Mar 25

If you’ve ever been given a pdf file that you want to edit, or a pdf form that you need to complete and return electronically, you’ll realise that it’s not obvious how to edit a pdf file in OS X. You can make simple changes to a pdf file using the free built in Preview App that comes free with OS X. Here’s how.

If you double click on any pdf file in OSX it will open in an application called Preview.  Preview has a hidden “Annotations Toolbar’ that will allow you to edit the pdf file.  You can’t change what’s already in the pdf document.  But you can do minor changed like adding your own text and graphics, so this method will allow you to complete a form or make minor additions.

For full pdf editing capabilities (for example adding paragraphs of text, moving pictures around on a page etc) you need to get some fully blown pdf editing software like Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Acrobat Professional. But these cost hundreds of dollars. The good news is that ‘Preview’, the built in OS X pdf reader app, has some basic pdf editing abilities built in.

Here’s how to use the Annotations Toolbar.


102 Responses to “How to edit a pdf document in OS X”

  1. Nyasia Randell says:

    Preview is great app to make minor changes in the PDF file. And, it is free too. If you need more advanced features to to create, edit, convert and sign your PDFs, then you may consider tools like Nitro, Skim, PDFpen, etc. The one recommended here is pretty good too

  2. Merss says:

    PDFelement for Mac is a simple PDF Editor for Mac, acting as best alternative to PDF Expert.

  3. Abhay says:

    nice article !! but i found that microsoft world itself can edit pdfs and all changes can be made in it !!

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