How to Edit PDF Text on Mac with 5 Easy Methods

Summary :

Discover the actually working methods to edit existing text in PDF documents on Mac devices. 5 easy methods are introduced, along with tutorials.

Table of Contents

How to Edit PDF Text on Mac

How to Edit PDF Text on Mac

The document format PDF is a go-to format for sharing and electronically submitting, but its editability is always a big issue.

On the flip side, since the inbuilt PDF reader Preview on Mac doesn’t help with existing PDF text editing, you need a professional PDF editor tool for this. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to fork out big time.

In the following article, I’ll introduce several most practical ways of changing the existing text in PDF documents on Mac easily, with the same or customizable fonts and font sizes.

Note that we will focus more on editing existing text in PDF, instead of inserting additional text boxes (otherwise you’re recommended to go with PDFgear online PDF editor).

The Takeaways

Methods Summary
Adobe Acrobat Go to the Edit PDF tool and open the PDF document, then change or delete PDF text. Read more.
PDFgear Import PDF documents to PDFgear Desktop, and use the text selection and editing tools to edit PDF text directly. Read more.
LibreOffice Open PDF in LibreOffice Draw and select text areas for text editing, font adjustments, and more. Read more.
Microsoft Word Open a PDF document with Microsoft Word and it will be converted to a text-based Word document for editing. Read more.
Canva Sign up for an account, upload PDF to the Canva PDF editor, and start editing PDF text online. Read more.

How to Edit PDF Text on Mac with Adobe Acrobat

Using the PDF editor software Adobe Acrobat is unequivocally the most reliable solution to changing the text in PDF documents, Acrobat Pro Pro DC works with practically any kind of PDF document, and it provides a full set of PDF editing and form-filling features.

The only downside about it is that the text editing feature in Adobe Acrobat requires a paid subscription that starts at $14.99/month.

Step 1. Download and install Adobe Acrobat from the official website.

Step 2. Open Adobe Acrobat Pro DC on your computer, and sign in to your Adobe account.

Step 3. Hit the upper Tools tab, and select Edit PDF in the Create & Edit section. Then open the PDF you need to edit.

Go to Edit PDF in Adobe Acrobat

Go to Edit PDF in Adobe Acrobat

Step 4. Select the text you need to adjust in the PDF document, and you can delete or edit it.

Edit PDF Text in Adobe Acrobat

Edit PDF Text in Adobe Acrobat

Step 5. Additionally, you’ll find text formatting options such as font, spacing, and alignment on the right side.

Step 6. Lastly, go to the upper-left File tab and select the Save option to save the edited PDF document.

How to Edit PDF Text on Mac with PDFgear

Microsoft Word certainly isn’t the most reliable solution, considering the object and formatting loss. If you’re looking for a dedicated PDF editor for your Mac devices, look no further than PDFgear Desktop.

PDFgear Desktop, one of the best Mac PDF readers as well as editors, allows you to do a variety of things on Mac such as converting PDF, compressing PDF, highlighting PDF, annotating PDF, signing on PDF, inserting fillable text boxes, etc. And now with a new feature introduced, you get to edit PDF text on Mac for free.

Moreover, while PDFgear is highly professional in managing PDF, it’s entirely free to use – no sign-up, no premium version, and it’s compatible with macOS Catalina and later.

PDFgear Destkop – Free PDF Text Editor

Instantly edit text in digital PDF documents and scanned PDF document without cost.

Step 1. Download and install PDFgear Desktop on Mac using the button above.

Step 2. Open PDFgear Desktop, and hit the Open File button to import the PDF.

Import PDF to PDFgear

Import PDF to PDFgear

Step 3. Click the Edit section from the upper ribbon, and click on the Edit Text feature.

Step 4. Select the text area where you want to make edits and type on the keyboard to start editing.

Edit Text in PDF in PDFgear

Edit Text in PDF in PDFgear

Step 5. Additionally, you can also edit objects, add text boxes, customize page numbers, sign on PDF, etc. from there.

Step 6. Lastly, go to the upper-left corner and click on the save button to save your PDF text editing.

Video Tutorial

How to Edit PDF Text on Mac Using LibreOffice

Indeed, Adobe is expensive. So is there a way to edit PDF text on Mac without Adobe, and without spending money? The answer is positive.

The free and open-source PDF editor LibreOffice is a preferable option to text in a PDF without Adobe. Libre Offices offers Adobe-level PDF text editing at zero cost, it comes with a clean and lightweight installation package, and it provides extensive PDF editing features like inserting fillable text boxes.

Now follow the tutorials below to get and edit PDF text with LibreOffice.

Step 1. Download and install LibreOffice from the official website, make sure to download the correct system type (Apple Silicon or Apple Intel).

Download LibreOffice for Mac

Download LibreOffice for Mac

Step 2. Open LibreOffice on Mac, and click the top-left Open File button to open the PDF you intend to edit.

Open PDF in LibreOffice

Open PDF in LibreOffice

Step 3. From the main workplace of LibreOffice Draw, you can select and edit the desired text fields.

Edit PDF Text in LibreOffice

Edit PDF Text in LibreOffice

Step 4. From the Properties window to the right, you get to further adjust text fonts, text size, formatting, spacing, indent, area, shadow, position & size, etc.

Step 5. When you’re done editing text in LibreOffice, go to the upper-left File tab, and select Export to PDF to save the edited PDF on Mac.

Export PDF in LibreOffice

Export PDF in LibreOffice

How to Edit PDF Text on Mac with Microsoft Word

Aside from being a Word processing tool, Microsoft Word can also serve as a PDF text editor on Mac and Macbooks. It works great with PDF documents with plain text, but not so much with image-rich PDFs.

The Microsoft Word program supports the importing of .pdf documents and automatically transforms them into Word documents that are highly editable.

However, obviously, you’ll need to have access to Microsoft Word on Mac for this to be a free method for you.

Step 1. Open the Microsoft Word program on your Mac.

Step 2. Go to Open and open the PDF you intend to edit in Microsoft Word.

Open PDF in Microsoft Word

Open PDF in Microsoft Word

Step 3. Then a notification window will pop up that says Word will now convert your PDF. Click OK.

Convert PDF in Microsoft Word

Convert PDF in Microsoft Word

Step 4. Now your PDF has been converted to an editable Word document in Microsoft Word, there you can freely select and edit text in PDF from there.

Edit PDF in Microsoft Word

Edit PDF in Microsoft Word

Step 5. When you’re done editing, go to the File Tab, select the Export option, and choose Create PDF/XPS Document to export the edited PDF.

How to Edit PDF Text on Mac Online

Are you wondering if it’s possible to edit PDF text on Mac without the software? Yes, it certainly is. There are a plethora of online PDF editors that allow you to make adjustments to PDF documents in various ways, the only issue is to pick a reliable one.

I personally recommend Canva, the well-received web-based design tool, that also offers a free online PDF editor.

With Canva PDF editor, you can change existing text in PDF online in a web browser, without software installation, and without cost. However, account registration is indeed required.

Step 1. Use a web browser to navigate to the Canva PDF Editor, and log in to your account if you haven’t already.

Upload PDF to Canva

Upload PDF to Canva

Step 2. Hit the Upload your PDF button in the middle to upload your PDF document.

Edit Text in PDF on Mac Online

Edit Text in PDF on Mac Online

Step 3. From the PDF editor screen, select the text in PDF, and type to change the text.

Step 4. Additionally, the upper buttons give you the option to change fonts, font size, colors, alignment, spacing, formatting, etc. for PDF text.

How to Edit a PDF on Mac Using Preview?

The built-in PDF reader app Preview on Mac doesn’t allow you to select and edit existing text in PDF documents, it solely offers a series of markup tools to add additional text to PDF.

To use the Preview markup tool, click the Show Markup Toolbar button, and use the tools in the toolbar to mark up the PDF. Alternatively, you can also use the Touch Bar.

With the Preview markup tools, you can:

  • Sketch PDF
  • Draw on PDF
  • Add shapes to PDF
  • Add text boxes to PDF
  • Sign on PDF
  • Add notes to PDF
  • Annotate PDF

How Do I Make a PDF File Editable on a Mac?

In certain cases, you may find that you can’t edit text on Mac. Not all PDF documents are editable, whether it’s on Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android, or any other device.

Scanned PDF documents and image-based PDF documents (say screenshots turned PDFs) don’t contain selectable and editable text information, resulting that you can’t edit the text in these PDF documents on Mac directly.

To edit these PDFs, you need to make the text in these PDFs editable using one of the following methods:

• Convert PDF to Microsoft Word document on Mac, which is fully editable

• Use an OCR PDF editor like PDFgear that automatically extracts PDF text for editing

• Open the PDF document in Microsoft Word processor for text editing, best for text-based PDFs.


How to edit PDF text on Mac using Preview?

Please note that the Preview app on Mac does not provide the functionality to edit existing text in PDF documents. To edit PDF text using Preview, you only get to insert text overlay on PDF using text boxes or annotations.

How can I delete text from a PDF document using Preview on a Mac?

To delete text in Preview, select the text you want to delete, and press the “Delete” key on your keyboard. You can also use the “Cut” function under the “Edit” menu.

How to write on or type on PDF on Mac?

You can use the built-in PDF reader app Preview on Mac to easily write or type on PDF, with its text box and annotations features. Additionally, if you need to type on PDF to replace existing text, you need a piece of PDF editor software like PDFgear.

To Sum Up

As introduced, there are many practical ways of editing text in PDF on Mac, the choice of which depends on the status of your PDF document, and whether you want to insert additional text or replace/delete existing text. Whatever the case, there’s one method for you, so make sure to have a try.

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