How to Edit A Pdf on Mac (macOS Sonoma Updated)

Last Updated on Sep 8, 2023

PDF is a type of readable document mainly shared with others, no matter what software they use to view it. And it’s a habit of PDF to be compatible with every software. But eventually, adding or editing text, Signature images, etc. seems impossible once they are in the PDF.

But how to edit a PDF on Apple Mac, the task difficulties is easy!

The macOS now has a free PDF editor app, Preview, and Quicklook. Regardless of Adding Text, Signature, Notes, Shapes, and Checkmarks, Preview works as a wonder. You have to tap on the Feature icon and overlay it on the position you want. That’s It!

Similarly, many third-party PDF Editors like Adobe Acrobat and PDF Viewer work great, but you need to have a subscription! 

Are you one such user who needs to add the text or Signature or wants to add notes to the downloaded PDF? At the same point, unfamiliar with how to edit a PDF on Mac for free. Continue reading the article, as we have made a complete guide.

Ways to How to Edit a PDF on Mac, MacBook in Free/Pro Tool

With the increasing popularity of using PDF format, another rising question on every user’s mind is how to edit a PDF document on Mac. Because editors nowadays charge a lot. This blog post contains complete details on how to edit a pdf document on Mac. So hang up with it, and do as much editing as you want. 

How To Edit PDF Using Quick Look

When you updated the Apple Mac to Mojave & Catalina in the early years, Apple crafted the ability to edit pdf on a Mac using Quicklook. 

What Is QuickLook? It’s an enhanced tool that offers a quick, full-size view of any document without opening it. For example, you can add a Signature, text, notes, rotate, and trim directly using Quicklook.

  1. Search or download the PDF in which you want to make a change.
  2. Click on it, press the space bar, or right-click it and choose QuickLook from the menu.
  1. Doing so will open the Preview of the PDF. On the same page, look for the Pencil and select it.
  1. Now, you will capture the Editing Toolbar with various tools like Drawing Tool, Signature, Shape, and Text Tool-A in the square box.
  2. Once you have clicked on Text Tool- A in the square, the Square Box Filled with Red TEXT will appear. No worries! You can change the text’s color, size, and font style from the Aa Dropdown. At the same point, you also move it through the PDF by drag and drop.
  1. However, arrays of forms are designed to make filling easier and sometimes encounter the Text Box at the exact location where you want to make changes.
  2. After the completion of the editing procedure, select Done. And Share It.

How To Add Signature On PDF On Mac

One of the most common reasons most search for how to make a PDF editable on Mac is to miss adding or use the wrong Signature on PDF. Here on the Mac, you can add your Signature or Stamp.

  1. Look for the PDF in which you want to add the Signature.
  2. Click on it and press the Spacebar.
  3. The Preview of the PDF will open; select the Pencil icon.
  1. On the next screen, you will receive the Toolbar on the top and then select the Signature icon Dropdown (mentioned at the seventh position in the Toolbar) 
  1. Select Create Signature to add the new one.
  1. You will receive three options on the next screen, as mentioned below.

Trackpad: The Trackpad option will remain greyed if you don’t have an in-built trackpad or external Trackpad connected to the Mac Computer. If it’s there, you can use it.

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What you need to do is draw the corresponding Signature on the Trackpad.

Camera: The camera option will remain greyed out if your Mac computer doesn’t have a built-in or external camera connected to it. 


If your device has a camera, Sign your name(use a black pen) on plain white paper and then hold it up to the camera until it thoroughly scans it. After the completion of the procedure, select Done.

iPhone: The option will only be visible when Mac Computer and iPhone are Signed-In using the Same Apple ID. Either Handoff Needs to be Enable On The iPhone. 

Select iPhone

Suppose all the requirements are fulfilled; select iPhone. Doing so will feature the blank white screen on the iPhone display. On the same screen, Sign your name on the phone (suggest rotating in the portrait mode to enroll your Signature easily). And will automatically sync on the Mac Screen. Select Done.

Now, you can replace, resize and rechange the Signature you have added. After the customization procedure, choose Done, located in the top left corner of the screen.

In the same way, you can add multiple signatures on the Mac Computer. 

How To Edit A Pdf Using Preview

Unlike QuickLook, you can effortlessly edit a scanned PDF on a Mac using Preview. The Preview is a pre-installed Mac feature that allows you to edit the PDF on Mac for free. Here are the steps you need to follow. 

  1. To edit the PDF using Preview, right-click on the PDF and then select Open With.
  2. From the Open With Menu, choose Preview.
  1. Select the Pencil Icon located at the top. Doing so will feature the markup tool with a Text Section, A Rectangular Section, Sketch, Draw, Shape, Sign, Note Shape Style, Border, and Text Style and Fill Colour.
select pencil icon

The Preview has various tools to add text lines, underline, draw, and more. However, the methods seem to be the same as we have used in QuickLook.


How To Add Text To A PDF On A Mac

From the same Preview, try clicking on the space where the PDF mentions entering some data. As of now, PDFs are sometimes designed in such a fragmented way that Preview itself highlights the location where you have to enter text. But if not, do follow the given below steps. 

  1. Select the Tool from the Preview Menu bar once you have opened the PDF in Preview.
  2. Now choose Annotate > Text.
  1. The Tiny Box with a red color “Text” will appear on the screen. That can be drag and drop. After the replacement procedure is finished, begin typing.
Add text in a PDF on Mac computer
  1. If you want to change the text’s color and size, select the Slanted A Icon located last in the Toolbar.
  1. Similarly, if you want to reform the position of the text, just click on it and drag it accordingly.

That’s It!

How To Checkmark A Box In PDF On Mac

Usually, the PDF is designed so that the tick mark appears automatically. But in your case, if that is so, you edit the PDF on a Mac to add the tick.

  1. Open the PDF you want to add the Tick Mark using Preview.
  2. Click on the Text Icon mentioned as A in the Square Box.
  1. Hover the Text Box at the desired location to add the Tick.
  2. Press Command +V to appear the Tick (√). 

Unlike the text, you can change the Size, Color and Relocate the Tick Mark Icon.

How To Add Notes And Comments In The PDF On Mac

Adding notes on the PDF has become more superficial, but only when you have opened it using Preview or QuickLook. To do so, follow the given below steps.

  1. Please navigate to the PDF and then right-click on it. After that, choose Preview.
  2. From the Preview, select the Pencil Icon located at the top. From the Toolbar, choose Square Box present next to the Signature Icon. 

And in case you want to see what you have added in notes, gently click; in return, it will expand.

How to Add Shape In PDF On Mac

The enhanced editing tool in Mac, Preview, now can add the different shapes in the PDF. Isn’t it? Best way to edit a pdf on Mac without Adobe. If yes, follow the steps below to add shapes to the PDF.

  1. Navigate to the PDF and then right-click on it. After that, choose Preview.
  2. Now select the Pencil Icon on the top of the Window.
  3. Choose the Shape Icon from the Toolbar on the sixth position while moving from the right to the left. There will be up to 10 shapes like Square, Arrow, Round, Star, Magnifying, etc.
  1. After selecting any of the shapes, you will receive a pop saying, “Content Behind This Autonation Will Not Be Deleted”; choose OK from the pop-up.
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click ok to popup on pdf on mac

Change Color Of Shape: For instance, you have selected the Star Icon and want to change its color of it; what you need to do is select the one start if you have used multiple, and then from the Toolbar, select the Square Icon with a highlighted border, located at the 3rd position while moving from left to right. The Color Tray will appear; choose the one you want. 

Similarly, to change the inside color of the Shape, choose the Square Box filled with color; located at the 2nd position, while moving left to the right in the Toolbar. Doing so will appear Color Tray. Again, select the one you like. 

Change Thickness Of The Shape: If you want to change the thickness, click on the Shape, select the Three-Vertical Line Option, and select thickness as per your desire. 


Magnifying Option: Yes, now you can magnify the specific content craved in the PDF. To do so, open the Shape Icon, select the Right Bottom Icon from the Shape Icon Drop Down. It’s the best and easiest way to highlight the Pin Points.

The Green Point in the Magnifying helps to increase or decrease the level of magnification. And with the blue Icon, you can increase and reduce the size of the magnification Icon.

  1.  Unlike the Text, Notes, Check Mark, etc, you can resize, change color, add text, and relocate it using the same Toolbar. 

How To Rearrange The Pages Of PDF On Mac

You can begin by clicking on the View present next to the PDF document name. And then, choose Thumbnail from the dropdown. 

All the PDF Pages will appear on the left Preview Window. You can firmly rearrange them by selecting them and then dragging them up and down. 

Similarly, you can vanish the page from PDF by selecting and pressing the Delete Button(Command + Delete). 

How To Reduce The PDF Size On Mac

Now, PDFs are served to others through various platforms like WhatsApp, Emails, etc, but due to the large PDF file, you receive an error message “unable to share, due to large file size” This is the best idea if you are thinking of decreasing the PDF Size. Here is what you can do. 

  1. To reduce the size of the PDF, select File > Save
  1. Now click on the Quartz Filter Dropdown and choose Reduce File Size
  1. Now select Save.

Now, re-share the file and check you can share it on Mail without and error. If yes, always follow this method to reduce size of PDF on Mac.

How To Copy-Paste PDF To Word On Mac

It’s often necessary to know how to convert PDF to Word on the Apple Mac, especially if you want to edit the PDF you have created. Copying and pasting seem to be a common tool, but it works wonders when it comes to such a task. 

So let’s learn how to convert PDF to Word on Mac hassle-freely.

  1. Navigate to the PDF and then Right Click on it; select Open With > Preview from the Menu that appears.

Tip: Press Command + A to select all text from the PDF

  1. Choose desired text for para and press Command + C.
  2. Move to Microsoft words or Pages as per your preference. Now open the new Pages or Doc and then press Command + V.
  3. Save the file as Doc (navigate to File > Export To > Word, if you are presently using Pages on Mac).

How To Redact A Pdf on Mac

Sometimes you want to share the PDF but simultaneously want to hide some information. Thankfully, the pre-installed Preview App on the Mac Computer allows you to do so. Here is how you can Redact Sensitive information from PDFs using Preview.

  1. Firstly, go to PDF and then right-click on it.
  2. From the menu, select Open With > Preview.
  3. In the Preview, select the Pencil Icon(Hide Markup ToolBar Icon) at the top. Doing so will feature the Preview Toolbar.
  4. Select the Square Box filled with Black Color at the third position in the Preview Toolbar. Then after you receive a pop saying Redact Content Is Permanently Removed, select OK.
  5. Select the information you want to hide by pressing the Left Mouse Button.

If you hide the information that doesn’t need to be, press the (Control + Z) to undo it.  

How To Merge Pdf Files On Mac

The merging of PDF files on the Mac computer is an easy task; as of now, it can also be compiled using the Preview on the Mac Computer. However, if you are unfamiliar with the steps to merge the PDF, here is what you need to do.

  1. Navigate to the PDF and then open it using the Preview. 
  2. Select View > Thumbnail to appear in the sidebar of PDF.
  3. Now select the Page under which you want to add other pages.
  4. Click on Edit > Insert > Page From File.
  5. From the Dialog prompt, choose the PDF you want to open.
  6. Click Open. 
  7. To save it, click File from the menu bar and next Export As PDF. 

Merge The Part Of PDF On Mac,

  • Access the PDFs that you want to merge.
  • In each opened PDFs, select View > Thumbnail, to visible all pages in the sidebar.
  • Keep press the Command Button and simultaneously select the Pages you want to add to the another PDFs.
  • Drag and drop the selected pages to the Thumbnail sidebar of another PDFs. Next to save it, Select File > Exports As PDFs.

If the option seems to dim, you can ensure that it is opened in PDF format. Similarly, some PDFs can’t be merged. 

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Trick to Split Pdf Files on Mac

With the capability of merging the PDF, you can now split the PDF too, using the Preview on Mac. Here is how you can do so. First, you need to open the PDF in the Preview, then select View > Thumbnail. 

On the next screen, select the Page or multiple pages from the Thumbnail Sidebar and then drag & drop it to the desktop. 

How To Delete Pages In A Pdf

You can access the PDF using the Preview on and simply delete PDF pages. Here is what you need to do. 

  1. Right-click on PDF, and select Open With. And then choose Preview. Now choose View > Thumbnail.
  2. Next, select the Page from the sidebar and then press Delete. 

That’s It!

How To Insert Blank Pages in PDFs 

Missed information that needs to be added in the pdf? Remember, with the Preview on Mac, you can insert the Blank Page In PDFs. 

  1. Navigate to PDF, and click on it.
  2. Next, choose Open With > Preview. Select View > Thumbnail.
  3. Then, select the Page from the sidebar under which you want to insert blank pages. 
  4. Next, select the + Icon located at the bottom left corner. Select Insert Blank Pages. 

The Blank Page will appear on the screen; now jot down the information you want. 

Rotate, Delete, Rearrange Pages, And Renumber Pages Inside A Pdf

Having the Mac computer is always pleasant; as of now and forever, it offers the ability to edit PDFs for free using Preview. With all mentioned above features to edit PDFs, now you can rotate, rearrange, and renumber the pages effortlessly. 

  1. Open the PDF using the Preview.
  2. Next, select View > Thumbnail.
  • Rotate A Page: Select a single Page or All Pages (Command + A); then, after clicking on the Rotate Icon (Square Box With Curve Arrow), keep clicking on it until it reaches the position you need.
  • Reorder Pages: Drag and drop the Page from the Thumbnail Sidebar. 
  • Delete Pages: To delete, select the Page from the Thumbnail Sidebar and press Delete.  

How To Underline Or StrickThrough The Content On PDF?

On the latest macOS, you can highlight, underline, and strikethrough the content present in the PDF. Thankfully, that’s with a free in-built tool known as Preview. If you want to Highlight Text In A PDF, go through the steps below. 

  1. Open the PDF in the Preview.
  2. Choose the Pencil Icon With Underline Dropdown located at the top. 
  3. From the dropdown, select Underline Or StrickThrough and then choose the preferred color from the color tray.

Now select the content you want; the content will be Underline or StrickThrough Automatically. 

How To Select And Crop Content And Images From PDF

With an extensive ability to edit PDFs, you can now capture the text from PDFs using the Preview on Mac. This feature helps make the text separately visible on the different Pages. 

  1. Find PDF files, right-click (Control + Click) on them, and choose Open With > Preview.
  2. Next, select Pencil Icon (Hide Markup Toolbar Icon).
  3. Choose the Rectangular Select Icon in the preview toolbar at the 2nd position. 

Select the part of the content and then click on the Crop Icon in the Toolbar. After this, the cropped part will appear on the new Page. 

How To Add Text More Using Acrobat

With Adobe Editor, you can add text in the PDF, resize the text box, create vertical text, delete the text box in the PDF, and format text(Size, Font, Color, Emphasis, Spacing, and Alignment) 

Note: The Editing Feature on Acrobat is only available when you have a paid version.

To Add text,

  1. Go to PDF, right-click on it, and then select Adobe.
  2. Now choose the Edit Icon from the left Side Panel.
  1. And after that, choose Text Icon.

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Apart from this, you can edit the PDF on Mac as needed with all the above-mentioned tricks. There are third-party PDF edit apps available, but you must pay when you can edit PDF on Mac using the bundled tool Preview.

We hope this guide is most beneficial to all Educators, Legal professionals, IT Specialists, Students, architects and project Managers, Healthcare Professionals, and Business and sales Managers to carry forward certain information to others.

HowToiSolve Staff
HowToiSolve Staff

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [OR]

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