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Top 5 Free PDF Editors for Mac in 2023

What features should a solid PDF editor Mac version have? Is it enough to just have PDF editing, some annotation tools, a few file conversion options, and maybe a couple of extra tools for file compression and page organizing? While a lot of free PDF editors for Mac only offer barebones functionality, there are some really compelling free download PDF editors for Mac out there.

You can either use them free with limited features or limited processing, take advantage of a free trial, or live with the brand watermark on all output files. One of these PDF editors for Mac - UPDF, however, gives it all away for free, so let's begin with that.

The List for 5 Free PDF Editors on Mac

#1: UPDF for Mac

UPDF is a new-generation PDF editor and toolkit that's designed to be fun and engaging. The beautiful UI is complemented with powerful PDF editing and other advanced features that you can only find in a premium PDF editor for Mac.

What makes it truly worth installing is that it's yours to use free of cost for any personal or commercial purpose. That makes UPDF the world's first "free premium" PDF editor for Mac,

What does it mean? Let's look at the features and benefits list to find out.

  • Full PDF Editing - Modify any existing content in a PDF file, including text and images.
  • Quickly add text and images by dragging and dropping.
  • Robust Annotation Tools - Collaborative work becomes fun and simple with convenient tools to express your thoughts and opinions on the contents of a PDF - directly share it online and start a conversation with a colleague.
  • View, Read, and Print PDF - Useful selection of PDF reading and viewing tools, with a virtual printer and full control over your printer settings.

Upcoming features:

  • PDF Protection - Advanced password security to prevent unauthorized viewing, copying, editing, or printing.
  • File Conversion - Convert PDF into a number of different file formats, and vice versa.
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) - Accurately convert scanned PDFs to text-based editable PDFs.
  • Forms Management - Create interactive PDF forms, fill forms easily, and add a verifiable digital signature or handwritten signature.

#2: Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

As the most expensive edition of the Acrobat family of PDF tools from Adobe, Acrobat Pro DC is the absolute epitome of PDF utilities for Mac. This is by far the best PDF editor for Mac - if you can afford to pay hundreds of dollars in subscription fees or a perpetual license. The features are unmatched by most PDF editors and have evolved over the years into a comprehensive PDF solution no matter whether it's for business, education, legal, design, desktop publishing, or any other purpose.

With a full suite of tools for editing, commenting, converting, creating, comparing, organizing, protecting, and other key PDF tasks, this is the rich person's version of the best PDF editor for Mac. However, it comes with a lot of other disadvantages apart from the pricing. Users have complained online about the complexity of the software, the poor levels of customer service received, and many other issues. Let's look at the good and the bad in more detail.

best free pdf editor for mac


  • A rich feature set that covers all basic and advanced PDF needs
  • Backward compatibility with older PDF versions
  • A mature and evolved product with deep PDF functionality


  • Expensive when compared to most PDF utilities
  • Complex interface for first-time users
  • Frequent issues with slow resolution times

#3: PDFpenPro

The company behind Nitro PDF Pro now owns this software and its branding, but it is sold independently under its own banner. It is undoubtedly one of the best PDF editors for the Mac environment and complements its presence on macOS with an iOS version with equally rich features.

PDFpenPro offers a solid collection of advanced features such as redaction, batch OCR, scan to editable text, JavaScript and AppleScript automation, and more. It is also an excellent PDF reading and annotation tool for Mac, offering unique features such as audio annotations. The UI is very Mac-friendly, which makes it intuitive to navigate through the robust menu of features. Overall, it is definitely one of the top 5 PDF editor Mac editions we've come across.

free pdf editor mac


  • Mac-centric design - usability is very good
  • Extensive annotation options
  • Easy file and page management
  • Advanced PDF tools


  • A one-time license is fairly expensive
  • No extensive format support for file conversion and exporting

#4: ABBYY FineReader for Mac

One of FineReader's claims to fame is the highly accurate OCR conversion engine. The company offers an AI-powered OCR software development kit or SDK as well as an API option to integrate OCR functionality into other products, making it a very widely used application.

However, much of this product's fame centers around OCR. Aside from this, FineReader - as the name suggests - is simply a great PDF reader. That means existing PDF content cannot be modified directly, but you can use the conversion engine to transform your PDF into other editable and searchable formats such as Word, Excel, Rich Text, etc. The support for file formats is not extensive, but it does cover all common editable file types. In short, it is an excellent tool for converting paper workflows into digital PDF workflows, with additional tools to view or convert such files for editing.

best pdf editor for mac


  • Powerful OCR engine - fast and accurate with advanced settings
  • View PDFs comfortably - copy-paste text easily into other applications
  • OCR-focused product to help digitize paper documentation


  • No Corporate version for Mac users
  • Expensive, considering limited functionality outside of OCR and PDF reading

#5: PDF Editor Mac

PDF Editor Mac is a downloadable freeware application for macOS X 10.10 and higher. It is a lightweight utility that comes with limited functionality, but we consider it to be one of the top PDF editors for Mac because of its ease of use and other factors.

In terms of features, you can add text and images, erase content, draw lines, add a watermark, or rotate the orientation of PDF pages. It's a very useful tool when you need a lightweight PDF editor to add notes, draw freehand lines, or apply a copyright watermark to a PDF. No advanced tools or even basic editing, but the eraser tool is quite unique and definitely useful in a lot of situations.

free download pdf editor for mac


  • Lightweight PDF utility
  • Basic annotation and content addition tools
  • Easy to use - clean toolbar layout and iconography


  • Outdated design
  • No PDF editing or advanced tools
In Conclusion

So, would you rather have a comprehensive utility for highly advanced PDF tasks - or a free application that closely matches the market leader's capabilities? That's what the choice comes down to. UPDF is quickly giving rise to a new wave of PDF users who need a free PDF editor for Mac that is feature-rich, fast, youthful, and fun. Try it today and enjoy a superior PDF Mac editing experience at the price of… zero!