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Top 5 Alternative to Preview for Mac

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2022-04-22 14:06:17 • Filed to: Mac Software Comparison • Proven solutions

Preview is Mac inbuilt application that allows you to view PDFs and images. It also allows you to edit PDFs, comment on PDFs, and even sign PDFs on your Mac. However, this Preview on Mac does not have all the editing options that you want thus you have to look for an alternative. In this article, we will tell you the 5 best Preview alternative Mac.

5 Best Preview for Mac Alternative

1. PDFelement

The best Preview alternative for Mac is PDFelement. This software is a comprehensive PDF editor that allows you to select texts, edit texts, add texts, delete texts, add images, replace images, and edit pages of your PDF files on Mac (including Mojave).

Step 1. Open PDF File

To open files with Wondershare PDFelement, you can click on "Edit PDF" on the Home window and choose the desired file. You can also click on the "Open File" button on the lower left and upload the PDF file to be edited. Similarly, you can click on "File > Open" and then "From File".

preview for mac alternative

Step 2. Edit PDF

Now that you have the PDF file on the program, you can now edit it. On the toolbar click on the "Text" button and a sub toolbar will pop up. The editable fields will also be recognized at the same time. To edit texts, click the texts or images you want to edit and then you will be able to delete, add, rotate, etc.

alternative to preview for mac

Step 3. Save Changes

Lastly, you can save your work by clicking on "Command + S" or going to "File" and then clicking on the "Save As" option.

preview for mac alternative

Features of PDFelement:

  • It influences PDF documents to other formats like Word, Excel, Rich Text, Plain Text, PPT, EPUB, HTML, and images of different formats.
  • It is built with a number of markup options such as underline, strikethrough, highlights, and much more.
  • It supports batch removal of any kind of markup.
  • It comes with a leading OCR plug-in that allows you to edit and search through scanned PDF files.
  • This software is multilingual and is available in Croatian, English, French, Finnish, Spanish, Chinese, and a lot more other languages.
  • You can also use it to password protect files and add permission restrictions.
  • It supports macOS X 10.12, 10.13, 10.14,10.15 Catalina, and 11 Big Sur.

2. PDFpen

PDFpen software is a well maintained, powerful PDF editor for Mac OS. The tool enables you to the entire range of editing features from image manipulation to digital signatures. Apart from this, this Preview alternative also provides tools to merge, split, and convert PDF files.

alternative to preview for mac


  • One special feature of PDFpen is that it has a built-in tool, OCR technology which reads scanned PDF files and also allows the user to edit them.
  • It contains an option to create a PDF file from a Word file.
  • Unlike many other PDF editors, PDFpen is compatible with the iCloud drive.


  • It does not contain tools for page labeling
  • Sometimes the software takes time in opening larger PDF files.

3. PDF Reader Pro

PDF Reader Pro by Chia Hsing Su is a PDF editing software that is full of tools you may require for a document. It allows the user maneuver through PDF files by providing solid features like bookmarking, annotation and form filling.

preview for mac alternative


  • Many different features available
  • PDF files can be converted into Text, MS Word, PNG, JPG, iWork, and HTML
  • PDFs can be reproduced if the user wants to do further editing
  • Files can be synced with Dropbox
  • Presentation mode helps you make a presentation of PDF pages easily


  • It lacks the much-needed OCR technology which enables editing of scanned documents.
  • Not compatible with the iCloud drive.

4. ProView PDF Editor

Proview is another Preview alternative for Mac OS that offers a wide variety of editing tools. It allows you to edit images and text in PDF files along with arranging, splitting, and merging pages of PDF documents. Some other tools in the software also allow rotating, scaling, and cropping PDF files. Proview can also be called multidimensional in the sense that it allows users to edit metadata along with other documents. It also allows us to protect our PDF files against any tampering through the protection features.

alternative to preview for mac


  • User friendly and easy to use
  • Greater variety of tools is available


  • The trial version does not allow the user to remove watermark
  • Some features do not work in the trial version

5. Infix PDF Editor

Infix PDF Editor is another PDF editing tool for beginners. This Preview alternative is easy to use for everyone because its editing features are quite similar to those of Word. This software allows the user to check spellings and edit texts along with find and replace tools. Moreover, Infix PDF Editor allows you to reuse the documents that exist already and change the font size in the document. It offers both, a purchased version and a free trial version.

preview for mac alternative


  • This software comprises of some unique features like tabs and rulers and searches and replace
  • It also offers copying and pasting of text and images in the PDF file
  • User friendly


  • Watermarks cannot be removed from the final document
  • The editing features are limited and not advanced compared to other PDF editing software

Tips: How to Use Preview for Mac

Mac users prefer not to use Adobe for PDF documents, or for anything else. Adobe and Apple are not in good terms, and they will never be. That is why Apple has another default program for viewing images and PDF files. That software is Preview, a default application in macOS for image files (including JPG and PNG) and PDF files. The primary purpose of Preview is to view various documents in a quick and easy way. However, Preview has some cool editing and markup features.

What can you do in Preview?

Preview can open a variety of graphic documents including PDF. Using the software you can view, edit, annotate, and combine files. Here is a quick breakdown of all the features of Preview.

  • Using Preview you can view Photos and PDF documents
  • You can crop documents in Preview
  • You can use markup tools to make your documents look more professional
  • Preview allows you to add annotation tools to the PDF document
  • With preview, you can combine several documents into one document
  • Share documents from Preview on your Mac
  • Add electronic signature to your PDF documents

What you cannot do in Preview?

As a built-in application, Preview does a lot of things. But there are limitations. While the software has all the basic PDF features, it lacks some more advanced features. Here are some things you cannot use Preview for.

For example, you cannot convert PDF into any other file type. There is an option for PDF to Word, but it is complex to use, including copying text from PDF to Word.

Preview does not allow you to add password protection to your PDF documents. That compromises the safety of your documents. You cannot use redaction tools as well.

The editing tools for text and images are very limited. While there are some options for image editing, you cannot change the style, font, and size of the text.

Last, but not least, Preview does not support OCR. That means you need a third party application to make a scanned document or an image editable and searchable.

Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Buy PDFelement right now!

Buy PDFelement right now!

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Audrey Goodwin

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