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[Updated] 8 Best PDFpen Alternatives for Mac

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PDFpen is widely appreciated as an all-purpose video editing tool but what if it stops working or is not compatible with your device? That's where PDFpen alternatives come into the picture. The internet is packed with a myriad of options that you can use in the place of PDFpen and get the desired results in a matter of seconds.

While all of them claim to be your best companion, not everyone lives up to the hype and finally makes you suffer if you choose the wrong alternative. Therefore, to save your time and effort, we have put together the 8 best options that are worth giving a thought. All of them are tired-and-tested and are sorted on the basis of their ratings and specifications. Scroll through the options and pick the one that caters to your requirements in the best possible way.

Part 1. 8 PDFpenPro Alternatives for Mac

Now that you are aware of the PDFpen tool, let's move on to the 8 best options that give a strong, neck-to-neck competition to PDFpen by Nitro. Check their features, pros, and cons here and make an informed choice accordingly.

Having doubts about the best PDF editor for Mac? Watch the video given below and get some clarity on PDF editing.

1. PDFelement for Mac

pdfpen mac alternative

Referred to as one of the best PDFpen alternatives, Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor is a powerful and advanced PDF editor to modify, merge, create, protect, and annotate PDF files on Mac. You can download this editor for free and use it across several Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

However, if you want to get the most out of it, it is advised to opt for the paid version and unlock some essential features. The tool is compatible with macOS 10.14 to macOS 13. Be sure to check your macOS version to avoid any last-minute hustle.

Main Features:

  • Tons of editing features: PDFelement allows you to make desirable changes in the PDF files on Mac, be it editing PDF text or metadata, customizing fonts, personalizing text styles, adding graphics, and more.
  • Batch Processing: The tool saves you lots of time by allowing batch processing of PDF documents. What's new in the tool is the batch print PDF feature that lets you print multiple PDF files at once.
  • Compare PDFs: PDFelement easily compares two PDF documents and marks significant similarities and differences.
  • Seamless Transfer: It, along with iCloud, can share documents faster across different devices.

It offers you an All-in-one solution, you can deal with most PDF tasks with it, like editing, annotating, signing, translating, and sharing PDFs.

It is available in both free and paid versions, so you can pick the option that matches your budget.

The tool is integrated with a simple user interface.

It also works with macOS 11/12.


Some functions are difficult to find the entrance

Its price plans are not enough

2. Adobe Acrobat for Mac

pdfpen pro mac

When it comes to PDF files, Adobe is still the master as it invested in this format over 20 years ago. Adobe Acrobat for Mac is a capable PDF editing tool that allows you to view, modify, print, extract, and annotate PDF files. It's by far the best PDF software for Mac, especially when it comes to creating, editing, and digitally signing PDFs.

Main Features:

  • Compatibility: In addition to basic Macs, Adobe Acrobat works on M1 Apple computers and is optimized for the latest Apple Silicon M1 Macs.
  • Adobe Document Cloud: It allows you to create PDFs and export them on the cloud storage so you can access them, irrespective of your device and location.
  • Variety of PDF management tools: This software boasts tons of PDF management actions, such as combining PDF files, image editing, graphic design, sending a PDF for review, and more.

It has a clean, easy-to-manage interface.

Adobe Acrobat for Mac allows you to open multiple PDF files at once so you can work on them together.

The tool is 100% safe to use.


Very expensive

A free trial version offers only a handful of features.

3. PDF Expert

pdfpen mac

PDF Expert is a one-stop PDF editing tool that gives access to all PDF-related functions, including editing, annotating, markup, taking notes, converting, signing PDFs, adding images, managing pages, etc., under one roof. It is a reliable tool and is packed with tons of basic and advanced features that make PDF editing a breeze.

Main Features:

  • Make PDFs look perfect: This tool has a new and unique "Enhance" feature that removes shadows, improves contrasts, and fixes distortions. This function is powered by AI and makes every scan look clean.
  • Lightning-Fast Performance: PDF Expert is known to offer fast and reliable performance, thus saving you lots of time and effort.
  • Reading Modes: In addition to PDF editing, this tool is equipped with fluid scrolling and various reading modes to offer you a delightful reading experience.

It features an annotation toolkit to make your PDF look standout.

The tool lets you enjoy the customized experience by arranging the most-used PDF tool to sync with your workflow.


It doesn't allow you to edit scanned PDFs

4. Skim for Mac

pdfpen alternative mac

Looking forward to editing PDF files on Mac without spending a penny? Turn to the Skim for Mac and make the desired modifications without costing a fortune. This tool is primarily designed to help you annotate and read scientific papers in PDFs.

Main Features:

  • Export Notes as Text: Since it is a PDF reader and note-taker, it can easily export notes in PDF files as text.
  • Maintains privacy: This tool saves passwords in Keychain; thus keeping the privacy and safety of your document intact.
  • Easy Navigation: It allows users to navigate throughout the PDF using thumbnails or a table of content.

It is available for free use.

The tool is highly customizable and gives support for Apple remote control.

It can easily highlight important text in the PDF with its one-swipe highlight modes.


Skim for Mac lacks various PDF editing features.

It cannot convert PDF documents to other formats.

5. Mac OS Preview

pdfpenpro free

A go-to PDF editor for all Mac users, Preview is a powerful tool and one of the worth-trying PDFpen alternatives. It is a vendor-supplied image and PDF viewer and allows users to perform basic editing of these digital media types. The tool has employed the Aqua Graphical user interface, Image IO, the Quartz graphics layer, and Core Image frameworks to ease macOS users.

Main Features:

  • Fill out and sign forms: Say goodbye to the hassle of printing PDF forms to filling them as macOS Preview offers Markup tools to fill out and add a signature in the PDF right on your Mac.
  • Protect your confidential documents: Use Preview and add a strong password to secure the content of your PDF file.
  • Merge PDF documents: Whether you want to merge PDF files or transfer pages from one file to another, macOS Preview is there to support you.

It has an intuitive and user-friendly interface.

It comes in handy if you want to do some basic PDF editing.


It may not offer a lot of advanced features

6. Foxit Reader for Mac

pdfpenpro mac free alternative

Yet another best-in-class PDFpen alternative that you cannot afford to miss is Foxit Reader. A free, lightweight PDF Viewer and editor, this tool allows you to make desired modifications to your PDF file. It is one of the high-volume PDF readers, giving complete PDF creation tools to ease the users. Moreover, it is packed with comprehensive protection against security vulnerabilities, thus keeping your system safe and secure.

Main Features:

  • Edit PDF Files: It allows you to make PDF edits quickly and accurately. It supports page rotation, text search, and annotating.
  • Open multiple documents at once: It saves your time by opening multiple PDF documents at the same time, so you can easily switch between open files using tabs and work simultaneously.

It can easily open password-protected documents.

This tool lets you easily navigate files by page number, page thumbnail, or bookmark.


It has only basic PDF-editing features.

7. PDF Buddy

pdfpen mac review

Listed among the best PDFpen alternatives, PDF Buddy is an all-purpose editor, that allows you to make easy editing and works across all Apple devices. It uses an SSL layer and AES-256 bit encryption, to ensure your files are always protected and secure.

Main Features:

  • Free and Paid Versions are available: It is available in both free and paid versions and you can pick the one based on your needs.
  • Fill out PDF forms: It can easily complete PDF forms so you don't have to print them out.

It is a web-based tool, so no installation is required.

The tool comes with a simple interface so that everyone can easily use it.


You can edit up to 3 PDF files each month with a free version.

8. Scribus for Mac

pdfpenpro alternative

Let's wrap up the list with yet another premium tool, Scribus. It comes in two modes, namely Stable and Development. If you are into production work, then go for the Stable mode and if you love experimenting, then try using the Development version.

Main Features:

  • Professional Publishing Feature: It boasts several professional publishing features, including ICC Color management, versatile PDF creation, separations, and CMYK color.
  • Support Dark Themes: It has support for dark UI themes to please your eyes.

It is an open-source program, that delivers a press-ready output.

The tool is available for free.


It cannot convert PDF files to other formats and also lacks some basic PDF editing features.

Part 2. PDFpen by nitro: Powerful PDF Editor on Mac

pdfpen mac

PDFpen by Nitro is the one-stop destination for all your PDF editing needs. This editor runs smoothly on all devices be it Mac, iPad, and iPhone. It allows users to make all major or nitty-gritty changes to the PDF, such as adding a signature, filling the forms, correcting typos, making changes in OCR scanned docs, and much more.

With its simple interface and classic features, this tool enhances document productivity and lets you edit the same without putting much hassle. PDFpen is ideal for those seeking long-term value and powerful editing.

Main Features:

  • Magnify: This tool has a magnifier window that allows users to magnify particular sections in the PDF up to 2000%.
  • Cloud Service for Convenience: PDFpen saves your PDF documents in Dropbox, Evernote, or other cloud services so you can retrieve them whenever and where you want.
  • Supports versatile and powerful PDF editing: This editing software gives access to all editing features, including adding watermarks, marking headers and footers, redacting sensitive information, merging documents, extracting pages, annotating, and anything in between.
  • Import Scanned Documents: It is designed in a way to import scanned documents easily and turn them into editable text.
  • Advanced Features: In addition to the basics, this tool is also equipped with some advanced features that make it stand out, such as form-building tools, batch OCR, export options to MS Excel and PowerPoint, PDF Archive Formats, and DocuSign Support.

It is relatively easy to use.

The tool continues to improve and meet the needs of its users.

The workflow in this PDF editing software is way easier than its counterparts.


It cannot edit password-protected documents, which more both some users.

The tool doesn't handle forms well, although if you are using its Pro version and this is the major reason why users search for other PDFpen alternatives.