How to Add Text to a PDF on Mac With 2 Free Tools

Summary :

Here are two straightforward and efficient methods for adding text to a PDF on your Mac. You’ll discover a comprehensive, step-by-step guide in the upcoming sections.

Table of Contents

How To Add Text to a PDF on Mac

How To Add Text to a PDF on Mac

In certain situations, you may find the need to add text to a PDF. For instance, you might want to insert text into a PDF form, add notes or comments to a PDF document, or affix a signature or stamp to a PDF file.

Since PDF files are typically non-editable, you might wonder how to go about adding text to an existing PDF.

In this guide, we will introduce various free methods to help you learn how to add text to a PDF on a Mac.

How to Add Text in Preview on Mac

When you want to view or edit a PDF file on your Mac, your first choice will often be the built-in app, Preview. It provides several free editing options. With Preview, you can easily add comments or notes for collaboration and electronically sign a PDF using the “Markup Tool”.

To find and show the Markup Tool, you can click the “View” drop-down menu and select the “Show Markup Toolbar” button. Or you can use the shortcut: Command+Shift+A.

Make the Markup Toolbar Appear

Make the Markup Toolbar Appear

Then you have three options to add text to a pdf. Below are the detailed steps:

Option 1. By Adding Text Box

Click “Text” > Position the text box where you want it > Type the text you wish to add. You can customize the text color, size, and font.

Add Text Box to a PDF

Add Text Box to a PDF

Option 2. By Adding Signature

Click the “Sign” button > Choose the “Trackpad” option > Sign your name by dragging the mouse > Click “Done” to upload the signature > Tap the “Sign” icon again > Select the uploaded signature to add > Place the signature to the position you desired.

Add Signature to a PDF

Add Signature to a PDF

Option 3. By Sketching

Click the “Sketch” icon > Choose a “Shape Style” > Use the pen cursor to create graphics or write text.

Additionally, you can change text color using the color board.

Add Text Using Sketch Tool

Add Text Using Sketch Tool


In Preview, it only supports adding text by inserting a text box and typing the word in it. So if you need to modify the add a word before the existing text or fill in a PDF form, it is inconvenient to insert the words with a text box.

Differing from Preview, PDFgear can directly add, delete, and modify the existing text in a PDF such as changing the font size, color, style, italics, and bold.

Below, we present how to modify the existing text in a PDF and you can also learn how to fill in a PDF form with PDFgear.

Add Text to Existing PDF on Mac With PDFgear

PDFgear is one of the best PDF editors on Mac. It operates smoothly and remains stable, combining PDF conversion, compression, splitting, editing, reading, annotating, and form-filling capabilities into a single suite.

Regarding editing, PDFgear stands out. It supports editing the existing text within a PDF, allowing you to change text attributes such as color, size, font, italics, and bold, all without the need to add a text box, similar to editing in Microsoft Word.

PDFgear offers all the functionalities provided by Preview and even extends its capabilities with additional solutions as follows:

Step 1. Fire up PDFgear

Install the PDFgear on your Mac. You can go to the official website to download PDFgear or click the button below to get PDFgear.

PDFgear – Edit PDF Text Free

Effortlessly perform text replacement, addition, deletion, and formatting in a PDF file free, mirroring the actions you’d take in a Microsoft Word document.

Step 2. Import the PDF to PDFgear

Click “Open File” to select a PDF to import, navigate to the “Edit” button, and tap on the “Edit Text” icon.

Locate to the Edit Section

Locate to the Edit Section

Step 3. Add Text to a PDF

Move the cursor to the position where you want to add text and type the words or sentences with the keyboard.

Type and Add the Text to Your PDF

Type and Add the Text to Your PDF

Step 4. Save the Changes in the PDF

Click the “Exist editing” and save the changes by tapping on “Yes”.

Keep the Changes and save the PDF

Keep the Changes and save the PDF

Furthermore, you can add text in PDFgear through object editing, fillable text box insertion, and image insertion.


How Do You Add Text to an Existing PDF?

The built-in application, Preview, does not support adding text to an existing PDF, but PDFgear can. Install PDFgear > Locate “Edit” > Click “Edit Text” > Type the text with your keyboard to add it to the existing content.

How Do I Make a PDF Editable on a Mac?

While PDF files typically have non-editable properties, PDFgear allows you to make them editable without conversion. Simply open the PDF using PDFgear, navigate to the “Edit” section, and select “Edit Text” to enter the editing mode. This enables you to edit a PDF as easily as if you were editing a Word document.

How Do I Add Text to a PDF on My MacBook for Free?

There are two free methods for adding text to a PDF on your Mac. One option is to insert a text box using the “Markup Tool” in Preview, while the other involves adding text directly to an existing PDF using PDFgear. You can select the option that most aligns with your requirements.

What Is the Shortcut To Add a Textbox to a PDF on a Mac?

In Preview, to access the “Markup Tool” button, press Command+Shift+A. Afterward, use the keyboard shortcut Command+T to add a textbox to a PDF on macOS.


The Markup tool in Preview suggests multiple ways for you to add text to PDFs. But these are all achieved by inserting text boxes. If your purpose of adding text is for annotations, comments, and notes, Preview is a good choice because you don’t need to download it.

But if you want to modify the original PDF content, add text, or fill in forms to the existing PDF, then PDFgear is the best choice. It allows you to add text or modify text directly in the original PDF without inserting a text box. And the most important thing is that it is completely free and you don’t even need to register an account.

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