How to Edit a PDF on Mac

Editing PDFs on a Mac may seem tricky to some, but fear not: it’s as simple as it is crop a screenshot on Mac! Whether it’s correcting typos, adding annotations, or simply filling out a form, your Mac gives you useful tools like Quick Look and Finder, allowing you to effortlessly customize your PDF documents to perfection. This post describes everything you need to know about how to edit a PDF on Mac.

How to Edit PDF on Mac with Preview

The Preview tool on your Mac is the default PDF viewer on macOS unless you have another PDF viewer installed on your device. Being the default option makes it a versatile tool that allows for basic PDF editing, but it also has a drawback: it can’t edit pre-existing text. Here’s how to edit PDF on Mac with Preview:

  • In the Finder window, locate the PDF you want to edit and double-click it. The PDF file will automatically open in Preview.
  • If Preview doesn’t open, right-click on the PDF filethen click Open with -> Preview.
  • Here, click on the pencil icon available in the top toolbar.
Open PDF on Mac
  • Now, all available PDF editing tools appears at the top of the PDF document.
PDF editing tools on Mac

We will discuss each available editing tool in detail in the later sections.

How to Edit PDF on Mac with Quick Look

Quick Look, similar to Preview, is a pre-installed program on your Mac that is mainly used to quickly preview files using your Mac’s keyboard. While many think that a Quick Look window only provides a preview of your PDF, the truth is that it also provides the same editing tools as Preview. That said, here’s how to use Quick Look to edit a PDF on Mac:

  • In the Finder window, select the PDF file you want to edit and press the space bar on your keyboardand a quick preview of the PDF will appear.
  • Here, to start editing, click on the pencil icon at the top center.
edit PDF with Quick View
  • Now, all available PDF editing tools appear on the top.
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The editing process in both programs (Finder and Quick Look) is exactly the same. Both programs offer you the same set of editing tools, including but not limited to the ability to add texts, shapes and signatures to the viewed PDF file. Now that you know the basics, here’s how to add elements to the PDF preview file on your Mac:

Add text to a PDF on Mac

  • To add text to the PDF, click on the text tool, represented by A in a box in the toolbar.
add text to PDF on Mac
  • Now a word Text will appear on your screen, select the text and enter the desired text.
  • By default, the color of the text you add is red. To change the text color, click on the aA icon at the top then click on the red box and choose the desired color.
change text color in PDF on Mac
  • To change the font style of the text again click on the aA and then click on the up-down arrow next to the font style name and choose the font you want from the drop-down menu.
change text font in PDF on Mac
  • You can also change the font size with click the up and down arrows next to the size or by clicking on the size and entering it manually.
  • The same menu box allows you to do that too change the text alignment.
change text alignment in a PDF on Mac
  • Once you agree with the text style and size, hold down the text and then use your mouse to move the text somewhere in the PDF file.

Add signature to a PDF on Mac

  • To add a signature to your PDF document, click on the signature icon in the toolbar then choose a signature from the list that appears.
Add signature to PDF on Mac
  • To add a new signature, click the Create Signature button At the bottom.
create a new signature on Mac
  • Now you will be given three different options to add a new signature:
  1. Click the Trackpad button and use your finger or stylus to sign your name on the Mac’s trackpad.
add signature to PDF via Trackpad on Mac

2. Click on the camera button and hold a blank piece of paper with your signature in front of your Mac’s camera so that the Mac can scan your signature.

scan signature on mac

3. Click the iPhone or iPad buttonand you’ll be asked to use the screen of either device (signed in with the same Apple ID as on your Mac) to write your signature.

How to Edit a PDF on Mac

Add shapes to a PDF on Mac

  • To add shapes to the PDF file, click on the Shapes icon (an overlapping circle and square), then choose the shape you want to add from the drop-down menu, whether it is a square, a square with a curved corner, a circle, a speech bubble, a star or a hexagon.
add shapes to PDF on Mac
  • When you’re ready, you can do that adjust the size and structure of the added shape by dragging the points on either side of the shape.
  • To adjust the thickness of the shape’s edges, click on the multi-ine icon in the top menu, then choose an option from the drop-down list that appears.
change the thickness of the shape
  • To change the border color of the added shape, click the outline color tool at the top and choose the color you want.
change the border color of the shape
  • You can also choose to fill the shape with color using the color tool available at the top.
change shape in appearance

How to Reorder PDF Pages on Mac

Although all the things we discussed can be done through both Preview and Quick Look, if you want to rearrange the pages of the PDF file, you’ll need to use Preview because Quick Look doesn’t have this functionality. Here’s how:

  • At the top, click on the icon to the left of the name of the PDF file to open a drop-down menu.
  • Here, click on the Thumbnails option.
enable sidebar in a PDF on Mac
  • Now all pages of the PDF file will appear on the left side of the preview window as thumbnails.
  • To rearrange the pages of the PDF file, click and drag the thumbnail of the individual PDF file page up or down.
rearrange PDF pages
  • To delete a page from the PDF file, click the page thumbnail and press Delete button on your Mac’s keyboard.
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Use a third-party app to edit PDFs on Mac

There are several excellent PDF editors available for Mac users. Some popular options include Adobe Acrobat DC, PDF Expert and Foxit PhantomPDF. The best choice depends on your specific needs, such as basic operations, advanced features, or budget constraints. It’s always a good idea to compare their features and prices to find the one that best suits your needs. During our testing, we found that Adobe Acrobat PDF software (free trial period) can do pretty much everything you’d expect from a PDF editor.

Also, Adobe Acrobat PDF software is the favorite choice for many professionals. It offers a comprehensive range of features including text and image editing, form creation and digital signatures. Although it comes at a price, its robust capabilities make it worth considering for users who need advanced editing tools and collaboration features.

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And that’s it; this is how you edit a PDF on Mac. Whether you choose the simplicity of Preview and Quick Look or another specialized third-party solution, editing PDFs on your Mac has never been easier. With these tools at your disposal, you can confidently tackle any PDF editing task that comes your way. Now that you know how to edit a PDF on Mac, check this out too how to edit a PDF on Windows.

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