4 Ways to Make PDF Editable on MacBook or iMac (2023)

Megan Charles
September 19, 2023 Preview 34.3K Preview 3
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PDF can display documents in original layout independent of the software or screen you are using to view the file. Together with other benefits, PDF has been considered as a popular and standard file format in all walks of life. However, a PDF file, especially a scanned PDF, cannot be easily edited.

Wondering how to make your PDF editable on Mac? From fully-fledged PDF editor to online free tools, we collect 4 methods to edit PDFs on Mac, also will walk you through the steps with images.


Method 1: Make A PDF Editable on Mac Easily

You may dislike PDF editing because of the impression that it is either complicated or expensive, forget about those old days. We have more PDF editors today that provide time-efficient and professional way of editing PDF.

Cisdem PDFMaster is highly recommended, it offers a comprehensive suite of editing tools, excellent user experience and useful features. The principal reason why Cisdem PDFMaster stands out from so many PDF editors lies in its broad range of features and affordable price.

Main features of Cisdem PDFMaster

  • Edit PDFs: add/delete/edit texts or images
  • Add comment, stamp, signature, watermark to PDF
  • Compare, compress, crop, protect, redact PDFs
  • Create PDF forms with fillable fields
  • Organize pages
  • Create PDF from 40+ formats
  • Convert PDF to 15+ formats
  • View, bookmark and print PDFs

To make a PDF editable on Mac, Cisdem has three options: edit a native PDF directly, make scanned PDF editable with OCR tool, and convert PDF to editable formats without losing formatting. Here you can check the steps for each solution.

Edit PDF on Mac in Cisdem PDFMaster

  1. Download and install PDFMaster on your Mac.
    Free Download
  2. Click Open Files to import the PDF file.edit pdf master01
  3. Then go to Edit, select the texts you want to edit, you can also adjust the paragraph formatting, like font, size, alignment, text style or add link.edit pdf master02
  4. The edits will be saved automatically, also you can go to File>Save.

Make Scanned PDF Editable on Mac in Cisdem PDFMaster

  1. Open the scanned PDF in Cisdem PDFMaster.
  2. Go to Tool>OCR.edit pdf master03
  3. Choose OCR pages and language, click Apply.edit pdf master04
  4. Now the scanned PDF becomes editable, save it.edit pdf master 05
  5. (Optional) If you want to edit the scanned PDF after OCR, import to PDFMaster again and go to Edit to modify the file as you like.edit pdf master06

Make PDF in Editable Format on Mac in Cisdem 

  1. Free download and launch Cisdem PDFMaster on your Mac.
  2. Open PDF in Cisdem PDFMaster, go to Convert.
  3. Click Convert Settings to customize the editable format.edit pdf master 07
  4. Click to Word and save your PDF in editable format.
  5. (Optional) To batch make PDF in editable format, you can go back to the main interface and choose PDF Create, import multiple PDFs and save in an editable format. edit pdf master 08

Method 2: Make PDF Editable on Mac in Preview

Preview, the free app coming with macOS bundle, it is offered to view and edit PDF or image files on Mac. You can utilize Preview to view, print, rotate, resize, rename, highlight, annotate, bookmark, share, export and edit PDFs. With the “Markup” toolbar, you can add sketch, shape, text, signature, note to a PDF. However, you cannot edit the existing PDF text, you need to white out the original PDF text, then add the new texts to replace. In addition, Preview don't support OCR so it cannot make a scanned PDF editable.

Make PDF Editable on Mac Free with Preview--- Add New Texts

  1. Open PDF with Preview App.
  2. Click on following Markup toolbar.make pdf editable preview01
  3. Click on “T” icon to add a new text filed to a blank area of your PDF.make pdf editable preview02
  4. Click on “A” icon to change font style or size, input your texts.make pdf editable preview03

Make PDF Editable on Mac Free with Preview ---Replace Texts

  1. Open PDF with Preview App.
  2. Click on Markup tool, then choose White color for both “border color” and “fill color”.make pdf editable preview4
  3. Draw a white rectangle shape to white out the texts you want to replace with new texts.make pdf editable preview6
  4. Then click on “T” to add a new text filed to the white out area and click “A” to change font settings.make pdf editable preview7
  5. Now your PDF becomes editable on Mac, you can edit the text or add other contents.


Method 3: Make PDF Editable on Mac Online Free

If you don’t work on PDF very often, neither you are working on highly private PDF files, you can try to make PDF editable online for free. Assuming you have a Google Account, you can make PDF editable with Google Docs, the platform Google helps to manage files online. Compared with other online PDF editors, it have no limit on file size and numbers. Also, it is safe to use. 

  1. Login into your Google Account>Google Drive.make pdf editable online01
  2. Click "New" >File Upload, import the PDF file that you want to make in editable format.make pdf editable online2
  3. Once uploaded, right click to "Open with Google Docs", if your PDFs are scanned copies, an OCR processing will start automatically.make pdf editable online03
  4. Your PDF will be opened in Google Docs and it becomes editable.
  5. After the editing, choose "File">"Download As" to choose the editable output format you want to save your PDF as.make pdf editable online04

Notes: The file quality (image resolution, format, layout, etc) may lost a little, remember to check and manually adjust for accurate editable file.


Method 4: If You Have Installed Adobe Acrobat

If you have installed Adobe, I mean the Adobe Acrobat, not Adobe Reader, you can make PDF editable on Mac within this program. It can edit PDF texts easily and efficiently. No matter your PDF is native or scanned, once you import it to Adobe, it becomes editable and every single word in your PDF can be edited, modified, added or deleted, though these powerful features come with a high price tag.

Here we take Adobe Acrobat DC to demonstrate how to make PDF editable on Mac.

  1. Open PDF with Adobe Acrobat DC.
  2. Go to Tools>Edit PDF, now you can edit PDF files on Mac.make pdf editable adobe01
  3. (Optional) For scanned PDFs, you can go to Tools>Enhance Scans>Recognize Text> in This File to make a image PDF editable on Mac.make pdf editable adobe02
  4. After editing, save the file. Done! Of course, you can go to "File" and export PDF as other editable format if you want to.


Basic Knowledge of Edit PDF On Mac 

PDF files are different from document files output by document creation/editing software like Word, Excel, PPT, Pages, Keynote, etc. You are usually unable to edit PDF files. As PDF files are made to ensure give the same layout and viewing/printing of electronic documents regardless of platform or environment.

If you need to edit PDF files, you need to get help from PDF editing software or change PDF to a editable format like word, excel, pages, ppt, etc.

PDF editing software is used to editing text and images in PDF files, most of the apps also helps adding annotations, converting and merging PDF files.

Simple PDF editings, such as converting and creating PDF files, adding annotations, can be done using software such as Word or preview, or free online tools. However, it does not support operations such as adding comments or editing text and images directly in PDF files. To make PDF editable on Mac, we recommend using PDF editor software, as with these tools you can easily rewriting some fields of PDF files, contracts etc.

Also, If you have PDFs created by scanning paper documents and you use online PDF converters to convert it, the PDF will become a whole image that is not editable and copyable. In this case, you have no option but use a PDF editor that comes with OCR function.



Above-mentioned 4 ways to make PDF editable on mac are all feasible, which solution do you take depends on how much you care about the cost and editing performance. If you have already installed Adobe, Adobe absolutely is a good choice, but if not, Cisdem PDFMaster will be the best option, it offers 3 workarounds to make all kinds of PDFs editable on your Mac, and comes with a lot of useful tools to make your PDFs look great.

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 (3) Leave a Reply

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  • Linda

    Thanks so much for this! Method 3 worked perfectly!

    1 years ago Reply

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  • Phil

    The PDF to Word converter sounds good, it is easy to further edit the file in Word.

    7 years ago Reply

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  • Jo

    Detailed steps to convert PDF to editable.

    8 years ago Reply

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