How To Draw on A PDF Free for Mac Users [Both Online and Offline Available]

Last updated on June 19, 2023

Summary :

Utilizing the drawing feature in PDF files can effectively emphasize, annotate, and differentiate content. This article aims to present 3 distinct methods for drawing in PDF on a Mac.

Draw on A PDF on Mac

Nowadays, PDF files have become ubiquitous. However, drawing on PDFs can be challenging due to the format’s inherent limitations. While several tools and software offer this functionality, compatibility issues arise for users of both Windows and Mac systems.

This article presents three practical methods to draw on PDFs specifically tailored for Mac users.

How To Draw on A PDF on Mac with Preview App

Preview, a built-in macOS app, serves as a versatile PDF reading and editing tool. With Preview App, you can not only view and browse PDFs but also engage in drawing directly on PDFs.

Step 1. Open a File

Choose a PDF file > Open it with Preview App > Click the “Markup” tab to enter the drawing process.

Open with Preview

Open with Preview

Step 2. Draw on the PDF

Preview App offers a plethora of drawing tools, including preset shapes like circles, ellipses, squares, stars, and more. You can also freely draw lines, create arrows, and add notes.

Additionally, you have the flexibility to adjust transparency, shading, color, borders, and other details of the drawings. The built-in eraser function enables you to modify your drawings whenever needed, making it even more convenient.

Preview Drawing Tools

Preview Drawing Tools

Step 3. Collaborative Drawing

You can download the PDF file and send it to collaborators to draw together or share it directly through the “Share” menu.

Share PDF from Preview

Share PDF from Preview

 For those seeking more professional and advanced tools, Adobe Acrobat Online Editor is an excellent choice for drawing on PDFs on your Mac.

How To Draw on A PDF on Mac with Adobe Acrobat Online Editor

Adobe Acrobat offers highly professional solutions for your PDF needs. To optimize device storage space, Adobe Acrobat has introduced an online PDF editor, allowing you to effortlessly draw on PDFs with just a few clicks.

Step 1. Upload PDF To Adobe Acrobat Online Editor

Access to Adobe Acrobat online editor > Create and sign in with an account > Click Select a file to upload a document.

Choose a File to Upload

Choose a File to Upload

Step 2. Draw on the PDF

Locate the vertical toolbar on the left side > Select the Draw Freehand button > Adjust line thickness and color according to your preferences > Draw on PDF on Mac. (Eraser tool lets you remove any unwanted lines or shapes)

Draw on a PDF

Draw on a PDF

Step 3. Save the PDF

To save your PDF file to your Mac, simply click on the “Download” button. Alternatively, you can share it with others by generating a shareable link.

Download PDF File

Download PDF File

However, the Adobe Acrobat online editor imposes limitations on the number of edits and requires a subscription to the pro version for full access to its extensive toolset.

 This is where PDFgear stands out, pleasantly surprising users. With PDFgear, there is no need to pay any fees or even log in to enjoy drawing in PDF files.

How To Draw on A PDF on Mac with PDFgear Online Tool

PDFgear is an online PDF processing tool with broad compatibility. It enables you to edit your PDF files as long as you have an internet connection.

Therefore, drawing on PDFs using PDFgear on your Mac is a breeze. Continue reading for detailed steps.

Step 1. Upload PDF Files

Enter the PDFgear online PDF editor > Click the Choose files button or drag and drop the file into the designated box.

Upload File to PDFgear

Upload File to PDFgear

Step 2. Add or Edit Annotations

Click on the “Add and edit Annotations” button to access the editing options. Within the “Add Shapes” tab, you’ll discover an array of shapes and lines such as line, arrow, rectangle, circle, and polygon.

Simply choose your preferred shape, then drag your mouse to draw on the PDF.

Once drawn, you have the flexibility to adjust properties like color, thickness, solidity, and more to customize the shapes to your liking.

PDFgear Add Shape

PDFgear Add Shape

Step 3. Draw Ink on Mac

Apart from adding shapes, you can freely draw on PDFs using the “Draw Ink” button on Mac. This tool allows you to combine previous shape options to create your own drawings.

If you observe closely, you’ll notice that the lines drawn with this brush consist of small consecutive circles, enabling you to even create solid dots. The “undo” button provides the opportunity to reverse any actions.

PDFgear Draw Ink on PDF Mac

PDFgear Draw Ink on PDF Mac

Step 4. Other Features To Draw on A PDF

PDFgear offers a wide range of drawing capabilities, allowing you to create regular or irregular lines and graphics within your PDF. It also provides additional drawing features.

√ Calibration: Accurately calibrate measurements such as distance, perimeter, area, radius, and volume.

√ Add Stamp: Enhance your PDF with unique stamps from four main categories: Dynamic, Sign Here, Standard Business, and Custom Stamp.

√ Add Signature: Easily incorporate your signature into the PDF. Choose from two main categories: Add Initial and Add Signature to PDF.

By double-clicking on any markups or drawn elements, a window will appear on the right side, displaying all associated notes. You can view and modify them as needed.

Draw Features on PDF

Draw Features on PDF


Since the PDFgear online editor only allows you to upload files up to 20MB, you can download the PDFgear Desktop application to enjoy drawing on PDFs without any limitations on file size or quantity.

At the same time, PDFgear Desktop supports offline editing, allowing you to avoid any interference caused by network instability. It enables you to draw on a PDF anytime, anywhere.

You can also learn how to draw on PDF with Preview from the following video.

More PDF Editing with PDFgear on Mac

  • Highlight Text: Use marks to emphasize important or key information.
  • Underline Text: Extract ideas or highlight logical elements.
  • Strikethrough Text: Cross out redundant parts with lines.
  • Free Text: Add comments using text boxes. Customize the font style, color, size, arrangement, inclination, thickness, and more.
  • Add Comments: Include comments, notes, memos, annotations, and more.
  • Text Selection Tool: Use arrows to select and annotate text seamlessly, which is ideal for aiding reading.
  • Fill in PDF Forms: Add a checkbox, textbox, list box, drop-down box, radio button, signature, etc…

-Discover even more practical PDF editing features by trying out PDFgear today!


How To Draw on a PDF Mac Preview?

To enter the process of drawing on a PDF Mac Preview, you can follow the steps: enter the Preview App > open a PDF file > click the “Mark up” button > select a pen tool or other tool you prefer.

How To Type on a PDF Mac Preview?

How to Type with Preview on PDF Mac has also become the focus of attention. You should open Preview > upload PDF > find the “Annotate” button in the Markup toolbar > type the text in the textbox.

How To Draw on a Document on Mac?

Drawing on a document on Mac is a common issue when you are going to do some notes or reviews, to resolve this issue, you should: Go to PDFgear Online Tools > Upload Document > Click Add or Edit annotations in the upper right corner > Select the pen tool to draw.

How To Edit PDFs on Mac Free?

Achieve flawless, free PDF editing on Mac with ease: 1) Visit the PDFgear website directly, 2) Select the “Edit PDF” tool, 3) Drag the PDF file to upload, 4) Click the “Add or Edit Annotations” button for editing.

How To Color a PDF on Mac?

The non-editable nature of PDF files makes coloring them particularly challenging. However, you can easily add color to a PDF on Mac by following these steps: Open Acrobat > File > Open > Edit PDF > click on “Highlight Text” in the right toolbar > use the top toolbar.

How To Undo in PDFs on Mac?

After adding formatting or operations to a PDF, if you need to revert back to your original document, follow these steps:

Open Preview on Mac > Upload files to Preview > Click the “Markup” button > Select the brush tool to draw on the PDF > The left-facing arrow serves as the “Undo” button, allowing you to return to the previous step. Alternatively, use the shortcut key “Ctrl+Z” to quickly undo the action.


In this article, you will gain insights into drawing on non-editable PDF files using a Mac. Whether you choose PDFgear, the Adobe Acrobat online tool, or Preview App, you can effortlessly draw lines, create graphics, apply colors, and perform other operations on PDF files.

However, PDFgear stands out as a cost-effective option, offering unlimited access to professional and extensive drawing tools without any watermarks or monetary investment. If you’re intrigued, feel free to explore and enjoy the experience.

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