This is how to edit a PDF on your Mac or MacBook

PDF files are intended to be viewing files, so if you prefer to create a file that you can edit, you are better off using other programs such as Microsoft Word.

However, there may be a situation where you need to edit a PDF document. If this is your case, you should know that yes, it is possible to edit PDF files with your Mac or MacBook.

After all, a PDF is a widely used file since it is usually compatible with almost any operating system. It is widely used to store manuals, books or contracts, that is, documents that are designed to be seen.

The PDF format is built into the Mac operating system, so you can preview, open and even edit your PDFs without having to install programs or applications.

When you open a PDF with the previewer on your Mac or MacBook, you can also enjoy various tools and utilities hidden in plain sight.

Here we discover some of them.

1. Create a PDF on Mac using the print option

It’s easy to create PDF documents in Mac OS X, it’s so easy it can even be done via the print menu:

  1. Open the document you want to convert to PDF.
  2. Choose the option ‘File > Print’.
  3. Click on ‘PDF’ at the bottom left of the print menu and choose the option ‘Save as PDF’.
  4. Choose a name for the PDF in the section ‘Save as’.
  5. Choose the folder where you want to save your PDF.
  6. click on ‘Save’.

Easy, right? You can find the PDF you just saved in the folder you selected. Click on it to preview it.

If you are interested in the reverse process, that is, convert a PDF to Word and other formats, Do click in the link.

2. Quick PDF Preview on Mac

You can preview any PDF document in finder pressing the space key. Tapping the space bar on Mac OS X will open Quick Look with the document you want to view.

If the PDF has more than one window, you can swipe down to go from page to page.

There is a button ‘Open’ in the upper right corner in case you want to open the file, and another button that allows you to share, if you want to send the PDF by email or messages to another person.

3. Choose to view the PDF in Mac Previewer or Adobe Acrobat

PDF files usually open in the Mac OS X previewer by default. Although we love this Mac tool, sometimes a particular PDF may work a little better in Adobe Acrobat, (especially if there are links and videos in the PDF).

you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader from the Adobe page and use it to view PDF files.

Once downloaded, you will only have to drag the PDF file to the Adobe icon in the ‘Dock’ so that it opens with Adobe instead of with the default Mac program.

You can also make Adobe the default program for opening PDF files:

  1. Locate the PDF file in Finder and click once to select it (don’t open it).
  2. Choose ‘File > Get info’or press ‘Command + I’.
  3. Click on the section ‘To open with’ and choose the Adobe Reader option.
  4. To finish, click on ‘Change everything…’.

From now on, whenever you double-click to open a PDF file, it will open with Adobe Reader instead of Mac OS X Preview.

4. Underline, highlight and mark up text in Preview

You can highlight or underline PDF text in preview mode. Click the highlighter icon on the top menu bar, click and drag across the text you want to underline.

If the original file is locked, then preview mode will create a duplicate for you to edit (an alert will appear).

There are different colors for underlining, in addition to the “strikethrough” option.

5. Rotate the PDF in Preview

You can rotate your PDF document by clicking the button ‘Rotate’, right next to the underlined. When you click, the document will rotate 90 degrees clockwise.

6. Annotate your PDFs in Preview

You can annotate your PDFs in Mac OS X preview mode. To do this, go to the Notes tab. ‘Display’and select the option ‘Show markup toolbar’.

A bar will appear with many more editing options: text, rectangular selection, oval, lines, text notes and signature.

7. Add arrows in your PDF

You can use the ‘Line’ tool in the edit bar to add arrows to your PDF. These arrows can be very useful for highlighting important parts of your PDF.

  1. Open the PDF in preview mode.
  2. click on ‘Display > Show markup toolbar’.
  3. Click on the line icon.
  4. Click on the icon with three horizontal lines to choose the shape of the line.
  5. Click where you want the arrow to start in the PDF and drag in the direction you want it to end.

Besides arrows, you can use shapes like ovals or rectangles to draw on your PDF file.

8. Add text in a PDF in Preview

You can add text to your PDF files in preview mode. That extra text can be very useful for making annotations about topics that you consider important in the PDF document.

  1. 1. Click ‘Show markup toolbar’.
  2. Click on the icon ‘Text’.
  3. Use the color, font and size icons to choose how you want the text to be added.
  4. Click on the PDF and write.

9. Add notes on a PDF in Preview

You can add notes to a PDF document. This differs from the previous point because the text will not be part of the article itself, but will be comments and annotations that will remain outside the file.

Click on the option ‘Show markup toolbar’ and select ‘Grades’. Click on the part of the PDF where you want to add the note and just type.

Notes you leave in preview mode will also be visible if you open the PDF with other applications or programs like Adobe Reader.

10. Add a signature to your PDF in preview

You can use the iSight camera on your MacBook to scan the signature and add it to your PDF document.

Sign on an A4-size sheet of paper and click on ‘Preferences > Signatures > Create signature’. You will be able to scan the signature with your MacBook camera, and it will be added to your PDF documents.

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