How to Draw on a PDF Free for Mac Users [Online and Offline]

Summary :

You will find four methods detailing how to draw on a PDF on a Mac, providing both online and offline solutions.

Table of Contents

How to Draw on PDF on Mac

How to Draw on PDF on Mac

Drawing on PDFs is useful for various purposes, such as adding annotations, highlighting important points, or signing documents digitally.

On Mac, you can draw on PDFs using software like PDFgear, Preview, or Adobe Acrobat. These tools offer different features for drawing and annotating on PDFs to meet various needs.

Draw on a PDF on Mac with Preview

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

Step 1. Open a File with Preview

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

Open PDF with Preview

Open PDF with Preview

Step 2. Draw on the PDF

The Preview App provides a variety of drawing tools, including preset shapes like circles and stars. You can also draw freehand lines, create arrows, and add notes. Simply select the “Draw” tool to begin drawing.

Step 3. Customize Your Drawings

Moreover, you have the flexibility to adjust transparency, shading, color, borders, and other drawing details. The built-in eraser function allows for easy modifications.

Preview Drawing Tools

Preview Drawing Tools

You can download the PDF file and send it to collaborators to draw together or share the PDF directly.

For those in need of professional and advanced PDF drawing tools on your Mac, PDFgear is an excellent choice.

How to Draw on PDF Free on Mac

PDFgear offers a set of drawing tools that enable users to annotate, highlight, and draw on PDFs effectively. It includes freehand drawing with a pen tool, shapes like rectangles and arrows, the ability to insert text boxes, and a highlighter for standout content. You can choose colors and line thickness for customizing your annotations.

Here’s how to draw on PDFs offline with PDFgear Desktop on Mac:

PDFgear – Free Draw on PDF Documents

PDFgear is a top-performing, lightweight, and free PDF editor for Mac, perfect for drawing on PDFs.

Step 1. Import PDF File

Free download PDFgear, and open your PDF document with PDFgear.

Open a PDF File

Open a PDF File

Step 2. Open the Annotate Tab

Click on the “Annotate” tool in the toolbar, this will open the drawing tools. Choose a drawing tool like an ink pen, highlighter, shapes, or text box.

Open the Annotate Tab

Open the Annotate Tab

Step 3. Draw on the PDF

Use your mouse or trackpad to draw or add annotations to the PDF. You can customize your drawings with different colors and line thicknesses. Save your annotated PDF when you’re done.

Draw on PDF using PDFgear Desktop

Draw on PDF using PDFgear Desktop

Draw on PDF Online on Mac

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

Access the PDFgear online PDF editor and click the ‘Choose files’ button or drag and drop your file into the editor.

Upload File to PDFgear

Upload File to PDFgear

Step 2. Add or Edit Annotations

Click the “Add and edit Annotations” button to access editing options. Within the “Add Shapes” tab, you’ll find lots of options, including lines, arrows, rectangles, circles, and polygons.

Choose your desired shape, then drag your mouse to draw on the PDF. After drawing, you can customize properties like color, thickness, opacity, and more.

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 drawings.

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

In addition to adding shapes, you can freely draw on PDFs using the “Draw Ink” button on Mac.

This tool allows you to create your drawings using a brush. The ‘undo’ button lets you reverse actions.

PDFgear Draw Ink on PDF Mac

PDFgear Draw Ink on PDF Mac

PDFgear also provides additional drawing features including:

🌟Calibration: Precisely calibrate measurements such as distance, perimeter, area, radius, and volume.

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

🌟 Add Signature: Easily add a signature to a PDF with PDFgear, which supports uploading an existing signature image, typing a signature, or using a handwritten signature.

By double-clicking any markups or drawn elements, a window on the right side displays associated notes for your viewing and modification.

Draw Features on PDF

Draw Features on PDF


Since the PDFgear online editor only accepts files up to 50MB, you can download PDFgear. With the desktop application, you can draw on PDFs without limitations on file size or quantity.

PDFgear also supports offline editing, ensuring you can draw on a PDF anytime, anywhere without network interruptions.

How to Draw PDF with Adobe Acrobat Online Editor

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

Step 1. 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. Find the vertical toolbar on the left, select the “Draw Freehand” button, adjust line thickness and color, and begin drawing. The Eraser tool helps remove unwanted elements.

Draw on a PDF

Draw on a PDF

Step 3. Save your PDF to your Mac by clicking the “Download” button. Alternatively, generate a shareable link to collaborate with others.

Download PDF File

Download PDF File

However, the Adobe Acrobat online editor comes with limitations on the number of edits and requires a subscription to the pro version for full tool access. If you don’t want to install software, PDFgear online editor, on the other hand, offers a cost-free, login-free drawing experience in PDF files. It’s the best free alternative to Adobe Acrobat.


How to Type on a PDF Mac Preview?

Open your PDF document with Preview on your Mac. > Click on the “Text” tool in the toolbar. It looks like an “A.” > Move your cursor to the area where you want to add text and click to create a text box. > Start typing your text within the text box. You can also adjust the font, size, and color using the options in the toolbar. >Once you’re done, save your PDF with the added text.

How to Draw on a Document on Mac?

Go to PDFgear Online Editor > Upload Document > Click the “Add or Edit annotations” in the upper right corner open the drawing tool  > Select the pen tool to draw on the PDF.

How to Edit PDFs on Mac Free?

To edit PDFs for free on Mac, download and install the PDFgear desktop software. Then, open a PDF in PDFgear, use the editing tool to add new text, delete the existing text, and change the PDF text size, just like in Microsoft Word.

How to Undo in PDFs on Mac?

The Preview app on Mac allows you to undo edits made to your document. The left-facing arrow serves as the ‘Undo’ button, enabling you to return to the previous step. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut ‘Ctrl+Z’ to quickly revert changes in the PDF.


In this article, you’ll learn how to draw on non-editable PDF files using a Mac. Whether you opt for PDFgear, the Adobe Acrobat online tool, or the Preview App, you can easily draw lines, shapes, and text boxes on a PDF.

PDFgear, however, stands out as a cost-effective option, providing you with both an online tool and desktop software for drawing on PDFs.

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