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In a digitized era, where practically all business is done online, it’s hard to spend a day without encountering a PDF file. After all, it’s the most popular digital document format — interactive, free to use and, crucially, able to preserve original formatting (including fonts, images, layouts, and more).
Developed by Adobe in the 90s, PDF made it possible to present identical documents using different applications and devices. Originally a proprietary invention that was promoted with Adobe software, PDF became an open format in 2008, which meant free use for all, without any lingering ties to Adobe.
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How To Choose The Best PDF Editor For Mac
Today, there are dozens of applications that can read, modify, and edit PDFs. All are different: free PDF editors, PDF modifiers, costly Mac PDF editors, and even a default PDF reader for Mac that comes with your operating system.
If you need to edit a PDF on Mac, it’s important to not go straight to Google looking for a “free PDF editor download.” In the last decade, lots of bad players have been putting all kinds of malware in those free PDF downloads, hoping for people to be enticed enough by the proposition. So you should know exactly which PDF editor app is best for your needs — luckily you have the perfect guide below.
Apple Preview PDF reader for Mac
If you’re looking for a free PDF editor for Mac, you should start with the one you already have — Preview — which is the default application for viewing any images and PDF files.
Although it can hardly be called a PDF editor app, Preview can perform most of the tasks most people need to do every day: looking through the documents, leaving comments, and signing contracts.
To configure Preview to your liking:
- Launch the app from your Dock or Launchpad
- Select View from the menu bar options
- Set scroll, zoom, and toolbar to what you’d like to see
Then to actually use PDF modifier functions:
- Choose Tools from the menu bar
- Hover over Annotate
- Select from shapes, signatures, notes (comments), and more
When you’re done editing the document, don’t forget to save it (⌘ + S) or export it to create a new file by going to File ➙ Export.
A hidden benefit of Preview that’s not often talked about is its natural integration into the macOS. The app can be easily used within the Apple ecosystem and is quite swift as well.
Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac
One of the first and hence now widely considered standard solutions for viewing and editing PDF files is Adobe Acrobat Reader. By all accounts, it’s a solid and professional PDF editor for Mac.
There’s, however, one caveat — you can hardly call Adobe Acrobat the best free PDF editor for Mac because to get all of its features you need to pay, a lot. If you subscribe for the whole year, it comes down to $15 a month. Otherwise, it’s $25.
So if you download Adobe Reader for Mac from Adobe’s website, it will only give you a limited number of tools, which are very similar to Apple Preview: comment and sign. To get more you’d need to sign up for the Adobe Acrobat Pro free trial.
Anyway, in case you’re satisfied with Acrobat PDF editor’s limited functionality for the basic version, you can still work with all the PDFs you need:
- Download and install Adobe Reader for Mac from adobe.com
- Open the PDF file of your choice
- To comment or sign the file, navigate to Tools in the top bar of the app
- Choose the tool you want to use and then select a more specific one from the top bar once you’re in the document itself
If you try to choose the tool that’s not available in the free version of Acrobat Reader for Mac, the app will direct you to the website where you can subscribe to get access.
All in all, while the paid Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac offers you a full toolkit of productivity, its free option is comparable to Apple Preview, with the latter being a bit more lightweight and fast due to its integration with macOS.
But what’s a truly powerful Mac PDF editor?
Scan images or documents using your Mac. If you have a scanner or a printer with a scanner, you may not need any special software to scan an image. Before you scan, you need to open your scanner. Then, follow the instructions for either a document-feeding scanner or a flatbed scanner. Dec 28, 2018 Download the latest version of Apple Canon Printer Drivers for Mac - For OS X 10.7 or later. Read 18 user reviews of Apple Canon Printer Drivers on MacUpdate. On your Mac, choose Apple menu System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners. Open Printers & Scanners preferences for me. Select your printer in the list, then click the Remove button. Click the Add button, and if a pop-up menu appears, choose Add Printer or Scanner. A dialog appears listing any IP, shared, and Open Directory printers on your local network. Update canon printer scanner app to mac os.
PDFpen full-featured OCR editor
While the paid version of Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac is costly and convoluted, PDFpen offers much more in one straightforward package.
Install PDFpen, best PDF editor for Mac
Make any PDF file editable with PDFpen. With in-built OCR support, nothing is carved in stone if you have PDFpen installed on your Mac.
PDFpen lets you edit PDFs by adding text and images, fixing typos, filling out forms, and covering sensitive information. What’s more, the app features an OCR (optical character recognition) functionality, so you can scan printed documents directly into editable PDF files, and even export them to Microsoft Word later on.
Embroidery software compatible with mac. Using PDFpen is as easy as Preview:
- Open any PDF document
- In the top bar, find the toggle which lets you switch between text and shapes. These are the tools you can use to enhance your documents. All of them can also be accessed from the Tools dropdown in the menu bar.
One of the most commonly used features with PDFs is highlighting, which is perfectly executed in PDFpen. Just select from the top bar and choose a color. The tool will then switch between a freehand highlighter when hovering over shapes and a structured one when it’s over some text.
Finally, PDFpen’s renowned OCR functionality doesn’t require you to have any specific AI knowledge — it just works:
- In PDFpen, go File ➙ Open (or ⌘ + O) and select your image
- Check all languages that apply
- Turn the image into either an OCR Page or OCR document
- Now you can edit your image freely and export it later
Bonus: Professional PDF Search
When you’re working with lots of PDFs everyday, some things are inevitably going to get lost. Especially, since lots of documents and reports are often dozens or even hundreds of pages long.
In this reality, you absolutely need a tool that will help you retain information at the tip of your fingers. Enter PDF Search. This app doesn’t just search your PDF files for exact matches — it uses the power of AI to check relevant terms, multiple combinations, and even scan PDF files in bulk.
The first time you open PDF Search, it will ask you to index the folder with all your PDFs, which may take some time but will also speed up all future searches. After indexing is complete, simply enter the number or text you’re looking for in the search field, press Return, and the results (including related ones) would instantly appear.
To recap, when you’re looking for the best free PDF editor for Mac, your options might seem infinite, but it really comes down to what exactly you need to edit. If it’s just viewing documents and making comments, Apple Preview can do the job just fine. But when you need some heavy-duty lifting, nothing beats PDFpen. In addition, PDF Search is recommended for anyone working with large number of PDFs on a daily basis.
Best of all, PDFpen and PDF Search are both available to you on a free 7-day trial from Setapp, a platform for over 150 indispensable Mac apps designed to take your productivity to the next level. All that’s left to do now is just read and edit!
Editing your photos on your iPhone is one thing, but editing your photos on your Mac can take your photography skills to a whole 'nother level.
Many of us still keep our main libraries on our Macs because of its faster processors, larger storage, and all-around bigger computing power. The Mac is still the best device for serious photo editing, so you need some serious photo editing apps to make an impact.
The built-in Photos app on Mac offers several useful photo editing tools. You can crop, adjust lighting and color, set the white balance, add filters, remove unwanted blemishes, and a few more things. However, in all honesty? It's not really meant to be a robust editing app, so If you are looking for something to really finish your photos right, we've got a list of the best photo editors for Mac right here. Let's go!
If you're looking for a photo editing app that goes above and beyond for the pricetag, while still allowing you complete creative control over your images, then it might be worth it to take a peek at Affinity Photo.
Affinity Photo supports unlimited layers, groups, layer adjustments, filters, masking, and more: you also have access to tools like dodge, red-eye fix, burn, blemish, clone, and patch (so pretty much Photoshop without all the convoluted bells and whistles). Nondestructive auto-saving makes undoing everything you've done easy, so if you need to start from the beginning, the option is there.
Play, manipulate, edit, and get hella creative with Affinity Photo whether you're a serious graphic designer or someone who's just looking to do some basic editing. Your photography will seriously thank you.
- $49.99 - Download now
Fotor Photo Editor
Searching for a super simple, straight-forward photo editing app that's there to help you edit and not confuse you to the point of ripping out your hair? Then check out Fotor Photo Editor!
With this photo editor, you can easily adjust contrast and color of more washed-out photos, add borders, tilt and shift your images, add different text, slap on a few filters, and so much more, all from the easy-to-find toolbox on the right side of the app. You can even create collages of your photography masterpieces!
The BBC once called Fotor Photo Editor 'light Photoshop', and they're kind of right! You can go above and beyond editing your images with Fotor Photo Editor without getting bogged down by more complicated editing buttons and tools.
- Free - Download now
When you look into photo editing software, one of the first things that'll pop up is Adobe's Lightroom, and for good reason! It's essentially a staple in the photo editing community.
Lightroom is great for photographers who need to manage a large image library, and who are prepared to commit to (and pay for) Adobe's cloud storage space. But it is purely a photography tool that's a little outside the regular Adobe design ecosystem. (Creative Bloq)
Pretty much anything you want to do with your photo, you can accomplish with Lightroom. You can blend and merge shadows and highlights, sharpen dull, blurry images so they look crisp and clear, add details and tint colors to make a photo stand out, and so, so much more.
While it is a bit more on the complicated side, people who use the program and know how to navigate it are hooked. Keep in mind, there are two versions of the app â€” there's the Classic version, which is more preferred, and the 2018 CC version.
If you're hesitant about the program and paying for it, you can download Lightroom free for 30 days as part of a trial period. After that, you can add it to your Photoshop CC subscription for $9.99 per month.
- Free trial - Download now
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Amp up your photo editing skills with a little bit of help from Pixelmator!
This particular photo editing app allows you to combine two different photos into one (while still allowing you to edit over each layer), add shapes, gradients, filters, tints, and more, and completely change and edit your photography to make it fit perfectly to your aesthetic. You can even mask and cut off certain areas of the photo, giving you more creative control over your final image.
Similar to other photo editing apps, you can also adjust contrast, color, saturation level, definition, and so much more.
It's another great alternative to Photoshop, at least according to our managing editor Lory Gil.
- $29.99 - Download now
Love Photoshop (or the idea of Photoshop..) but don't want all the complicated components and nonsense that comes along with it? Then it might be worth it to take a peek at GIMP.
Similar to Photoshop, GIMP allows you full control over editing your photos: it's an advanced image manipulation program with detailed customization for color reproduction.
You can add layers to your photos, edit and tweak colors, adjust contrast, crop, adjust saturation, and so much more. If you're someone who admires Photoshop but is terrified of the price (or just thinks it's not worth it) then GIMP might be the perfect pal for you.
- Free - Download now
Say 'bye-bye' to nasty photobombs, zits, perky distractions, and so much more in your photos thanks to Snapheal!
Snapheal is a little bit unique in the sense that it's more of a 'delete now, ask questions later' app. It's more about cleaning up a photo than it is editing it and adding a whole bunch of layers. The tools can either remove large objects or smaller imperfections depending on the mode. You can even adjust the masking tool, use a magic rope, or clone stamp your way to a new photo.
If you're someone who's a perfectionist when it comes to your photography and you just can't stand that one stupid, distracting blur in the background, then Snapheal is the guy for you.
- $7.99 - Download now
I know what you're thinking: 'Preview? Really, Cella?'
To which I respond: 'Uh, yeah. Duh, my dude. You use it every day!'
Best Editing App For Mac
Sure, you can't do a bunch of fancy things with Preview like add filters, adjust contrast, and fix saturation, but you can quickly crop a photo, adjust the color, rotate it, add shapes, texts, and a signature, export as a different format, and more.
Yes, Preview isn't perfect, but it is easy to use and fantastic for making small, fast changes to your photography.
- It's already on your Mac.
How do you edit your photography?
What is your favorite photo editing app for the Mac? Why does it work the best for you? Let us know what your top picks are in the comments down below!
Updated August 2018: All the choices on this list are still the best of the best!
Editing Video On Mac
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