How to Edit a PDF on Mac

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Knowing how to edit PDF on Mac is definitely helpful. After all, this universal document format is one of the most popular ways to distribute documents, including fillable forms, but processing them can be cumbersome if you don’t know which software to use.

With Preview and Quick Look, however, you have everything you need, and since both of these apps are already on your Mac, you don’t need to spend a penny more (indeed, Preview is one of best free pdf editors). You can use them to fill in your details and tick boxes, draw shapes and even sign your documents. It’s really easy to do!

Below, we’ll walk you through the steps needed to open and edit PDF files on your Mac. In the end, we’re sure you won’t turn to any other software, although if you want to take PDF management to the next level, you might be interested in the best pdf editors. Before you do, let’s summarize what you can already do:

  • Add Text to PDF on Mac
  • Add a signature to a PDF on Mac
  • Add shapes to a PDF on a Mac
  • Rearrange PDF pages on a Mac

Read on to see detailed instructions.


Edit a PDF using Quick Look

1. Find a PDF you want to change and press the spacebar on your keyboard.

how to edit pdf on mac

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2. This will open Quick Look and allow you to view the PDF. To start editing a PDF, click the pencil icon.

how to edit pdf on mac

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3. You will now be presented with an editing toolbar.

how to edit pdf on mac

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Edit PDF Using Preview

1. You can follow the steps above and select Preview in the Quick View window.

how to edit pdf on mac

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2. You can also find a pdf you want to change and double click this. This should automatically open Preview unless another PDF viewer is installed on your Mac.

how to edit pdf on mac

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3. If the preview does not open, right click on the PDF and go to Open with > Preview.

how to edit pdf on mac

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4. Click the pencil icon and you will be presented with an editing toolbar.

how to edit pdf on mac

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Add Text to PDF on Mac

The editing process is the same in Quick Look and Preview. Both will allow you to add text, for example, which is essential for filling in forms – certainly better than having to print it out and fill it in by hand before scanning.

Some forms will allow you to move from box to box and tick, but others will require a little more legwork on your part. Either way, Quick Look and Preview let you get the job done quickly.

1. Click on the Text tool. It looks like an A in a box. (In Preview you can also go to Tools > Annotate > Text).

how to edit pdf on mac

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2. You should now see the word “Text” appear on the screen.

how to edit pdf on mac

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3. It’s usually red but you can easily change the color. Click on the Aa icon so what click on the red box. This will allow you to choose a different color.

how to edit pdf on mac

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4. You can also change the font – Again click on Aa but this time use the font drop down menu to choose the font you want to use.

how to edit pdf on mac

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5. The Aa menu also allows you resize text. Look for the box with a number (and the abbreviation “pt” for “point”). So click the up and down arrows next to the number (or enter a number in the box).

how to edit pdf on mac

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6. There are also options to bold, italicize, or underline text. Just click on B, I or U.

how to edit pdf on mac

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seven. Once you have chosen a text color and size, you can start typing.

how to edit pdf on mac

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8. You can then click in the text box (the cursor will turn into a hand) and move the text where you would like it to go.

how to edit pdf on mac

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9. You can tick the boxes with an X. You will need to keep clicking on the Text tool to add more text.

how to edit pdf on mac

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ten. Once you have finished, click Done in Quick Look Where go to File > Save to Preview.

how to edit pdf on mac

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Add a signature to a PDF on Mac

You can also sign a form when using Quick Look or Preview. It’s very easy to do and you can store a signature for future use.

1. When you are ready to sign, click on the signature icon in the toolbar.

how to edit pdf on mac

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2. You have three options.

Click Touchpad and you can use your finger or a stylus to write your signature on your Mac’s trackpad.

Click Camera and you can sign your name on a piece of paper and hold it up to your Mac’s camera to scan.

Click iPhone or iPad and, as long as your iPhone or iPad is signed into the same account as your Mac, you’ll be prompted to use either device’s screen to write your signature.

how to edit pdf on mac

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3. Select Done when you are done to save your signature. You can also click Clear to start over.

how to edit pdf on mac

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4. You can then click the Signature icon to select the signature and drag it into position. You can click Create Signature if you want to add more signatures (maybe you have different signatures for different purposes).

how to edit pdf on mac

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Add shapes to a PDF on a Mac

You might want to add shapes because you want to highlight something on a form. You might want to draw an arrow to make sure something isn’t missed. Whatever your reason, you can easily create and add shapes to a PDF document in Quick Look and Preview.

1. Click on the Shapes icon in the toolbar.

how to edit pdf on mac

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2. Select a shape in the drop-down menu, whether it is a square, a square with curved corners, a circle, a bubble, a star or a hexagon. You will also see a line and an arrow. After that, the shape will appear on the screen.

how to edit pdf on mac

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3. You can then use the color tool to change the shape’s appearance.

how to edit pdf on mac

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4. You can also change border color of shape – click the outline color tool and make your choice.

how to edit pdf on mac

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5. Shapes can be dragged around the PDF and placed into position. If you use an arrow, click on the points at each end to lengthen and shorten this. Drag the dot next to the arrowhead to change where it points (drag the point in the center to create a curved arrow).

how to edit pdf on mac

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6. You can also use the magnifying glass option in the Shapes menu. Click it and you’ll be able to magnify any text below it – it’s a great way to draw attention to a section (a green dot lets you change the magnification level).

how to edit pdf on mac

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Rearrange PDF pages on a Mac

If you want to change the page order of a PDF document, you should use Preview.

1. Click on the View menu icon next to the name of the PDF document and select Thumbnails.

how to edit pdf on mac

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2. The PDF pages will be displayed on the left side of the preview window. You can rearrange them by clicking on a page of thumbnails and dragging it up and down.

how to edit pdf on mac

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3. You can also delete a page: click on a thumbnail and press delete on the keyboard.

how to edit pdf on mac

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And There you go. This is how to edit a PDF on Mac. You can also learn how to password protect PDF on Mac, convert Apple Notes to PDF on iPhone, iPad and Mac, understand how to convert PDF to JPG and learn how to edit PDF on iPhone and iPad.

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