PDFChef by Movavi

  • Creating a PDF document from scratch

  • Adding text, images, and other content

  • Applying digital signatures

  • Converting PDFs to various file formats

List of 10 Free PDF Editors for Mac

Edited by Ben Jacklin

If you’re new to working with PDFs, finding the right software might be a challenging task. It’s always better to analyze existing apps and their features to find the best option. We’ve done the work for you – here’s a list of 10 best PDF editors for Mac. Some of them are completely free, and some are paid but offer a free trial. Read on to find a PDF-editing software for Mac that suits your requirements.

Top 10 PDF editors for Mac

Best for beginners: PDFChef by Movavi

Compatibility: Mac OS Х 10.12 or later

PDFChef by Movavi is a powerful tool for working with PDF files. The app is very easy to use because of its clean interface. You can download and try the app for free for 7 days. When 7 days are up, the program is still available as a free PDF reader.


  • Extremely safe

  • Small size

  • Clean and simple interface


  • You can use the free version only as a PDF reader

What you can do with PDFChef:

  • Open, navigate, and edit PDFs on Mac

  • Add and edit text

  • Insert, crop, and resize images in PDF documents

  • Combine and merge files into a single PDF

  • Split a large PDF into smaller size files

  • Extract images from PDF files to JPG, PNG, BMP

  • Convert JPG, PNG, BMP, and other images to PDF files

  • Sign PDFs

If you need more than a PDF viewer, PDFChef by Movavi offers a 12-month subscription plan (costing just $35.99).

You can also check out users’ reviews at g2.com by following the link below:

Proceed to the reviews

Best for editing scanned documents: iSkysoft

Compatibility: macOS 10.12 or later

iSkysoft offers many features that let you edit, convert, create, and secure PDFs on a MacBook. What we like the most about this app is that you can edit scanned documents in it. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) identifies scanned text and lets you copy, extract, and edit content.


  • Has all the necessary PDF-editing tools

  • Easy-to-use


  • Has no mobile app

What you can do with iSkysoft:

  • Annotate PDF documents

  • Edit text

  • Edit text in scanned documents

  • Protect documents with passwords

  • Fill in and sign forms

iSkysoft’s subscription plans start from $59 (yearly) but you can also get a lifetime license. The program offers a free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. The one downside is that it puts a watermark on PDFs in its free trial version.

You can also check out the review of the program at pcworld.com by following the link below:

Proceed to the review

Best speed: Sejda PDF Editor

Compatibility: online

Sejda is a PDF editor created to speed up work with PDF documents. The program is free to use with daily limits. For example, it lets you do three tasks a day and the file size is limited. If you usually work with larger documents, you can take a free trial and see if it’s the right software for you. Annual Desktop+Web subscription costs $63 per year.


  • Wide range of editing tools

  • Integrates with cloud storages


  • Text editing tool changes the font

What you can do with Sejda PDF:

  • Combine PDFs

  • Split one PDF into two or more separate files

  • Edit text and other content

  • Crop and rotate pages

  • Add watermarks to PDF files

  • Secure and sign PDF documents

  • Convert PDFs to Word docs and images

  • Highlight content

You can also check out users’ reviews at capterra.com by following the link below:

Proceed to the reviews

Best variety of online tools: Soda PDF

Compatibility: online

Soda PDF is a feature-rich PDF management tool. It lets you perform any task you need and even more. For example, you can read books in 3D with its page-flipping technology. Soda PDF offers a free trial period and a 30-day money-back guarantee.


  • Sleek interface

  • Powerful PDF-editing tools


  • OCR quality is inconsistent

What you can do with Soda PDF:

  • Create and modify PDF Files

  • Add and edit images

  • Add text to PDFs

  • Sign documents

  • Crop and rotate pages

  • Split and merge PDFs

  • Convert PDF files

  • Create custom forms

  • Transform scanned documents into editable PDFs

The program has many pros but also some cons. The interface is not very simple and reminds of Microsoft Office programs. Soda PDF has so many features that it’s hard to understand the software without instructions. Soda PDF premium yearly plan starts from €48 ($53).

You can also check out the review of the program at pcmag.com by following the link below:

Proceed to the review

Best for simple online edits: PDF Buddy

Compatibility: online

PDF Buddy is an online tool that lets you edit documents on any device. You can edit up to 3 PDF files a month for free, or try premium options.


  • Easy uploading and editing

  • Simple and intuitive


  • The editing features are limited

What you can do with PDF Buddy:

  • Fill out forms

  • Add signatures

  • Whiteout and highlight text in PDFs

  • Merge and split PDF files

  • Add images

  • Add text

Best for safe editing: ApowerPDF

Compatibility: online

ApowerPDF offers both a free web app and a paid desktop program. You can try the program for free – ApowerPDF offers a trial. Here, we're going to use the online editor.


  • Offers encryption and protection options

  • Converts PDFs to images


  • Limited editing tools

  • Seems a bit too expensive for what you get

What you can do with ApowerPDF:

  • Create and edit PDFs

  • Edit text

  • Add images – JPG and PNG

  • Add, delete, or move pages in PDFs

  • Sign PDF documents

  • Convert PDFs to images

One drawback is that you edit your PDFs online and there’s no guarantee your data will be kept secure and confidential.

You can also check out users’ reviews at financesonline.com by following the link below:

Proceed to the reviews

Best variety of versions: PDFsam

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux


  • Offers basic tools for free

  • Easy-to-use


  • Requires Java

PDFsam offers three versions of the program: PDFsam Basic, PDFsam Enhanced, and PDFsam Visual. PDFsam Basic is one of the best free PDF editors for Mac. It’s a freeware desktop application. It lets you do most of the necessary tasks:

  • Merge, split, and extract pages

  • Mix and rotate PDF files

The free version doesn’t allow you to convert from and to PDF or edit text. If you need more features, try PDFsam Enhanced. It lets you do all of the above, plus some more:

  • Insert pages or hyperlinks

  • Convert PDF files to popular formats

  • Add notes, highlight text

  • Create and fill in forms

  • Extract text from images

If you need a more powerful and advanced program, go for PDFsam Visual. The following are added to all functions:

  • Crop PDF files

  • Convert text and images to grayscale

  • Extract text from PDF files

Both of the paid versions of the app offer a free trial for 14 days with no limitations and a 30-day money-back guarantee. PDFsam Visual gives a discount to students and non-profit organizations.

You can also check out the review of the program at techradar.com by following the link below:

Proceed to the review

Best conversion tool: PDF Expert

Compatibility: macOS, iOS

This software was created for Mac specifically. One of the best things about it is that it’s cross-platform: you can use it on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad. The interface is clean and simple. The app is paid but offers a free trial.


  • Allows its users to convert PDF files and reduce their size

  • Frequently used tools are grouped under the Favorites bookmark


  • Can’t convert some of the image formats to PDF

What you can do with PDF Expert:

  • Edit text, images, links

  • Fill out forms, sign documents

  • Export annotations

  • Manage files

  • Crop pages and more

PDF Experts offers one license for 3 Macs that costs $79.99.

You can also check out the review of the program at macworld.com by following the link below:

Proceed to the review

Best choice of output formats: PDFpenPro

Compatibility: macOS 10.13, 10.14, 10.15

PDFpenPro is also a paid software with a free trial, though the homepage doesn’t openly say how long the trial lasts and what the limitations are. The app doesn’t seem to have a simple interface but it has lots of features.


  • Powerful and easy-to-use

  • Export in many formats


  • The interface seems a bit complicated

What you can do with PDFpenPro:

  • Add text, images, and signatures to PDFs

  • Correct text

  • Highlight, underscore, and strikethrough text in PDFs

  • Move, copy, and delete images

  • Add, edit, and extract pages and annotations

  • Record and playback audio annotations

  • Add comments, and cloud annotations

  • Add page numbers, bookmarks, headers

  • Add footers, line numbers, and watermarks

  • Edit OCR text from your scanned pages

  • Sign and fill forms

  • Save PDFs directly to Evernote, iCloud or Dropbox

The total price of the software is $124.95.

You can also check out users’ reviews at macupdate.com by following the link below:

Proceed to the reviews

Best for simple desktop edits: Apple Preview

Compatibility: macOS 10.0 – 10.15

Apple Preview is a built-in PDF software on Macintosh. It lets you read and browse PDF documents and make simple annotations. But if you need software for professional or educational purposes, you might need a more advanced program.


  • Included with every Mac computer

  • Excellent annotation tools


  • Has no OCR

What you can do with Apple Preview:

  • Create PDFs

  • Annotate PDFs

  • Edit text

  • Convert PDF to image

  • Fill in PDF forms

  • Combine PDFs

  • Protect, share, and print PDFs

Here are the top 10 PDF editors for Mac users. We hope you’ll find software that works for you.

Frequently asked questions

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