but I still wanted to check it out.  I was printing out a few blank planner forms for my DIY planner, so I quickly swiped the Textsurfer over the text and, to my delight, it worked great with no smearing at all.

These days, I use highlighters mostly for colour-coordinating my own handwritten notes, so I also wanted to test how the Staedtler Textsurfer worked with different kinds of pens.  Results here were a bit more mixed.  I let the ink dry for a few minutes before highlighting, but the Textsurfer still smeared the ink of the gel pen and also (very slightly) the ink of the fountain pen.  None of the other pens had this problem, and I suspect that the gel and fountain pen inks may not have been entirely dry.  The smearing was not so significant as to render my writing unreadable, so I wouldn't worry about using this highlighter with different kinds of pens, although I do recommend caution if you're using pens with slower-drying ink.

The Staedtler Textsurfer Classic is a great highlighter.  I wish I had started using this highlighter years ago when I was still in university, because I'm sure I would have been able to put it to good use back then.  It's not as fun to use as my Sharpie Gel Highlighter, but it probably has a much wider appeal.  It also has the added bonus of being refillable with this cool-looking refill station.  I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Staedtler Textsurfer Classic to anyone looking for a quality basic highlighter.

Related reviews: OfficeSupplyGeek, Shared Reviews


  1. Heather, you are always so inspiring. I took a look at your DIY Planner page and decided to try a pen-and-paper planner for the first time in (at least) 10 years.

    1. Thank you very much, Duncan! I actually should write an update on my DIY planner, since I've really fine-tuned my methods since I wrote that original post, and I'm using different pages in it now as well. I do think that both paper and digital planners have their place, but good luck with your paper planner!

  2. I really need to start highlighting tasks as I complete them. That way, the unhighlighted stuff stands out. But I don't have a place to carry a highlighter in my planner and so many of them bleed through.

    1. I would suggest trying a gel highlighter - these have a consistency somewhat similar to a wax crayon. They're a bit messy, but they never bleed through. Sharpie makes one that I've reviewed here (, but there are other brands available as well.

      As for not having a place to carry one, you can find pen holders that slip onto the cover of notebooks (here's an example:, so maybe something like that would be useful for you?

      Just a couple suggestions, anyway...


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