Well, not just a highlighter. Some portion of the credit has to go to the constant admonishment from my best friend for failing to post for six months. This one is for you, Mike.
Allow me to introduce you to the Sharpie Gel Highlighter.
Now, these are not your normal, run-of-the-mill highlighters. These are crayons for adults. Magnificant crayons. (You remember how much fun coloring with crayons was, right?)
There are four reasons why I love these things.
- They do not bleed through the paper. At all.
- They are less likely to smudge what you are highlighting. (Not perfect, but pretty good. Keep reading for more on this.)
- They do not dry out. At all.
- It is obvious when the highlighter is low or empty. There is no gradual fading away or annoying period of reduced performance before you eventually get fed up and throw it away.
Here is an illustration of the smudging.
These are not before and after shots. The picture on the left was scanned; the picture on the right was taken with my cell phone. It turns out that my scanner cannot see the highlighter. I find this fascinating... Anyway, I went to town highlighting these different inks immediately after writing. You can see the amount of smudging. The pencil and Sharpie marker were not affected. Ball point and gel inks were, to some extent. Unlike a normal highlighter, the tip of the gel highlighter was not fouled by the smeared ink. It continued to write in the correct color, without spreading the smudged ink to the next place it was used.
The next thing I did was try to write over the highlighter. These are the horizontal lines beneath the words written in each ink. Pencil seemed largely unaffected. It wrote ok on the layer of highlighter. The normal ball point pen wrote almost as well. Gel ink had more difficulty and the Sharpie marker didn't like it at all. I had to scribble in the bottom left corner for a while before my Sharpie marker would write again.
I also like the vibrant yellow color of this highlighter. I have only tried the yellow so far; the others are on their way from Amazon. I couldn't find the five-color set of these locally.
The only other drawback is that these are less precise than a chisel tip highlighter. The changing shape of the tip as it is used makes it more difficult to write exactly where you intend. This has never bothered me, but if you are more of a perfectionist, you should keep that in mind.