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iText 5 is no longer being developed, except for security fixes. Click the following link to see an updated example for iText 7.

HighLightByAddingContent.java
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/*
 * This example was written in answer to the question:
 * http://stackoverflow.com/questions/33952183
 */
package sandbox.stamper;
 
import com.itextpdf.text.BaseColor;
import com.itextpdf.text.DocumentException;
import com.itextpdf.text.pdf.PdfContentByte;
import com.itextpdf.text.pdf.PdfReader;
import com.itextpdf.text.pdf.PdfStamper;
import java.io.File;
import java.io.FileOutputStream;
import java.io.IOException;
 
/**
 *
 * @author Bruno Lowagie (iText Software)
 */
public class HighLightByAddingContent {
    
    public static final String SRC = "resources/pdfs/hello.pdf";
    public static final String DEST = "results/stamper/hello_highlighted.pdf";
    public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException, DocumentException {
        File file = new File(DEST);
        file.getParentFile().mkdirs();
        new HighLightByAddingContent().manipulatePdf(SRC, DEST);
    }
 
    public void manipulatePdf(String src, String dest) throws IOException, DocumentException {
        PdfReader reader = new PdfReader(src);
        PdfStamper stamper = new PdfStamper(reader, new FileOutputStream(dest));
        PdfContentByte canvas = stamper.getUnderContent(1);
        canvas.saveState();
        canvas.setColorFill(BaseColor.YELLOW);
        canvas.rectangle(36, 786, 66, 16);
        canvas.fill();
        canvas.restoreState();
        stamper.close();
        reader.close();
    }
}


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