How to Add Page Numbers to PDF on Mac without Adobe Acrobat

Bianca Huang
March 27, 2024 Preview 52.6K Preview 0
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If you have a long PDF document with tens or hundreds of pages, adding page numbers to PDF makes it much easier to organize and locate the pages, the page numbering even saves you from troubles when a printed file is rendered out of order.

Adobe Acrobat is always recommended to handle PDF files but put users off with its high price. In fact, there are multiple solutions to add page numbers to PDF on mac without Adobe Acrobat. Surely, Mac Preview is one of them, also we have extra 2 options on this topic.

Quickly Add Page Numbers to PDF on Mac

For a long time, PDF editors like Adobe Acrobat are considered to be the only solution to handle PDFs, but the high price is always the deal breaker. In fact, not all of us require a PDF tool as powerful as Adobe Acrobat, a PDF toolkit containing all necessary and basic features would be more practically helpful for us, for example PDFMaster.

Cisdem PDFMaster is a useful PDF toolkit integrating 8 PDF tools in one kit: Convert, Create, Compress, Merge, Split, Decrypt, Encrypt and Edit (Annotate & Markup). It uses a simple but visually pleasing interface, you can process different PDF tasks under different tabs but in one place. With the PDF Edit feature, you can annotate, markup, add text/numbers to any position in your PDF.

Main Features of Cisdem PDFMaster

  • Convert both native and scanned PDF  editable formats: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
  • Reduce PDF files size and batch support
  • Merge and split PDF pages
  • Encrypt and Decrypt PDFs with user or owner password
  • Edit PDF: annotate, markup, add text, sign, stamp, etc.

How to Add Page Numbers to PDF on Mac with PDFMaster

  1. Download and install Cisdem PDFMaster on your Mac.
    Free Download
  2. Drag and drop to add PDF files to Cisdem PDFMaster.
  3. Go to Editor >> Header & Footer >> Add Header & Footer.         
  4. In the pop up window you can set the date and page number format and set the start page number. After this just click Apply. The page numbers you set will show in the place and format you set. 

Add Page Numbers to PDF in Mac Preview

Mac Preview is the free tool to manage PDF and image on mac. Though there is no such an exclusive toolbar built in Preview to add pages numbers directly, we can add by inputting numbers in blank text boxes, quite similar to the way of adding text to PDF in Preview.

  1. Open PDF with Preview
  2. Go to "Show Markup Toolbar" as following.add page numbers to pdf on mac preview 01
  3. Go to "Text" to add text box where you want to add page numbers to the PDF as header or footer. Then input page numbers to the text box.
    Repeat this on each page you want to add page numbers.add page numbers to pdf on mac preview 02
  4. Go to File>Save.
    Or if you want to prohibit others from modifying the PDF page numbers, you can go to File>Export as PDF. These page numbers are not editable unless an OCR is performed.


  • You need to manually add page number on each page.

Add Page Numbers to PDF on Mac Online

You can also add PDF page numbers on mac with online PDF tools. Sejda and ilovepdf both are good choice to easily add page numbers online free. Here we use ilovepdf to number PDF pages on Mac.

  1. Go to, click on Select PDF file to upload your PDF as instructed on the web page.add page number to pdf online01
  2. Tweak the setting: position, margin, pages, etc. to add page numbers in 9 different positions in your PDF file.add page number to pdf online02
  3. Click Add page numbers to start the PDF page numbering, then click Download to get the PDF with page numbers added on mac. add page number to pdf online03


  • Takes time to upload, process and download
  • Risk of information leakage

Final Words

Adobe is powerful, but it is not the only tool to solve PDF-related issues. For users who work with PDFs occasionally, Preview and online free PDF tool can work best for you, but if you work on PDFs very often, you'd better resort to PDFMaster, it allows creating PDF, converting PDF, OCR PDF, locking and unlocking PDF, splitting and merging PDF, compressing PDF in one place. 

Free Download

Bianca Huang
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Bianca is a senior tech editor and strategist at Cisdem with Over 10 years of experience on PDF related solutions which covers all document editing, annotating, converting and managing etc.

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