Initially released in 1993 by Adobe Systems, PDF (Portable Document Format) has become an international de-facto standard for exchanging documents and information.
Unique features like graphic integrity, easy-to-create and read files, complete control over image quality, and support for a wide range of content (animation, 3D models, buttons, hyperlinks, audio files, vector graphics) make PDFs superior to other conventional file formats.
The objective was to protect and preserve the content and layout of a document, no matter on which program or platform it’s opened on. That’s the reason these files are difficult to edit and in a few cases, even extracting content from PDFs becomes a challenge.
To make this job easier, we’re presenting you the 9 best PDF editors for Mac that allows you to modify any PDF document without requiring any expertise. Most of these tools work on freemium pricing strategy, therefore features/service may be restricted in the free version.
Table of Contents
Price: Starts at $124.95 one-time fee | Free trial available
Plus Point: Snap objects in places with guides, supports iCloud and Dropbox for seamless editing
PDFpenPro helps you mark up and edit PDFs just like documents. You can add text, images, comments and highlight any particular section. It also makes it easy to fix typos, fill out forms, add/validate digital signatures, and protect sensitive information.
It comes with OCR (optical character recognition) to turn a scan into editable text. You can adjust resolution, skew contrast, color depth, size of an image or scanned document. And, there are drag-drop thumbnails to easily reorder or combine pages from different PDFs.
Since it’s a versatile product, the user interface can sometimes be challenging to deploy the exact tool you are looking for.
PDFpenPro can also take any URL and transform it into a PDF file, with clickable links and images. However, it often misses numerous elements and renders buttons as texts with links. To us, this feature seems more miss than hit.
Plus Point: Extensive AppleScript support, automatic download of remote PDFs, smart cropping feature.
Skim is an open source PDF reader and editing program that uses Cocoa APIs (Apple’s native object-oriented application programming interface). It’s an excellent tool for anyone who needs to annotate their PDFs and make slight modifications.
Compared to Preview (Mac’s default PDF reader), Skim provides a lot of tools for storing ideas while reading them. It allows you to add circles, boxes, and embed/edit notes.
You can change the background color of the document to any RGB color, easily make snapshots for easy reference, and export notes as text. Furthermore, the tool supports apple remote control and integration with BibDesk and other 3rd party applications.
Price: Starts at $59.95 | Free trial available
Plus Point: Simple and uncluttered interface, batch OCR, unique page labels for easy organization and indexing
PDFelement allows you to easily create, organize, and secure your files. It is designed with usability in mind: there is a suite of almost unlimited transformation possibilities and you’ve full control over your content.
Along with powerful customization options, the tool offers you a number of features to perform all desired modifications without distorting the document style.
You can fill existing PDF forms, create a new one and extract content from PDFs forms. The advanced OCR features and numerous markup and annotation tools help you edit and transform scanned PDF files.
Its interface is literally a no-brainer: it is simple to navigate and much more straightforward compared to the Office-style approach many editors use these days.
6. Movavi PDF Editor
Price: $29.95 per year | $39.95 lifetime-license | 7 days free trial available
Plus Point: Multiple tab feature, extract and convert individual pages from a PDF file
Movavi PDF Editor allows you to efficiently work with PDFs without risking the privacy and security of your information. It includes dozens of useful features to perfect your project documentation.
You can add, remove, rotate, or rearrange pages in PDF documents. Edit text line-by-line, insert and scale images directly on the page, within just a few clicks. Once you have completed the editing process, you can export multiple PDF pages as image files or as separate PDF files.
The tool also lets you combine files in multiple formats (including AutoCAD, Photoshop, and Word) into a new PDF file. And since it comes with a legal form library, you can fill out and sign usual legal forms without requiring any notary.
Overall, it’s a user-friendly editor designed for maximum comfort and ease of the customers. Editing files are straightforward and you don’t require professional knowledge to perform any task.
5. Soda PDF
Price: $15 per month or $84 per year for premium version | Free trial available
Plus Point: 3D page-flipping transition, batch convert files, Bates numbering to index and detect legal documents
Soda PDF offers both a desktop and fully functional online PDF solution. It’s a complete PDF file editor that lets you write with a word processor and take control by modifying and adjusting almost every single element on your PDF files.
The amount of features is unbeatable. You can add shapes like stars and arrows, use pencil tool to scribble on the document, compare documents, highlight differences in the content and batch convert PDF files to dozens of other formats.
There is an option to create personalized forms, where you can insert scripts, checkboxes, buttons, and other fields. Approving and signing documents is quite an easy task. Use the redaction function to protect your confidential information, and set and control permission on multiple levels.
Soda PDF has an impressive OCR technology that converts imaged text to editable text within seconds. The user interface is top notch and the best part is you can access all features in the cloud.
4. PDF Expert
Price: $79.99 one-time fee
Plus Point: Extract pages for quick review, reduce file size, touch bar support
Initially launched for iPad back in 2010, PDF Expert is now available for Mac and iPhone. Not only it offers great PDF editing functionality, but also comes astonishingly close to feature parity with the reigning PDF heavyweight, Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud.
The tool allows you to open multiple tabs, which significantly increases productivity when working on 5-6 articles. Also, you can perform searches in all open tabs at once. Although it’s a small feature but helps a lot in day to day activity.
You can easily edit texts, hyperlinks, and images. It automatically detects the size, font, and opacity of text, so you don’t have to put much effort.
The user interface is quite impressive: it’s very easy to fill out PDF forms, add signatures, and comments on documents. Sensitive information can be protected via a password. And the best thing is it doesn’t put heavy loads on CPU.
Price: $7.99/month or $129 one-time fee | 14 days free trial available
Plus Point: Little to no learning curve, read documents out loud, protect sensitive information
Foxit PhantomPDF surpasses all other tools, including its close relative Foxit Reader. It has the capability to add a digital signature, split or merge PDF files, scan documents, and convert PDFs to other popular file formats, such as Word, PowerPoint, HTML, text, PNG, and JPEG.
It’s based on ConnectedPDF, a leading edge technology that powers cloud-based services (security, document management, and collaboration) for PDF.
With PhantomPDF, you can secure the file with passwords and permission. There is also a redaction tool to search and remove sensitive text in case if you need to shield some information from specific readers.
Since its user interface follows the new Microsoft standard, most users will find it extremely easy to use. The editing tools themselves are similar to those of the best PDF converters, but a few additional features (like measuring tool, language recognition) make PhantomPDF standout.
2. PDF Reader Pro
Price: Free | $59.99 one-time fee
Plus Point: Night mode, compress file size, impressive toolbar layout, touch bar support
This PDF powerhouse will fulfill all your documents needs. It is built on solid features such as bookmarking, outlines, form filling, annotation, page editing and converting. You can combine multiple documents, split a PDF into multiple files, and insert pages from other files.
The application comes with Text-to-Speech functionality that can read out loud your content in 6 different languages. To make the best use of the app, you can simply sync your PDFs with Dropbox and showcase your documents to others by using a presentation mode.
There is an option to reduce the size of PDF file and make sensitive information more secure by adding a password. The import history feature keeps track of all your saved files.
You can also label important documents by adding tags and color coding so that they don’t get mixed up. Overall, you will find the application smooth and easy to use.
1. Adobe Document Cloud
Price: Starts at $12.99 per month | 7 days free trial available
Adobe Document Cloud is a feature-rich tool for storing, viewing and searching digital files on the internet. It lets you convert word documents to PDFs and then create and merge multiple documents into one file with ease. Re-ordering and deleting pages is also pretty simple.
There is a feature to convert webpages into interactive PDFs (with hyperlinks), and prevent others from copying information in files. The software is smart enough to detect text in scans, and preview them side-by-side along with suspect errors.
It does tons of other jobs to save your time, for example, it automatically fixes images in PDFs to eliminate backgrounds and adjust perspective.
Document Cloud mostly focuses on business users by offering Photoshop imaging tool, Adobe eSign technology, and an improved Adobe Acrobat. It allows both organizations and individuals to work faster with the lowest error rate.
You can share the documents stored in the cloud depending on the levels of security, which go from software development to the tool operations. The files can also be stored and edited in your Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox accounts.