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PDFelement - Edit, Annotate, Fill and Sign PDF Documents

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A handy PDF editor is already installed on a Mac - Preview. All you need to do is use the Preview app to review and manage PDF files. You can annotate, merge and sign PDFs with absolute ease. Once you're convinced Preview is the right internal tool for you to edit PDF files on Mac computer, it's quite simple completing inbuilt edit functions. We'll learn how to edit PDF with Preview on Mac in this article. However, there are too limited features in Preview, you can try a full featured alternative first - PDFelement for Mac.

How to Edit PDF with Preview Alternative

PDFelement for Mac is an all-in-one PDF editor and the best alternative for Preview on a Mac OS X system, including macOS 10.13 High Sierra. The main features of the versatile editor are:

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  • Edit texts, images and pages on PDF to make changes as you want.
  • Introduce annotations over any part of PDF including highlights, freehand drawing, sticky notes, shapes, text boxes, and stamps.
  • Convert and create from or to PDF without losing the original layouts.
  • The OCR allows you to convert scanned PDF into editable text. Work with multiple languages within the scanned PDF.
  • Protect PDFs with passwords and grant permissions for different functions including Edit, Print, Extract, and Copy.
  • Ready-made PDF form templates are available that can be easily edited to create customized PDF forms.
  • Digital signatures are encrypted as per industry standard.

Below are the steps for how you can edit PDF documents with Preview alternative.

Step 1. Open PDF

Launch PDFelement on your Mac and to import the PDF file, click on the "File" in the top bar of Mac and select Open. Or you can directly click the "Open File" button on the Home window. Now, select the file that you want to import and hit the "Open". You can also open other documents and it will automatically convert the documents to PDF format for you.

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Step 2. Edit PDF

Now, if you want to edit the text and images in a PDF file, click the "Edit" button on the top menu. Then go to the specific location in the file and double tap on it. Similarly, if you want to add new text and images, choose the "Add Text" or "Add Image" button.

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Step 3. Annotate PDF

If you are filling a form or want to highlight the text, add sticky notes or want to add stamp or signature on a page, click on the "Comment" option and it will open a new tab on the screen. Now, you can use different tools to annotate the document that you want.

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Step 4. Convert PDF

Once you have edited the document, click on the "File" and select "Save" to save the document in PDF format. However, if you want to save a document other than the PDF document, click on the "Convert" button and select the appropriate format for the output document.

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Tips: 10 Steps to Edit PDF with Preview on Mac


  • The Preview icon can be easily located via the docking station Dock or Finder. Click on the icon to load a PDF file to be edited. Just drag and drop the file and open it with the app.
  • Different edit functions can now be completed. To copy any text from PDF file:
    Click within the PDF and select the text. Use "CTRL + Click" or "Command + C" to copy text and transfer it to the clipboard.
    Alternatively, you can also select the texts and click "Copy" under the "Edit" menu.
    Simply paste to another document as required.
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  • The text tool (The "T" button) enables you to drag the pointer to a suitable location on the document and create a text box. Select the "A" button to open the font options.
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  • Auto edit functions are enabled with graphics. For example, rotation issues are automatically resolved in Mac versions like Yosemite 10.10.5. To rotate an image on PDF, you can also choose "Rotate Left" or "Rotate Right" Under the "Tools" menu.
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  • Annotations are created within the PDF with the help of Notes.
    Click the "Notes" button.
    Click on the location within the PDF where a note must appear. You can also drag your mouse to create the required annotation.
    add notes to pdf with preview on mac el capitan Click on annotations to maximize them.
    To view all created annotations, click on "View > Highlights and Notes". All the annotations are now visible within a Preview window.
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  • Use the "Shape" tool to insert an oval shape, box, or simply a line within the document. Tools appear on the right allowing you to change and fill color and vary thickness.
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  • The "Text Selection" option under the "Tools" menu allows you to select objects and images other than text including annotations and shapes included within the PDF.
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  • In case forms are created in PDF format, simply double-click the required form field and enter data. An alternative is to add an editable text box over the field.
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  • A valuable feature is the option to create a digital image as signature on the PDF document. Simple process to create a signature:
    Click the "Signature" button on the toolbar and choose "Create Signature".
    Sign on a clear sheet of paper and position it in front of your Mac camera.
    Keep shifting until the signature appears at the desired location on the screen.
    Click "Accept". Your signature is created and saved.
    Click "Edit" again within Preview.
    Click Signature and select the signature image.
    Drag the pointer to the desired position and drop it. Size and location can be modified as needed.
    To manage signatures, you can go to "Tools > Annotate > Signature > Manage Signature".
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  • After editing, select "Export" to save a file in the desired format at other locations. For instance, export the PDF as a .PNG file to the desktop.
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Try the full-featured alternative to Preview:

Home > Compare of Mac Software > How to Edit a PDF with Preview on Mac
Wondershare Editor

Posted by to Compare of Mac Software
Published: Oct 27,2017 15:35 pm / Updated: Nov 15,2017 10:38 am

Digitize paperwork and accelerate the way you create, prepare and sign documents.

Available for Windows, Mac, iOS, & Android.

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