[Simple] How to Annotate a PDF on Mac? (Free Available)

Megan Charles
time September 15, 2022 Preview 30.5K
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Learning how to annotate a PDF on Mac is extremely workable when you want to convey information or collaborate with others. This is especially useful when the collaboration is taking place via email. This post aims to provide several PDF solutions for Mac users, with free online options and offline service also available. Here we look at how to annotate PDF on Mac.

Method 1: Utilize PDF Editor to Annotate a PDF on Mac with More Options

There are endless ways to annotate a PDF on Mac. Using the PDF editor is the most popular one. PDF editors have become a requirement, especially for office workers and businesses. Editors on the market not only be used to edit or replace text, actually they come with several annotation tools. In this section, you can find two PDF solutions to annotate PDF on your Mac device effortlessly.

The Best Way to Annotate PDF on Mac 
add text mac cisdem1

To annotate and add notes to PDF files safely and efficiently, you are recommended to use a professional PDF Annotator, Cisdem PDFMaster, which offers all regular annotation tools. It can mark and annotate any PDF on Mac easily, including text tools, a free-hand drawing tool, sticky notes, comments, highlight, markup tools and so on. While as a professional PDF editor, it enables users to edit, add text to PDF, convert native PDFs, create PDF from other documents, manage (split, merge, compress, etc), comment, sign, protect, decrypt, manipulate your PDFs easily and efficiently.

How Does Cisdem PDFMaster work?

  Revise text, extract images or reorder pages on reports 

  Mark up, add notes, delete paragraph, edit content or change layout of papers

  Create a fillable form and send it by email

  Send contracts to clients for electronic signature

  Save memory by storing files in the cloud

Take a Look at How to Annotate a PDF on Mac:

  1. Free Download Cisdem PDFMaster on Mac.
    Free Download
  2. Go to PDF Edit Interface.pdfmaster main interface to annotate
  3. Add PDF Files.
    Drag and drop the PDF file that you need to annotate. add pdf file for annotation
  4. Annotate a PDF on Mac by Using Different PDF Annotation Tools.
    In the editing pane, you can add various stuff to annotate a PDF, like highlight, underline, strikethrough, add shapes, add texts, add signs, use pencil, add sticky notes or others.add text mac cisdem

Attention: If you want to delete an added content, you need to select it first and then click “delete” button on the keyboard. 

Another PDF Annotator for Mac User

Another workable PDF annotation tool is PDFChef, which gives users the freedom to work on their PDF files online or offline. Its white and straightforward interface makes it significantly different from other PDF editors. Except for annotation and edit tools, Mac users can convert, create, merge, and manage pages.

add text mac pdfchef

How to Add Annotations to a PDF on Mac? 

  1. Import a file from your Mac or open from recent files.add text mac pdfchef1
  2. Go to Annotation and highlight text in PDF. You can also edit text, edit images or add signatures using the Edit tool.add text mac pdfchef2
  3. Click File > Save as to download your annotated file.

Limitations of PDFChef:

Compared to PDFMaster, the annotation tools in PDFChef are relatively limited. It would be more beneficial for users if they could add multiple markups such as shapes, stamps or notes to the text.

Method 2: Annotate a PDF with Preview on Mac

You don’t have to depend on a PDF editor if you don’t want to install any software on your Mac. Even though Preview is categorized as a PDF and image viewer, a little-known feature is that it also allows you to annotate PDF files on Mac. You can add an oval, rectangle, note or link to any PDF document simply by going to the Tools menu and choosing Annotate.

How to Annotate a PDF in Preview on Mac?

  1. Open the PDF you want to annotate in Preview.
  2. Go to the Tools Menu and choose Annotate, which will show you a dropdown menu of PDF annotation tools. Choose the PDF annotation tool as needed.add text mac preview1
  3. Preview allows Mac users to add text, text box, arrow, shapes, signatures, speech bubble, notes, underlines or more. add text mac preview2


Annotating PDF files with Preview on Mac is workable. But it does not offer everything needed for more than the basics. There are a lot of users who tried that report that the version of Preview has a disastrous bug. After your PDF is annotated, the text becomes subtly corrupted. If you follow the advice, you are possibly putting your important data at risk.

Method 3: Use Free PDF Annotator on Mac

Perhaps you’ve tired of subscribing to PDF software or you’ve never wanted to install any PDF application on your machine. Knowing that many users are looking for a free tool to annotate PDF on Mac, we have found more options for you. 

How to Annotate PDF Online for Free?

Of course, if you want an alternative to annotate PDF on Mac for free, you can go to an online free PDF editor which includes the PDF annotation feature. Here we take PDFescape as an example to show how to annotate a PDF on Mac. This web-based PDF editor program offers you opportunities to add sticky note, add link to PDF, highlight, strikeout, underline, add shapes, insert image, rotate one page in PDF or more.

Simple Steps to Annotate PDF Online for Free:

  1. Go to PDFescape and upload the PDF that you want to annotate to the server.annotate a pdf for free 01
  2. Choose “Annotate” and select the PDF annotation tools as needed.annotate a pdf on mac free 02
  3. Once you have finished annotating a PDF on Mac, save and download the annotated PDF.

Why choose PDFescape?

  • Versatile annotation tools
  • Allows load files from the Internet
  • Multiplatform program

Limitations of PDFescape:

  • Upload files up to 10MB or 100 pages  
  • No cloud service
  • Not stylish enough
 

How to Annotate PDF on Mac with Freeware?

It’s lucky for Mac users to have so much PDF freeware. Skim is one of free offline programs and note-takers on Mac, which offers several options such as magnify tool, note tool, select tool, text tool, page manipulation tool and more popular annotation tools you can use regularly.

How to Annotate PDF on Mac Free Offline in 3 Steps?

  1. Go to Skim > File > Open and choose a PDF file from your Mac.add text mac skim
  2. Select one of the annotation tools on the toolbar, draw or write as you like.
  3. Head to File > Save as to apply changes for free.

The interface of Skim and Preview are similar, but they are actually different in some ways:

  • Skim provides more annotation tools than Preview
  • Modification records are displayed on the right pane of Skim
  • Skim can separate a PDF into upper and lower windows so that different pages of the file can be viewed at the same time

Final Thoughts

We mentioned and reviewed so many PDF annotators for Mac users. I am sure that Cisdem PDFMaster is the best application to annotate PDF on Mac. If you need a solution urgently but are hesitant, why not give it a chance and start with a 7-day trial? Enjoy!

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Megan Charles
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Megan has an impressive deal of experience with Mac software and has the ability to explain tech stuff in a simplified, straightforward and easy to understand way.

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Comments (7) Leave a Reply

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  • Abbie

    Preview is actually my go-to tool in annotation, but it doesn't meet my needs at certain times. Thank you for sharing.

    9 days ago Reply

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  • Rosam

    In fact, annotation is not a big deal, but a PDF Editor is capable of both managing files and converting files, still with affordable price, that's good.

    6 years ago Reply

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  • Ben

    I found Preview very non-intuitive to use. And worse, I was just trying out a crop tool on one of my pdf files, I then closed Preview thinking that it will not save my playing around. Well, it seem Preview Saved it without my explicit instructions. Any other software I've used do not save something if I close or quit the app.

    6 years ago Reply

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    • Megan Charles

      Maybe you can try the PDF Manager Ultimate mentioned in the post, there is the free trial, just try before any decision.

      6 years ago
  • big dildos

    whoah this blog is magnificent i love studying your posts. Keep up the great work! You know, lots of persons are looking around for this info, you could aid them greatly.

    6 years ago Reply

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  • Mccayde

    That's a smart answer to a tricky quetison

    6 years ago Reply

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  • Smithc349

    I value the post.Thanks Again. Awesome. fddeegaagkkekdcg

    7 years ago Reply

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  • James

    What the Preview can do is limited, I don't like to use it. Adobe Acrobat is the most powerful, but it is so expensive for me. This PDF Annotator for Mac is a good alternative, it has more function than Preview.

    7 years ago Reply

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