In a digitized era, where practically all business is done online, it’s hard to spend a day without encountering a PDF file. After all, it’s the most popular digital document format — interactive, free to use and, crucially, able to preserve original formatting (including fonts, images, layouts, and more).
Developed by Adobe in the 90s, PDF made it possible to present identical documents using different applications and devices. Originally a proprietary invention that was promoted with Adobe software, PDF became an open format in 2008, which meant free use for all, without any lingering ties to Adobe.
Get selected PDF editors in one pack
The Best Free PDF Software app downloads for Mac: Adobe Acrobat DC Pro PDF OCR X Community Edition PDF Merge DiffPDF PDF Studio PDF Checkpoint PDF Nom. Wondering how to access a free Mac PDF editor, or how to choose the right PDF editor for Mac? Below, we'll cover 10 commonly used PDF editor for Mac, all of which are compatible with macOS 10.15 Catalina.By reading this list, you will be able to determine the most cost-effective Mac PDF editing software that also best meets your business needs.
Download Setapp and try the best PDF editors for Mac. From OCR recognition to flexible PDF search, it’s all covered.
How To Choose The Best PDF Editor For Mac
Today, there are dozens of applications that can read, modify, and edit PDFs. All are different: free PDF editors, PDF modifiers, costly Mac PDF editors, and even a default PDF reader for Mac that comes with your operating system.
If you need to edit a PDF on Mac, it’s important to not go straight to Google looking for a “free PDF editor download.” In the last decade, lots of bad players have been putting all kinds of malware in those free PDF downloads, hoping for people to be enticed enough by the proposition. So you should know exactly which PDF editor app is best for your needs — luckily you have the perfect guide below.
Apple Preview PDF reader for Mac
If you’re looking for a free PDF editor for Mac, you should start with the one you already have — Preview — which is the default application for viewing any images and PDF files.
Although it can hardly be called a PDF editor app, Preview can perform most of the tasks most people need to do every day: looking through the documents, leaving comments, and signing contracts.
To configure Preview to your liking:
- Launch the app from your Dock or Launchpad
- Select View from the menu bar options
- Set scroll, zoom, and toolbar to what you’d like to see
Then to actually use PDF modifier functions:
- Choose Tools from the menu bar
- Hover over Annotate
- Select from shapes, signatures, notes (comments), and more
When you’re done editing the document, don’t forget to save it (⌘ + S) or export it to create a new file by going to File ➙ Export.
A hidden benefit of Preview that’s not often talked about is its natural integration into the macOS. The app can be easily used within the Apple ecosystem and is quite swift as well.
Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac
One of the first and hence now widely considered standard solutions for viewing and editing PDF files is Adobe Acrobat Reader. By all accounts, it’s a solid and professional PDF editor for Mac.
There’s, however, one caveat — you can hardly call Adobe Acrobat the best free PDF editor for Mac because to get all of its features you need to pay, a lot. If you subscribe for the whole year, it comes down to $15 a month. Otherwise, it’s $25.
So if you download Adobe Reader for Mac from Adobe’s website, it will only give you a limited number of tools, which are very similar to Apple Preview: comment and sign. To get more you’d need to sign up for the Adobe Acrobat Pro free trial.
Anyway, in case you’re satisfied with Acrobat PDF editor’s limited functionality for the basic version, you can still work with all the PDFs you need:
- Download and install Adobe Reader for Mac from adobe.com
- Open the PDF file of your choice
- To comment or sign the file, navigate to Tools in the top bar of the app
- Choose the tool you want to use and then select a more specific one from the top bar once you’re in the document itself
If you try to choose the tool that’s not available in the free version of Acrobat Reader for Mac, the app will direct you to the website where you can subscribe to get access.
All in all, while the paid Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac offers you a full toolkit of productivity, its free option is comparable to Apple Preview, with the latter being a bit more lightweight and fast due to its integration with macOS.
But what’s a truly powerful Mac PDF editor?
PDFpen full-featured OCR editor
While the paid version of Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac is costly and convoluted, PDFpen offers much more in one straightforward package.
Install PDFpen, best PDF editor for Mac
Make any PDF file editable with PDFpen. With in-built OCR support, nothing is carved in stone if you have PDFpen installed on your Mac.
PDFpen lets you edit PDFs by adding text and images, fixing typos, filling out forms, and covering sensitive information. What’s more, the app features an OCR (optical character recognition) functionality, so you can scan printed documents directly into editable PDF files, and even export them to Microsoft Word later on.
Using PDFpen is as easy as Preview:
- Open any PDF document
- In the top bar, find the toggle which lets you switch between text and shapes. These are the tools you can use to enhance your documents. All of them can also be accessed from the Tools dropdown in the menu bar.
One of the most commonly used features with PDFs is highlighting, which is perfectly executed in PDFpen. Just select from the top bar and choose a color. The tool will then switch between a freehand highlighter when hovering over shapes and a structured one when it’s over some text.
Finally, PDFpen’s renowned OCR functionality doesn’t require you to have any specific AI knowledge — it just works:
- In PDFpen, go File ➙ Open (or ⌘ + O) and select your image
- Check all languages that apply
- Turn the image into either an OCR Page or OCR document
- Now you can edit your image freely and export it later
Bonus: Professional PDF Search
When you’re working with lots of PDFs everyday, some things are inevitably going to get lost. Especially, since lots of documents and reports are often dozens or even hundreds of pages long.
In this reality, you absolutely need a tool that will help you retain information at the tip of your fingers. Enter PDF Search. This app doesn’t just search your PDF files for exact matches — it uses the power of AI to check relevant terms, multiple combinations, and even scan PDF files in bulk.
The first time you open PDF Search, it will ask you to index the folder with all your PDFs, which may take some time but will also speed up all future searches. After indexing is complete, simply enter the number or text you’re looking for in the search field, press Return, and the results (including related ones) would instantly appear.
To recap, when you’re looking for the best free PDF editor for Mac, your options might seem infinite, but it really comes down to what exactly you need to edit. If it’s just viewing documents and making comments, Apple Preview can do the job just fine. But when you need some heavy-duty lifting, nothing beats PDFpen. In addition, PDF Search is recommended for anyone working with large number of PDFs on a daily basis.
Best of all, PDFpen and PDF Search are both available to you on a free 7-day trial from Setapp, a platform for over 150 indispensable Mac apps designed to take your productivity to the next level. All that’s left to do now is just read and edit!
Wondering that the only way to edit a PDF file or filling a PDF form is to get it printed, fill it with a pen, scan it and then resend? Well, you don’t actually need to go to such lengths. There are lots of PDF Editors available for Mac users that allows you to view, edit, and manipulate PDF files with ease.
You can also use these PDF File Editor software to combine, convert, split & export text and pages for better processing and management.
Here we have combined the Best PDF Editors for Mac(both free & paid). Go through their feature set and choose the ideal one for your needs & requirements!
How To Edit PDF File: Top 7 PDF Editor Apps For Mac
With a plethora of choices available, we wouldn’t blame you if you find it difficult to choose which one to use. Hope this list of Best PDF File Editors helps in making your decision a whole lot easier!
PDFelement is another professional best PDF editor for Mac available at an affordable price. The software is cluttered with powerful features to effortlessly create, edit, convert & sign PDF documents. The PDF solution is sold globally in nine different languages. Its interface is literally a no-brainer, you can easily navigate from one module to another.
Let’s take a look at this PDF File Editor’s features:
- Robust Editing, Create PDF from files, Merge PDF from multiple files, split PDFs.
- A PDF Converter, with the ability to convert over 300 file formats into professional-looking PDFs.
- Provides batch PDF creation & convenient indexing to organize files.
- Export data from scanned PDFs.
- Spell Check, text Autofit, Annotations & Comments.
- Ready-to-use templates.
- Store & share files with utmost security.
- Create & manage your own digital signatures.
- Free customer support.
It’s the only complete PDF solution that can stand next to Adobe Acrobat.
Free Pdf Reader For Mac
2. iSkysoft PDF Editor for Mac
iSkysoft PDF Editor is first on our list of best & free PDF solution for Mac. It is a useful and intuitive application that lets you edit PDF quickly and easily. Using this application, you can change the text into your PDF documents, notes, bookmarks and can draw lines as well as arrows. iSkysoft PDF Editor Professional for Mac has a simple and clean user interface that makes using the application a piece of cake.
- Easy and simple to use application.
- Addition, deletion, insertion and modification of text is simple.
- Add hyperlinks to PDF and edit links in PDF.
- Easy add files either through drag or drop or browse button.
- Quick addition of watermarks as well as can change the background.
- Can draw lines as well as arrows.
- Can convert PDF document to Word documents easily with few simple clicks.
Skim is a free PDF editor/reader for Mac and it is also called note-taker for Mac OS X. It is very helpful in reading PDFs due to its design. It contains various tools for editing a PDF. Using Skim, you can highlight the text of your PDF, go to index, create screenshot etc.
You can view the various feature provided by Skim below:
- Best of Viewing PDFs.
- You can improve the text of the PDF via editing feature.
- You can make screenshot for future orientations.
- It provides extensive AppleScript support
- Support for Apple Remote Control
- Magnification tool to read small fonts
Get it here
4. PDF Buddy
Next in our list of free PDF editor for Mac is PDF Buddy. It is an online tool for editing PDFs. You just need to drag a PDF or you can browse the location path of PDF from your computer. Once you have done, you will be able to edit the PDF. It is very useful and safe tool which you can access from anywhere weather you are in office or home or somewhere else. It provides lots of features to manipulate a PDF. The features are provided below:
- It is free tool for editing 3 PDF each month.
- It saves you time as you can access this tool from anywhere.
- It is safe and secure as it uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and AES-256-bit encryption to protect your PDFs.
Get it from here
PDFpenPro is a powerful tool for PDF editing on your Mac. It is all-purpose editing tool which provides you variety of features like using PDFpenPro, you can add text and signatures, make modifications, OCR on scanned documents and much more. You can export your edited PDFs in various formats example docx, ppts, xls etc. You can save your PDF on cloud and you can access it anytime from anywhere. It also includes various feature provided below.
- You can export your edited PDF to Microsoft® Word.
- You can add text, images and signatures to PDF.
- You can adjust color, resolution sand size of scanned document.
- You can save your PDF files in the Cloud.
- You can save your PDFs directly to the Evernote.
Get it from here
Preview is a built-in free PDF editor software which comes with your Mac. Preview allows you to read and edit your PDFs. It is a free app to edit your PDFs on your Mac. It provides you basic functionality but if you need more functions to edit your PDF you need to use a third-party PDF editor. Using Preview, you can perform operations like merge PDFs, split, zoom, highlight the text, secure your PDF and export it to other formats.
- Built-in system tool.
- No need of installation.
- you can read PDFs fast and smooth.
- It is Free to use.
- It allows you to add a digital image of your signature to PDFs.
Get it from here
PDFescape is online, free PDF editor for Mac compatible. It also allows you to create PDF forms for filling. PDFescape online PDF editor compatible with browsers like Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome, Opera and Firefox. You just need to click on free online button on its web app and you will be able to perform operations. It provides various tools to add text, rotate, zoom etc.
- You can view and edit PDFs.
- Annotate PDF Documents
- Create Basic PDF Forms for filling
- Password Protect PDFs
- Share PDFs Online
Free Pdf Creator For Mac
Get it from here
That’s all folks. I hope you will like this post. If you have any comments or suggestion you can post in the provided section below. I hope you will like this post of best free PDF editor for Mac.